If you are looking for Detective Stabler, look elsewhere. Syfy’s new show Happy! will have Christopher Meloni as a police officer, but not the stoic, tough-on-crime kind you might be used to. Based on the graphic novel by Grant Morrison, Happy! follows the story of a young girl kidnapped by Santa, whose imaginary friend named Happy tries to save her by any means necessary. Strap in folks because it gets wild.

At the New York Comic Con panel at the Hammerstein ballroom, Syfy treated loyal fans to a screening of the first full episode of the new series, which is slated to premiere on December 6, 2017 at 10pm. Audiences were introduced to Hailey who, at a concert for a children’s show called The Wishees, leaves her mom’s side and is abducted by a not-so-great Santa. 

Thankfully Hailey is not alone when she is abducted. We soon find out that her imaginary friend, a small blue unicorn-horse-Pegasus creature by the name of Happy, knows where she is and is determined to find someone to help her. This sounds cute, but the show runners pull no punches as they jump immediately into the world of disgraced detective Nick Sax, who is the opposite of a small blue unicorn-horse-Pegasus creature. 

He is very unhappy. 

Throughout the first episode we get to see a little more about Nick Sax and start to piece together why he is the way he is. He is a drunk, on the verge of heart failure, and apparently freelances as a gun-for-hire, which gets him in a bit of trouble. Nick’s world is a brutal one, full of bullets and blood, and when he is approached by Happy he thinks he is hallucinating. 

Eventually, Nick reluctantly agrees to work with Happy to save Hailey after a truth bomb is dropped at the end of the first episode. To figure it all out, you’ll have to tune in on December 6 to get the full scoop. 

On the panel stage was show runner and original writer Grant Morrison, joined by star Christopher Meloni, and writers Brian Taylor and Patrick Macmanus. Patton Oswalt, the voice of Happy, joined in in spirit via a short video greeting to thank everyone for tuning in and watching. It was particularly delightful to see Morrison at the head of the series and hear from him since he was the writer of the original graphic novel. 

Happy! is not a show for kids, and the creators on stage made that abundantly clear. Morrison’s vision for the novel and now the television show has always been to play with contrasts. He wanted the show to be about “negativity and positivity, and the sparks that fly when they come together.” This came out in the first episode not only in content, but in the direction and imagery on the show. You have a bleeding, broken Nick Sax beside a cheerful, optimistic blue horse. 

It does not get anymore opposite than that. 

The team was excited to get Patton Oswalt because he brought the perfect balance to Happy. Christopher Meloni shared that he enjoyed playing the antihero, especially in a world that is “very fantastical.” It was clear from the energy on the panel stage that the writing team really has a lot of fun with the show, even in the midst of dealing with some very graphic violence. 

At the end of it, the writers said that Happy! is a redemptive story, in the midst of what they said was the “worst Christmas ever.” 

I’m not typically a fan of graphic shows, but for Happy! I might make an exception because of how well done the graphic scenes are. There is blood, there are cuts, there are threats of dismemberment, but there is enough of a – as Meloni said, “fantastical” – spin to the show that it breaks from reality enough to make it strangely humorous. I am looking forward to what comes next. 

Be sure to tune in to Syfy on December 6, 2017 at 10pm to catch the premiere of Happy!

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