CHUCKY Season One
Charles In Charge
UK Sky Max, Fridays
US Syfy, finished
Showrunner Don Mancini
Cast Zackary Arthur, Brad Dourif,
Alyvia Alyn Lind, Bjorgvin Arnarson
It’s taken 33 years for Chucky to get sole billing in his own franchise, which can be split into two distinct eras. There’s the straight horror of the Child’s Play years, then there’s the wilder, wackier …Of Chucky period.
Don Mancini’s been there for all of it, as writer, director, and now TV showrunner. But just because Mancini’s made the show’s title as simple and direct as it’s ever been doesn’t that it’s been dumbed down. It’s a complex blend of the two eras, which dares to make every single moment canon, with plenty of ideas of its own.
It’s a complex blend of the two eras, daring to make every single moment canon
We follow Jake, a troubled teenager struggling with his sexuality. While Jake’s story contains some clichéd tropes (he’s bullied both at school, and at home), he’s unique in this franchise: Chucky doesn’t see him as a potential victim, but a possible protégé. Mancini cleverly weaves in Chucky’s backstory through a series of increasingly interesting flashbacks, which peak when Fiona Dourif saunters in, playing her father Brad – yes, you read that right. Dourif Sr, incidentally, is as incredible as ever as the voice of Chucky.
The ensemble cast is superb, especially Alyvia Alyn Lind, whose Lexy treads a fine line between hateful and occasionally sympathetic with camp relish. Other highlights include a brilliant score, wince-inducing sound effects, and some cinematic practical effects.
The unique approach continues into the excellent final scene, which contains both a cliffhanger and a conclusion. Perhaps Mancini was concerned about the production line’s capacity to churn out another doll. He needn’t have. Season two’s already greenlit. If it’s as good as the first, he’ll be our friend ‘til the end. Sam Ashurst
Jake is the first LGBT lead in the Child’s Play series, but the fifth (human) LGBT character after David, Barb, Jill and Carlos.