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The First 14 Minutes of ABC’s HAPPY TOWN Are Online Now!!

Published at: April 8, 2010, 11:08 p.m. CST by hercules

I am – Hercules!! Twenty years to the day after ABC launched “Twin Peaks,” its best series ever, the network has released to Hulu the first 14 minutes of “Happy Town,” a new project from the creators of “October Road” and the American version of “Life On Mars.” Some say "Happy Town" seeks to emulate “Peaks.” (The series may fall somewhat short of the old David Lynch series’ brilliance, however. Last May the Televisionary website called it “ridiculous,” “insipid” and “a cheap knock-off of ‘Twin Peaks.’”) Is it the next "Lost" or the next "Eastwick"? Click on the box to judge for yourself: The rest of the first hour of “Happy Town” airs April 28.
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  • April 8, 2010, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Twin Peaks

    by Waspo

    At least it's a cheap knock off, instead of an expensive knock off.

  • April 8, 2010, 9:21 p.m. CST

    Is this supposed to be this year's "Harper's Island"

    by Mahaloth

    I kind of liked Harper's Island.

  • April 8, 2010, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Stephen King-like

    by Harry Palmerlime

    I keep getting junk email promoting this series using the above phrase in the actual subject line. In your first breath, if you have to name drop someone who isn't even involved in the production... baaaad sign.

  • April 8, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Also not a good sign...

    by VitaminZ

    ...that "Happy Town" is the best name they could come up with for this show. Say it out loud and then contemplate if you'll ever hear about a "100th episode of Happy Town" or an "Emmy nomination for Happy Town." Right, you won't.

  • April 8, 2010, 9:40 p.m. CST

    filmed in my home town

    by MrNovember

    so I guess i'll watch for that brief nostalgia.

  • April 8, 2010, 10:05 p.m. CST

    The bad guy in the previews is called "The Magic Man"

    by MisterE

    This does look like a poor Twin Peaks imitation and I will not be watching.

  • April 8, 2010, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Isn't that all these guys ever do?

    by sethcohen

    They make incredibly derivative shows that never survive only to be reward with yet more prime time hours of ABC's schedule. When is their development deal going to kick it?

  • April 8, 2010, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Guys! Listen!

    by Dapper Swindler

    I saw the commercial. I don't think this town is really all that 'happy'. I don't think it is at all. It's a trick. Don't be fooled by the name.

  • April 8, 2010, 10:21 p.m. CST

    man I miss Harper's Island

    by MuddyMudskipper

    i watched it with my wife all last summer it was so much fun, hope something like that is coming for the summer.

  • April 8, 2010, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Happy Town is no worse a name than

    by FrodoFraggins

    Firefly or Dollhouse. Show title says nothing about quality, well except in the case of Dollhouse.

  • April 8, 2010, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Happy Town just makes me think of...

    by ROBRAM89

    ...the Penny Arcade strip with the different levels of the Underdark, down through the Shadowdark and Double Hell to Scarytown. "Scarytown must be pretty bad." "Well, it depends on when you go."

  • April 8, 2010, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Looks like a complete Peaks rip off

    by OutsideChance

    Seriously. Why didn't ABC just bring back Peaks? A lot of us would appreciate the closure.

  • April 8, 2010, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Twin Peaks... get over it.

    by Heckles

    No one watched it. Barely two seasons. Most shows would be highly regarded if not given the chance to record a turd 3rd season.

  • April 8, 2010, 11:18 p.m. CST

    "Twin Peaks... get over it."

    by Hercules

    That'll happen.

  • April 8, 2010, 11:27 p.m. CST

    How's Annie?

    by Left_Hand_Path

    I can never get over Twin Peaks. Without it there would be no X-Files, Lost, or Carnivàle.

  • April 8, 2010, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Heckles

    by ROBRAM89

  • April 8, 2010, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Heckles

    by ROBRAM89

    Are you seriously claiming that the third season would have sucked? Based on what?

