Just concluding its second season on the SyFy Channel, Haven has developed a strong and loyal group of fans who are transfixed each Friday to their TVs. Some are former X-Files fans who have been hopping around from show to show and finally feel they have something that is rockin' their paranormal socks off like Mulder and Scully did in the 1990s. While Haven is no X-Files, I proudly claim myself a fan. I've heard I might be missing out on Fringe or Eureka, but Haven is the odd, creepy, and humorous show that grabbed me from the start.
Audrey Parker is an FBI agent with a questionable past who arrives in Haven, a small town in New England, on a random case and comes across a photograph from twenty or thirty years before featuring an unnamed woman who looks a lot like her. Obviously it's the mother she's never known and Audrey decides to remain in town to uncover this mystery. She soon learns that the town has its own secret with "The Troubles," which are paranormal events that crop up every few years, tormenting those who are afflicted. With Nathan, the town cop, to Duke the shady criminal slowly getting away from his own past, and Vince and Dave, two crotchety old curmudgeons that seem to have a little bit of insight into everything, the town's "troubles" slowly come to light and become the very "thing" they have to battle. While other people may be affected by The Troubles, Audrey is the only one who isn't and it's this immunity that helps to fight and/or cure those who are afflicted.
The show is loosely based on Stephen King's short story, The Colorado Kid. And after finishing the story last night, loosely based is exactly how to describe its association with the TV show. In fact, I have no idea how that book led to the TV show at all. I'm glad it did, but I am scratching my head and still wondering how it all came about.
With The Colorado Kid, Stephen King's novella takes place in Moose Lookit Island off the coast of Maine. Steffi, a young intern who is spending the summer working at the town newspaper (run by Vince and Dave, who are the only two characters in the story that are on the show), is having lunch with them at The Grey Gull (okay, that's also in the show) along with a reporter from the Boston Globe. The Globe reporter is trying to get a series of feature stories to run in anticipation of the spooky Halloween season and is disappointed that the stories he hears from Vince and Dave are ones he's already heard before. But it's when he leaves that Steffi probes more with the two old guys and finally gets them to tell her a story that has, twenty-five years later, still haunted them.
A mystery it is, but a full story, it isn't. A dead guy on a beach, a Russian coin, and a pack of smokes is all that's on him. He's a John Doe for sixteen months before he gets identified but no one understands why this guy from Colorado is found dead in Maine. No business or personal reason brought him out there, nor do any financial transactions show how he got there. He's just dead on a beach and that's all there is to it.
However, let's face it, Stephen King is usually a pretty good storyteller and through the voices of Vince and Dave, he doesn't really fail on this one. I write really because some will definitely argue that there isn't a story with this one, and they might be right. If you're looking for that literary bow to tie this one all up and give you that a-ha moment, it's not going to happen. It's, as King writes it in his afterword, more about the fact that all of us enjoy a good mystery in life, whether we end up finding the answer or not. And isn't that true? No one really knows if UFOs are either piloted by little green men or if the military is having a good ole chuckle every time they test new spacecraft, but either way, we thrive off these "what ifs." We like to toss our theories around and see what feels right. That's what The Colorado Kid does. It's a simple reminder that sometimes we just like to be told a good story, even if the ending is whatever we make it out to be.
But if you're a Haven fan looking to see how the TV show came about, forget it. Save for two characters, a bar, and a closed off town to outsiders, there's really nothing to tie one to the other.