Haven a "Damn Fine Pie" Shy of Twin Peaks?
· Emily Rose
· Lucas Bryant
· Eric Balfour
· Official Site
· IMDb: Haven
photo by Eric Ogden/Syfy
Television Review: Haven, "Welcome to Haven"
by R.J. Carter
Published: July 9, 2010
When an ex-con goes home only to wind up dead, the FBI sends in agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) to investigate the small, idyllic town of Haven, Maine. Once there, she quickly becomes embroiled in more than one mystery, as her pursuit of the killer continues to lead her into confrontations with sudden bursts of violent weather.
Officially partnering with her is local cop Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant, Queer as Folk), the son of the police chief and suffering from a unique variety of ideopathic neuropathy that leaves him without the ability to sense pain. Unofficially, Parker gets help from the somewhat antagonistic Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour), whom Nathan enjoys placing under arrest as often as possible.
Haven itself is populated by an offbeat cast of characters; the taciturn war vet who's very meticulous about people entering his personal space, for example, or the two newspaper editors who seem to be the journalism equivalent of Car Talk's Click and Clack. In fact, the town is so offbeat I half expect Agent Parker to remark at any moment on the cafe's "damn fine pie."
"Welcome to Haven" (l-r) Lucas Bryant as Nathan
Wuornos, Emily Rose as Audrey Parker
Photo by: Chris Reardon/Syfy
At first blush, it looks as though Haven might fall into the old "freak of the week" plot trap that bogged down the first few seasons of Smallville. But the creative team, most of whom worked together on The Dead Zone, have a larger story in mind as they tap Stephen King's The Colorado Kid for series potential. Because one minor murder investigation turns into a greater mystery when Parker comes across a newspaper story from a generation back -- a story accompanied by a picture of a woman who looks exactly like her. This, coupled with the uniquely paranormal activity plaguing the case, is enough to hook this vampire fiction fan into remaining in Haven to investigate on her own, unofficially -- which may or may not be something she was manipulated into doing.
I could ask for a stronger hook for a pilot episode. Haven's premise is time-tested, to be sure, but I don't get enough out of the characters to make them real. We only get a hint at Rose's character's interest in the paranormal, or of Bryant's wooden policeman who only shows any signs of real emotion when it comes to his dealings with Duke Crocker. I think to really have grabbed the audience, the producers might have wanted to go with a two-hour pilot and a bit of a bigger adventure, to allow for the inclusion of more tantalizing hints of the greater mystery that we're promised is hidden in the town.
Haven debuts Friday, July 9, at 10pm | 9pm CT on Syfy.