| June 20, 2011

Haven is such a good idea for a show it’s almost a shame the networks didn’t think of it first. Because a small starting effects budget and specifically, the SyFy Channel format (for most of it’s shows) isn’t doing this one any favors.
The acting is passable and there are some familiar faces (but I won’t spoil it for you) from above average dramas past. There are good dynamics within the ranks of their characters and lots of potential in back stories. But it’s what happens within the central plot that is least interesting and takes up most of an hour.
The town of Haven is a refuge for “troubled” (or if you will, cursed) people. Be it a strange specter-type tattooed man hunting you, the inability to feel pain, or literally struggling to keep from falling apart into a bunch of little you-colored pieces, etc. This is all good fun, but in the hands of seemingly unsure writers, it doesn’t go a lot of interesting places. Yet.
There is certainly a dark and moody air of mystery tying the characters’ story lines together and a good side plot is a must in this kind of series. The show is smart enough to know when it can be funny and when it needs to be serious. There’s certainly potential here but it’s in an unlikely change of pace. Hopefully Haven has a game changer up its sleeve this summer.
And it may very well come in the form of recent and new characters with increasingly bizarre and carefully packaged plights. Since everyone who shows up in Haven has an “affliction,” the new eerie fascist zealot preacher must have some demons beyond what we’ve glimpsed and a seeming double of the FBI Agent in town (for some reason) has shown up to stir the pot with a genuinely surprising twist in last season’s finale. (Apparently, the FBI still investigates this stuff even with the X-Files closed and the town of Twin Peaks off the radar.)
And that is all I really need to keep watching: One solid indication of intriguing and exciting things to come. And a few to take home already. This show just might make it through a story arc. That or conform to a slow and dull typical weird-thing-per-episode death. We’ll see. I’m actually interested to know. And that’s a good start for any show.

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