• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

My Voice: Netflix’s “Dead End: Paranormal Park” is a Binge-Worthy Gem


I watched the entire first season of Netflix’s “Dead End: Paranormal Park” in one sitting. I wasn’t planning on doing so but my friends have recommended it non-stop and I thought I’d give it a go. They were absolutely correct in saying I’d love it. The show features the adventures of Barney Guttman, a young adult exploring the freedom of moving away from family. His coworker Norma Khan, and his dog Pugsley. (Within the first episode Pugsley gains the ability to speak.)

Creator of the show Hamish Steele

The show mainly takes place at the theme park “Phoenix Parks”, a park dedicated to the celebrity Pauline Phoenix that houses five separate ‘parks’ as one. (Imagine a sinister Dollywood.) Barney and Norma both want a job at the theme park. Norma because this is her special interest and Barney because he wants to move out.

They go to the haunted house attraction modeled after the “Dead End” house from one of Pauline’s shows. A demon named Courtney interviews the two of them, both becoming quickly aware that something suspicious is happening. A demon king, Temeluchus, shows up. The interview was a ploy to get him a human to possess. He chooses to possess Barney but his dog Pugsley jumps in between to save him, causing the demon to take over him instead. Courtney and the other demons seal the soul into Pugsley. He runs off but thanks to Norma’s quick thinking, and Barney’s passion, they semi save Pugsley. Instead of being a normal dog he now shares his body with the demon. Both Norma and Barney got a job as security at the park and Barney moves into the haunted house. 

A scene of Barney and Norma

In episode two we learn Barney is trans. It is important to note he is voiced by a trans voice actor! Barney is gay and Norma is “attracted to all genders” so assumed to be bi or pan. Throughout the series we see Norma is neurodivergent and, fun fact, was accidently written experiencing autism. The show’s creator Hamish Steele sought out diagnosis after learning that people he worked with didn’t find this character of his relatable, even though he made her similar to himself. He was then diagnosed with autism!

The show is amazing, with a wonderful style, great voicing, and a script full of fun and mystery. It instantly joined my list of all time favorites. Do yourself a favor and watch it, even if you don’t normally watch cartoons. I can’t recommend it enough!

LeAnne Mcpherson