First there was Child’s Play. After a trilogy of that, came the Bride of Chucky, then his Seed. After his Curse and his Cult? Now comes the TV Series of Chucky. Sweeping the abjectly fine 2019 remake under the rug, Don Mancini’s Chucky returns the character to his proper place in continuity, essentially making him the last one standing out of all the great horror icons (Michael Myers doesn’t count, having erased everything between Halloween '78 and '18).
Picking up a mint condition Good Guys doll at a yard sale, isolated misfit Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur) unwittingly welcomes pint-sized serial killer Chucky into his home. It’s a space he shares with his domineering alcoholic dad (Devon Sawa), who disapproves of his art (creepy doll sculptures) and hopes to bully him out of being gay. School isn’t much better, and Jake is bullied there too, most notably by his cool cousin’s girlfriend (Alyvia Alyn Lind). He finds an unlikely ally in Chucky, who reveals himself to Jake in the episode’s most entertaining sequence.
Much of ‘Death by Misadventure’ is set up, and a breezy introduction to Hackensack, New Jersey - the birthplace of one Charles Lee Ray. Tonally, it’s a return to more traditional Child’s Play vibes than Bride, Seed, Curse, or Cult, and should serve as a neat introduction to the character for unfamiliar audiences. While the show’s core audience may have seen all of this before, Mancini wastes little time in getting to the good stuff. Blood will be shed before the first episode is out, and drastic upheaval for poor Jake. He may have found a friend in Chucky, but there’s no doubt Charles Lee Ray has more in mind than just being a good ally.
This is a solid start to Chucky’s latest venture, promising all of the high-camp thrills and spills we associate with the horror icon. Turning one of the great horror franchises into TV for the masses is no easy feat, but Chucky and Don Mancini make it look like… well, child’s play.