Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy Town

As stated before, I am not a big fan of the current crop of TV dramas, because most of them are so glaringly awful. There is really only one I watch with enthusiasm, although my hubby and I are giving V a try in spite of itself. Since I have vowed not to mention my fave here again until the series finale at the end of this month I'll just say it's a four-letter word that starts with an "L" and ends with a "T".

With my fave show coming to an end, I was intrigued by the promos for a new series on ABC called Happy Town. It evoked memories of Twin Peaks, a favorite from my younger years (okay, confession time - I was an official member of the Twin Peaks fan club and still have in my possession somewhere a Twin Peaks coffee mug).

Hubby and I recorded the premiere episode this week, as we do all our TV programming - to view after the little critters are in bed, and watched it last night. Here is a plot summary from ABC Publicity:

Henley Boone has decided to take up residence in seemingly idyllic Haplin, just as a shocking murder occurs at the local pond. This horrific crime rekindles Happy Town's dark mysteries, including the whispers about an unknown, evil force that has come to be known as the "Magic Man," who may be responsible for the past disappearances of Haplin residents. Tommy Conroy, a small town deputy and son of the long-time popular sheriff, must help solve the crime while easing the town's growing fears. This is made more difficult when it becomes obvious that the residents are hiding secrets, and that includes its newest resident, Henley.

Sounds pretty good, huh? Too bad it WASN'T. Crippled by a major info dump issue with the script (I understand in a TV pilot you have a short time to give viewers the gist of the story in order to hook them, but geeze, it was like the characters were competing in a "Can you tell this town's backstory in ten seconds or less?" contest in almost every scene), painful dialogue, and weirdness for the sake of weirdness. I stopped counting every time I groaned aloud.

Still, there were a couple redeeming things. Sam Neill, an actor I usually enjoy, made his character just the right degree of intriguing, although it's obvious they're setting him up to be the lead suspect as The Magic Man. There weren't many false notes in his scenes. I also like Steven Weber, who plays the rich owner of the town's major employer, a bread-making factory. His eight-year-old daughter is one of the missing people.

The final five minutes may be enough to give me the strength to watch a second episode. But, like Flashforward, if it doesn't improve dramatically (pun itended) and real quick, I'm headed outta town.


  1. I never got into Twin Peaks, but Steve loved it and he took me to the town it was filmed in (East of Seattle--I think North Bend) and showed me the diner and we had some pie there that was significant.

    Steve probably felt the same way I did in North Bend when I dragged him around Forks. :)

  2. Dang! I was thinking of watching that one. Now I'm going to have to wait for your review of the next couple episodes before I dive in.