Spine-Tingling Delight: Disney+ Brings R.L. Stine's 'Goosebumps' to the Small Screengoosebumps,R.L.Stine,Disney+,smallscreen,TVseries
Spine-Tingling Delight: Disney+ Brings R.L. Stine's 'Goosebumps' to the Small Screen

Spine-Tingling Delight: Disney+ Brings R.L. Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ to the Small Screen

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Disney+’s ‘Goosebumps’ Is a Bland YA Drama With More Slime Than Shivers: TV Review

By | October 13, 2023

For those of us who were children in the 1990s, R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” books hold a special place in our hearts. The combination of horror, thrills, and comedy made these books a literary phenomenon, capturing the imaginations of tweens everywhere. The popularity of the books resulted in a TV show and two feature films in the mid-2010s. Now, Disney+ and Hulu have attempted to revive the “Goosebumps” franchise with a new series. However, the result is a disappointing and cumbersome YA drama that lacks the charm and excitement of the original.

Lost in Adultification

The new “Goosebumps” series opens in the fictional coastal town of Port Lawrence in 1993. The story revolves around a group of teenagers who are dealing with their own personal struggles and the unexplainable events that unfold after a Halloween party at the haunted Biddle House. Unfortunately, the series quickly becomes weighed down by its focus on the adultification of the teenage characters and the self-centered actions of their parents.

This shift away from the trials and tribulations of teenhood and the fun, supernatural elements of Stine’s work is a major misstep. Instead of drawing viewers in with the same iconic characters and adventures they remember from the books, the series becomes bogged down in the mundane and uninteresting lives of the adult characters. This leaves viewers longing for the excitement and imagination that made the original “Goosebumps” books so beloved.

Disorienting and Overwhelming

The structure of the series, with each episode focusing on a different character, adds to the confusion and lack of coherence. The first two episodes, “Say Cheese and Die!” and “The Haunted Mask,” are disorienting and bizarre. It’s not until the third episode, “The Cuckoo Clock of Doom,” that the series starts to find its footing. The constant shift between the present and the past, along with numerous plot points and characters, overwhelms the narrative and prevents the series from establishing a clear and compelling direction.

More Slime than Shivers

One of the major disappointments of the new “Goosebumps” series is its lack of scares. The CGI effects are laughably bad, and the horror elements are overshadowed by the characters’ attempts to solve problems caused by their parents 30 years earlier. The series leans more towards gross-out humor than genuine scares, delivering more slime than shivers. This shift in tone and the subpar special effects make the series feel dull and ridiculous.

A Missed Opportunity

Goosebumps” has been a beloved franchise for decades, and this new series had the opportunity to capture the imaginations of a new generation. However, the extensive characters and storylines overwhelm the writing staff, resulting in a bland YA drama that fails to capture the spirit of the original. The series lacks a distinct Gen Z voice and doesn’t offer anything unique or specific to this generation.

In conclusion, Disney+ and Hulu’s “Goosebumps” series is a disappointing attempt to revive a beloved franchise. The adultification of the characters, convoluted narrative structure, and lack of scares make it a lackluster watch. While fans of the original books and TV show may be curious to see a new generation of “Goosebumps” stories, they are likely to be left feeling unsatisfied. Instead of capturing the magic and thrills of the original, the series falls flat and fails to deliver on its promises.


Spine-Tingling Delight: Disney+ Brings R.L. Stine
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G'day, mates! I'm Greg Buckley, and I've been reporting here in the land Down Under for the last 15 years. I'm all about sports and culture, so if there's a footy match or an art exhibit, you'll likely see me there. Let's give it a burl together, Australia!

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