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September 22, 2010

Haven 1.10: "The Hand You're Dealt"

There's a little too much pyrokinesis going on on my favorite shows recently. Read on and I promise not to set you on fire . . .

Mystery of the Week: There were actually two unconnected supernatural things here: A woman who had visions of the way people died and a boy who could set fires with his mind. I kind of like having these two different elements, because in a town with so much supernatural stuff going on, it only makes sense that different phenomena would intersect by coincidence. Neither of these elements were particularly mindblowing, but it was a solid episode.

Audrey's past: I was considering being annoyed that now ten episodes in people are suddenly telling Audrey things about Lucy, but now that I think about it, that's totally how old-school New Englanders are.

Audrey: I like how she can tell something's up with Nathan but doesn't know what. She's new at this whole "friend" thing.

Duke: Aw, he's still all traumatized by high school. What's with his Buddha thing recently? I did like seeing him go after someone other than Audrey, and I love the way he and Nathan work together almost automatically when it comes down to it. How will knowing how he's going to die affect him? Will this become a running subplot? Hmm.

Nathan: He's so adorable, looking for excuses to touch Audrey. Oh, and it's SO cute the way he starts to tell Duke about feeling Audrey, saying it's fate, and Duke totally thinks he's talking about Jess. Awwww.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2010

Haven 1.9: "As You Were"

I LOVE this show. Ahem. Read on for this episode, which was very Agatha Christie . . .

Mystery of the week: Ooh, chameleon! Creepy. Those "could be anyone" monsters are the scariest. It makes sense that they suspected Audrey because they don't know her as well - that's only reasonable - but I liked that they suspected others too. And it was really quite fun as a traditional country house mystery with supernatural elements. And the villain wound up being Audrey! You know, sort of. That was all nicely constructed. I'm surprised they killed off Eleanor, but I wasn't particularly attached to her. Her daughter seems creepy in a way I can't quite pin down, though.

Audrey's past: The chameleon knows Lucy Ripley! And so did the newspaper guy. And Duke! Oh my gosh! That I did not expect! And now Audrey has Lucy's necklace. Interesting.

Audrey: No one's ever thrown her a party before. So cute. Her middle name choice of Prudence rather reminds me of Temperance Brennan.

Duke: Cute, planning the party. But he reacted a little strongly about Audrey's gift. And he was kind of irritating through this episode. Maybe I like him better in small doses.

Nathan: Aww, going to the party even though he's not in a party mood. He's so grudgingly opening up to Audrey and it's great. I loved their "That's what partners do." "That's what friends do." exchange. Also: "This is why you don't throw people birthday parties." I'm on your side with that one, Nathan.

Audrey and Nathan: I liked how they used the "Nathan can feel Audrey's touch" thing to figure out she was the chameleon, and that was an interesting first kiss that wasn't. It's interesting that Nathan didn't tell Audrey that's how he figured it out, though. I wonder how long he will keep that secret? Overall, this episode made very clear how much he cares about her, even if he's a little messed up by Jess.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2010

Haven 1.8: "Ain't No Sunshine"

Eeeeee! Eeeeee! The end of this episode was so exciting! Okay, keep reading . . .

Mystery of the week: The Dark Man is killing people. He seems to be invisible. Or something. No, he's a shadow! Okay, it seems that people at the hospital were keeping medicine from patients so they could resell it, and the widower of one of the patients who died as a result of this gets so upset that his shadow sort of detaches and starts killing people. Because this is Haven.

Mystery of Audrey's background: This didn't come up much this week, although I'm suspicious about whether the pictures the brothers were insisting on taking of Audrey actually had something to do with this.

Audrey: Aww, poor thing has no friends. Except Nate. Really, who else would you need? Her "You should see him around babies" line about Nate was brilliant.

