Lauren German, Linda Kash, and Lynne Griffin star in ABC's so-so Happy Town.
Lauren German, Linda Kash, and Lynne Griffin star in ABC's so-so Happy Town. Ken Woroner/ABC
I want you to imagine a man. He's wearing a tuxedo. And a top hat. And roller skates. (And a pageant sash and gold chains and rainbow suspenders and a fright wig.) He's skating backwards while playing the tuba and doing deep knee-bends.
Now, I want you to imagine yourself saying, "Well, it's not really my thing, but I'll give him this much: he didn't hold back." This is sort of how I feel about ABC's new drama Happy Town, which premieres tonight at 10 p.m.
Happy Town is the latest in a long tradition of stories where the basic narrative is, "Everyone seemed so friendly in the little town with its clapboard houses and charming mom-and-pop stores, but I just couldn't escape the feeling that something wasn't right, and when the bodies started piling up, well then I knew for sure."
Here, we arrive in Haplin, Minn. — Midwestern burgs are hotbeds of both smothering politeness and bloody murder, as you know if you have ever been to the movies or watched television — with one Henley Boone, a young woman who has returned to this town where her mother used to vacation (despite the lack there of any obvious vacation-like activities) in order to open a candle shop with her inheritance. As you probably know, the economies of small Midwestern towns permit them to support extremely quaint specialized businesses such as candle shops with no difficulty whatsoever.
Let's consider some of the things you will find in Haplin in just the first episode.
"Cute as a mouse's pocketbook," after the jump.
• a very grisly murder involving a gun AND a hatchet AND a metal spike