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Pretty Freekin Scary

Pretty Freekin Scar season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Sarah Rasmussen

TV Series Review

Frankie Ripp is your typical, popular middle school girl. She’s always on her phone. She has plenty of friends, including a new boyfriend. And she just signed a contract with the Grim Reaper allowing her to come back from the underworld.

Ok, maybe that last part is just Frankie.

After falling through a manhole, Frankie dies and finds herself in the afterlife. To her surprise, not only does the underworld have five-star customer service, but the Grim Reaper is a woman who doesn’t seem too bad either.

Still, the Underworld is not an ideal place for a 14-year-old to hang out. Luckily, Frankie doesn’t have to stay there. The Grim Reaper agrees to let her leave … as long as she signs about a thousand-page contract before doing so. With not even a cursory glance, Frankie signs and is on her way back to life. With her, the Grim Reaper sends underworld employees, Pretty and Scary.

Back in the land of the living, Frankie’s parents and younger brother, Remy, are overjoyed that she’s miraculously alive. All is well, right?

Wrong.

Remy finds a package from the Grim Reaper containing the contract. He discovers that there were more stipulations to coming back to life than bringing Pretty and Scary along.

Frankie must complete a series of tasks for the Grim Reaper. If she fails, back to the underworld she’ll go.

Forever.

AND YOU’RE WATCHING DISNEY CHANNEL

Like most Disney Channel shows, Pretty Freekin Scary depicts air-headed adults and cheeky children. Although the Ripp family seems to have a positive relationship overall, Remy and Frankie consistently get away with disrespecting their parents and other authority figures. Though the kids usually apologize for major infractions, their minor rudeness is typically played for laughs.

Plus, these middle school kids lack much adult supervision. They grocery shop alone, grab boba unattended and even break into a school, solo. Pretty Freekin Scary avoids bad language, although a couple of characters do say “OMG,” and the hormonal soup of tweens causes some drama and gossip throughout the show.

Clearly, Pretty Freekin Scary’s premise is predicated on Frankie’s death and trip to the underworld. Though these aspects aren’t pretty scary, as the title suggests, there are plenty of references to the afterlife and the supernatural. Several characters develop and use magical abilities, and the Grim Reaper communicates with Frankie throughout the show.

Pretty Freekin Scary is clearly designed for middle-school kids, and its content levels reflect its audience. Nonetheless, its nonchalant depiction of spirituality and casual portrayal of sassy tweens might make some families pretty disappointed.

Episode Reviews

Jun. 15, 2023 – S1, Ep1: “Back to Life”

After Frankie makes a surprise trip to the underworld, the Grim Reaper allows her to go back to her life … with some conditions.

Depictions of death and the underworld are not as scary as the show’s title asserts. Though we do see Frankie’s death scene, it’s not violent. Instead, she falls through a manhole, and we see her land safely in the underworld.

The underworld is run like a hotel, and its employees lack the spookiness typically associated with the afterlife. When Frankie meets the Grim Reaper, head of the underworld, she behaves like a normal, generally well-mannered human. The scariest thing that happens in the underworld is when a man enters an elevator to go to his “final resting place.” Once the elevator doors close, we hear him screaming.

The episode includes other spiritual elements, as well. The Grim Reaper allows Frankie to come back from the dead, and we see a group of characters join hands in an attempt to summon the Grim Reaper. Frankie also seems to be developing some supernatural abilities. Back in the land of the living, Frankie’s family grieves her death, and when she comes back, they are shocked.

The underworld is not Frankie’s only concern. She has plenty of middle school drama to deal with, too. Frankie has a dispute with her best friend, Layla. And some kids bully her after she comes back from the underworld. Frankie also has a boyfriend named Dio. Later, a guy named Erlic seems to flirt with her.

A teacher refers to herself as “a total snack.” We see a scene in which people spit out their tea. Kids employ bathroom humor and behave rudely. Remy runs a club called S.W.E.A.T.I.

Jun. 15, 2023 – S1, Ep2: “My Soul-Called Life”

It’s Mr. and Mrs. Ripp’s “half-aversary,” and Frankie wants to give them a night to remember. Too bad the Grim Reaper assigns her a task that almost ruins the whole evening.

Remy and Frankie plan to make dinner for their parents on this special day. Mr. and Mrs. Ripp dance romantically together after the dinner. Frankie says that she doesn’t want to hear about the “lovey dovey stuff” her parents do. Mr. and Mrs. Ripp go out for a day on the lake. When they come back, Frankie tells them that they stink and need to take a shower.

The Grim Reaper contacts Frankie from the underworld. When a character arrives in the underworld, she has him sign “The Book of Souls” which states that he will be owned by the underworld. The Grim Reaper uses magic to “zap” people in and out of the underworld. A character becomes possessed by souls from “The Book of Souls.” A dog also gets possessed by a soul.

A character manipulates the Grim Reaper by flirting with her. She asks if it’s “getting hot in here.” Two kids use deception to sneak into their school on the weekend. One of them crawls through the air vents and falls out of one of them.

Frankie and Remy work together to complete the Grim Reaper’s task. They bond from the experience.

Jun. 15, 2023 – S1, Ep7: “Lunch Life”

Frankie and her best friend get their band back together for their lunch lady’s retirement party. Meanwhile, Remy and his friend try to find the golden ticket in “Schmeat” treats so they can tour the factory.

Remy and his friend Carson obsess over that elusive golden ticket, spending all their money on obtaining Schmeat treats. Eventually, this puts Remy in harm’s way.

Scary asks Remy and Carson if they ever do “normal stuff.” Layla and Frankie roll their eyes in exasperation. Two characters have an argument, and another character locks them in a room until they make up. Nyx, another one of Frankie’s friends, is rude to her mom.

A couple kids do victory dances. (These are generally innocuous, but some dances do involve minor hip moving.) A character crassly announces that she needs to use the restroom. Remy has lotion on his arms that Carson says smells like his mom’s feet.

Frankie asks Pretty to heal someone’s voice loss and says, “How can we get your hands around her neck?” Pretty uses his magical healing powers. Scary demonstrates the magical ability to freeze everything.

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Sarah Rasmussen

Sarah Rasmussen is the Plugged In intern for Summer 2023.

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