Happy! Series Premiere Plot Summary:
Based on Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel of the same name. Happy! revolves around ex-hero cop turned drunk, suicidal hitman Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni). After suffering two heart attacks after a botched hit, he finds himself with an unwanted sidekick — the unflappably exuberant flying unicorn Happy (voiced by Patton Oswalt).
Happy! is legitimately the most f*cked up version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? you’ll ever see.
It’s dark, it’s violent, it’s drug-fueled, it’s vulgar…and it’s pretty damn good.
The trailers for the series are a bit misleading as the show comes off like a straight-up comedy that’s spiked with some violence and vulgarity. If you’re expecting a yuck-fest, you’re going to be really, really disappointed. This is about as dark a comedy as it gets, and thankfully SyFy allows the series to go there. Had punches been pulled this series would ring hollow, and be another high profile fall series that failed to resonate on the network (see Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Incorporated as a prime example).
The trailers also mislead you a bit, as Happy! is not the focus of the series — it’s actually Christopher Meloni’s Nick Sax. Yes, the idea of an imaginary talking unicorn voiced by Patton Oswald does sound like it would be the focal point of the series, but Meloni is the one carrying the show.
Meloni takes a character that could easily go off the rails into uber hammy scene chewing mode, and plays the villain, the fool, and the tragic hero in the same breath. He’s such an easily unlikeable character, but you can’t get enough of him, and you instantaneously want to root for him, despite the fact he’s a piece of garbage.
The casting of Patton Oswald as the voice of Happy is another masterful move by the series’ creators. The stand-up comic imbues such unflagging positivity into his character, but it never once goes over the top. Again, this character like Sax, could’ve easily been a train wreck in lesser hands. However, Oswalt just nails every single beat with an unbridled energy. His comedic chemistry with Meloni is so akin to Bob Hoskins’ Eddie Valentine interacting with Roger Rabbit.
Happy! isn’t an easy watch, nor is it supposed to be. However, what this series is, is one of the more creative shows you’re going to see on TV this fall. It’s dark, it’s daring, and it has the potential to be something special. If you feel that non-streaming TV has been pretty ho-hum this autumn, this show is the one you need to be tuning into.
Rating: 8 out of 10