Happy Town: Sad, troubled town–with torture devices!

HAPPY TOWN: 1.05 “This Is Why We Stay”
HAPPY TOWN: 1.06 “Questions and Antlers”

It’s almost unfortunate. While I might still have my annoyances about the show, it really is ramping up with some decent material just as we’re approaching the end.

Seriously. In the last two episodes, I’ve actually been quite interested in what’s going on. Particularly because they’re focusing on the mystery of the Magic Man. It’s true, this week we did kinda side-step that with our focus on Dave (poor Dave), but even he saw the tomb of cages that clearly were possessions of the Magic Man and home to his victims.

Too bad he’s dead now and no one will know.

Do you think Dave would have killed Tommy? Well, he was quite out of his head. But sadly, no, I don’t think he was actually going to shoot Tommy, and he was just using the gun as  a scare device. Yes, to me, Tommy made a rash decision, and it’s unfortunate.

That being said, I wish in the last few episodes they had spent more time on the Tommy/Dave dynamic. I could understand why Tommy wouldn’t want to see him, but having that extra attachment to their life-long friendship really would have given Dave’s death that extra umph. Man, I’m morbid.

Meanwhile, I’m disappointed this week that we didn’t get more on Tommy’s wife’s memory. Didn’t at the end of last week’s episode she told us that she remembered? I guess she just remembered the water memory. And yes, that was one creepy scene (very Cabin by the Lake, if you remember that movie) and the fish-thing didn’t help. It creeps me out that that is now in the police station.

Speaking of police, what do we think about the detective with the camper? Is he really just a man who wants to solve the case? I doubt it. But I can’t pinpoint what he really wants. But then again, he’s a perfect person to think is the bad guy when we find out who the real bad guy is later. But dude, the crepe thing was creepy. I hope those kids really do skip town.

Finally, Henley. Man, she certainly took a new role this episode. I adored watching all the struggles she had last week trying to get out of town–or at least the money out of town. But really, watching her torture Greggy was kinda freaky. Nice guitar case of torture devices, eh? I mean, true, she could have done worse (think Angel in season one when they had that ring that made vamps invicible), but it was effective.

Plus, there was an interesting plot twist: the fact that they’re trying to get Henley’s contact in town. I wonder if we’ll be seeing that person. Or if that person just might be associated with the Magic Man.

There are many unanswered questions, which is better than in the first few episodes, and while the show could still use some work, I have to say that I’m actually kinda looking forward to the next episode. I hope some of you Happy Town fans will be pleased.

Considering where it started, I certainly am.


Happy Town: If I had a hammer…

HAPPY TOWN: 1.04 “Slight of Hand”

I’d first like to give a shoutout to that Twitterer who asked Amy Acker if she would have more screen time now that she was kidnapped. I thought that was a strange question, and I thought the answer would, of course, be no. She’s kidnapped. She’s gone. That’s it.

Clearly, this guy was thinking more creatively than I was, because she might just have more screen time after all!

Now, I have to ask, do the masterminds behind this show have a plan at all? I mean, this show is becoming such utter nonsense, and the only think they’re successful at is making sure you don’t trust anyone in the town! I mean, first, there was a murder mystery, but we know who did it now, and he’s not getting punished. Then there was a kidnapping, but hey, she’s back now, too. All because they started looking for the first girl who’s hand appeared on a loaf of bread.

Meanwhile, Chloe/Henley wants her hammer back, which Greggy stole. But hey, he willingly passes it back to her after sex.

I’m sorry, I just really wanted to have faith in a good mystery storyline. Is it that the show thought a general mystery storyline would move too slow for the audience? Is there something in the next few episodes that I’m just missing?

I will say this about last night’s episode, though: It was more interesting than the last one. I very much enjoy any time Sam Neill is on screen, and his riddles are actually kinda fun. If only I knew how he had this information and why riddles were really the way to go with telling the cops about it. Is riddles even the right word?

There was also some great angst as they went through various homes and crime scenes trying to find clues. Why they felt that night would be the best time to return to the scene of the first disappearance, I’m really not sure, but hey, there was some definite tension.

Overall, I did start to question my faith in a lot more of the characters in this episode. Clearly, the mayor has something up her sleeve, and we finally know that Chloe/Henley is in it for the money, though I guess we just have to find out more about her connection with the Sheriff.  I’m really starting to not trust anyone on the police force, though I desperately want to trust the detective who might just blow the entire murder case that Tommy has spent so much time covering up for Big Dave.

But the show still needs work, and I even hear that we might just know who the Magic Man is by episode eight. What route are the writers taking to Happy Town because it’s certainly not any way I’ve seen before.

Thursday Open Thread: Major disappointments

Perhaps I’m just still irritated at last night’s Happy Town. Ok, so I am. I was really looking forward to this series, and it just completely let me down. Uggh.

