Happy Town is Coming to Your Town

I got the chance to preview the entire first episode of the upcoming new ABC show Happy Town, and, not really knowing much about it at all, I was pleasantly surprised (less so when I googled the title looking for screenshots). The show takes place in the picturesque, Midwestern town of Haplin, which the residents fondly refer to as Happy Town. But the sugary glaze of Haplin quickly dissolves into something far more David Lynch than Norman Rockwell as we learn it’s home to a long-standing series of kidnappings at the hands of the mysterious “Magic Man.” Even though the town’s sheriff has been unable to solve the case, he’s managed to keep an uneasy peace in the town, but that’s all about to end as his grip on reality begins slipping when the “Magic Man” returns to Haplin — if he ever really left at all. Based on the first episode, Happy Town strikes me as a cross between Twin Peaks and an Agatha Christie novel with its slow-burn sense of mystery and quirky, enigmatic characters. I’m also impressed by lavish production value and all-star cast, which includes Amy Acker (Fred from Angel, Dr. Saunders from Dollhouse) and the always terrific Sam Neil (Dr. Creepy in Event Horizon). The show premieres this Wednesday at 10 pm (Eastern) on ABC.

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