Syfy’s newest show, based on the graphic novel by Grant Morrison, is quite a trip. And by trip I mean a bullet shot down through the worst K hole imaginable, which is very possibly what makes it so darn good. It’s like the anti TV show. It’s so out there that calling it a “dark comedy” is perhaps too light. Which explains why Syfy opened the episode with a title card declaring it TV-WTF.
At the center of this tale is Nick Sax, a filthy, perserve, foul specimen of humanity. He’s so disgusting that calling him scum would be an insult to scum.
We met Nick in a bathroom, a filthy foul sort of bathroom that one would expect to find in a far away road stop somewhere, coughing up blood into a urinal. Classy much. Faint Christmas carols can be heard coming from outside (yeah this is a Christmas tale, sort of). Nick drags his sorry ass over to the mirror and takes a long hard look at himself. But instead of this being the moment he realizes he needs to drag himself to rehab or such, he whips out two pistols and blows his head off. No joke. The filthy bathroom morphs into a disco club with half dressed go-go dancers pranching around Nick as he dances with his brains bleeding out into the air. Okay not really. It was just one of Nick’s hallucinations.
Nick stumbles back out into the dive bar with crude jokes and more drinking. An anonymous looking courier on a motorbike pulls up outside and gives Nick an envelope. Inside are several photos, of Nick’s newest victims. The derelict is actually a hit man. If that isn’t weird enough, he used to be some kind of super cop. No shit. Seriously.
Meanwhile in another part of the city, a lovely woman, Amanda Hansen, and her daughter, Haley, are taking a taxi ride through the light Christmas snow to an outdoor concert for The Wishees. During the ride they debate who is the best Wishee and how Happy, Haley’s imaginary best friend, doesn’t like Wishees. Once they get to the concert, Haley wanders off trying to find get a better look at the show. But instead of a better look she gets kidnapped by a creepy ass, homeless looking Santa. And she’s not the only child that’s been snatched by Santa, who is crating the kids up like twisted presents. A voice, yells that he will ‘find him’ before disappearing into the night.
Nick has a gun fight with a quartet of stereotypical guido dudes (his hit). Well actually it’s just 3, number 4 wasn’t meant to be there. Not that that stops the two of them shooting each other. Number 4, Mikey, tries to buy his life with an offer to give Nick the password to an encrypted file containing all of the names etc of the mob’s people. But Nick shoots him, the shock knocking Mikey out of a window. Nick goes down to finish the job, stealing the kid’s money and apparently being told the password as part of the kid’s dying confession. And then as luck would have it, Nick has a heart attack. It’s a chain of events so totally implausible it’s highly possible that the writers were dropping acid while on ‘shrooms.
A couple of beat cops and a female detective stumble onto the scene. The detective questions the hooker and finds out about the password. She threatens the paramedics should Nick die. But die he doesn’t. He wakes up in the ambulance in a sequence of ridiculous events that leads to one of the paramedics almost falling out of the ambulance, the open door giving the weird voice a change to get inside. The voice belongs to Happy, a hyperactive blue pegasus unicorn, that only Nick can see. Nick thinks that he’s stoned out of his mind. The detective, McCarthy, tells Mr Blue that she will get the information out of Nick. Blue strongly suggests that if she fails he’ll have her invalid mother hurt. And as if that wasn’t nasty enough, he threatens to toss his son’s dog into the fireplace (making it the 4th this year). McCarthy tries to get Nick to give her the information by placing the good cop just trying to protect him from the mob. But Nick is such a hard ass that he denies knowing the information.
Nick ends up on the hands of “Smoothie” a torture happy sicko. Nick manages to break away from his captors before his penis is turned into a meat platter and flees the hospital, Happy fleeing after him. During which, Nick realizes that Happy was telling him information that Nick would have no way of knowing, which means that Happy might be, in a weird way, real. But he still refuses to do anything to help Haley, choosing instead to grab the first car he can and flee the city. So Happy pulls out the big guns and admits that Haley is Nick’s daughter. Right before they get hit by a truck.
This might be hands down the most ridiculous show I’ve ever watched. And I’ve watched some real trash over the years. And yet for all the insanity and utter implausibility, it strangely works. Even with an anti hero lead who declares his life “a toilet that won’t flush” and a sidekick who is a freaking cartoon. The secret may be that the players have all embraced that this insanity is real. These are the rules of their world no matter how bizarre so why not make the best of it. Because how often do you get to be an imaginary friend, a crazed professional torturer or the embodiment of total loser.
**Watch Happy! on Syfy on Wednesday or catch it on iTunes**