  • April 8, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST

    And Herc, level with me...

    by ROBRAM89

    You're pushing for some kind of Twin Peaks revival. Do you think there's any chance that's actually going to happen? I couldn't love the show more but shit, I would play the lottery the next day if they actually made that happen.

  • April 9, 2010, 12:10 a.m. CST

    The commercials

    by veritasses

    had the right idea... show an idyllic, sugary sweet, any-town USA and once that atmosphere's been set, gradually reveal the brutal, twisted secrets. It's too bad they decided to jump right in with the murder. This is one of those rare times I wished they would've taken a slower, more deliberate approach... maybe give us a hint that something weird is going on in the last 5-10 minutes to keep us excited until the next episode. <BR><BR> Anyway, the first opening minutes should be cut. It was poorly acted, directed and written and there's absolutely no need for it. And they would've been better off with 80% less dialog... I don't get why writers feel like they need to explain everyone and everything the minute they're on screen. I would've also used brighter colors to start the series and set it in any season but winter (though I get that they don't always have that luxury) but that's just me. <BR><BR> I'm not sure I'll be tuning in. That was awfully disappointing. On a positive note, I like a lot of the actors.

  • April 9, 2010, 12:34 a.m. CST

    MrNovember, heh, also my home town...

    by DanielKurland

    Small world. How's Annie INDEED.

  • April 9, 2010, 12:46 a.m. CST

    anotther Twin Peaks

    by v1cious

    why is this a bad thing?

  • April 9, 2010, 12:51 a.m. CST

    ROBRAM89

    by Hercules

    1) It's not going to happen. <p> 2) If it happened, it would never be as good. Even if they put Ron Moore or J.J. Abrams or Jason Katims behind it.

  • April 9, 2010, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Nothing like Twin Peaks

    by talkingmonkey

    I'm sorry but if those 14 minutes bring to mind Twin Peaks then you must be crazy, have not seen Twin Peaks, or somehow think surface details and genre tropes belong to any one show. If one wanted to make a more accurate, yet equally stupid and pointless comparison, it feels like American Gothic more than anything. What made Twin Peaks what is was(the surreal, the camp, the soap opera trappings, the undercurrent of darkness, and the clash between those different facets) wasn't anywhere near what I just watched. What I just watched was 'serialized mystery show', nothing great but far from some unwatchable mess. But I guess it is easy to dismiss it outright, especially with such a lazy comparison, than to actually put the ol' gray matter to use.

  • April 9, 2010, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Deadly Premonition

    by A_Banned_Apart

    TP was a great show, which lost its way quite a bit midway through the second season (though I think it rebounded rather well at the end). Not sure about Happy Town, but Xbox360 owners/Twin Peaks fans should give "Deadly Premonition" a look. Budget title ($20 US) with graphics to match the price, but brimming with personality and very reminiscent of (to the point of ripping off) TP.

  • April 9, 2010, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Happy 20th anniversary Twin Peaks! (Today!)

    by Zardoz

    I saw the pilot for Happy Town at Wondercon. It was early for me and I was not expecting anything from this show, and while the episode was watchable, it definitely needs work. The best part? Sam Neill, who brings the right amount of devil-ish charm here. (heh) The mystery of "The Magic Man" is intriguing, but the rest, not so much. While the producers definitely cite Twin Peaks as an influence on HT, it is decidedly NOT Twin Peaks in execution. But what show could be, right? (Well, maybe "Mulholland Dr.", if ABC had picked that up as a pilot, like they did with Twin Peaks) The producers claim to have an ending in mind for the show and promise to reveal the killer at the end of 7 episodes, I believe. Will this show make it? I'd like to see another episode, but it probably won't stay around...

