Review: Happy! “19 Hours and 13 Minutes”

A lot can happen in just one day.

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Things are only getting weirder here on Happy! Nick Sax, who has just pooped out a Wishie he haplessly ate thinking it was yogurt, is now hallucinating his way around the city. His fevered mind keeps looking for answers, but ends up just running in circles as he finds himself in insane situation after situation. Eventually, his hallucinations lead him on a journey to find himself, and he starts to come to the conclusion that he needs to be his old violent self. This conflicts with his own desire to be a good parent, however, and to make Hailey’s birthday, which is today, something special to enjoy.

Meanwhile, Meredith continues her investigation of Sonny Shine with the aid of Dayglo Doug. They manage to corner what they think is a Wishie, but turns out to be just an extra in one of their weird costumes. Meredith dons the costume and starts to do some undercover work behind the scenes of Sonny’s show, leaving Doug alone. This would ultimately prove to be Doug’s downfall, as he heads on stage to confront Sonny about his past. When he shows Sonny that he has the tape that damned his career, Sonny beats him to death with his microphone, bringing his sad tale to an end.

Happy, who has been separated from Nick, is going on his own escapade. Realizing that it’s Hailey’s birthday, he heads to Hailey’s school to try and give her the best birthday possible. Things go badly, however, when Hailey is mysteriously given a cake made of poop that gives her traumatic flashbacks to her time in the captivity of Creepy Santa. Happy blames himself for failing Hailey, and drowns his sorrows at a bar with other imaginary friends. There, he gets into a bar fight, but ultimately leaves with a bo-beep imaginary friend.

Meanwhile, Amanda continues struggling with the strange symptoms of madness that are slowly taking over her life. She forgets Hailey’s birthday while doing whippets, and starts to realize she’s slowly descending into something terrible. And in prison, Scaramucci continues his rise to power by using his demonic possession to convince the prisoners to follow him in a cult-like fashion. His other, mortal side, shows however, and he asks one of his followers to kill him should he be lost to his demonic possession.

Our Take:

I’d have to say that the biggest issue I’m having with Happy! this season is just how loopy it’s structure is and how unnecessary some of it’s characters feel. The first season had a much more straightforward plot that took Nick Sax from point A to point B on a wild goose chase to save his daughter. It was cut and dry, with everyone having something to do, which allowed the show to go wild with it’s execution and demonstrate just how much fun excessive violence can be. However, this season we’re going neck deep into this complex conspiracy plot and, in particular to this episode, Nick Sax’s bizarre drug trip. I understand his relationship with Hailey is important, but it doesn’t feel like the kind of conflict that fits this story. The main dynamic needs to be between Nick and Happy, and that doesn’t feel as strong here.

Happy, the other essential half of the duo that gives this series it’s name, just doesn’t have as much purpose in this season. He spends most of his time being just a little Jiminy Cricket on Nick’s shoulder, instead of helping him push the plot forward. And their relationship doesn’t feel as real because even though Happy is disapproving of some of the things that Nick does, he still remains his loyal companion for the sake of the greater good. In essence, Happy has been pushed out of his own show somewhat.

That’s not to say that there isn’t an entertaining episode in here. There certainly is, but it’s with reservation. A show like this can walk the line between being brilliant and ridiculous, and that’s a tough line to stay balanced on. A few of these side plots should be cut down for the sake of preserving focus on what matters, and keeping the characters who are the most interesting. Dayglo Doug is amusing, but by no means as intriguing as what’s happening to Scaramucci and his revolution forming within the walls of his prison.

There’s still a lot of season to go in Happy!, and a lot more fun to be had, I just want it to be more involved in it’s core concept and to stop faffing about so much. It feels as if a lot of the episode is padding for time, dragging out the episodes so that it can make a full season out of half a season’s worth of content. Filler is never flattering.

Erich Hau

Erich is a northern California based writer on the front lines of the nerd frontier. When he's not burning the midnight oil he enjoys musicals, smooth jazz, and a good cup of dark roast. Cream and sugar not included.

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