Nate: Even though he knows everyone in town - and he's certainly not an outsider like Audrey - he doesn't exactly have tons of friends either. And, hilariously, Audrey has no issue with pointing this out. I was pretty surprised that Nate opened up so much to Audrey about his "issues," but it shows how connected he feels with her already - and he also might be less embarrassed to talk to her than to a Haven resident he's known all his life.

Duke: Not in this episode. Boo.

Nate and Jess: I did NOT approve of them together, so I'm glad she's gone. But in retrospect, I guess this plotline was useful, because it got Nate thinking about relationships, and also made Audrey - I hope - start to realize that she might have feelings for Nate. More importantly, the fact that Jess left because of the weird things that Nate has to deal with sets things up for him to have to be with someone who is okay with that. So, you know, Audrey.

Nate and Audrey: Okay, they're officially my OTP here. "Hey, you're kinda smart." "Kinda?" So cute. And OMG, that moment at the end. She kissed his cheek, AND HE FELT IT. What does it all MEAN?

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2010

Haven 1.7: "Sketchy"

I haven't mentioned it in a few episodes, so let me take this opportunity to mention how much I love the New Englandy-ness of this show. So much I feel compelled to make up words, apparently. Anyway, continue...

Mystery of the Week: People are dying in weird ways - a guy on a boat has his legs broken oddly, and a real estate broker is sliced up. There's charcoal residue in both places. A guy's facial features disappear. It turns out that an art teacher is making this happen by drawing voodoo pictures, and someone to whom her father owes money is blackmailing her into hurting people. There's a drawing of the whole town that might make the town go poof at any moment. Scary!

Lucy mystery: Not much. Are you as shocked as I am? Hah.

Audrey: At this point, she's even more eager than Nathan to attribute stuff to The Troubles, which is interesting. And it's cute how obviously jealous she is of Nathan and Jess.

Duke: He's back! He makes a big deal out of hiding stuff behind a tarp, but it turns out to be preparations for the 80-year-old librarian's birthday party. Of course. And then he's all nice and helpful. Aww.

Nathan: I am not amused by this nonsense with Jess. Well, except that Audrey teasing him is fun, I guess. Still.

The triangle: I can't believe I'm saying this, but between Nathan being interested in Jess and Duke being all sweet and helpful, I'm almost wanting Audrey to pick Duke this week. I'm sure that'll pass, though.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2010

Haven 1.6: "Fur"

Getting shot at is always a big deal, as Audrey explains after the jump . . .

Mystery of the Week: The animals are attacking the hunters! There's all sorts of intrigue among the guys at the hunting club, but maybe it's all about a witch. Except she's not really a witch (and her name is Jess, by the way). It turns out that the dead, stuffed animals are coming to life and attacking the hunters who killed them. It turns out that the taxidermist was himself stuffed by his mother after he died in a fire. Apparently the mother stuffing people or animals makes them come to life. She ends up sacrificing herself to the animals to save her son. Creeeeepy. Ooh, and at the end, it turns out that the woman was stuffed herself.

Lucy mystery: It wasn't mentioned much until the end, when Eleanor promises to help Audrey figure it out.

Audrey: I think she probably thinks Eleanor's joking when she says it will take ten or fifteen years for Audrey to fit in, but she's totally not. Welcome to New England, Audrey. She's a very good shot, but that's not surprising for an FBI agent.

Duke: He was absent from this episode. Sad.

Nathan: Not a hunter. Good to know. And he makes a werewolf joke! Aww. Jess tells him that his inability to feel pain is magic, not a medical condition. We'd rather guessed that, hadn't we? It's always fun when he and his father butt heads, and it's nice to see Audrey sticking up for him. His little "We're all different together" speech was cute, and quite a lot of talking! I mean, for him! But then he asks Jess out at the end of the episode. Boo.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2010

Haven 1.5: "Ball and Chain"

Be careful who you make out with, after the jump.

Mystery of the Week: A woman named Helena sleeps with people and then they age really quickly and die. But then Audrey and Nathan figure out that the woman has an accelerated pregnancy as the man ages, and when she holds her baby, the man dies. I feel like I've seen this plot before, but I can't quite put my finger on where. There was something sort of similar on Fringe. Anyway, it was serviceable enough. At least poor Duke got to be a victim this time instead of a suspect.