  • April 9, 2010, 3:56 a.m. CST

    doomed the second they started playing "watching the detectives"

    by brabon300

    nothing says we are trying to hard than playing an elvis costello song that blares out a plot point<p> nothing like twin peaks...this shoves the horror right down your throat<p> shoot, even king spends 200 pages on character development before he kills someone off<p> might works if its a straight maxi series...wont if they want it to be ongoing<p> and twin peaks suffered thanks to the network forcing frost and lynch to listen to the idiot audience<P> the fun was traveling down the road through twin peaks...not what was at the end of that road

  • April 9, 2010, 3:57 a.m. CST

    and this seems more like eureka

    by brabon300

    if eureka was dark, depressing and filled with fucktards

  • April 9, 2010, 4:17 a.m. CST

    "I need to brush my teeth...."

    by Lacloake

    20 years on and I still haven't gotten over the finale of Twin Peaks; poor Dale is still stuck in the Black Lodge!! The floor pattern alone will have fried his brain by now!!

  • April 9, 2010, 4:53 a.m. CST

    Here's me giving no shits.

    by JT Kirk

    Zero. Not even one, certainly not two. No shits were given for "Happy Town". ABC marketing actually has to tell potential viewers the title is ironic, that is sad. I watched Twin Peaks when I was a kid because it was intriguing in style and concept from the second it was up there.

  • April 9, 2010, 6:35 a.m. CST

    from this week's entertainment weekly:

    by mrgreentheplant

    Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost, regarding a remake "We talked about it a few years ago, but it didn't feel right. You don't want to end up looking like the Who at the Super Bowl. Sometimes it's better to let things lie."

  • April 9, 2010, 7:05 a.m. CST

    Boy that sucked.

    by Mono

    I place the beginning of the suckage at the Wilhelm Scream; it rings out about 40 seconds into the show like a death knell of nuance, originality, and thought. These guys are such hacks. Sorry guys. If you don't know it by now, I hate to be the one to tell you. I give this 6 episodes tops.

  • April 9, 2010, 7:50 a.m. CST

    How many episodes have been ordered?

    by The McPoyle Clan

    Is this pre-summer filler, a burnoff, or a tryout for an in-season slot? Not going to waste the time to get into something that doesn't end organically.

  • April 9, 2010, 7:58 a.m. CST

    MrNovember and DanielKurland?

    by Mistahtibbs

    When they were filming a big chunk of the scenes in town there were the "?" with the halo over them painted all over town. When they found that girl dead at the mouth of the Ganny people were stopping the cops thinking the graffiti for the show was somehow related to the body and were becoming scared.

  • April 9, 2010, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Dale Cooper will see Laura Palmer again in five years

    by SpyGuy

    Twenty years down, five to go. How great would it be if TWIN PEAKS actually returns in 2015?

  • April 9, 2010, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Illyriia is in this?

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    Okay. Might watch. I enjoy the Fred.

  • April 9, 2010, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Five years...

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    Until the door the Black Lodge opens again.

  • April 9, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    The Magic Man

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    He's in my pocket. Reach in and find him. ;-) (The Magic Man gets bigger when you "capture" him.)

  • April 9, 2010, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Seriously? People liked Harper's Island?

    by thepoohguy

    I mean, it had a good premise, but the writers screwed it up with two killers! They got lazy and in that case ruined the show! It was just plain out stupid in the end and a complete waste of my time. Twin Peaks however, was masterful during the first season. The problem was if you missed an episode, you were screwed because you couldn't just pick it back up with how bizarre it was. Twin Peaks would totally thrive in the DVR/online electronic world.

  • April 9, 2010, 8:55 a.m. CST

    A Twin Peaks revival could be awesome.

    by tonagan

    However, with David Lynch at the helm, he'd probably defy everyone's expectations and they'd hate it, like they hated Fire Walk With Me (Wahhh! It's a prequel! It doesn't have the characters I love!)

  • April 9, 2010, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Looking back at Twin Peaks

    by Gseif7

    I like a lot of you was/am a huge Twin Peaks fan. At the time, I even think it was the best show ever to air on TV. Now, I question how well it holds up over the years. The undertones of the Laura Palmer mystery, and the investigation still hold up. As does the supernatural portions of it. I also loved the promise of Windom Earle's presence as the bad guy at the end of season 2, once the Laura Palmer story line had been somewhat solved. The stuff that doesn't hold up so well is the stuff with Nadine and her losing her memory, thinking she's still in high school, and her super strength. Whenever that is on, it's really quite unwatchable for me. Granted it's only one storyline out of many, but it was REALLY, REALLY bad stuff. There are other items that weren't all that great, but the Nadine stuff really sticks out. The show had an amazing cast though. I had forgotten Heather Graham and Billy Zane were both in the show late in it's second season.

