Season 2 of SYFY network’s Happy! has been nothing shy of ridiculous. This season sees Nick Sax try his best to get clean and sober for his daughter, Hailey. Though the emphasis here is on the word: try. As Nick consistently finds himself in provocative situations, gorily doing away with nefarious bad guys this Easter season in a manner that would make Ash Williams proud.
Happy! is arguably the best story ever created about an ex-super-cop-turned-assassin-turned-cab-driver, and his imaginary pubescent tiny unicorn with wings. Now if that sounds ridiculous… that’s because it is. This show is nothing shy of outrageous and has been since it debuted last Christmas.
Season one was all about Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni), an ex-super-cop turned hitman with a bad heart and a plethora of addictions – though mostly drugs, booze, and prostitutes. He takes a break from his self-destructive lifestyle to aid in the investigation into stopping a ‘Very Bad Santa’ from kidnapping little children – one of whom is revealed to be his Nick’s very own daughter, Hailey (Bryce Lorenzo).
He hunts for her kidnapper with the help of her imaginary friend, Happy: a tiny flying unicorn with an upbeat personality (voiced by Patton Oswalt) that Nick can see – yet, nobody else can. Together, Nick and Happy form a dynamic procedural styled partnership, investigating the city’s criminal underbelly – which includes foraying into, though is not exclusive to: meeting different mafias, killing various types of bad people, rampant drug use, meeting fellow imaginary friends, watching mindless reality television programming, watching mindless children’s television programming, confrontations with a genitalless serial killer with a penchant for torture, observing an insectoid EDM sex orgy, and tangling with possessive spiritual death demons.
…And that was only season one.
How season two could ever hope to topple all of that was simple: a hard reset. In the sophomore season of Happy! Christopher Meloni’s Nicholas Sax character has turned sober, stopped drinking, and more importantly: is trying his best to stop his killing of bad people. He has inherited both Happy as his personal imaginary friend (was his daughter’s before), and the occasional weekend visitations with his daughter Hailey – something that Nick takes quite seriously.
Nick tries his best to reconnect with her this season. He wants to be a responsible father by avoiding drinking, drugs, whoring, and murdering – though still indulges in the occasional breath freshener for a tiny chemical kick. Nick’s clean living proves difficult, as he finds himself reeled back into the city’s criminal cesspool of bad people.
For example, while working as a cab driver, Nick meets a client ‘looking for a good time’ – an easy opportunity to pimp his prostitute friend from season one who has an enthusiasm for blowjobs. Seemingly easy money for them both, Happy discovers that the entire ordeal is a front to murder her and harvest her internal organs for a Jewish mob. One hellbent on keeping their family’s patriarch alive. Nick puts his foot down on the whole thing – saving his friend, and later, his daughter, once the same mob begins threatening Nick with Hailey’s life.
I can’t stress this enough: several times in season two, Nick finds himself in a similar situation. One where he’s surrounded by bad guys but wants to talk it out and do the right thing. Yet, either by accident or hilarious happenstance – he finds himself the last man standing in a room full of people he killed in some form of self-defense. Which also sort of helps, because by episode one, Nick discovers organs fetch a high price in the black market – which he keeps in his refrigerator, much to his daughter’s unfortunate discovery by episode two. Still, it helps to pay for Hailey’s tuition for private school.
In the first three episodes of Season 2, Nick has acted like more like a cartoon caricature than Happy himself – which says a lot about this season. Everything seems like one giant over-the-top comedic joke. Nick finds himself doing silly things like slipping on viscera, ripping off the phallus of a gigantic Sunny Shine statue, and dancing like it’s Easter Parade with some tasered security guards.
Which brings us to our next topic: it’s Easter this season. As I covered last October at NYCC 2018, last year was Christmas in the series, and so in keeping the holiday spirit of the series, this season of Happy is set during Easter – easily offending every bit of my Catholic upbringing sensibilities. Still, for the sake of the joke I understand what the series is doing and just to give you a taste of what’s in store if you haven’t seen these episodes of season two yet: there are exploding nuns, a serial killer Easter Rabbit (revealed to be smoothie himself), skin flaying, and a pope making deals with the kingpin of crime, himself: Sunny Shine. Which is nothing short of crazy for the beloved children’s television icon.
Sunny has gotten even more eccentric this season. He is apparently, blackmailing almost every authority in the city, granting him a degree of power unrealized until now. Though he’s not without his share of problems. As he’s trying to outdo his Christmas Bonanza with a Make Easter Great Again slogan, or M.E.G.A. for short – disgraced police detective and Nick’s old partner: Meredith McCarthy (Lili Mirojnick), is slowly building a case against him.
Episode three sees Meredith working behind the scenes to get these alleged blackmail tapes, while Nick finds himself pushed back into the struggle against Sunny. Meredith is doing an overall good job, hiding away as a fake real estate agent, gathering evidence, and trying to get back into the city’s good graces after having all the faults of last season’s Christmas debacle – pinned on her.
Meanwhile, Happy is going through puberty, and discovering life without Hailey and living with Nick – is forcing him to grow up much faster than he’s ready. This season, he does little beyond provide a contrasting voice of reason towards Nick – trying his best to push his friend in the morally righteous direction. Though over time, his own convictions are tried through and through.
More than anything else, this season seeks to offend and cross the line. You can listen to our TV TALK podcast above for more specific details – though I think unanimously, we all agreed: this season is more about shock value than substance.
There are some great jokes and gross-out bits, but overall, it’s seemingly lacking a true direction – focusing more on the ability to offend, rather than hold any sort of emotional hooks – unlike the hunt for Hailey to save her from evil Santa, last season. I can see where the series is going, and unfortunately, I don’t think it’s the right direction – as there’s very little at stake on a per episode basis.
At most, you’ll be compelled to watch this show for its characters – which is fine, but it doesn’t make me a weekly viewer, personally. I will admit though, Smoothie (Patrick Fischler) is great this season – truly elevating onto unseen levels of psychopathy. Also, Blue (Ritchie Coster) is a demon. I don’t know how that fits into the story, and frankly, I don’t think the series does either.
You can watch Happy! Season 2 on SYFY every Wednesday at 10pm. EST
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