Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson join the Comics Media connection tonight at 10 pm on SyFy with the premiere of Happy! starring Christopher Melon and Patton Oswalt.
The premise is all Morrison:
HAPPY! is based on New York Times best-selling author Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel of the same name. The series follows Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU) – an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man – who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse named Happy (Patton Oswalt).
There are lots of clips on the SyFy site, and a set of six Happy! Holiday cards which are quite handy, shown below. It’s an ongoing show although how many episodes it was ordered for isn’t clear in any of the promos.
Happy!, which debuts on SyFy on December 6, is a phantasmagoria of bloodied corpses and imaginary friends, near-death experiences and lysergic hallucinations, costumed sex criminals and torture artists in medical scrubs. At its center is Meloni’s Nick Sax, a cop turned hit man who may or may not be immortal and in communication with a flying anthropomorphic unicorn named Happy. The show opens with a sequence in which Nick spits blood into a urinal, shoots himself in the head with two guns, then grooves alongside some go-go dancers to a disco version of “Jingle Bells” while a fountain of blood erupts from his skull — and it only gets more profane and insane after that. In the age of Peak TV, Happy! has set out on a mission to capture distracted eyeballs at all costs.
“Look, there’s a thousand TV shows out there,” says the show’s co-creator, Brian Taylor, surveying the graveyard scene a few yards away from his star. “There’s never been more media, so if you’re gonna do something, you’ve gotta try to make it special. We just want to make it be like, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen that show before.’”
It’s heartening to se Morrison finally get something going in Hollywood…maybe now we can all chant WE3! WE3! WE3! at the top of our lungs.
That said, this show arrived without much fanfare until this week, like many comics media projects. I was wondering why a new edition of Happy! suddenly arrived from Image, but that said it shows how crammed my inbox is that I missed all the promos on this until the day of.
It’s partly because of the sheer volume of comics-based projects. But also, Morrison is largely absent from social media and Robertson isn’t much better. More creator hype seems to work in the comics world, at least. In that regard Mark Millar’s success should be studied – the guy isn’t always on line but when he is it’s covered like major news.
All that said, Happy! looks like an interesting addition to the TV landscape and we’ll be watching. And also visiting the Happy! pop up bar that’s a Darick Robertson dream brought to life down on the LES.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.