Friday, July 9, 2010

Review - Haven Season 1 Episode 1 Welcome to Haven

Haven feels like a typical Syfy drama pilot outside of the Ronald D. Moore stock. There is too much exposition, an unspectacular plot, a charming, quaint script, passable but not great acting, solid but unambitious premise--all the usual non-intrusive elements that make the show watchable, but certainly not a must-watch.

We are introduced to dour FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), who comes to Haven, Maine to track down an escaped convict. "Welcome to Haven" proceeds like a third-tier cop show. Characters and suspects are introduced, she bickers with them, and collects evidence. Mind you, this is all the first half of the episode and nothing supernatural has happened yet other than some weather effects.

Then, the episode takes a distinct turn--not enough to salvage the episode--but enough to keep me interested in the series. Audrey finds an old photo with a woman who looks almost exactly like her, tethering her to the very town she's in. By the end of the episode--after an absurdly dumb case of a woman's emotions causing the weather phenomena and her needing to have true love to be happy and not cause disturbances--Audrey decides to cash in her vacation days and stay. Predictably, her boss is positioned as the mysterious guy pulling the strings and calls someone about her helping something.

Among the characters are Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour on yet another new show), resident bad boy, and Nathan Wournos (Lucas Bryant), local policeman who can't feel pain. Neither are compelling and don't contribute to anything.

I'll watch a couple more episodes because I am a sucker for science fiction, but until there is more development in the mythology, I won't feel the need to watch more. The standalone parts of the episode, which consumed the majority of the hour, was both mindnumbing and gloriously saccharine like a Lifetime movie.

Score: 7.1/10

The first thing I noticed was how the episode title was similar to the pilot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, titled "Welcome to the Hellmouth." Any relevance? Other than the supernatural premise, not much.
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