Lucy mystery: Audrey brings it up to the old brothers, but doesn't get anywhere. Apparently we need to have fifteen seconds of discussion of this every week just so we don't forget about it.

Audrey: Apparently going to crime scenes is her hobby. No, Audrey, we already know that you read teen vampire novels.

Duke: He's actually running the restaurant! How cute. And he's so dedicated to making Audrey relax. Aww. I loved the "It's so sweet that you still say making out" line. It will be interesting to see whether this weird unexpected fatherhood affects him in the future at all.

Nathan: He golfs! Audrey and I both find this amusing. And he's also adorable with babies. I just love him more and more.

The triangle: It's simmering along pleasantly. The tension between the two guys makes it all the more fun. It's nice to see Nathan reluctantly help Duke, though, and they obviously don't really hate each other. Oh, boys. Be nice.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2010

Haven 1.4: "Consumed"

Rotting cows and more, after the jump!

Mystery of the week: Various local food products at various farms are suddenly disgustingly rotting, and Audrey and Nathan trace it all to a family restaurant about to be reopened by a pair of brothers. (And it's somehow acid doing the rotting.) There's all sort of family intrigue, and one of the brothers ends up dead. It turns out that when one of the brothers gets upset, anything he eats turns all gross and rotten. Except the actual murder wasn't supernatural at all - the victim's sous chef/girlfriend poisoned him because she was upset about him leaving.

Audrey: Her attempts to fit in with the Haven community are cute. She gets annoyed at everyone saying she looks "nice," but I thought that the dress she ended up buying at the old guys' advice didn't really look very nice at all. She makes a few noises about trying to find out more about Lucy, but that whole mystery isn't really addressed in this episode.

Duke: He's still obnoxious and flirty and weirdly likeable, and apparently he's somehow involved in basically everything in town. His background with the restaurant family was intense, but since he's set up as a regular, I never really suspect him of anything bad. He does have a badly hidden vulnerable side that almost, but not quite, makes me want Audrey to consider him instead of Nathan. And hey, he winds up with a restaurant at the end! Nifty!

Nathan: He adorably gave Audrey some stuff including a plaid shirt and boots to help her fit in, and reacted well to her joke about how real Haven residents squint a lot and leave out half their words. Aww, a self-aware laconic New Englander! Could I love him more? Doubtful. It's also rather interesting how he reinforces the idea that The Troubles are just stories, to keep people from finding out what's going on.

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2010

Haven 1.3: "Harmony"

I didn't like this episode quite as much as the previous ones. Find out why after the jump...

For some reason, the asylum storyline just wasn't as compelling as the other supernatural events we've seen so far in the town of Haven. I had trouble getting attached to any of the characters involved, which I suppose is for the best, as they've now sailed off into the wild blue yonder. Some reviewers have said that it seemed irresponsible to let them go wreak havoc elsewhere, but I thought it was pretty clear that the guy was only going to play his magic music where no one else could hear him, so I was okay with that. But I wanted a little more about why it was happening in the first place.

One good thing, though, was that Duke is back! I love him, but I really love the interplay between Duke and Nathan, and I hope we find out some of the background of that eventually. Duke's "Does she know you're not a real boy?" line was great. So far, at least, I want Audrey to end up with Nathan, but I'm looking forward to a delightful triangle with Duke in the meantime. I don't even care all that much about the mystery of Audrey's mother, but I assume that will get more interesting as we go. And yay, she got a name clue at the end!

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2010

Haven 1.2: "Butterfly"

I continue to love this show beyond all reason. Click the link below to find out why.

A vaguely creepy minister. A troubled orphan. A giant metal ball rolling down the road. Mysterious butterflies. Dreams coming to life, and not in a good way. Fun! This show isn't getting much buzz, but I love love love it for its mix of laconic New Englanders and supernatural elements.

