Image Credit: NBC / SYFY

Happy! — Pilot — Review

Happy! started off with a bang in it’s pilot episode, shocking viewers with it’s delightfully dark humor. Within the first few minutes of the Pilot, Nick Sax (played by Christopher Meloni) sets the tone for what you can expect to see the rest of the episode. Sax is a disgraced ex-cop turned hit man with a consistent flow of booze in his blood stream and a grim outlook on life, so it’s hard to imagine he will turn out to be any sort of hero. In a dirty bathroom at a dingy bar, Sax pulls out two pistols and blows the back of his head open. A flow of bright red CGI blood comes pouring out of the top of his skull and Sax is immediately transported to the best Christmas dance party ever. As he dabs, with blood flying out of the top of his head, mostly naked holiday dancers appear giving us the most intense disco-pop version of “Jingle Bells” you’ll ever see. Tis the season…

Image Credit: NBC / SYFY “Nick Sax” 

After falling from his golden pedestal in a very public forum, Sax has to resort to taking on a new gig. Now a professional hit man who loves the dirty nature of his work, Sax isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty and has had his fair share of close call injuries. Though his first job for the audience is just to take out some annoying mafia kids, Sax ends up with a more important mission, given to him by Happy – an imaginary flying blue horse/unicorn (Happy doesn’t like labels). Sax is going to have to take out Santa, and not the jolly, generous one — but the worst Rent-A-Santa you’ve ever seen, who is kidnapping kids and stuffing them into boxes for “safe keeping”.

Image Credit: NBC / SYFY “Sax and Happy”

Sax kills 5 different people within the first 15 minutes alone, including a dude in a rubber lobster suit who is getting orally satisfied by a working woman (lobster dude was mere seconds away from killing said working woman –  so yay for Sax, he saved a life too). The pilot has a frantic tenseness to it and the episodes’ pacing and violence are relentless in the best way possible. Sax never stops moving in this first episode, minus when he’s strapped to a bed being tortured by Smoothie – a slightly morbid mobster sadist. Sax kills at least 9 individuals within the first hour alone, and gets himself into all kinds of trouble with the mob. With 1 decision, Sax ends up with mob bosses/thugs after him, crooked cops after him and members of his past life (that he doesn’t know about or want to think about) are all looking for him. All Sax cares about finding is more booze, some drugs, maybe some nitro in-case his heart decides to fail again, and a way out of town. But Happy – the flying, imaginary friend to Hailey, a little girl stolen by tweaked out not-Santa, is there to keep Sax on track. Happy needs Sax to help him find and rescue Hailey.

Image Credit: NBC / SYFY “Smoothie”

Happy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) is a little blue fluff of goodness. He’s innocent, he’s overly positive, optimistic to a fault, and ceaselessly trying to help Sax so that in turn, Sax can save Hailey. While Sax is skull-crushing, punching, shooting, and maiming those in his way, Happy is there to contrast his pessimism. This show is definitely on the darker side, but you will find yourself (ashamedly at times) laughing at the gore and morbid nature of the story. (You’ll see what I mean when you get to the Sax/Smoothie fire extinguisher scene.) Its’ pilot episode is accomplished, vigorous fun. Whatever preconceived notions you had about what Happy! might be like, throw those out the window (like Sax would a mobster) and give it a watch. I can guarantee that you’ll laugh, you’ll wince, you’ll want to cover your eyes, but you’ll be tuning in again next week to see where Happy and Sax go next. Happy and Sax are a perfect pairing, like booze and the holidays. Happy! is distinctly different  from anything else on television and those who enjoy it will undoubtedly raise it to classic cult level status. Check out Happy! on SYFY and find your new favorite show.

Happy! airs Wednesday nights at 10/9c on SyFy!

Join in on the conversation! Be sure to watch live each week and use the hashtag #SeeHappy on social media.

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