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Goosebumps season 1





Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Sins are not easily forgiven. 

People must be held accountable for their transgressions. And they will be. 

High school football star Isaiah Howard doesn’t know this. But he will. 

Household Possession

When Isaiah suggested using the old, abandoned Biddle house as the location for his influencer girlfriend’s Halloween party, he just wanted to have fun. Sure, he knew the rumors. He knew that some said the house was haunted. But how could they possibly affect him? 

He knew that Harold Biddle, a troubled teenage boy thirty years prior, had died there–burned alive in the basement below the old home. He also assumed that going into the basement of that home wasn’t the wisest idea, but he did it anyway. 

And what he found is changing his life. In the worst ways. 

The Poloroid camera he picked up beneath the haunted house tells the future with one click. Each instant photo shows the future. But according to the camera, the future for Isaiah and his friends is going to be bleak at best. 

Isaiah is going to break his arm during a football game, right before he’s scouted for college. Margot, Isaiah’s neighbor and crush, may choke to death or go into anaphylactic shock at any moment. Allison, Isaiah’s girlfriend, could get killed in the woods. James, Isaiah’s trans best friend, might lose control of his Jeep and drive off of a bridge. And local adrenaline junkie Lucas Parker may not land one of his risky tricks so smoothly one day.  

And Isaiah’s new teacher, Mr. Nathan Bratt, is at the root of it all. Sort of.

One day, when Mr. Bratt was sitting in his new house, the haunted Biddle home, Harold’s spirit slinked into the room, floated right on over to Nathan and possessed him. 

Now, Harold’s spirit is inside of Mr. Bratt and he’s terrorizing Isaiah and his friends. 


The sins of the past are rising from the dead. And unless Isaiah and his friends can figure out the connection between their lives and Harold Biddle, they’re going to find themselves 6 feet deep. 

If It Gives You Goosebumps

R.L. Stine released his first Goosebumps book back in 1992 (a year after I was born, in case you’re wondering). Since then, Stine has sold about a bajillion (not literally) elementary-aimed books that have charmed and terrified kids around the world. 

There have also been numerous film and television adaptations. The latest can be found on both Disney+ and Hulu, and it’s called, simply and appropriately, Goosebumps.

For lovers of the books–and there really are some hard-core fans out there–this TV-14 series falls short. According to critics, it’s a young adult series that plays on modern day tropes a bit too much. (For example, the main character’s best friend, James, is trans.) Critics are also complaining that the jokes just aren’t landing, that it’s not scary enough and that if you’re going to make another rendition of a classic, at least do it well. 

Regardless of people’s personal preferences, and moving past the show’s sexual agenda, there are other issues here that need to be discussed. 

The deceased teen now possessing people was very disturbed during his lifetime. Death and darkness fascinated him and it’s clear that the parents in this small town have something to do with Harold’s… misfortune

In addition, Isaiah and his girlfriend make out and sometimes act far older, and sometimes younger, than their television age. There’s plenty of profanity, although it stays in the TV-14 realm and, as is expected, there are violent, gruesome, dark and creepy scenes. 

Each episode is going to dole out more information to make the connection between past sins and the present events. But that still doesn’t make this a kid, or teen, friendly series.

Episode Reviews

Oct. 13, 2023–S1, E1: “Say Cheese and Die!”

High school football star Isaiah Howard uncovers secrets of the past, and predictions of the future, when he wanders into the basement of a haunted home.

In flashback, troubled teen Howard Biddle goes into his basement, where the camera pans in on his creepy drawings that fantasize about death. This same teen is trapped inside his house by a mysterious presence as a fire starts and he is burned alive (we hear him scream but then the camera pans away).

Isaiah sees demonic spirits and possessed, charred, human-like creatures across a fire-infested field as he plays football (something only he and another person can see). These evil creatures break his arm (we see the bone protrude from the wound). The spirit/manifestation of agonized, deceased teen Harold Biddle appears in the woods to multiple people, “chases” them and then appears to be consumed by fire.

Teacher Mr. Bratt cuts his hand on a doorknob and blood pours from his hand. Mr. Bratt is later possessed by Harold Biddle’s spirit. Teen Lucas Parker jumps from a second story window with his skateboard and is injured.

A school mascot is told to stop “humping the air.” Isaiah and his girlfriend kiss and make out. James, Isaiah’s trans best friend, says that she is excited to “hook up” with a high school guy. (Later, we learn that they do hook up). James boasts a pride flag on her locker door. Isaiah dresses up as a shirtless Thor for Halloween and his friends tell him he looks like “a handyman from a porno.” James wears a suggestive catsuit for Halloween. A high school boy asks Margot if she is dressed as “a sexy Keanu Reeves?”

A teen girl sarcastically asks if Jeffrey Dahmer is “chill” or not. A teen girl obsesses over followers on social media and is horrified when an online troll begins to edit her content against her consent. Margot goes into anaphylactic shock.

Teens and adults alike use words like “d–mit,” “h—,” “crap,” “stupid” and “son of a b–ch.” Someone exclaims “oh my god.”

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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