This episode felt rather Buffy-like, and I mean that in a good way. The cocooning in the hotel and the dreams coming to life, specifically, made me feel like I was watching season two or so of Buffy. The weird-stuff-of-the-week format they have going so far is rather refreshing - not everything has to be a years-long mystery. But at the same time, it's implied that the town is a magnet for this sort of thing, possibly because of The Troubles (which do not seem to have anything to do with Irish independence, oddly enough), or The Troubles were just a previous iteration. It's a little unclear. As long as there's some explanation for why Haven attracts this stuff, I'm fine.

More generally, I continue to like the setting of Haven. It really does feel like Maine, even though it's filmed in Canada. They do a good job of playing out the small town connections and history without making it too unlikely or cutesy. Of course Nathan, who grew up there as a policeman's son, would know everyone, and odds are his prom date would show up eventually. Audrey has so far mostly been used as a vehicle to present an outsider's view of the town, so I'm hoping that we get to know more about her, aside from her search for her mother, soon.

I still love Nathan - he's quickly becoming one of my favorite current TV guys - but I definitely felt the lack of Eric Balfour's Duke in this episode. I really liked the interactions between Duke, Nathan, and Audrey in the first episode, so I hope that comes back in future episodes. We're clearly headed toward some sort of triangle in which Duke and Nathan compete for Audrey's affections, and I can't wait.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2010

Haven: Yeah, I'll stay.

Wow. I really did not expect much from Syfy's new show Haven. Isolated small town with quirky people! An outsider comes in and feels oddly connected! Mysterious happenings! We've seen all that before, most recently with the late, unlamented Happy Town. But the pilot of Haven, at least, made it seem as though the show had a decent chance of overcoming those cliches.

The first shock of Haven was that most of the characters are actually interesting and not all that quirky. Hallelujah. The heroine is Emily Rose as Audrey Parker, a young FBI agent who reads vampire novels in her spare time. Totally believable. She's immediately thrown up against/together with Lucas Bryant as a small-town Maine cop. Bryant plays a certain kind of laconic and steady New Englander absolutely perfectly, and his literal inability to feel physical pain would have tipped most characters into "too quirky" territory, but he pulls it off by underplaying it. Audrey's other potential romantic interest is Eric Balfour as a charming smuggler with some sort of unfortunate and not-yet-defined history with the cop. The supporting cast of townfolk are somewhat weird, as you'd expect in a supernatural show, but not annoying about it, at least not yet.

And the plot? Oh, yeah, it was fine. It's being compared to The X-Files, but I haven't seen enough X-Files to know if these comparisons are correct. Mysterious happenings! People controlling the weather with their emotions! Roads randomly giving way! An FBI boss who is not what he seems! Plus the main character has a mysterious past, and was attacked by someone and I'm not sure if we're supposed to think that was the villain of the mystery-of-the-week or what. There's definitely enough going on to sustain the plot for a while, although at some point, we're going to get into that "Why does this random town have so much supernatural activity?" territory, and I hope they have some sort of explanation for that. (I'm not very picky about these explanations, as long as they exist. Hellmouth? Sure. Comet? Whatever. Just let me know you made an effort.)

What really got me about Haven, though, was the setting. They film in Nova Scotia, but it's supposed to be Maine, and for once, New England actually looks like New England. I will readily admit that I love Maine, so I was predisposed to like this if it was done well, but it's way too easy for locations you actually know to just come across as fake on TV or in movies. I can't think of a show that felt this New Englandy, offhand. Even Gilmore Girls - much as I love it - never really convinced me that it was actually set in Connecticut. (No, wait. The elder Gilmores were very Connecticut [albeit not very Hartford]. Stars Hollow was not.) But Haven looked like Maine and, more importantly, felt like Maine. The people came across as Mainers. And, of course, the scenery was gorgeous. I already can't wait for my next visit to Haven.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

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