So here’s a question for you:

What’s been a major TV disappointment for you?

I’m not talking cancellations. That’s an entirely different topic. I mean something you were really excited about–really amped–and then it completely let you down.

Sure, this might go a little in line with our discussion about hype, but this is really your own anticipation, not what a network wants for you. Pushing Happy Town aside, for a second, let me give another example. Perhaps the Angel finale? I was amped up for this enormous battle, and we didn’t even get it? I mean, sure, there were other things going on in the episode that ultimately made it good television, but that didn’t mean I didn’t give a disgruntled “What?!” when I saw the credits roll.

Or, like, Kathy Bates’ role on The Office. That could have been much more awesome than it actually was.

What about you? Show? Episode? Let me know.

image from sorozatguru.info

The tagline should have been my first clue…

If I could raspberry ‘Happy Town,’ I would

HAPPY TOWN: 1.03 “Polly Want a Crack at Her”

There is no suspense anymore. Actually, there kinda never was. They should have worked on that. And there’s really very little plot anymore. And finally, other than Dave’s assumption that Friddle was the Magic Man, how does he even fit into all of this? I thought we’d see someone else disappear, for goodness’ sake!…

I’m going to sit through tonight’s episode, sure, but whether I’ll make it to the burn-off in June, well, I just don’t know. If only they had played to their strengths a little more. Where’s Amy Acker and Steven Weber on the screen when you need them?

Those were some quick quotes from my last review of Happy Town. Well, I got one thing that I wanted: someone else disappeared. Of course, we took away one of the key people that I was watching the show for.

Seriously, why is Amy Acker always the one who’s kidnapped. Will the rest of her appearances in the show be like the ones on Drive? Just a still picture on a “Missing” poster?

I should say one thing about this episode: At 10:39 pm, I looked at the clock and said, “Holy crap. We’ve watched forty minutes and nothing’s happened?!” It’s true. Nothing happened until the final five minutes. And sorry, those five minutes might not keep my attention until June. Especially because they got rid of one of my favorite actors.

First, the whole Henley storyline was just stupid. I didn’t care if she hooked up with “Greggy,” as we discovered that he was. And the minute I saw her pull that hammer out of her bag, I knew he’d see it. After all, that’s why I said, outloud, “Why is she doing that while he’s just lying there? He’ll see it.” What a moron.

Second, I’m really fed up with Tommy and Dave. Just arrest him already. Clearly, you think what Dave did was wrong, and even if you didn’t, he killed a man. Take him in. Stop protecting him. The problem is, the show didn’t establish a strong enough bond with Tommy and Dave (in its episode and a half before outing him as the killer) to make Tommy’s protection warranted. Bah. Just lose it.

And then there’s Georgia’s dad and his boyfriend. Boy, did this bore me. I really didn’t care about any of these characters, except maybe Georgia, who just kept reiterating that her dad didn’t hit her and that just got tired. Dude, I know her dad didn’t do it, and I didn’t want to believe her. Bah.

I don’t know what to say. The last episode moved way too fast for its own good and this episode moved way too slow. I feel like we were in a slow episode 5 or 17 in a 22-episode season–you know, one of those filler episodes. It didn’t warrant the surprise ending, and it certainly needed to move faster to grab a third episode slot. Bah.

I might have to have a whole separate post on “How to fix Happy Town.” Maybe on another day. Sigh.

A look a last week’s ‘Happy Town’

HAPPY TOWN: 1.02 “I Came to Haplin for the Waters”

Well, if you haven’t heard, the sheriff’s hand was not the only thing axed recently. Happy Town itself is done. After tonight’s episode, the show will hold off any other airings until June, when it burns off the rest of its episodes. It’s not so happy in Haplin.

I can’t help but think that the many negative reviews of the series caused the low ratings. But then again, after this episode, I can’t exactly blame people for not watching. Ouch.

Did anyone else feel like we just watched the mid-season cliff-hanger for the series last week? I mean, we had a whole…what? Episode and a half to try to figure out who killed the guy in the pilot, and we’ve already discovered who it was? Not including the fact that I called it as him when he was first introduced?

Seriously, Dave is that guy who just seems so large, that you’d expect him to do it. But then again, he’s the sweetest guy on the block, so you push those feelings aside and go, no, he’s just a big teddy bear. There was no surprise that they would push those cuddly feelings out the window and make him a murderer. There is a surprise to find this out on the second episode, along with our new sheriff. I mean, what else is the show going to be about now? You know, in the six episodes left?

Meanwhile, we have Chloe/Henley, who again, has just revealed everything way too early. We already know what’s upstairs. We know she’s someone important and definitely not a newcomer into the town. Sure, I jumped when the bird crashed into her windshield, but what else is there? This is all just moving way too fast.

