Outlandish, crazy and packed full of gonzo-grindhouse gore Happy! is without-a-doubt one of the best new releases to arrive on TV and anyone looking for originality will be very aptly rewarded with this little beauty.
Based on the cult graphic novel series by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson, Happy! is a messed-up little gem that follows down and out hitman, and former all-star cop, Nick Sax as he descends into the hell of the holidays. While Nick is just content to engage in drinking, snorting and screwing everything in sight while he takes out worse guys than him for money, a miraculous overdose leaves him with his new best friend Happy. Happy just happens to be a miniaturized winged horse who is the imaginary friend of Nick’s estranged daughter Hailey who now desperately needs his help after she is kidnapped by a monster known as Very Bad Santa.
That’s right it doesn’t get more bizarre than that and I can say that Happy! completely hits it out of the park. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a long-time Morrison fan and I was very excited to see this new show. I had very big expectations going in and Happy! delivered thanks to a combination of Morrison and Brian Taylor (Crank, Gamer). When you put two mad geniuses together like these two the results are sure to be out of this world and they definitely were with Happy! While I can say that Taylor and his team are sticking to the narrative that is presented in the graphic novel, they are also unafraid to do their own thing and have introduced new elements into the story that really amp things up.
Hands down Chirstopher Meloni was the perfect Nick Sax, not only does he bear a striking resembled to Robertson’s artwork, but he really makes you feel for this truly despicable human being. Even though he’s a total scumbug, Nick kind of takes out worse scumbags so that sort of makes him an alright kind of guy, and even though he’d never admit it, Nick will always end up doing the right thing. Meloni has deeply invested into the character of Nick and really jumps on board the looney train with Happy! and this leaves the door open for some very exciting developments in future seasons of the show.
Starring alongside Nick is the show’s titular star Happy, an imaginary friend who is the world’s biggest optimist and who encourages in Nick the desire to see the good in the world. If only he’d listen. Giving life to Happy is noted comedian Patton Oswalt who plays this cute horse as a slightly all-to-eager character who just wants to be reunited with his beloved best friend Hailey.
Happy! wouldn’t be Happy! without the presence of some truly twisted individuals and the show finds these in the form of Ritchie Coster as Mafia boss Francisco Scaramucci aka Mr. Blue who is a grade-A level psycho who just wants the perfect Christmas and who’ll take out his pent up frustrations on anyone who traumatizes it. Then there’s Smoothie, a sadistic freak who works as Mr. Blue’s go-to hitman and torturer and who is always up to impress. Played to nasty perfection by Patrick Fischler, Smoothie is one of TV’s more memorable bad guys and he and Nick will surely get into it as the series moves forward. Finally rounding out the pack is Very Bad Santa (Joseph D. Reitman), a monster of man who has all kinds of nefarious plans in place and who will no-doubt feel the wrath of Nick’s rage as the series progresses.
If you’re going to watch Happy!, well I hope you have a strong stomach because this is one very intense show. We’re talking full-on grindhouse gore to the max, and Taylor doesn’t hold back.
Happy! is one of the best new TV release to come along in a while and I guarantee you’ll be hooked by the end of the first episode. And from judging from what I’ve seen, things will only get crazier.
Happy! is now available on SKY BOX SETS. To subscribe to the series click here.