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View Full Version : Haven - what the heck was that?



Paul Beardsley
2010-Oct-11, 08:18 AM
We've just got the TV series Haven over here. Clare and I watched it last night.

Early on, Maine got a mention, so I wondered if it was Stephen King related. A minute later, the credits said it was inspired by his novel The Colorado Kid. I haven't read much King, and I haven't read that, but I know that when he's good, he's really good, so I decided to stick with it.

FBI agent Audrey Parker is driving along the main cliff road to Haven when suddenly, for no apparent reason, a big chasm appears in the road in front of her. She swerves to avoid it, and ends up with her car half on-half off the cliff, seesawing if she moves.

Suddenly young police officer Nathan appears on the passenger side of the car. Some daft banter ensues - presumably it's deliberately daft as they refuse to acknowledge the peril. Nathan makes no attempt to pull the car back from the edge, even though a very small movement away from the edge would probably make it safe. Instead, he goes round to the driver door, pulls Audrey out, and they watch the now-empty car fall off the cliff.

There is then a short sequence in which they hold each other at gunpoint until both realises the other is a cop and therefore entitled to carry a gun. This prompts an amusing interchange. Then Nathan briefly explains that the disappearing strip of road is a result of it being built on limestone.

And that's it. Apart from a supposedly spooky bit right at the end when a much bigger strip of collapsing road seems to pursue Audrey's departing boss, there is no other reference to the road collapsing. Nobody seems to do anything about it, but nobody seems to be inconvenienced either.

In the town of Haven, there are some weird characters around, and some apparently supernatural events, including dramatic weather changes. The first of these is the descent of a very thick mist. This is clearly real, and not just in the minds of the main characters, and yet cyclists and lorry drivers make no attempt to slow down - you know, the way human beings normally do when the visibility has dropped to zero.

Finally, there's the acting. Normally when you see acting of that standard, you hear lines like, "I have come to fix your boiler, miss." "Oh good. It's so hot in here. Do you mind if I take my t-shirt off?" You can see how chemistry between characters is intended, but doesn't happen because they are so unbelievable.

Still, at least it's bad in an entertaining way.

Tinaa
2010-Oct-11, 10:29 AM
I've been watching the series. It is still pretty bad and pretty weird. I keep watching anyway. It is entertaining.

inflector
2010-Oct-11, 02:50 PM
Steven King adaptations are a decidedly mixed lot. Some of the worst acting and directing and some of the best. Contrast The Shining, the Shawshank Redemption, or the original Carrie with Maximum Overdrive, The Stand or The Lawnmower Man.

One just never knows.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-11, 02:59 PM
The Lawnmower Man doesn't count, the only bit they kept of the King story was the title.

Fazor
2010-Oct-11, 03:24 PM
Steven King adaptations are a decidedly mixed lot. Some of the worst acting and directing and some of the best. Contrast The Shining, the Shawshank Redemption, or the original Carrie with Maximum Overdrive, The Stand or The Lawnmower Man.
One just never knows.
I hadn't realized Shawshank was a King adaptation. Make that one King adaptation I enjoy, and too many to count that I don't. I'd also say that 'The Green Mile' was done well, but it's just not my cup-of-tea. (And I'd also point out that I've never seen 'The Shining', which is why I can't count it, though have always just sort of automatically counted it as a good movie.)

The words, "Based off a novel by Stephen King" sort of strike me the same way the phrase, "An M Night Shyamalan Film" does.

Tog
2010-Oct-11, 03:36 PM
King has an open deal where a lot of his short story rights are up for sale for $1 US to anyone wishing to buy them to make a film.

Dollar Babies (http://www.stephenking.com/dollarbabies.php)

Quality may vary. A lot.

As for Haven, the Gf watches it. I've seen a few and the feeling I get is that it's trying very hard to be X-Files, without bothering with any of the "hard science". So, basically, Fringe.

