Review: Just keep it to yourself darlin’

“Dead End: Paranormal Park” teaches kids inclusivity and provides representation for lots of people



Netflix’s original cartoon “Dead End” is not only fun because of its colorful illustrations and dark humor, but because of the way the show represents so many groups who are not normally prominent characters in cartoons.

Nikki Sisson, Marketing Director

Hamish Steele’s “Dead End: Paranormal Park” is a Netflix original about a theme park called Phoenix Park that’s infested with demons and angels, and the humans who run it. This show also features a diverse group of characters, giving representation to the kids who rarely ever see themselves in shows.

Barney, one of the main characters, is a transgender teen who struggles feeling completely accepted at home and seeks comfort at the park. The other main character Norma is autistic and represents what kind of challenges that presents in work, social and personal settings. She also struggles to accept her feelings for another girl in season two.

Other supporting characters include Badyah, a Muslim girl, and Logs, who’s Asian-American. Courtney and Puglsey are other major non-human characters.

Season two expands on the concepts set up in the first season, providing a variety of different kinds of episodes. One even centers completely around wrestling and sports. But all of them work together towards the main plot, where the angels come down to Earth, or the “Neutral Plane” after a demon invasion in season one. However, throughout the season, it seems the angels may not be the good guys.

This show follows in the footsteps of other animated shows centering around the supernatural and mystery solving, such as “Gravity Falls” which aired in 2010. That show’s creator Alex Hirsh faced a lot of censorship when it came to character development and plot lines, something “Dead End” was able to work around in 2022.

Thanks to the change in social views, Hamish Steele was able to to create characters like Barney, who openly talks about the struggles of being transgender, and not feeling accepted at home or school. And Norma, who struggles accepting that she is bisexual and deals with the anxieties of working as an autistic person.

Overall, this show is not only entertaining and fun to watch, but is also important for kids who don’t see themselves represented in the media very often. “Dead End” can help kids accept themselves, or even just understand others better through a fun fictional show.