Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Happy Town: Premiere Review

Posted by CJ Cregg on April 28, 2010

Geoff Stults as T.C.

Ahhh, the month of April.  When the networks try to fill their extra spots with half-baked show ideas.

I have to admit.  I’m intrigued by Happy Town.  The entire show is very strange.  Set in the small town of Haplin, MN, which is populated by the locals and a bread factory, our main characters so far are the town sheriff (M. C. Gainey) and his adult son (Geoff Stults of 7th Heaven fame).  We also meet a traveler who comes to Haplin to open a candle shop, and Mr. Grieves, a mysterious boarder at the B&B who has opened a movie memorabilia shop in town.  The sleepy town wakes up one early spring morning to the murder of the town pervert, and we begin to learn about some “Magic Man” and the disappearance of townsfolk several years back.

But who is the murderer?  Who is the magic man?  Where have the disappeared gone?  What’s on the mysterious 3rd floor of the B&B where no one is allowed to venture?  And why is the sheriff raving like a lunatic about someone named Chloe that no one has heard of?  Why is “Henley” (the young female traveler) in town for real?  These are questions left unanswered after the pilot.  (And for a good reason.  That’d be a lot to fit into 42 minutes, and you need to have something to go on for the rest of the show.)

The intrigue and suspense is compelling.  I really do want to know who the Magic Man is.  However, the show can’t be all intrigue all the time, so when the scene flashes to shots of “town life” and we learn of the romance between a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and the heir to the town’s throne, the dialogue is so syrupy and fake that I want to gag.  I wonder where these scenes are going and what this show is aspiring to be.  I felt like I was in a Coen brothers movie for lots of this show.

I’m not sure this show will last.  I think it’s too weird and out there to attract a wide following, and the graphic scenes of

Why's everyone so happy?

the murder in the opening minutes were certainly chilling (and surprising for something that comes on after Cougar Town).  There’s something off-putting about the whole feel.  But I guess that’s the idea.  And I am finding myself interested in T. C., the sheriff’s son, and learning more about his character and the mystery of Haplin, MN.

Also, it’s MN.  So that’s cool.

I don’t think I’ll add it to my permanent queue, but I may find myself tuning in once I have more time to see the mystery unfold.

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3 Responses to “Happy Town: Premiere Review”

  1. Mr. Feeny said

    I haven’t watched it yet, but the whole thing seems very similar to CBS’s summer show last year, “Harper’s Island.” I enjoyed that, but it was campy and solely there for suspense and intrigue. I didn’t go in expecting anything more. And that’s what I’ll be starting my “Happy Town” viewing with. I mean, ti’s really quite similar.

  2. CJ Cregg said

    HARPER’S ISLAND! I watched the show with a few friends and that show came up as very similar to this one. But we couldn’t for the life of us remember the name of it. Thanks for that, Mr. Feeny.

  3. Mr. Feeny said

    FYI…Happy Town has already gotten the boot. It’s still going to air some more episodes, but not until the summer. So it’s effectively canceled…already!

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