Syfy premieres Happy!

Oh why can't you just DIE?

Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: February 21, 2022 (URL is not
Available on: Syfy Channel
Content release date: 2017-12-06

Spoilers are like little flying blue unicorns!

So the SyFy Channel had been touting the premiere of ‘Happy!’, based on the graphic novel of the same name from writer Grant Morrison. All sorts of geeky words are flashed on the screen – noir, mobsters, unicorn, drugs, and the like, and that is enough to grab the attention. Is it enough to grab like the Xenomorph and swallow us whole? Dive into the madness that is ‘Happy!’

Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) is our beloved anti-hero, all curmudgeonly and bitter, an unabashed alcoholic souse and ex-cop turned hitman-for-hire. There is something very strange about Nick, and the general consensus is that he is actually unable to die. Occasionally in this whimsical nightmare of a first episode we see things that make us think he’s just really smart about getting hurt, but Nick manages to get himself hurt like a whole lot. Yet everything Sax does has an element of calculation to it, even the getting hurt part, and Nick just seems to regard waking up elsewhere being tended to by some kind of healer as SOP for his strange life. It’s about to get considerably weirder.

Elsewhere in New York, these awful Tele-tubby-like toys are having a big ole celebration for the Christmas holiday, and of course Hailey just has to convince her mom to take her. Bad things lurk in the darkness, even at a Care-Bear-like rally, and once mom and Hailey are separated, it’s only a matter of time before the worst-looking fakest Santa ever gets his mittens on fresh little girl. We even see that though Hailey may be freshly caught, this doesn’t appear to be the first kid-in-a-box nasty Santa took.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, Sax has involved a working girl in his plan to kill three brothers, unaware that a fourth one had come to town. It’s this surprise fourth brother that manages to cause a whole heap of trouble for Nick, yammering on about super-secret passwords and whatnot. Which, sadly, makes Sax very interesting to the local crime boss known commonly as Mr. Blue (Ritchie Coster), and his fun legion of minions, notably Smoothie (Patrick Fischler), pet psychopath and torturer. But that’s only periphery worries for Sax, who by the mercy of an old friend of his, Detective McCarthy (Lili Mirojnick), finds himself hallucinating in the back of an ambulance.

Or is he? This crazy little figment of imagination in the form of a flying winged horse with a horn, who also happens to be blue and cartoony and just plain fruit loops, isn’t actually an imaginary friend at all. Well, I take that back. Happy (Patton Oswalt), as little flying blue says his name is, is actually Hailey’s imaginary friend. Hailey’s in trouble, and Happy came looking for exactly the right guy to help save her!

As whack-a-doodle ‘Cool World’ kind of humored creature as Happy is, he doesn’t appear to be lying, and is somehow useful in communicating correct information to Sax, to help him escape various predicaments. So, how is that even possible? Is poor Hailey hiding some sort of magical talent? Happy’s birth aside, why go specifically to Nick Sax, the burnout who can’t seem to die, no matter how hard the bad guys try?

The show so far very much puts me in the mind of a ‘Sin City’-style set, with colorful characters making me think of throwback adult Dick Tracy, even previously mentioned ‘Cool World’ and a good deal of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ thrown in. Prepare the shots to drink every time Sax manages to render the blue imaginary friend speechless and squee along with ‘Happy’!

Get ‘Happy!’ with mobsters and Bad Santa, Wednesdays on the SyFy channel @10/9c!