Chucky returns just in time for spooky season — and the serial-killing doll picks up right where he left off after causing outrageously gory chaos in season one. Season two of Don Mancini’s hit adaptation of his Child’s Play series continues to evolve the story — while also giving us plenty of classic Chucky moments.
A couple of notes: it will make season two more enjoyable (and some of its wilder story points more coherent) if you’ve watched season one, but Chucky uses carefully edited “previously on” recaps that help bring context to each episode’s proceedings. Also, Gizmodo has seen episodes 1-4 for review, but we won’t be spoiling any plot points here. With that out of the way, here are 10 reasons why you should watch Chucky’s second season!
Can the artistic kid who loves making weird sculptures and the bookish kid who hosts a true-crime podcast find love amid the hell of high school? What if that circle of hell expanded to include a certain murderous Good Guy doll (voiced by the inimitable Brad Dourif)? In season one, Jake (Zackary Arthur) and Devon (Björgvin Arnarson) managed to make that connection. Their romance faces some hurdles in season two — but their heartfelt relationship is worked so seamlessly into Chucky it feels grounded and real, even as increasingly surreal horrors unfold around them.
The new setting
For reasons we won’t spoil here (suffice to say, it’s all Chucky’s fault), the three surviving teens from season one — Jake, Devon, and Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) — get sent to a Catholic Church-run reform school early in season two. It’s a smart move for Chucky, giving the kids new challenges away from their parents (honestly, most of their parents are dead after season one… again, Chucky’s fault) while also allowing Mancini, who was raised Catholic, a chance for some cheeky commentary about religious institutions. On top of that, the school brings in some new characters, including a priest played by Devon Sawa (who portrayed two now-deceased characters in season one… yes, the show winks at the audience about that) and a nun played by Lara Jean Chorostecki, who worked with Mancini on Hannibal, another horror fan-favourite series.
Lexy started off as a certified mean girl who took special delight in bullying Jake. But as season one progressed, we learned that Lexy’s cruelty was handed down from her controlling, appearance-obsessed mother, and we saw her reluctantly join forces with Jake and Devon in the battle against Chucky. By season two, there’s no question that Lexy, Jake, and Devon are tight friends — they’ve basically been through war together — but Lexy’s still having a hard time coming to terms with her trauma and figuring out who she really is. This manifests itself in a few notable ways, but let’s just say Lexy is both better and worse in season two.
Lexy’s new roommate Nadine (Bella Higginbotham) has two superpowers that become evident soon after you meet her: one, she’s really good at stealing things; two, she’s even better at distracting and exasperating adults by talking and talking and talking at them. Both become valuable tools in season two’s anti-Chucky plotting, and Nadine herself, who’s kind of pretending to be an airhead but also kind of not, brings a refreshing twinkle to the teen storyline.
Chucky’s mysterious plan
In season one, Chucky’s diabolical plan to unleash an army of hive mind-connected Good Guy dolls into children’s hospitals was foiled by some key Child’s Play franchise veterans and a few meddling kids. Some of those dolls survived the season one finale, and Chucky has a new plan for the new season. Part of it involves getting revenge on Jake, Devon, and Lexy, as well as his former paramour Tiffany Valentine (more on her in a minute), but there’s clearly more at stake on a much grander scale — adding a fun mystery element that helps propel the narrative beyond merely “Who’s Chucky gonna kill next?”
Jennifer Tilly plays “Jennifer Tilly,” a version of the Child’s Play franchise icon (and just, like, icon in general) who’s possessed by Tiffany Valentine, Chucky’s former partner-in-crime (see: Bride of Chucky, etc.) but now sworn enemy. Jennifer’s storyline unfolds in Beverly Hills but is really contained in its own girlishly campy, fabulously retro-styled universe.
The Bound reunion
You can thank Don Mancini himself for this one. At a recent Chucky press day, the series creator explained to a group of journalists including Gizmodo that the Bound reunion — which reunites Tilly, Gina Gershon, and Joe Pantoliano from the Wachowski’s 1996 neo-noir thriller — is something he’s wanted to do for years. “It was fun to be able to bring these actors together again, these actors who meant so much to me as a gay movie fan. I loved Bound. I love the Wachowskis. I love the characters that Jen and Gina and Joey played in that film. So it was just fun to be able to bring them back together, and it was so much fun to be able to work with them as a writer and director. That was like a dream come true. I can’t say too much about what’s going on in the story there, but I think people are really going to enjoy it.” It’s the fourth episode of the season, and there are some other cameos in it too!
Glen and Glenda
Non-binary actor Lachlan Watson (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) joins the Chucky cast this season to play Glen and Glenda, Chucky and Tiffany’s non-binary twins. We won’t say too much about their storyline for fear of spoilers, but they bring an excellently unpredictable energy to the series.
The unique tone
Chucky manages to blend teen angst, high camp, mystery, social commentary, and some of the squishiest gore ever committed to TV screens… all while revolving around a villain who’s completely believable (and scary!) despite being a skillfully operated puppet. No other show could even try and match this bizarre but winning combination.
It makes a 30-year-old horror franchise feel timeless
“[Chucky’s] a very versatile character, and I think he’s evolved that way,” Mancini told Gizmodo in late 2021, right after season two was confirmed. “That versatility allows us to plug him into different kinds of metaphoric subtext. Because you always need that; it has to be about something. The monster needs to be a metaphor for something. When we started out in the ‘80s with the first Child’s Play, Chucky was a metaphor for consumerism run amok. But in this first season of the TV series, we used Chucky as a metaphor for bullying. It’s important have that, and to set a stake in the ground so that everything, no matter how absurd it all gets, it remains rooted in some kind of reality … I think that’s one of the reasons people liked it — and that’s something that I knew that the television format would provide an opportunity [for], to build in some real heart.”
Chucky season two premieres October 5 on USA and Syfy.
Want more Gizmodo news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
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