There is no suspense anymore. Actually, there kinda never was. They should have worked on that. And there’s really very little plot anymore. And finally, other than Dave’s assumption that Friddle was the Magic Man, how does he even fit into all of this? I thought we’d see someone else disappear, for goodness’ sake!

Meanwhile, there was poor Georgia who was drugged for some reason unbeknownst to us. Unfortunately, we know exactly who did it and now he’s in some place of power. Sure, he’s a mystery man, but I can’t possibly see how knowing he’s a bad guy from the start can help us. Uggh.

I’m going to sit through tonight’s episode, sure, but whether I’ll make it to the burn-off in June, well, I just don’t know. If only they had played to their strengths a little more. Where’s Amy Acker and Steven Weber on the screen when you need them?

Happy Town: First impressions

HAPPY TOWN: 1.01 “The Pilot”

Terrible things are being said about the new show Happy Town. I’ll start this post by indicating that I’ve only seen the pilot, and I’ve been told that episodes two and three go downhill from here, but I’m basically a blank slate here, so these are my first impressions.

So far, it’s not bad. It’s actually pretty ok. I think there are points that might need some work (we’ll get to that), but I’m certainly intrigued. It is one of those shows, though, that I’m not sure if it can last past one season (though after those reviews, who’s to say it will). The problem with starting a show with a mystery is that once the mystery had ended, where do you go next? With a show like Desperate Housewives, you just bring in new characters and find more gossip, but with a show so rooted in a single event in the past, I’m not sure it will have that option.

I like the cast. I didn’t even know Steven Weber was in the series, but I like that he is. Sam Neill is, of course, a perfectly creepy choice. And like I’ve said before, I’ll follow Amy Acker anywhere. Even to Happy Town.

And the widows were a great addition. Nice comedic relief. Now, if I could only figure out why all these Minnesotans had Southern accents…

Moving on, I’ll also say that I was intrigued. What is going on in this happy little town? Who is Chloe? Why is the sheriff (Pops) acting so strange?

But beyond that, we’ve got a little work to be had. The scene where the wife found out her husband was murdered? Way too over the top (and why wouldn’t they take her somewhere private?). The death scene? Eep. But what was terrible is how they found the body. Why would the murderer take the stake out of his head? And why would the body’s eyes be open? Seriously, just have someone swing a foam bat at your forehead. Trust me, you’ll shut your eyes, and those things don’t even hurt.

And as for the mystery of Chloe, did we learn too much too soon? I think the two strange references of Chloe–especially the one that references her teeth or mouth–were great. They should have stopped it at that. Once Pops kept going on and on about it, I started to feel like they were beating a dead horse.

Plus, finding out that the newest arrival was Chloe, well, that just didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to feel like she was an innocent bystander for a few more episodes before discovering (with a surprise!) that she had something up her sleeve. I actually believed her as a weirdo girl who would use her inheritance to open a soy candle shop.

Finally, the scene where Pops chopped off his hand. That would have been fantastic, if that scene hadn’t been promoted months and months ago. It’s disappointing to have that spoiled.

But ultimately, I’m still intrigued, and I am going to see the next few episodes (if only just to see what was so bad about them). I will say that I did start out hoping for the best for the show, and now I’m expecting the worst, so who knows what bias I’m carrying into the episodes, but we’ll see.

What did you think?

Two things I’m watching this week

In case you’re tired of the same ol’, same ol’, this week has some brand new things you can check out–and trust me, I will be.

First thing’s first, we’ve got a brand-new One Tree Hill tonight to start us off with the final four episodes of the season. Since this show’s on the bubble and this might be your last chance to watch, I’d highly suggest you do so–and then let the CW know about it. (Twitter’s always a great way to do that.)

image from poptower.com

Now sure, this show is certainly one of the most over-the-top series on TV (excluding some reality shows), but the promo certainly is tantalizing. Come on, Skills punching Mouth for kissing his (ex?) girlfriend (could this be what sends Antwon Tanner to jail Skills away for good?), a psycho tennis player wanting to steal Clay from Quinn…and that’s just the new stuff! I’m looking forward to it; you should, too.

Ok, so that’s an oldie but goody, but what if you want something really new? A premiere, perhaps? Well, how about Happy Town, the newest drama from ABC that premieres this Wednesday at 10/9c?

image from about.com

Now, if you haven’t heard the basic premise, don’t let the name deceive you. This town has seen a fair bit of darkness, including a series of unsolved kidnappings years before. When a new crime hits the town, everyone’s out to find out who the illusive “Magic Man” is.

I can’t wait to see this one. It’s just dark enough to pique my interest, and it’s got a great cast to boot! I’ll follow Amy Acker anywhere, really, with or without her Dollhouse scars. I’m definitely looking forward to this one.

So what do you think? Is there anything else you’re planning on watching this week? Other than the new episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, of course, but I figure that’s a given. Haha.