Is Haven Your TV Haven?

Cover of Hard Case Crime’s The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
Yesterday’s noir becomes today’s supernatural mystery.
I just finished rewatching the first season of Haven, and of all the returning summer shows, I’m looking forward to this one the most. The series is based on the Stephen King novella The Colorado Kid, published by Hard Case Crime.

I haven’t read the book, but judging from reviews I’d say the connection between book and series are pretty tenuous. The book was roundly criticized for not being truly noir, for its glacial pace, and for the approach King took in having the story told as a reminiscence by two old newpapermen many years after the events actually occurred.

The TV series isn’t hardboiled noir, either. It’s more in the X-Files or Kolchak territory, sort of a supernatural mystery, with the difference being that the “monster” just might be someone you care about.      

The cast of Haven
A new generation of investigators into the unknown.
A short recap, if you’re unfamiliar with the series: FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) arrives in the small coastal town of Haven, Maine, pursuing an escapee from a federal prison. She teams up with the local police, who happen to be a warring father and son, Chief Garland Wuornos (Nicholas Campbell) and his son, Nathan (Lucas Bryant). What appears to be a fairly run-of-the-mill case quickly takes on supernatural overtones.

Instead of being skeptical, Audrey is quite willing to believe what she sees.

The supernatural happenings appear to be part of what is referred to as “the troubles,” which plagued the town in the past and seem to have returned. The troubles take on many forms: a woman who can control the weather, a killer shadow, an epidemic of rapid aging, a man who has his face erased… and that’s just for starters.

Who killed the Colorado Kid? Stephen King and Haven have this in common.
Will we ever know?
Audrey stays in Haven, and not just to help investigate the troubles. She has a much more personal reason. Almost as soon as she arrives in Haven people begin to comment on her resemblance to a woman named Lucy, who happened to be in town the last time the troubles surfaced. There’s even a newspaper photo of the woman standing on the beach with a number of other people under the headline “Who Killed the Colorado Kid?” An orphan, Audrey never knew her mother—could Lucy have given birth to her? Who is the Colorado Kid? And, for that matter, who is Audrey?  

So what do I find so compelling about the show?

  • Audrey. She’s the kind of person I’d love to have as a friend. She’s smart, sensible, feet on the ground, a little sarcastic, and doesn’t take herself too seriously. And although she’s quite attractive, she has to get fashion advice from the two aging bachelor brothers who run the local newspaper.
  • The brothers who run the newspaper. I just love these guys. Their affectionate squabbling makes me think of an old married couple. They know the history of the town and its inhabitants and are useful friends to Audrey. And they help her to pick out the right dress.
  • Duke, the local bad boy who has a flirtation with Audrey. Yeah, it’s a little clichéd, the bad boy with the heart of gold, but Eric Balfour is cute enough to make me forget.
  • The humanity the series displays. It doesn’t necessarily follow that people with strange abilities are bad, and Audrey and Nathan are willing to help the afflicted when they can.
  • No wasting time arguing whether something is real or not. I loved the X-Files as much as anyone who doesn’t write fan fic, but I did eventually get weary of the endless Scully/Mulder debates. Audrey doesn’t bat an eye: she knows what she saw, and that’s what she’s going to deal with. End of story.

So I’m looking forward to following Audrey and friends through the new season. It may not be noir, but the mystery is definitely out there.

Still not convinced?  Check out the first season trailer:


Cindy Harkness is a librarian, an advocate for rescued animals, and totally addicted to true crime television programs.

Comments

  1. Clare 2e

    This wasn’t one I caught right out of the gate, and you’ve reminded me why I wanted to give it a try!

  2. Laura K. Curtis

    Just downloaded Season 1 and watched the first six episodes! Loving it. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Marqui

    Love Haven. Glad to see some other do too.

  4. Vanessa

    I love Haven!! I am so excited about the new season starting up again. Alphas also on Syfy is a really great new show.

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