Haven: Consumed

“This local thing is going to take a while.”

A wise woman (Billie) said to me that you know by the third episode whether you are going to enjoy reviewing a show or not. I’m enjoying reviewing Haven, but I’m not really sure why. The episode plots are a bit thin and the overarching plot is moving slower than molasses in January. On the other hand, I laugh out loud at least once each episode and I am loving the characters. There is definitely something charming about this show.

The Weekly Trouble

In episode four the weekly mystery is food going suddenly rotten. The fun begins at the Haven farmer’s market, a lovely bucolic vision of organic food, sno-cones and children playing--until some of the produce turns black and gooey. It looks as if acid has been poured on it, and those unfortunate enough to eat the food end up pretty sick. Of course this a product of the “troubles”. This was the messiest episode so far. (Exploding cow udders - ‘nuf said.) But my response was not "Ooh I can’t look” and/or “I feel sick”. It was more “Eeeww, gross!”. And maybe that is the key to this show. Don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy the cast of characters and the snappy one liners.

Why do I Like This Show Again?

In this episode the one-off characters, who carry the weekly “troubles”, don’t have a lot of depth. Bill and Jeff, the brothers who owned the cafe, were predictable caricatures and I didn’t much care when Jeff showed up dead - not of the troubles but of a good old-fashioned poisoning. And the fact that Bill could turn food to poison if he ate it when he was angry was interesting, but that’s about it. But there are some wonderful on-going town characters. My favourite scene in this episode was the newspaper brothers, Vince and Dave, helping Audrey pick out a dress for the restaurant opening. They had a surprisingly good sense of fashion and obviously enjoyed seeing Audrey in a dress and finding her just the right thing.

Audrey in a terrible yellow dress: “What’s wrong? Is it too professional?”
Dave: “No, no, but it is too..."
Vince: “Too sunny.”
Audrey: “I don’t do sunny.”

Everyone is warming to Audrey. Duke certainly thinks she is attractive. Nathan seems to like her in a dress as well: he wants Audrey to stay and he wants her to fit in. He buys her “local” clothes and a coffee mug with the hometown team on it. The Sorrel boots were a bit much in the heat of summer, but I loved the Nor’wester hat. We didn’t learn much about the “big” mystery this week but we did get some character development. It seems that Audrey is in Haven to stay.

Bits and Pieces

The local ice cream store keeps the cows out back. Or at least they did.

Nathan: “Big Benjy’s ice cream where you get to meet the cows that make your ice cream.”
Audrey: “Isn’t that a zoning problem?”
Nathan: “No you put the store where the cows live.”

I grew up in a small town and this is totally in character.

Haven has a sailing team and a football team (The Black Bears). I think any town over 20 people in the United States has a football team. In Canada, we love our football but it’s more likely to be a hometown hockey team. Mr. John Robert is a fast food franchise king, selling Lobster Pups (“Processed sea food product, seasoned right. Tastes the same. No lobster necessary!”). Lobster rolls (hot dog buns with real lobster salad in them) are an east coast thing. You can buy them at the local gas station.

Quotes:

Vince: “A little branchy.”
Dave: “Leafy branchy.”

Duke: “You have a certain federal-agent chic going on.”

Nathan: “They’re opening with a menu that features only local ingredients.”
Audrey: “What, you can cook pine trees?”

Audrey: “I’ve seen this movie. It doesn’t end well.”

Audrey: “I’m out of good ideas.”
Nathan: “So we should embrace bad ones?”

Duke: “It’s a shame you’re a cop.”
Audrey: “Why is that?”
Duke: “I don’t usually socialize with cops.”
Audrey: “Did it every occur to you that that might be their choice.”
Duke: “No.”

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Much agreement, Sandy. I thought some of the early season one episodes were pretty weak, but fun character development. It does get better.

Sooze said...

I am with both of you - it wasn't the "trouble of the week" that got me hooked, it was the characters and the actors playing them. I figured the overarching mythology would kick in sooner or later.

I just love Vince and Dave. And although the "relationship triangle" between a girl, a "good" guy and a "questionable" guy has been done a million times, I really like Audrey, Nathan and Duke. They are all equally interesting characters. I liked the actor playing Duke in Six Feet Under and I like him even more here.

And, being originally from New England, your Lobster Roll explanation is spot-on...although the town I grew up in wasn't quite small enough to have the cows in the back of the local Friendlys.

Looking forward to Season 2!