Jungle
Happy Town (PREVIEW)

Welcome to the small Minnesota town of Haplin where the citizens have enjoyed a five year peace after the strange and heartbreaking occurrences of the towns own boogieman, The Magic Man. The Magic Man had visited Haplin and abducted a few of its residents leaving no trace behind other then one small personal memento from each of the abductees. The Magic Man was never caught and for five long uncomfortable years Haplin has gone without so much as a misdemeanor thanks to the town sheriff Griffin Conroy. Nothing lasts forever though and that peace is disturbed by a brutal murder. Was it The Magic Man? No one knows for sure, but as the investigation begins things start to unravel in Haplin and many of its residents who have been housing dark skeletons will be revealed.

Its not hard to sum up Happy Town in a nutshell. The show is a lot like LOST inviting its viewers in and getting them situated with the cast and then tossing questions out to keep you captivated. Who is The Magic Man? Who is Chloe? Is there something supernatural occurring in Haplin? What about those question marks (you’ll see)? Toss that mystery into a Northern Exposure type setting where the residents are quirky and eccentric while remaining small town and familiar and you’ve got yourself a bizarre mix of chemistry that sits on the verge of being too odd but not so much you wont be drawn in. Add that to a soundtrack that is awfully reminiscent of Pushing Daisies and you’ve got Happy Town. The premiere episode of Happy Town is a lot of introduction but the cast does a really great job of setting up character favorites as well as giving some of the characters a clouded and or vague past that adds to the intrigue, particularly Sam Niell’s character Merritt Grieves. Grieves is a solitary type living in a B&E with a group of widows who fall all over him. His business is antiques of a specific nature and his demeanor is, at best, creepy, yet there’s something about him that hints at mystical and dangerous. He is the automatic stand out character in the series, at least in this first episode.

The writers for the show Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg are no strangers to chemistry as they’ve worked together several times (October Road, Life On Mars, Going To California) writing and producing. A little scary thinking that a majority of their shows have gone on to be cancelled but I’m willing to give them a shot. Cast members include Amy Acker (Dollhouse), Lauren German (A Walk To Remember), Sarah Gadon (Total Drama Island), Sam Niell (Jurassic Park), Geoff Stults (October Road), Steven Weber (Wings), Jay Paulson (October Road), and M.C. Gainey (LOST).

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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