The first episode was as solid an opening episode as you’re ever going to get with the show focusing primarily on the young cast before drip feeding the insanity that is Chucky’s world into their little lives. While it was invaluable for us to get familiar with Jake, Lexy, Devon and their respective families, the pilot felt suspiciously light on killer doll action…
Those worried about TV diluting pop culture’s favorite psycho dolly (suck it, Annabelle) needn’t worry no more, as Give Me Something Good To Eat gives up all the Chucky we could want.
It’s been a week since Jake’s abusive father did the multi-volt tango at the hands of Chucky the killer doll and since then the troubled teen has been living with the family of his uncle Logan. As Jake is seen as somewhat of an outcast, this hasn’t sat particularly well with Junior, his cousin, who not only has an equally complicated relationship with his dad, but is dating Lexy, a typically vapid rich-bitch who has been making Jake’s life living hell at school. Tensions get ratcheted up even further after a freak “accident” involving a large batch of butchers knives end up fatally lacerating the maid.
Still, it’s Halloween in Hackensack, New Jersey and everyone at school is excited for the party that’s being held at the house of another rich punk, Oliver. Jake is not interesting in going, mostly because the possessed doll he bought from a yard sale is trying to goad him into murdering his tormentors and thanks to his silver (actually plastic) tongue and a truly heinous prank by Lexy, it looks like Jake might be listening…
Meanwhile, after spotting him at a school talent show, Lexy’s younger sister Caroline has begun to fixate on Chucky and wants him for a best friend – after being brought to Oliver’s party, she might just get her wish…
The main focus of this second episode is finally getting Chucky in on the action and not have him manipulate things off camera and anyone who thought that a TV budget might struggle to realise the small army of puppeteers and blue screening needed to make the titular character do his thing can breathe a hefty sigh of relief. Not only do we get scenes of Chucky in broad daylight having full on conversations (something that sweating effects technicians have been pulling off since the the character’s debut in ’88), but the malevolent little bastard even gets to go out into the world to go trick or treating in order to find and infiltrate Oliver’s party. In fact, the sight of Chucky walking the streets in full sight of everybody, disguised under a Hello Kitty mask may be the most endearing image the franchise has produced in years and it’s damn good to see him out and about once again. It’s also good to see some cringe inducing gore too with the opening murder of a maid falling face first onto the blades of a bunch of knives racing neck and neck with a flashback of a young (and human) Chucky deliberately eating an apple with full knowledge that there’s a razor blade hidden inside so see who can win the gold at the wince Olympics.
The series so far is carrying similar vibe as Don Mancini’s Curse Of Chucky, with the diminutive nutjob creeping around an upper class household while the family struggles to paper over the widening crack of their dysfunctional ways. But the opening up of the world in general and having it’s freckled lead front and centre gives the strong character work of the previous episode the oomph the series needs to justify it’s existence and the continuing themes of alienation and peer pressure are still evident as Chucky both emphasizes with Jake’s sexuality by name dropping his gender fluid son Glen (“And you’re ok with that?” Quizzes a sceptical Jake to which Chucky cheekily fires back, “I’m not a monster, Jake.”) to bullying him with toxic peer pressure (“Man the fuck up!”) in order to turn him into a killer.
The performances of the kids are feeling more natural too as they gradually feel more comfortable in their roles and Zackary Arthur in particular still manages to portray his Jake’s all-too-real angst without coming across as whiny – very important if we want him to resist Chucky’s suggestions of turning his back on a world he describes as The Superbowl Of Slaughter.
As it stands, Chucky is becoming an immensely promising show and hopefully it can keep this momentum going to turn this Good Guy into a Great Guy.