A Prescription for Netflix's Spectacularly Horrible Chambers

Teen heart transplant: warnings, side effects, contraindications

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A Prescription for Netflix's Spectacularly Horrible <i>Chambers</i>

Please carefully read all documentation. Your provider has determined that the benefits of your evil heart transplant outweigh the risks, but there are still potential outcomes you should be aware of.

Your heart stopped. For some reason. Maybe undetected echovirus that took a seriously unexpected turn. Maybe something more poetic, because in case you need a reminder of what genre you’re in, the cardiac event took place while you were a girl trying to have sex for the first time. Whatever the case, a girl in the affluent, new age, hippie town nearby conveniently keeled over, so now her heart is in your thorax. Not only that, her grieving parents have decided that sending you all expenses paid to her rich-shithead school and giving you her car, her clothes and most of her relationships is a totally normal and reasonable coping mechanism.


You will be taking anti-rejection medication, probably for the rest of your life. Side effects include dull throbbing headache and a dead girl’s parents relentlessly hugging you, inviting you to dinner, and marveling at how scrappy you must be for going to school on a bus. Also, your anti-rejection medication will not prevent all forms of rejection. Micro-aggression, macro-aggression, car vandalism, sneering, classist remarks, and Native boyfriends who worry you now think you’re better than they are among the known side effects.

You will probably take on certain characteristics of your heart donor. Randomly becoming left-handed during fencing class, dreaming your donor’s dreams, hallucinating things your donor clearly “wants you to see,” dissociative episodes and coyote visions have happened. Suicidal thoughts are possible, and might be more pronounced in teenagers. If your heart donor committed suicide, the thoughts won’t be “pronounced” so much as “possessed.” In the event of possession, please remove all knives and sharp implements and contact your doctor right away.

If you are Navajo and your heart donor was a white chick literally named Becky, you may develop strands of blonde hair that look just like hers. Tests to confirm that it’s Becky’s hair, including gazing at her photograph and finding a Becky wig in the closet of a girl Becky maimed one time can rule out other possibilities, including highlights or sun damage. Your skin might also begin to lose pigment. Should this happen, please promptly remove the melanin-challenged skin with kitchen shears and douse the wound with nail polish remover. Do not under any circumstances tell anyone about it.

Sometimes a creepy homeless lady and your best friend’s dementia patient mom will seem to know things about you that appear to be related to your donor heart. They will generally not be positive things. The creepy homeless lady might mutter something in what sounds like Navajo but is probably the Sanskrit word “Anahata,” the name of the heart chakra. Similarly, if you wander onto the premises of a Native woman who takes aura photographs, don’t expect that to go well, either.

If your heart donor’s mom is Uma Thurman, you might experience narrative deviations into her point of view that are characterized by hysterical pregnancy, dead babies in suitcases, and marital weirdness that in some cases may become extreme. Donor-mom “just knowing” her dead daughter is literally as well as figuratively inside you has occurred in some cases.

If your heart donor has a twin, there may be complications including compulsive behavior, blackouts, and the ability to magically see what’s going on in your house when you are in a secret evil lab many miles away.

Do not smoke DMT at an evil party until you know how your possibly-evil donor heart affects you. Phantom dust storms, plagues of mice and self-defense killings are rare but serious reactions.

While you have a possibly-evil donor heart, it is important to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest and maintain a healthy skepticism of pseudo-mystic “therapists,” especially if they look, move and talk like Lili Taylor. Lili Taylor, her hubby and their entire cabal of healers are part PRIDE from Marvel’s Runaways and part freak-a-roonie death cult, with a splash of Rosemary’s BabymeetsSilence of the Lambs, and they will spike your juice and cart you off to self-help Gitmo while gaslighting the grownups with soothing vocal tones and saccharine smiles.

While adjusting to your possibly-evil donor heart, avoid excessive strenuous activity, ceiling fans, school counselors who call themselves “life coaches,” and recreational drugs. Scottish lullabies, dire messages from beyond the grave and attempted human sacrifice have happened.

Your evil donor heart doesn’t want to be evil; it’s evil because of a ritual performed by some bad grownups. It is normal to experience unbelievably lame pacing, gratuitous subplots— including 59 women simultaneously giving birth during a lightning storm—contrived soundtrack elements—including the word “lunacy” being chanted over and over during an evil-cult-induced psychotic break—and imagery that oscillates between hysterically cheesy and kind of disgusting. Evil-donor-heart storylines may result in bad writing, lazy editing and some good actors’ talents being totally squandered. Ask your death cult’s holistic healthcare provider if evil donor heart is right for you.

Chambers premieres Friday, April 26 on Netflix.

Amy Glynn is a poet, essayist and fiction writer who really likes that you can multi-task by reviewing television and glasses of Cabernet simultaneously. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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