New Must-Watch ‘Goosebumps’ Series Pays Homage to the Original TV Show in the Best Way

Full of nostalgic easter eggs

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Goosebumps New Show Cast CAT2
Disney/David Astorga

I wasn’t born yet when the first Goosebumps novel written by R. L. Stine hit the shelves. And I also wasn’t around when the live-action Goosebumps television series premiered on the small screen in the early 1990s.

My older brother was a big fan of the books growing up. So naturally, I started reading them too once I stumbled upon them nestled in our apartment. Instantly, I fell in love with the books (as well as the television series) all the same. So, you can imagine my excitement when I heard that a new Goosebumps show was headed our way.

Today, the first five episodes from the new Goosebumps series have premiered on Disney+ and Hulu. And for old and new fans alike, the anticipation for the modern-day take on the classic novels has never been higher. 

Based on the beloved franchise, the new Goosebumps spinoff follows a group of five high school students embarking on a quest to investigate the mysterious death of a teenager whose ghost has come back for revenge after passing away 30 years ago.

This Goosebumps features a cast of fresh new faces, a diverse ensemble as well as Hollywood vet Justin Long. And while the Goosebumps book series has spawned several television adaptions (as well as the film series starring Jack Black), the new spinoff honors the original show in the best way possible, which is something longtime fans will undoubtedly appreciate. 

So, is the new Goosebumps spinoff worth the watch? How does this modern-day version compare to the OG television series that aired in 1995? Keep reading for an honest review.

The first episode takes viewers back to the year 1993. Not only is the episode named after one of the horror writer’s most beloved stories, but the narrative also takes place during the same period as the OG television series, which is a subtle nod that fans of the books and show will find utterly nostalgic. 

We are first introduced to a high schooler named Harold Biddle, who appears to be an outcast in his school. Upon entering the basement of his family home, he documents all the sinister relics he has stored for his “personal collection.” 

There are plenty of small Easter eggs included in the episode that are staples in R.L. Stine’s horror franchise, including a revamped version of The Haunted Mask, the deadly camera from Say Cheese and Die! and the infamous cuckoo clock featured in The Cuckoo Clock Of Doom. (And in later episodes, we see the return of Slappy from the well-known Night of the Living Dummy.)

Justin Long Goosebumps CAT
Disney/David Astorga

Another aspect of the series I’ve come to admire is the inclusion of diversity amongst the main characters. The original television show offered a limited perspective where the story was told from a young white child’s point of view.

Sure, there was some diversity amongst the side characters, whether that be a person of color portraying the “best friend” or the “trustworthy sidekick” role. But there was never a POC character that was the center of the horrifying mystery. And the new Goosebumps series completely changes this, and it’s like a breath of fresh air from a storytelling standpoint. 

But aside from that, we get to learn more about the characters beyond the screams and terror, which is something fans never had a chance to experience in R.L. Stine’s original work. While watching the first episode, I can’t help but sympathize with Isaiah (Zack Morris), who is trying to make his dream of becoming a professional football player come true. I even find myself rooting for his best friend, James (Miles McKenna), who simply has a crush on a boy in his grade.

Isaiah Zack Morris Goosebumps CAT
Disney/David Astorga

Overall, the first episode of the new Goosebumps series serves as the perfect introduction to what’s to come. And if the rest of the season is anything like episode one, then audiences are in for a scary treat. Not only will longtime fans of the franchise enjoy this latest addition to the Goosebumps series, but it will also likely captivate a whole new generation to the horror classic. Oh, and did we mention this show arrived just in time for spooky season?

PureWow Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Fans of the original Goosebumps television show will love this latest installment. From its notable Easter eggs to the iconic callbacks to the book series, this is a show that horror show lovers will enjoy watching, regardless of age. 

The first five episodes of the new Goosebumps series are streaming right now on Disney+ and Hulu. The remaining episodes will be released weekly, until the final episode of season one debuts on November 1, 2023. 

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karelle mckay headshot e1678464959710

Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...