The Criterion

“Happy!” Review

Brandon Robles '18, Staff Writer

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If there is anything I do in my spare time, it’s reading comics of both mainstream and indie industries. Along with those comics, I’ll encounter some interesting reads like Doom Patrol by Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance or some old ones like Archie before the franchise went sci-fi. But along the way, I ran into a comic titled Happy! by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson, which was a nice read. Then recently, I heard that the comic was turned into a miniseries of 8 episodes. After watching this show, I can say that Happy! manages to not only extend it’s story further, but does so in a clever fashion.

The overall plot of both the show and comic is that Nick Sax, an ex-cop turned hitman, is hunted by crime gangs due to his knowledge of a password wanted by mob boss Francisco Scapucch, AKA “Mr. Blue”, who doesn’t know that Sax has no knowledge of it. As he is being transported in an ambulance, Sax encounters Happy, a blue unicorn, who is also the imaginary friend of Hailey, who turns out to be his daughter. Hailey, alongside other children, were abducted by a lunatic dressed as Santa. Together, the two head off finding leads in order to locate the kidnapper while leading Nick to look back on his past.

The show differs to the comic with its efficient use of worldbuilding and events. We only get around 4 issues of development and a clear cut ending. The show’s running time of about 44 minutes for every episode dives further into the characters of the show. Whether it delves into the history of the Very Bad Santa or the life of Mr. Blue, viewers can expect to see some interesting revelations, even if they’ve read the comic beforehand. It’s similar to watching a DC or Marvel movie, you think events will go one way if you know the original story, and then it’ll go into a different direction entirely.

One thing I enjoy seeing is the dynamic between Happy and Sax throughout the series. Happy is what people would consider to be “good”, and Sax is the complete opposite in the moral compass. It kinda fits into what the actors have played in the past, with Christopher Meloni (Sax) playing characters in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Oz and Patton Oswalt (Happy) in more upbeat roles like in Ratatouille and The Fairly Oddparents. It can be described as a similar relationship to Eddie Valiant and Roger Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, only with moral degradation.

Essentially, if you’re into weird and dark shows, Happy! is probably for you. With great acting, interesting characters, and a good plot, you can easily get behind some of the strange nature behind the show. The series will finish towards the end of January, which gives you enough time to catch up with recent episodes before then.

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“Happy!” Review