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Never Watched the Child's Play Series? Here's What You Need to Know to Make Sense of Chucky
With seven movies to parse through, the Child's Play series can get a little confusing. So let's simplify.
Everyone's friend 'til the end, Chucky, has his eyes on the White House in Season 3 of his self-titled television series on SYFY and USA Network. Last season, it was all about grappling with Catholic guilt and choking nuns out with rosaries. Season 1? The perils of high school.
If you're thinking of diving into Chucky again as a refresher before the Season 3 premiere on October 4 or you're just sitting down to binge it for the first time on Peacock, series creator Don Mancini has gone out of his way to make sure this continuation of his iconic Child's Play series is accessible to all. You don't have to watch all seven films that came before to understand Chucky. And, let's be honest, seven movies is a lot of movies!
But since the first Child's Play premiered in 1988, Mancini has been building on the life, times, and lore of serial killer Charles Lee Ray to craft a detailed and admittedly often-confusing backstory. With that in mind, we thought it would be an ideal time to summarize the Chucky franchise down to its most essential parts to help new audiences and fans alike dive in fully prepared for Season 3.
Here are the most important elements from the seven Child's Play movies to keep in mind when watching Chucky.
Charles Lee Ray, aka Chucky
The man, the myth, the soul of an infamous (fictional) serial killer trapped in a doll. Also known as the Lakeshore Strangler, we first meet Chucky in his original human form as he's running from the cops in Chicago. Upon being shot, he uses voodoo and an amulet, the Heart of Damballa, to transfer his soul into the closest vessel: a Good Guy doll.
And thus, the Chucky we all know and fear came to be. He's been beaten, bloodied, and stitched back together over the years, but that can-do killer attitude has always remained the same.
What does Chucky want?
Put simply, Chucky wants to kill as many people as possible. Why? It's just who he is.
Chucky's worst enemy? Children
Jake (Zackary Arthur), Devon (Björgvin Arnarson), and Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) are not Chucky's first young victims. That honor belongs to Chucky's greatest nemesis, Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), whose mom bought him the Good Guy doll Chucky was inhabiting in the 1988 film.
It was not a good purchase.
Andy would remain haunted (and hunted) by Chucky for years to come, even into adulthood. He was often assisted by his foster sister, Kyle (Christine Elise), who's remained by his side in the fight against Chucky after she was first introduced in Child's Play 2 (1990).
He's got this killer girlfriend, Tiffany Valentine
Even serial killers need love. Incredibly toxic love, but love all the same. Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly) was first introduced in 1998's Bride of Chucky and is either the love of Chucky's life or his long-term, long-distance, low-commitment casual girlfriend — it's all about extremes with these two.
Like her beau, Tiffany is a full-on maniac who adores violence and isn't afraid of some light stabbing. She's also dabbled in voodoo over the years (using her beloved Voodoo for Dummies book) and transferred her body into two unique vessels: a female doll to match her man's energy and the in-world version of Jennifer Tilly.
(Stick with me here.)
The actress Jennifer Tilly also exists in the Child's Play universe, and Tiffany has been inhabiting her body since Seed of Chucky (2004) after she transferred her soul into Tilly's body. That's why everyone in Chucky keeps calling Tiffany by her actress' name because, technically, she is her. Got it? Good.
Oh, and Chucky and Tiffany have a kid — or, rather, kids
Glen and Glenda (two souls sharing the same body) are introduced in the aptly-titled Seed of Chucky. They both identify as non-binary. Glen abhors violence and Glenda loves it. Technically, Jennifer Tilly gave birth to them because she birthed the human bodies that Glen/Glenda inhabit in the films. Chucky, in doll form, is the biological father.
At the end of Seed of Chucky, Tiffany (in Jennifer's body) takes Glen and Glenda to Los Angeles to raise them separately from their murderous father.
And then there's Nica
Nica Pierce is the final, vital piece to this Child's Play franchise puzzle. Played by Fiona Dourif (Brad Dourif's — aka the voice of Chucky — daughter), Nica was first introduced in Curse of Chucky (2013) as a paraplegic woman living in a secluded home with her mother.
What, exactly, is her connection to Chucky you ask? Well, while her mother was pregnant with her, Chucky stabbed her mother in the stomach, which resulted in Nica being bound to a wheelchair. A couple decades later, Chucky arrives in her life again, kills her entire family, and frames her for their murders. Because Nica tells the arresting officers that a doll is actually to blame for her families' deaths, she's declared insane and sent to a mental asylum.
That brings us to Cult of Chucky (2017), in which Nica is still in the asylum and, through voodoo powers once again, Chucky is able to transfer his consciousness into more than one Good Guy doll — and Nica herself. Part of Chucky's soul living in Nica's body means she can walk when Chucky's in the driver's seat, so Nica/Chucky escapes the asylum where Tiffany is waiting outside to whisk them away.
You can find out what happened next by watching Chucky on Peacock.
Chucky Season 3 premieres on SYFY and USA Network on October 4. New episodes will be available next-day on Peacock.