Holy shit SyFy’s TV show Happy! is pretty crazy messed up – and that’s a very good thing. It proves SyFy gets the twisted mind of Grant Morrison’s (Hellblazer, Batman Incorporated) original story. The story of Nick Sax, a soulless, mostly intoxicated ex-cop (just to name a few traits) who is now playing for the other side as a contract hit-man. And that is simple normal part. Sax lives a morbid life, separated from almost all reality. But it is far from an ordinary life, especially the stuff in his mind. In the TV show we first meet him in the bathroom of a dive bar where he’s destroyed the toilet (yes like that) and is now fantasying about shooting himself in the mirror. This leads to a cut-away dance sequence where blood gushes from the top of his missing head while he sways to a disco beat. With accompanying dancers no less.
Adapted from Morrison’s 2013 comic by the same name Happy!, the SyFy adaptation strikes new ground for the science fiction network that recently promised more sci-fi. Happy! Delivers on this promise and challenges us to come along for a gruesome yet sometimes funny and touching ride. Although it’s a little light on the “touching” so far.
The Image comic follows the strange events that send a small cartoon flying horse to Mr. Nick Sax. Going by the name “Happy!” he (it?) is the imaginary friend of a small girl who has been kidnapped by a sadistic Santa Clause. Yeah this is some of the the weird stuff I mentioned.
SyFy takes a mostly unflinching look at this very adult comic and has created a faithful adaption of the original books. I’m going to caveat that by saying SyFy is not a premium cable channel like HBO and therefor some of the most terrible features (if you can call them that) of the book won’t been seen. And there are far less occurrences of F-word compared to the comic.
But overall I’m enjoying the rapid fire ever changing approach. Events happen quickly in the story and are told in compressed bite sizes. The ex-cop genre which this story is based, is stacked with overused and campy ploys and gimmicks. Happy! attempts to hopefully eventually leverage all of them. The blue horse (voiced by Patton Oswalt) expands Happy! into a cop buddy flick at times with Nick perfectly played by Christopher Melon. He calling the drunken shots while blue plays the sober and naive moralistic rookie. The love hate relationship ventures into well traveled story territory with bickering, snappy one-liners and comebacks. But in this version it lives contained within this bizarre construct. Where a drunk ex-cop can cheat at poker because this imaginary friend can read the other players cards.
Looking for something new, not turned off by dialog like “Can I go take a shower? I’ve everything that can come out of a man all over me.” then check out Happy! on SyFy.