Sticking: Haven

Posted on October 5, 2011

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Watching Haven was a no-brainer for us. It was based on a Stephen King short story, and it featured Eric Balfour (on the left, in the image above). Not that Emily Rose is hard on the eyes or anything, but we’ve been fans of Eric’s for awhile and wanted him to have a success.

Plus, it was a horror/supernatural show on SyFy, so we figured it had a chance. SyFy is the only network that handles science fiction worse than Fox, so we figured something that wasn’t SciFi had a chance of developing into something watchable.

We Watched It

An escaped convict dies under unusual circumstances in Haven, Maine. FBI Agent Audrey Parker arrives to investigate. She quickly realizes that there’s more going on in the sleepy fishing village than appears at first glance, and discovers a photo of herself that’s older than she is. Convinced that the secrets of her past are tangled in Haven’s “Troubles,” she stays on to assist the local police.

Sticking

If I’m being honest, I didn’t watch much of the first season. I really liked some of the characters, including FBI agent Audrey Parker. It seemed like it was stuck in a mystery-of-the-week mode that never advanced the main story arc. My wife really enjoyed the show, and insisted that it stay on our DVR.

When the second season began, I started watching it again – and discovered that I missed a lot late in the first season. The writers gave viewers a lot of revelations, including that most of Audrey’s memories are those of someone else.

As the second season continues, the show has touched on themes from HP Lovecraft to The X-Files. The social schism between those families with a history of the Troubles and those without keeps ratcheting up the tension. We keep learning new things about the past – including that Duke Crocker’s father tried to kill an earlier “version” of Audrey, and expects Duke to finish the job.

WTF?

I’ll be honest (some more): I don’t have a lot of patience with conspiracy shows. I watched the premiere of Lost, for example, and never watched another episode. I saw right off that it suffered from a terminal case of Gilligan’s Island syndrome. If they ever reached any resolution, the show would end. That meant it would drag on forever, teasing us with hints, until just before someone decided to cancel it.

Similarly, Haven seemed like it couldn’t possibly reveal anything. Explaining the Troubles to us would take the mystery out of them. We know from the show’s premise that the Troubles come and go, and I still don’t understand why no one has looked at history and a calendar to figure out when the current outbreak will end. Audrey can’t learn exactly who she is, or she might take action that resolves all the conflicts.

So far, in the second season, the writers keep moving the story forward while broadening it at the same time. The political struggle for the control of Haven is another thread in the cloth of the town. At some point, the social upheaval will have to come to a head, of course, but even if that gets resolved it won’t end the show. Audrey has learned that she appears in Haven whenever the Troubles do, and has always protected those with Troubles in the past. That didn’t tell her where she came from, though, or where she goes when the Troubles end.

Thoughts?

I’m not saying that Haven is perfect television, but I’m glad that it got a second season and I look forward to watching it every Friday night. You’re probably still struggling with the concept that I didn’t watch Lost.

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