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Chucky Review 1.03 – ‘I Like To Be Hugged’

October 26, 2021 | Posted by Joseph Lee
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Chucky Review 1.03 – ‘I Like To Be Hugged’  

Warning: This review contains spoilers for tonight’s episode. Don’t read if you haven’t watched it yet.

Last time on Chucky: As a kid, Charles Lee Ray like to put razor blades in apples and then bite them. As an adult, technically, he’s still doing that while he goes trick or treating in the body of a supernaturally possessed doll. This show is quite weird when you take five seconds to think about it. Meanwhile, Chucky is trying to convince Jake to kill his awful peers while also confiding that he has a genderfluid son and he’s totally okay with it. Chucky comes close to killing Lexy but he does kill a maid. Meanwhile, Lexy gave Jake motive when she mocked the death of his dad on Halloween.

Well, Chucky just made his return to wrestling on NXT Halloween Havoc. I didn’t watch it, but I’m sure it was as weird as it sounds. As with most things, it was probably only improved with the inclusion of Brad Dourif.

Season 1, Episode 3: I Like To Be Hugged

Directed By: Dermott Downs

Written By: Nick Zigler & Sarah Acosta

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t feeling this one about 3/4 of the way through and then the climax totally saved it. I think the biggest problem lies with the human characters, which outside of one or two have been woefully underwritten. This episode does do a little better with that, but we still have ancillary people like Jake’s aunt and uncle, Lexy’s partnts, the detective and the teacher who all are just there to be presumably be body count filler later. No way all of them make it to the end of the season.

So when we’re not following Jake’s journey, or getting a little more development from the younger cast, the episode grinds to a halt. It wasn’t as big of a problem in the last two episodes, because there were fewer scenes with these people. That said, we do get to spend more time with Lexy, finally, and it resolves a complaint I had about her in the last two episodes. We’re starting to learn that her home life isn’t great, so a lot of the things she’s doing is for attention and lashing out because she, you know, probably wasn’t raised knowing how to properly deal with her emotions.

But we get a nice scene of her apologizing to Jake for last episode, and at first it seems like she doesn’t mean it, but I think she might. Regardless of how she is written at times, Alyvia Alyn Lind is pretty good at the acting thing. And the way she plays off Zackary Arthur as Jake, who was just considering murdering her at Chucky’s insistence, was a solid scene. I’m interested to see where their relationship goes now that she knows Chucky is alive. It’d be easy to say she’s dead if things like “next time on Chucky” didn’t exist.

Jake, by the way, doesn’t do as much in the second half. He visits the graveyard to apologize to his dead parents. It feels hollow as an emotional beat because not only was his father terrible, but it’s obviously just a way to write him an alibi for what happens next. Not that it’ll matter to the detective, as she suspected him of killing the maid and he was at school. The ancillary characters on this show are all kind of combative and one note. But I suggested something similar of Lexy and look what happened. So again, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Even Junior got some development here, as he seems to really care for Lexy. She’s oblivious, of course, and I suspect that she’ll learn the truth later.

Chucky comes in big time at the end, where he kills a kid at the party. I think this may be the first time Chucky’s ever killed an actual kid, as the teen cast here are all actually teenagers. That’s rare in horror and it’s also why none of them are ever involved in anything that breaks child labor laws. Oliver, played by Avery Esteves, is the victim in this case, and unfortunately his death looks kind of bad. It’s a rare instance where the practical effects fail, in my opinion, as the stabbing motions of Chucky don’t match up to the damage they’re doing or the aftermath.

But after that? Chucky stalks Lexy, clings to her and tries to strangle her like in the old days and then lights her house on fire. Fire work is legitimate (confirmed in the behind-the-scenes after the episode) and we actually get what looks to be some impressive CG shots of Chucky as he stands in front of the flames. It definitely looked animated, as I would assume there was no way to accomplish the shots they wanted with the animatronic in front of an actual fire. But hey, it looks a thousand times better than the CG Chucky we got in Curse. The one that walked down the steps and looked awful.

Speaking of Chucky, we get an origin story for him here. Sort of. I think everyone that’s been a fan of the little guy for all these years got kind of nervous when we learned this was going to happen. After all, you give an origin story, you risk taking away a character’s mystique. Chucky’s origin story is pretty simple: he was always messed up and “needed a little push” before becoming a killer. It’s a nice twist because you expect they’re going to go one way with the death of his parents and it goes in a completely wild direction that’s fitting for this series.

While this episode kind of trudged along at times, the final fifteen minutes more than made up for it and really set things up for what’s to come. I expect we’re going to get one more episode focusing on the kids, where they attempt to take care of Chucky themselves, before we start seeing the franchise mainstays enter the picture. Andy Barclay called Jake in episode one. He’s overdue to show up at his door to help.

The final score: review Good
The 411
While some of the same complaints are present from episode two, the finale and an origin story that doesn't ruin the character make this a more enjoyable episode of Chucky. More than one character knows he's alive now, so things are likely to get crazy going forward.

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Chucky, Joseph Lee