Every time I get hooked the networks have to pull the carpet out from under me. Gone are the days of summer reruns to catch up on the episodes I missed throughout the year or the series I didn’t get to try in the regular season. Here to stay is the new wave of 1/2 length “seasons”, mid-season replacements and, most unfortunately, cheap reality shows.
As my “regular season” was winding down and I finished up new favorites like Parenthood and Glee I caught a couple trailers for a new show starting for the summer season. At a glance Happytown reminded of Stephen King meets Twin Peaks on network TV. The first episode opened with someone getting a railroad spike hammered through their head and rolled into a new girl-in-town, a group of entertaining widows in a boarding house, a mysterious bread factory on the hill and the story of seven disappearances perpetrated by “the magic man”. The episode ended with the town sheriff going a little crazy and cutting his hand off. And I forgot to mention the Englishman with the movie memorabilia store, the forbidden “third floor” of the boarding house and the yet to be identified “Chloe”.
By the end of the episode we had roughly five mysteries in front of us…it was shaping up to be good. There were likeable characters and stories. And Amy Acker was in it – bonus! I pulled my favorite TV skeptic in and said, “I think you’re going to like this one”. He was hooked after the first episode.
We couldn’t wait to watch the six episodes that eventually aired and were really getting into the story at that point. Counting down to one Wednesday night when the latest episode was supposed to air we settled into bed, turned on ABC and…….found Jimmy Kimmel hosting a Twilight: Eclipse special. What the hell?! Did I get the dates wrong?
Of course not. The show was cancelled after shooting 8 episodes and airing only 6. Really? Come on now…
I saw a trailer for The Gates during an episode of Happytown. It’s Desperate Housewives with vampires. It looks terrible and I have absolutely no desire to sit down and even attempt it. I betcha that’ll make it through the whole summer, though.
I was going to call it “The Curse of Joss Whedon”. At first pass it felt like everything someone from one of Joss’s past endeavors was involved in got cancelled – Dollhouse most directly, Veronica Mars (Charisma Carpenter), this. I’m sure there were others. But then I remembered Bones (duh) and How I Met Your Mother…and that blew my theory out of the water.
So, theory or no theory the networks made another mistake with this one, I’m afraid. And now I’m stuck wondering how the widows came to be widows, who Chloe really is, where are all the missing people and who on earth is the magic man? Summer TV officially sucks…