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?