When ABC put Happy Town on hiatus in May, many assumed that it had been cancelled and wouldn’t be returning. The ratings were pretty terrible and ABC has since canceled the mystery series. However, the network had always planned to bring it back after a three week break. Now that it’s back, will we get some answers or be left hanging?
Happy Town follows the residents of a small town in Minnesota who are terrorized by a killing spree from the mysterious “Magic Man.” The cast includes Sam Neill, M.C. Gainey, Geoff Stults, Lauren German, Amy Acker, Steven Weber, Ben Schnetzer, Sarah Gadon, Jay Paulson, and Robert Wisdom.
Because viewers have been burned so many times over the years (FlashForward anyone?), people are understandably very reluctant to get hooked on a new series that has lots of ongoing mysteries. Happy Town won’t be back for season two but loyal viewers thankfully won’t be left totally in the dark.
The cast and creators addressed viewer concerns in several early interviews and said that there will be some closure by the end of the season. The identity of the mysterious “Magic Man” will be revealed to the audience in episode eight but that doesn’t mean that Tommy Conroy (Stults) and some of the other characters will necessarily find out.
Executive producer Josh Appelbaum told IF that many people on set really got into the mystery. He said, “The crew had this betting pool as to who the “Magic Man” was. The first two episodes are what they are, but the third and fourth episodes, they started getting obsessed with it. The great thing was, of the hundred and fifty crew members, three people got it right, which was perfect…. So it’s an answer that’s there if you’re thinking about it and you’re playing along smartly, but I think it’ll blow most people’s minds.”
Stults echoed those feelings and said, “I’ve never been on a show before where people, even crew members, gave a s***. Every week, more of the crew people were asking for scripts so they could read them. I’m telling you, between every take, people were gathered around the monitor constantly talking about, ‘Well I have this idea’ and ‘I have that idea.’ It took on a life of its own, so much so that there was an office pool going to see who could figure out who the “Magic Man” was.”
He continued, “Everybody had to sign a confidentiality thing and there was this whole idea that we going to not tell the crew and just shoot with a skeleton crew and not let anybody know, but the crew got so up in arms, because they really got invested and they really felt like they were a part of this and they wanted to know as well. They were pissed that they weren’t going to get told. So we decided, Josh and Scott and Andre and I, we decided, ‘We’ve gotta tell these guys. They’re a part of it.’ They wanted to know, so we had a whole presentation and it was great. There were actually a few people who had guessed it and I was really surprised.”
Stults told TV Guide, “[The audience] will be surprised. And, not only that but, once the audience finds out, they’ll be like ‘Ohh, I can’t believe I didn’t think of that’ or ‘Oh, I can’t believe I didn’t see that.’ Because there are clues. And the same thing happened to me, once I found out, I was like, ‘You idiot! How could you not see that? I was there everyday, right in front of me!’ so it was pretty earth-shattering in that way.”
Had the series been renewed for a second season, Stults has said that the “Magic Man” reveal would have really shaken things up and Happy Town would have gone in a new direction.
What do you think? Will you still watch even though the show’s been cancelled? Any guesses on the identity of the “Magic Man?”
Image courtesy ABC.