We dive right into the brand new Goosebumps TV series now streaming on Disney Plus and it doesn’t take long for you to sorely miss the magic of the original TV series. Here’s our Goosebumps TV Series review.
A group of five high schoolers embark on a shadowy and twisted journey to investigate the tragic passing three decades earlier of a teen named Harold Biddle — while also unearthing dark secrets from their parents’ past.
Growing up in the 90s R.L Stine’s Goosebumps was a right of passage in the Evans household.
We’d sit infront of the TV and be swept away in these short stories that were brilliantly put together with a teen targeted twist and a 90s eerie nature and cheesy delivery.
When the episodes were over I’d rush to my local library to grab myself a copy of any Goosebumps book I could find and get lost in R.L Stine’s beautifully weaved stories.
10 minutes into the first episode of the 2023 season and I want to throw my TV out of the window with this too woke to choke narrative, awkward characters and one of the worst first episodes of a series I’ve ever witnessed that destroys everything that made R.L Stine’s work so unique and endearing.
But wait, before you click off this review and avoid Goosebumps altogether I’d restrain. The series does in fact get better.
After the horrendous opening episode the structure of the series is set as one house holds all items that link to individual R.L Stine stories.
What almost plays out like Groundhog Day but from different character perspectives is quite a way to deliver this new modern story but there are only small glimmers of magic buried only by a cumbersome watch, boring characters and Justin Long losing his mind after being possessed by the spirit of a dead teenager.
Diving into gender identity, selfish stubborn teenagers, awful parents and the children forced to grow up to compensate for their wrong doings are absolutely none of the tropes that the original series had.
Original Goosebumps was tongue in cheek fun as we were swooped away with these stories where the kids are the main focus without all of these modern woke topics forced into the story to make it relevant to the time.
In reality, on the grand scale of things, when it comes to those topics, no one really cares to have it shoved down their throat at every opportunity. If we wanted that, we’d watch the news all the time or surf social media for the latest rant or offended person to jump to conclusion.
We want escapism in our viewing material and not some sort of reawakening Twitter procession to drown in before our very eyes.
The story revolves around the the fictional coastal town of Port Lawrence where a teen boy named Harold Biddle (Ben Cockell) passes away under mysterious circumstances.
30 years after his passing various students at Port Lawrence High School start encountering weird objects and scenarios that came from that very house and our series is set.
Like I said previously, the set up is very clever and how each episode weaves together is clever it’s just the episodes are so poor as a standalone episode that there’s no investment from me to keep watching.
The series premiere is easily the worst thing I’ve seen all year but the ‘Saw Cheese and Die’ and ‘The Haunted Mask’ episodes are slight improvements despite being a far cry from the original episodes of the same name (all episodes are titled after R.L’s books of the same name).
Weaving the episodes is a clever idea but it never feels executed in a way to get you invested or interested in what’s going to happen to any of them.
Scares are few and far between and all in all Goosebumps is just a story about kids trying to solve their parents problems from an event that happened 30 years ago.
It’s another slice of woke trash (at least in the opening episode) but sadly the series feels underdeveloped and badly written and I can’t imagine R.L enjoying anything that has been served up for us here in this 2023 series.
Goosebumps TV series review by Sean Evans
All of R.L’s books have been thrown into a grinder and out came this sloppy, half assed result. If you guys want to enjoy your Halloween, I highly recommend you stay away from this one!