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TV review: 'Chucky' Season 2 takes mythology to satisfying, unpredictable places

1/5
Chucky returns in Season 2. Photo courtesy of SYFY
Chucky returns in Season 2. Photo courtesy of SYFY

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Season 2 of Chucky, premiering Oct. 5 on SYFY and USA, delivers the horror and dark humor fans of the series expect. The new season also takes bigger swings with the televised format to go beyond what the movies ever could.

The season premiere picks up exactly where Season 1 left off, with Andy (Alex Vincent) driving a truck full of Chuckys (voice of Brad Dourif) away. The scene does what fans would hope a truck full of possessed Chucky dolls would do, including immediate F-bombs.

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The cliffhanger resolves a little quicker than one may hope, but Season 2 has a great new story to get to. Jake (Zackary Arthur) and Devon (Bjorgvin Arnarson) are still a sincere young gay couple, but are about to be separated when Jake gets new foster parents.

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A six-month time jump gets us back to Halloween one year after Chucky's Season 1 rampage. There are still a few more possessed Chucky dolls out to menace the kids who got away.

It's worse for Jake, Devon and Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) now because adults know they survived a violent trauma but they can't even tell adults it was Chucky behind all the murders. And Lexy's poor little sister, Caroline (Carina Battrick), is still too young to understand why adults don't believe killer dolls are real.

The year between seasons also matures the young characters. Devon and Jake still aren't accepted as gay by everyone, and that bothers Devon less than Jake. Meanwhile, Lexy is acting out more than the boys.

There are still some hardcore Chucky kills that are bolder than any he committed in the movies. Given the deaths in Bride of and Seed of Chucky, that's saying a lot.

Lexy, Jake and Devon are sent to Catholic boarding school, which gives Chucky a whole new playground of oblivious adults with a dash of religious hypocrisy for good measure. Chucky has a lot of fun terrorizing kids and nuns, but that doesn't make him any less deadly.

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He's got the upper hand because the kids are doubly screwed. Chucky is after them and he can make them look suspicious to adults.

The show gets into religion. One of the sisters sees the Lord in Chucky, and one character asks if we believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, why not that a doll is alive? In a world where voodoo possession objectively exists, she has a point.

Classmate Nadine (Bella Higginbotham) is a wonderful new addition to the young cast. She is troubled enough to be a fellow outcast but quirky enough to be endearing.

The headmaster, Father Bryce (Devon Sawa), is trying to teach the kids lessons in morality and good behavior, but has a sinister judgmental undertone. He also doesn't know that a killer doll is real, but the pressure he puts on the kids is palpable, along with an Idle Hands reference for Sawa horror fans.

The episodic format allows Chucky to tell a much more sprawling story, and the first four divide their time between the kids and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) and Nica's (Fiona Dourif) stories.

A 90-minute movie wouldn't have room for all of this, but the series can devote episodes 2 and 4 to Tiffany and Nica, and give them full attention. Tilly camps it up in her murderous scenes and her episodes lean more into self-referential comedy about the real-life Jennifer Tilly.

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The re-introduction of Glen and Glenda (Lachlan Watson) is the deepest cut reference. They were only in Seed of Chucky and were the doll to which the Bride of Chucky gave birth.

Now they are human twins and have grown up into young adults. Even if newer viewers don't know the whole backstory, they quickly establish themselves as captivating new characters in the wild story of Chucky.

Chucky still has not run out of new ideas after seven movies and two seasons of television. The new episodes are not only beyond satisfying, but they make you wonder where it's going to go next week.

Fred Topel, who attended film school at Ithaca College, is a UPI entertainment writer based in Los Angeles. He has been a professional film critic since 1999, a Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001 and a member of the Television Critics Association since 2012. Read more of his work in Entertainment.

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