Review – Suspend Your Disbelief for SyFy’s ‘Haven’

Sam McPherson July 7, 2010 4

Let there be no secret about it: I love Stephen King’s works. I’ve only read about ten of them, but every word I’ve read, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve read two of his dark books written under the name Richard Bachman, and I’ve read his thick epics The Stand and Under the Dome. His short stories and novellas? Of course.

But despite all my King cred, I still haven’t read The Colorado Kid, simply because I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. So when I heard that SyFy was coming out with a new show based on that novel, I quickly scooted over to Wikipedia to check out the synopsis. Surprise, surprise — after watching Haven, I discovered that not much was similar between the two.

That’s not always a bad thing, of course. Just slap an “inspired by” sticker on something and you can change Infernal Affairs into The Departed. Unfortunately, with Haven, the change is not so glorious. In fact, the final product is actually kind of disappointing.

The protagonist, Audrey Parker, is an ultimately forgettable FBI agent who apparently wishes she was Fox Mulder — according to her supervisor, she has a history of making cases turn “fictional,” and for an FBI agent, she’s incredibly eager to accept the unbelievable. Not once in the episode, when confronted with supernatural activity, does she react with anything akin to shock, or even surprise, really. When one character turns out to have an “affliction” of X-Men caliber, she simply acknowledges that as fact. Sure, other characters have doubts, but her blind acceptance not only makes her seem stupid, but it makes the rest of the show seem silly.

But I suppose an element of “suspend your disbelief” comes in, so I can forgive that. When applying more disbelief suspension, I can accept that the episode didn’t really make sense. One “lead” in the case simply existed to introduce Eric Balfour’s character, and then he didn’t do anything for the rest of the script, save flirt with Audrey and antagonize a local deputy. That’s precious time wasted — I would have rather seen him come in when the story needed him than have him floating around for no apparent reason at all.

I can’t comment on anything about the special effects or the soundtrack, because the version I saw had title cards instead of SFX and Michael Giacchino’s LOST score instead of its own (totally didn’t fit, by the way).

Was I satisfied with the episode? Not really. Will I be tuning in for more? Nah. This show is basically a mix of The X-Files, Eureka, and Heroes, but it doesn’t have the same magic that any of those shows had in their early seasons. I don’t see it lasting long, but I might be wrong. I just think so much more could have been done with Stephen King. C