After a solid, but decidedly slower opening (after a truck full of living Chucky dolls launched off a cliff, that is) Chucky season 2 started by reacquainting us with its decidedly gonzo universe and letting us spend some time in the company of our three leads before violently yanking the rug out from under them yet again.
In any ways, Episode 2 is the actual start of the season as the first episode essentially acted as a epilogue to season 1’s frenzied climax – an episode 9 if you will rather than a definitive season premiere – but that didn’t stop the show lumping in a typically spiteful coda that involved a bomb-wielding suicide Chucky detonating his homemade payload and killing a young child, thereby setting up our lead’s downfall.
So where does this downfall lead? To the School of the Incarnate Lord of course, a strict catholic school for trouble makers that’ll no doubt give franchise creator Don Mancini tons of mischievous blasphemy to play with…
“Hi, I’m Chucky. Wanna pray?”
Jake, Devon and Lexy, after realising that they still sit in the crosshairs of an undetermined number of surviving Chuckys, agree that if they’re ever going to escape the School of the Incarnate Lord alive and not get transferred to a mental hospital, they’re going to have to keep any killer doll shenanigans on the down low, but that’s not going to be that easy considering the new cast of characters they’re going to have to negotiate. Firstly there’s the strict Father Bryce, a man with zero tolerance for any kind of tomfoolery whatsoever, then there’s the devout Sister Ruth who apparently sees the face of Christ wherever she goes and finally there’s Trevor, a former bully of Lexy who since being sent to the school has become a rather intense alter boy. However, there are allies in the form of the kindly Sister Catherine and Lexy’s kleptomaniac roommate, Nadine and the trio will need all the help they can get as yet another Chucky has already infiltrated the school to act as a sort of scout – that is when he isn’t scaring nuns into having fatal heart attacks.
Meanwhile, we also catch up with Tiffany, Chucky’s ex-girlfriend who now inhabits the body of actress Jennifer Tilly and who still has the long suffering, partially Chucky possessed, now-quadriplegic Nica still stashed away as her reluctant girlfriend/love slave. After waking up to find the bloody, severed head of a Tiffany doll in her bed, Godfather-style, Tiffany wonders if Nica has somehow forged an alliance with Chucky and is plotting against her – a guess that proves to be bang on the money as Nica has established a shaky truce with the fraction of Chucky’s soul that lurks in her head. However, Tiffany doesn’t have time to bother with any of this just yet thanks to the annoying persistence of a curious detective and the imminent arrival of her Chucky spawned kids, Glen and Glenda.
Whereas Episode one felt like a fun re-orientation to Child’s Play’s maniacal continuity, The Sinners Are Much More Fun finally gets down to brass tacks when getting its hands dirty by setting up the new status quo with a whole new cast of supporting characters that’ll no doubt be dwindling in number as the weeks roll on. Most noticably is the return of Devon Sawa who has already played the ill-fated roles of both Jake’s father and uncle respectively and is obviously jonsing for the Chucky murder hat trick and its extraordinarily welcome to see him return in a third role that’ll no doubt see him at odds with our leads. Elsewhere, bespectacled, ginger, klepto Nadine (Bella Higginbotham) is a hugely fun addition to the group with her bubbly personality mixing well with the fact fact that everyone else is tense as fuck and I hope she last longer than your average Chucky cast member.
Having the intimidating school be Charles Lee Ray’s childhood home will no doubt lead to some Good Guy reminiscing somewhere down the line and due to Don Mancini’s past of having a stern, catholic upbringing while being gay himself, he’s no doubt going to have a ball when the staff finally figure out exactly why Jake and Devon are so close. Meanwhile, Lexy’s drug habit subplot continues as the stress of the entire situation, especially when its compounded with a run in with her old bully (whom she winningly describes as a knockoff Draco Malfoy) – simply put, Chucky isn’t their only pressing concern in these constructive confines.
Speaking of Chucky, I have to admit, the red-headed little fucker’s off to a noticably slow start when it comes to the carnage he’s become renowned for with only a single takedown in the episode so far, which, if I’m being honest, is decidedly similar to the Military School setting from Child’s Play 3 (Chucky scared someone into having a heart attack in that one too). Still, this “scout Chucky”, whose mission is to run around the school snapping pictures with a cell phone (yes, he takes a pic of the dead nun), has some good jokes and after his capture at the end of the episode, will no doubt clue us in to what the Chucky hive is planning.
However, while this new status quo is definately promising (they even get Devon Sawa to say “Idle Hands are the Devil’s playground” in homage to his 1999 cult, stoner horror/comedy), the real meat here is supplied by the ongoing drama/trauma between Tiffany and Mica. While we had to wait a while for season 1 to deliver the usual, Jennifer Tilly related gold, we get stuck in with the buxom, scene stealing goddess right out of the gate as the actress gives us a masterclass in how not to to take yourself to seriously. Essentially spending her day burning through Jennifer Tilly’s fortune at a frightening rate, Tiffany essentially spends her days watching old Jennifer Tilly movies (like Liar, Lair) while reciting “her” lines verbatim as she relives the past glories of the actress whose body she inhabits. Striding around her palatial estate clad in glamorous refinery, unconvincingly giving sketchy information to a sneaky cop (the joke that Tiffany, unlike Jennifer Tilly, simply can’t act is fucking resplendent), the character continues to be a monstrous, fabulous joy and her double act with Fiona Douriff’s ever more mutilated Mica is an episode highlight. Douriff, inbetween bouts of getting ballgagged and screaming at her captor to get a job, even gets to once again bust out her eerily accurate impersonation of her day as the Chucky part of her brain is invoked to be pumped for information.
Tasked with setting up everything that Chucky’s undoubtedly going to burn down within the next six episodes, season two is still shifting through the lower gears, but with the long awaited return of Glen and Glenda and numerous double crosses lurking just out of sight, surely Mancini and co. are just on the verge of pulling on the crazy lever.