  • April 9, 2010, 9:24 a.m. CST

    What was that show with Gary Cole as a sheriff..

    by skimn

    on CBS, I believe..and Shaun Cassidy was being hailed as the new voice of genre television...???

  • April 9, 2010, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Its got Tom Friendly AND Sam Neill in it. So I'm THERE

    by D.Vader

    This looks mucho interesting. I'll be there for the premiere.

  • April 9, 2010, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Skimn you're thinking of American Gothic

    by D.Vader

    From the creator of Eerie, Indiana. I loved both those shows.

  • April 9, 2010, 10:01 a.m. CST

    I know. I've been a fan of Sam Neill's since the

    by skimn

    third Omen (terrible ending, but some great set pieces AND genius Jerry Goldsmith score).

  • April 9, 2010, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Shaun Cassidy also did "Invasion"...

    by MisterE

    Shaun Cassidy also did "Invasion", and that was another show that died too early.

  • April 9, 2010, 12:07 p.m. CST

    American Gothic and Invasion

    by Bouncy X

    i have both those shows as part of my "shows that only lasted one season" collection. Gothic is completely out of order on the discs, though thats how they aired. i remember watching and thinking "the Dr. left last week and how he's back and no mention of it?" but least that show had some sort of ending. Invasion ended on a freakin cliffhanger, now we'll never know what happens to the hot daughter who looked like Mila Kunis.

  • April 9, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    I'll watch the first 2 episodes . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . and then decide. Hoping it really doesn't seem as much like a TP knock off as everybody's making it out to be. Nope, not watching the footage online.

  • April 9, 2010, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Mr Happy Town

    by johnnyangelheart

    See where Robin Williams' little guy lives.

  • April 9, 2010, 2:17 p.m. CST

    mrgreentheplant

    by brabon300

    frost is right....and that who performance was sad<p> some things just dont age well

  • April 9, 2010, 2:54 p.m. CST

    LOST is better than Twin Peaks. The proof

    by I_Sharted

    is in the pudding. Twin Peaks got canned after two seasons. Hardly what I'd call the best series they ever aired. Your opinion is one thing, the facts tell a completely different story Herc. You have really bad taste for a TV reviewer and it seems to be getting worse with time.

  • April 9, 2010, 3:23 p.m. CST

    I_Sharted...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...and so, by your logic, Gunsmoke is a far better show than Lost. <p> It's in the pudding, I hear.

  • April 9, 2010, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Red Ned

    by I_Sharted

    Apparently to a majority of people Gunsmoke was a better show. Although you have to then take into account that when Gunsmoke aired there were three major networks and cable didn't exist. Not exactly apples to oranges is it? In fact, Twin Peaks benefited from fewer viewers watching cable channels due to cable availability being less wide spread and satellite viewers were hardly a factor in 1990. My logic is fucking spot on. Yours on the other hand is terribly flawed. Fucking idiot.

  • April 9, 2010, 4:32 p.m. CST

    I_Sharted...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...really? Then name the successful genre series with season (or multi-season) long story arcs that were on before Twin Peaks. And actually, outside of nighttime soaps like Dallas or Dynasty name any successful primetime shows with such a format that ran before Twin Peaks. <p> Since you want to call names and bring in this sort of nonsense let's also look at what Twin Peaks actual ratings were. I wouldn't even bother bringing this up if you weren't acting in such a childish manner, but at that time Twin Peaks ratings were a 7 and its share around 12...and it was up against Cheers. So you're pretty well wrong in every way you could be. <p> Now there are a lot of things that would play into this, including that popularity doesn't equal quality, that expectations for network shows were much higher when Twin Peaks aired, that there was much more resistance both to genre and serialized shows at the time...and we could discuss all of this. <p> Sum it up in an abstract though, you're pudding is smelly and it tastes like rotted fish.

