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'Haven' - Audrey Parker's Day Off

Series gets its obligatory 'Groundhog's Day' episode out of the way

I had the strange feeling I had seen this episode before. Oh, that's right, I have. Well, it wasn't "Haven" -- it might have been "Supernatural," "Daybreak," "Eureka," or any other science fiction or fantasy themed show for that matter. All of them eventually give in and recycle this cliched plot at least once. A day just keeps on repeating itself, this time, with a different person dying with each time.

Audrey (Emily Rose), wakes up on a Tuesday morning that simply will not end. Each day, someone dies. One day it's a child, the next it's Duke (Eric Balfour), then Nathan (Lucas Bryant), then Chris (Jason Priestly). All seem to rattle Audrey, who seems a bit frazzled the entire episode. Either that or viewers just saw the limits of Emily Rose's acting abilities. Actually, I think it is a little of both

There really is not much more to say. While it wasn't awful, it certainly wasn't original. It was simply another "Groundhog's Day"-style episode. Apparently, fans of genre based entertainment are doomed to live through one of these episodes on every program that comes out, and we all just survived "Haven's."

Points Of Interest

Since when do the Red Sox and Yankees play a game in the morning? All of the deaths happened just after noon, and the Red Sox just finished staging a miraculous comeback when down by 10 runs. An average game lasts about three hours. One in which at least 20 runs were scored would likely last much longer. That game would have had to start at least four hours earlier. No major league teams play at 8 a.m. Heck, my Toledo Mud Hens have a few early games to let schools attend, and even they start at 10:30.

"Supernatural's" "Mystery Spot" remains the best "Groundhog's Day"-style episodes I have ever seen. It is downright hilarious at times. This episode was a bit too serious and could have used a bit of levity. "Groundhog's Day" was, after all, a comedy.

What Worked

They actually mention the Bill Murray's classic film "Groundhog's Day" a couple of times. Perhaps this was a way to make it look like they were paying homage, as opposed to directly ripping it off. While it is hard not to be critical, all of these shows do put their own spin on the story. Murray's classic has become ingrained in modern culture, and it has become somewhat of an archetype.

What Didn't Work

The acting in this episode was not particularly sharp. Eric Balfour and Emily Rose are not going to get Emmy nominations any time soon, nor do I have terribly high expectations, but both were guilty of overacting to the part of annoyance.

Is it just me, or was there a terminal lack of chemistry between Audrey and Chris? Nothing against Mr. Priestly, but his character has done little but clutter the series. Two guys vying for Audrey were plenty. Even as stunning as she is, three is a bit ridiculous.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

"Haven" stars Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour. "Audrey Parker's Day Off" was written by Lilla Zuckerman and Nora Zuckerman. It was directed by Fred Gerber.

"Haven" airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on the Syfy.

About the Author

Dr. Dan Compora is an associate professor at the University of Toledo. He specializes in science-fiction and fantasy literature and folklore. He lives in Lambertville, Mich.
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