‘Haven’ debuts on Syfy tonight…

…and I’m sorry to say that it’s a bit of a snooze, judging by the premiere episode, which I had the chance to watch in rough cut. More than a bit of a snooze, actually. FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) travels to the small Maine seaside town of Haven to, she hopes, recapture a recently escaped convict who called the burg home, only to arrive just after he’s found murdered on the beach. But she sticks around, of course, because… well, just because there wouldn’t be a show if she turned around and left. Something strange and nagging is keeping her here, where she plays a low-key Mulder to the low-key Scully of local cop Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant) in the face of some mildly weird goings-on. Fog rolling in? In Maine? Never!

No one can get too excited about anything, it seems, even when stuff more momumentally weird starts to unfurl. Haven, it seems, is an actual haven for people with supernatural powers… and no one seems to notice. Did that chick really just, like, hurl a tornado at that other dude? If Eh, whatev is the vibe the pilot is aiming for when weather witches call up tornadoes, it hits dead center. Imagine a rest home for elderly X-Men, but even duller, since no one is really elderly here, just drugged, perhaps. No, wait, it’s like that small town near the other coast, Eureka, except without all the humor and surprise and warmth and gosh-darn gee-whiz geeky niceness that makes Eureka a really fun place to hang out in. (Thank goodness Eureka returns tonight, too, at 9pm Eastern, just before Haven at 10pm.)
We’re told this is based on Stephen King’s novel The Colorado Kid [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon Canada] [Amazon U.K.]. Very loosely based. I suppose King’s name will survive being attached to this: “boring” and “Stephen King” has never gone together before, so it’s unlikely to stick now. (More about the show and its background at its official site.)

I’ll give Haven a couple more episodes: maybe it’ll pick up. But I’m not thrilled that that’s gonna feel like a chore, a duty, and not something I’ll particularly be looking forward to. Maybe Syfy is preparing us for the moment this autumn when Friday night gets taken over by wrestling. Maybe Syfy will be all like, Hey, we could be showing you Haven — do you want that?

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