Fazor
2010-Oct-11, 03:52 PM
I loathe Fringe. I watched the first one and thought, even after watching it, "Oh boy! A new X-Files, but from the good 'ol days!" Then I watched the second episode and thought, "Oh. Didn't I just see this last week?" And then parts of the third and forth episode were enough to show me the show was going nowhere. And the acting was . . . "sub par".

Tog
2010-Oct-11, 04:00 PM
You made it about as far as I did. It's like it went down the bad SF show cliche checklist. Gotta wonder if Fox had first dibs or if SyFy looked at it first hand had a sudden attack of standards.

Fazor
2010-Oct-11, 04:33 PM
I don't want to get too off-topic about Fringe, but the thing that grated on me the most was that I caught bits of a handful of episodes where they spent the whole time trying to "figure out this mYsTeRy! OoOOo!" only to default back to the same "solution" as in all the other episodes. If it works that well, why not just start with that?

As for 'Haven', all I remember seeing are some vague trailers. It sort of reminds me of the plot/setting for some new game that's supposed to be in development, though I can't think of the name. Last I'd heard, they hadn't released a whole lot of details on it, just some viral marketing stuff.

inflector
2010-Oct-11, 04:38 PM
The Lawnmower Man doesn't count, the only bit they kept of the King story was the title.

Well, unfortunately, I almost paid to see it in the theatre because it shared the same title as the short story. So I'm still counting it.

King even sued to get the title changed because it had nothing to do with the short story.

Jim
2010-Oct-11, 04:51 PM
From what I can tell (haven't read the original), Haven is a follow-on to The Colorado Kid.

Haven is a small town in Maine that went through a period the called The Troubles when "strange things happened." The FBI agent, Audrey Parker, is a dead ringer for a young woman named Lucy who was in Haven during The Troubles. Lucy may be Audrey's long-missing mother, so Audrey stays in Haven to investigate.

There have been better series, but it is entertaining. And, while you know there will be "strange things happening," there are some interesting plot twists.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-11, 04:58 PM
As for 'Haven', all I remember seeing are some vague trailers. It sort of reminds me of the plot/setting for some new game that's supposed to be in development, though I can't think of the name. Last I'd heard, they hadn't released a whole lot of details on it, just some viral marketing stuff.
Hmmm, Eric Balfour's been in quite a lot of one-or-one-half season long, then cancelled, series. I wonder if Haven is going to be yet another one.

The Backroad Astronomer
2010-Oct-11, 10:17 PM
As for Haven, the Gf watches it. I've seen a few and the feeling I get is that it's trying very hard to be X-Files, without bothering with any of the "hard science". So, basically, Fringe.
They made a joke reference to the X-files, Audrey says something like "you had that guy chasing after ufos" to her boss at the FBI.

The Backroad Astronomer
2010-Oct-11, 10:18 PM
The show is set in Maine but filmed in Nova Scotia.

Jim
2010-Oct-12, 01:49 AM
Wherever Haven is, that is beautiful scenery.

Van Rijn
2010-Oct-12, 03:48 AM
I hadn't realized Shawshank was a King adaptation. Make that one King adaptation I enjoy, and too many to count that I don't. I'd also say that 'The Green Mile' was done well, but it's just not my cup-of-tea. (And I'd also point out that I've never seen 'The Shining', which is why I can't count it, though have always just sort of automatically counted it as a good movie.)


I liked The Shining, but I think a large part of it is due to Kubrik's influence on the "feel" of the movie. It seems very different from most other movies based on King stories to me.



The words, "Based off a novel by Stephen King" sort of strike me the same way the phrase, "An M Night Shyamalan Film" does.

Same here. I'm not a fan of King's writing (I've never managed to finish an King novel, and remember reading some short stories, and more than once wondering what the point was after reaching the end of the story). There aren't many "King" movies I've really liked (The Shining is one, and another is Creepshow - a "B" movie, but a fun one). So, for me, having his name on something isn't a good thing.

As for this show - I tried to watch a couple of episodes and made it through one. It didn't keep my interest.