Friday, July 09, 2010


It's long been a rule of Stephen King books that pretty much everything the guy writes gets a TV or movie treatment eventually. Insubstantial short stories, epic novels, whatever - the man is a gold mine, and insanely prolific. So it's guess it's not much of a surprise to see this series based very loosely on King's forgettable 2005 novel The Colorado Kid, which I read a few years back and remember very little about other than I thought it was kind of lame. Either way, Haven takes as little as possible from King's novel, inventing entirely new characters and a mostly new setting, using only basic details that probably could have been changed minimally and freed the producers from having to pay for the rights to King's novel (of course it would also have meant losing King's name, which is probably the only reason this show is on the air).

Basically this is The X-Files crammed into one small town, as a pretty FBI agent (Emily Rose) with a Mysterious Past comes to the titular Maine town to investigate a supernatural crime (it involves someone whose emotions affect the weather), partners with the straitlaced local detective (Lucas Bryant) and decides to stick around to investigate more weird incidents. Apparently the town is full of supernatural goings-on, which will probably really stretch credibility if the show ever gets past one season. The acting is subpar, and the creators clearly haven't yet learned how to stretch the budget to cover for the production shortcomings.

The one nod I could find to King's novel (both the FBI agent and the detective are new characters) was a pair of crotchety newspapermen who know the town history; they were the main characters of the framing device of The Colorado Kid. They show the FBI agent a newspaper clipping mentioning the Colorado Kid, who apparently has some connection to her Mysterious Past. Then there's an ominous cliffhanger featuring the FBI agent's boss and presumably some vast conspiracy. Do I care? No. Might I watch again anyway? Maybe.

Premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on Syfy.

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