Syfy’s all-new one-hour drama series Haven, starring Emily Rose (Jericho, Brothers and Sisters) is based on the novella The Colorado Kid from renowned author Stephen King. The series follows the shrewd and confident FBI agent Audrey Parker (Rose) who has a lost past, and arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine on a routine case. Before long, her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people that are affected by a range of supernatural afflictions. As the townspeople’s dormant abilities begin to express themselves, Audrey helps keep these forces at bay while discovering the many secrets of Haven — including one surrounding her own surprising connections to this extraordinary place. – SyFy
3 out of 10
As noted in the show description, SyFy’s new show Haven is based on a Steven King 184 page novel titled The Colorado Kid. From what I read at iMDB before I saw the pilot, the title is one of the few things the show and the book actually share in common. The Colorado Kid was a departure from Stephen King’s normal fare of the supernatural and just a straight-up mystery/crime novel. Haven is exactly the opposite and apparently it was this way at the direction of King himself who wanted this television version of his story to have a science fiction premise to it. That’s really all the interesting information I can provide about this show because there really is nothing more interesting about it except for the fact that for some reason, out of all of the Stephen King stories, SyFy chose to make a series out of the one that was universally panned by the critics.
Haven is what I like to call a poor-man’s attempt at The X-Files except for instead of the cases taking place all over the country, all of these cases take place in small, mythical town of Haven, Maine, which I guess is just one big X-File. Unlike other attempts to capture the spirit of The X-Files while still remaining unique (such as FOX’s Fringe or even SyFy’s Warehouse 13) Haven makes absolutely no attempt to be original whatsoever. I’ve now watched 1.75 episodes (I was so annoyed by the second episode I turned it off early ) and all I’ve seen is poorly recycled and predictable plots from old X-Files episodes, a bunch of supporting characters that don’t do a thing for me and a “who’s-who” of Canadian character actor casting (which is the only reason occasionally one of them sounds like they might actually be from Maine).
Our leads are Agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) and Officer (Detective?) Nathan Wournos (Lucas Bryant) and let’s just put it this way: they’re no Scully and Mulder. They have absolutely no on-screen chemistry and neither one of their parts is very well-written. By the time I got halfway through the second episode, Butterfly, I wanted to punch Supercop (and I mean that literally… the character doesn’t feel pain) Nathan right in the face. I think it’s safe to say that one of the benchmarks for good TV is that you shouldn’t want to punch the protagonist in the face by the second episode, so you can kind of see where all of this is headed. The only redeeming factor of Butterfly was the absolutely stellar performance by one of my favorite character actors of all-time, Stephen McHattie, who is better known to Star Trek fans as Senator Vreenak from arguably the best Trek episode ever made, Deep Space Nine‘s In the Pale Moonlight. But even McHattie’s brilliant performance is not enough to save this dud of a series. Yes, this series is so bad that I have to throw in a Star Trek reference just to bring some level of excitement to an otherwise awful review experience.
I am very disappointed in Haven. When I watched the pilot, I wasn’t very impressed but I wanted to give it another chance because there was so much buzz about it and it was so eagerly anticipated by SyFy (and Sci Fi) fans. Unfortunately, though, it didn’t just not improve from the pilot to the second episode, it actually got much worse. The writing is lackluster and flat and the audience simply cannot empathize with any of the characters and I have to say that even by SyFy’s standards, these are some of the worst CGI effects I’ve ever seen. The only reason I even gave it a 3 is because of McHattie. I’m sorry, but I simply have no time for bad TV.
That being said, if you don’t trust me and want to watch this mess for yourself to decide, SyFy has all of the episodes available to view online for free here.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.