  • April 9, 2010, 5 p.m. CST

    Sharted: let's compare apples to apples.

    by A_Banned_Apart

    By your logic, "Enterprise" is a better show than TOS. I don't think Scott Bakula's mom believes that.

  • April 9, 2010, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Red Ned

    by I_Sharted

    LOST was up against the behemoth that is American Idol for a large portion of it's run. The childishness started when you made your smartass pudding remark. Alright maybe we judge by critical acclaim then? The fact remains that Twin Peaks barely held on for two seasons and I never said it was bad i just said that Lost is a better show. The Fugitive did it before Twin Peaks if you want an example of a season/multi season story arc. That pudding is from your wife's pussy btw.

  • April 9, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST

    If you watch TP and quit once the killer is caught....

    by OutsideChance

    ...it is the greatest miniseries in TV history. It definitely fell apart in a lot of ways after that.

  • April 9, 2010, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Lost IS a better show than Twin Peaks

    by gotilk

    But I_sharted IS what he is accusing others of being.

  • April 9, 2010, 11:39 p.m. CST

    without twin peaks...there is no fucking lost

    by brabon300

    wish all you kids would shut the fuck up<p> and not any of its 6 seasons can compare with the first of twin peaks

  • April 9, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST

    I_Sharted....you have never seen the fugitive

    by brabon300

    have you?<p> it is basically episodic tv with a major theme running through it<p> it was indeed brilliant tv, but it wasnt genre changing

  • April 10, 2010, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Don't judge this show on the 1st 14 minutes.

    by chewyou812

    I saw the pilot at Wondercon & liked it quite a bit. It's got a fun kind of mysteriousness to it but def picks up in the 2nd half of episode with Sam Neil's presence.

  • April 10, 2010, 1:09 a.m. CST

    I freaking love LOST but...

    by Zardoz

    ...Twin Peaks is SO much better! Peaks is, bar none, the best TV show ever. (LOST is second ;-)

  • April 10, 2010, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Season 1 of Twin Peaks was

    by gotilk

    one of the best seasons of TV, ever. There were some moments, especially toward the end of the season, that were the creepiest, scariest things I've ever seen on a TV screen. (aside from Fix news)

  • April 10, 2010, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Hard to say what the best show EVER is...

    by Mono

    But I'll give it a shot! I actually completely agree with many in this thread. If you stop watching Twin Peaks after they catch the killer, it is the best thing that has ever been on television. I like LOST an awful lot, but it has never achieved the same degree of dizzying thrills that Twin Peaks occasionally (in certain spectacular moments) delivered. In the end, I think I might end up in the Lost camp ... everything hinges on the ending. If it sucks, forget it. If it's amazing, then in the end Lost might have been better than Twin Peaks overall, because Twin Peaks got really lousy between the revelation of the killer and the finale (which was superb)... But I don't think Lost will ever have had an episode or a moment as good as the first season of Twin Peaks.

  • April 10, 2010, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Oh -- but I should add

    by Mono

    I'm not saying either of these shows are the best show ever. There isn't a "best show ever" -- only our various favorite shows. It's nothing you can be objective about. There is no way to measure "best".

  • April 10, 2010, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Twin Peaks...huh?

    by m_prevette

    Wha...people still care about it? Umm you do recall it self destructed before the end of the first season, right ? Once it became clear that Frost and Lynch didn't care about telling a story and just wanted to see how much weird shit they could cram into an episode ... which didn't take long ... it was doomed. Mystery and surrealism are great but this was one of the worst examples of serial storytelling ever. Ever. EVER.

  • April 10, 2010, 4:02 p.m. CST

    "No Can Doofus!"

    by joebrooks

    My television box has been missing the literary candy that is known as "from the creators of 'October Road'" for way to long! I wait in earnest for more special one-liners.

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