So, you’re looking for a show to watch and you’re just so over the constant holiday cheer. It’s everywhere. From commercials to shopping aisles to movie choices, bah humbug. Well, if you missed out on the series “Happy!” when it first came out on the SyFy channel last year, now’s your chance to catch up on Netflix (also available on Amazon Prime).
Based on the short, four-issue comic series, “Happy!” is anything but what the title implies. But it does center around Christmas and one of the main villains is a child-snatching Santa. Created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Darick Robertson and starring Christopher Meloni (“Law and Order: SVU”) and Patton Oswalt (“The King of Queens”), “Happy!’ is a modern LSD trip on film.
Rumor has it that Meloni was the funniest man off camera of the entire cast of “Law and Order: SVU.” Although Meloni is not well known for his comedic approach, he shines with all his dryness in “Happy!” and Patton Oswalt is on point as the crazy, make-believe sidekick.
What makes this series unique is the live action and animation mixed with crass dark humor. Happy (Oswalt) is the central character of the show, who happens to be an imaginary friend of a child named Hailey in the form of a blue unicorn. A “Very Bad Santa” kidnaps Hailey and Happy must find someone to help. That “someone” is Hailey’s father, Nick Sax (Meloni), a disgraced police detective with far too many vices.
What ensues is a play on sanity as Nick struggles to come to terms with a hallucination of this make-believe friend that only he can see and hear and who is decidedly naive and far more wholesome than Nick can stand. Happy struggles with the concept that this wreck of a man can help him find Hailey. Crackers and jam, what a mess!
This is not a show for kids. Not with suicide, strippers, foul language and murder as themes. The show is filled with “What did I just watch?” moments. If you can survive the first five minutes you’ll get the flavor of what’s to come. It’s not pretty but strangely satisfying. The cast of characters includes a gangster, a cockroach, a reality TV housewife, a mother, a psychopath and a deranged Santa as well as the titular animated character of Happy.
It’s weird, it’s twisted and it’s just the kind of thing to binge watch when you’re over the holiday season and just want to escape, but you may lose a little sanity along the way.