When I got a sneak peek at Happy! back in 2017, I was head over heels for it. After a delightfully gonzo first season, I was eager to see where the show could go. The graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson had a pretty definitive ending, so this second season was going to deliver something totally fresh and unexpected.
Needless to say, Happy! is just as unrelentingly insane, hilarious, and full of twisted charm as season one. In fact, Grant Morrison and Brian Taylor seem almost gleeful at being able to divest themselves of the source material and start building out a newer and nuttier world. Where season one was being propelled by an accessible mystery — who kidnapped Hailey Hansen and why? — this new season is getting bigger and bolder with its puzzles. The show is taking the stranger threads left dangling from season one and really delving into them with full force. What has possessed Blue? What is Sonny Shine’s relation to those strange creatures? How does the world of the imaginary friends work? What’s the deal with taking holidays and using them for some nefarious purpose?
Yes, it should be noted that this season is taking a swing at Easter and it’s pretty damn great. I don’t want to spoil all the outrageous gags that the show has in store, but suffice to say that you won’t be able to look at chocolate bunnies the same way ever again. Look, this is a show that opens its season with a bunch of nuns running through New York City with dynamite vests strapped to their chests. If you aren’t here for the kind of excess that Happy! is delivering, you’re never going to be able to get onboard with it. And that’s a bummer because you’ll be missing out on a musical number starring Ann-Margret and a bunch of tasered security guards. The demented abandon of this show even gives Preacher a run for its money.
What’s really wonderful about this second season is that the show is determined to make its emotional core work. Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) has given up all his vices in order to help cement a better relationship with his daughter, Hailey. Of course, he ends up getting sucked back into a world of murder, booze, and all around depravity. But, it’s great to see him really try to make things work. There’s a sequence with Sax and Hailey at a horse racing establishment that is goofy, sweet, and heartbreaking all at the same time. It’s a real testament to the show that it can be as raucous and juvenile as it wants while still making the characters matter.
A lot of that has to do with casting. I really hope people are paying attention to the unbridled fun that Christopher Meloni is having as Nick Sax. It’s got to be one of the best roles of his career and that’s saying something. Plus, we get to explore a lot more of characters like Happy (Patton Oswalt), Sonny Shine (Christopher Fitzgerald devours every scene he’s in), Blue (Ritchie Coster), Smoothie (Patrick Fischler), Amanda (Medina Senghore), and Meredith (Lili Mirojnick). This second season has a really great handle on how to balance its ensemble so that everyone gets their time in the spotlight. It doesn’t hurt that the whole cast is on the show’s particularly deranged wavelength, so no one feels out of place or miscast.
I wish I could gush about all the specifics I saw from Happy! season two, but you really need to see this for yourself so it doesn’t sound like I’m making it up. This is the best show on television by a fuckin’ mile and I really hope people will jump on the bandwagon with this season. The first season is available on Netflix US and I urge you to check it out. Happy! is a maniacal work of genius that I need to see more of. If season two is any indication, this show is only going to get better and better.
Happy! season two premieres March 27 on SYFY.