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For Your Consideration: Syfy's 'Haven'

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Jul 22, 2011 | 6:52am EDT

ALTAs wonderful an idea as it sounds, you can’t eat prime rib all of the time. Sometimes you have to settle for a McRib instead. Not as some kind of drunken imperative (though that’s usually the only way a McRib will touch my lips), but because your taste palette needs a diet that’s peppered with lesser foods in order to appreciate the finer meals life has to offer. I bring this up not to make you hungry, but to explain why the Syfy Channel exists and why you need it in your life.

Friends, you don’t need to roll your eyes at me every time I mention watching the Syfy Channel. Believe it or not, but I’ve been to this rodeo before. A smoker isn’t going to see a skull and crossbones on their pack and suddenly spit out their cigarette in disgust, and I’m not going to suddenly cancel my recording of Sharksaurus vs. Octorex because you’ve lifted the wool from over my eyes, pointing out what I already know. Just let me eat my McRib.

Plus, Syfy doesn’t exclusively make the TV equivalent of McRibs. Every now and then a prime rib slips past their quality assurance department. While I’ll start off by saying Haven, which is just starting its second season, isn’t Grade A prime rib, it’s at least a tasty impostor.

Who Made It: Haven is a loose adaptation of Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid, and I do want to stress loose. The show has similar characters, but it’s a drastic expansion of the plot, as intended by series creators Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn (don’t hold their Shrek the Third writing credit against them).

Who’s In It: : The show’s core trio consists of: Emily Rose (a pretty gal who voices Elena Fisher in the Unchartedgames), Lucas Bryant (a soap opera-handsome chap who has bounced around from Canadian TV show to Canadian TV show) and Eric Balfour (the long-chinned star who was last seen in Skyline).

What’s It About: : Audrey Parker (Rose) is an FBI agent who winds up in the small Maine town of Haven working a fairly mundane case. Haven, however, is not a mundane town. There’s all kinds of craziness going on there thanks to a growing number of residents who are “troubled” by some manner of supernatural gift—one that they more often than not aren’t aware they even have. After befriending the town’s two most handsome men (one a cop and one a brigand) and discovering that her mother, who she never knew, has some kind of a tie to Haven, Agent Parker decides to stick around and discover what’s really going on.

ALT

Why You Should Watch It: : Like all shows of this nature, Haven season one started off using a very familiar “Monster of the Week” format. Each episode is about trying to figure out who is controlling the weather with their mind, or who is turning into a shadow and killing people, but all the while it’s slowly unraveling a far more interesting story about Agent Parker’s history and the long kept secrets that some of Haven’s residents have been harboring for years. It’s this material that makes Haven worth checking out.When it’s doing “Monster of the Week” material, it’s a fairly average supernatural show that’s a step up from Warehouse 13 but a step down from, say, Supernatural. But when it’s taking its story cues from Stephen King’s original story, which is about two aging newspaper writers who goad a young writing intern into uncovering a murder mystery that was abandoned when she was a kid, it’s addicting stuff with more than a few curveballs waiting in the wings. It’s light and fluffy in tone, yet satisfying and filling thanks to a cast that’s got genuine chemistry together. If you like pulpy mystery shows that are a fun distraction from the heavy (and yet not always healthier) dramas that tend to populate network TV, you can do worse than Haven. It’s not the kind of show you need to go out of your way for, but it’ll hit the spot when you casually happen across it.

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