Image Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABCWhen news broke yesterday that ABC would be pulling Happy Town after tonight’s episode for the rest of May Sweeps — the show is scheduled to return June 2, with the first of five remaining episodes — I wasn’t surprised. Ratings aside, I’d seen the first two episodes and had no idea what was happening on the show. When I told that to star Geoff Stults (newly-appointed sheriff Tommy Conroy) before the drama’s premiere, he said that was the proper response: “It’s not CSI, where at the end of the episode, you’re like, ‘Oh, that was the killer.’ That’s not what we’re going for. We want people to be along for the ride.” He said the writers had thought about how to create a slow-build mystery that still gives people enough to get them invested so they keep coming back. That’s why starting with tonight’s third episode, we’d be given “mini resolutions to things” in each hour — culminating in the identity of the Magic Man in episode 8.
If that’s true, and tonight’s episode improves, it’s a shame ABC pulled it. Whatever momentum the show did have — even if it was the horsepower of a Moped — will be gone by June. ABC has angered the fans who were committed. To quote an IM I received yesterday: “Happy Town was pulled??? It’s a freaking mystery they promoted the hell out of. NOT FAIR PULLING IT.” All I can do is hope that said friend sticks it out. I have the same problem with Happy Town that I had with the creators’ October Road — the dialogue just isn’t tight or clever enough to keep my interest, no matter how much I like the actors involved. I was counting on her to tell me how it all ends.
Will you stick with Happy Town now, hope that a friend does, or totally cut and run?
Read more: Geoff Stults talks Happy Town