When this series was first announced, it sounded like it would be a generous blend of "Twin Peaks" and "X-Files". Certainly the early promotion fit the mold. But now that the show has actually begun, does the pilot live up to the promise?
Other reviewers have already given the consensus answer: not quite. If anything, it is a decidedly mediocre start to a series that hasn't quite made a case for its own existence. From what I've seen so far in the pilot, the concept seems fairly limited. The idea of a town that stands as a refuge for those with supernatural power is all well and good; it's a direction that the last season of "Heroes" could and should have taken.
So far, my problem is with the main characters. Agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) does seem to be a very good agent. I never felt like she was competent enough to conduct an investigation into a missing sock, let alone the case at the center of this story. Her flippant attitude is supposed to be endearing and witty, but it just makes her look petulant.
Officer Wournos (Lucas Bryant) is mildly interesting, but he doesn't seem to have too much personality yet. The writers have Parker and Wournos act as though they make a modern Cooper/Truman or Mulder/Scully partnership, but that hasn't been earned yet. And while Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour) and Marion Caldwell (Nicole de Boer) were much better on the whole, they didn't really bring enough to the table.
But the real problem is that the town itself isn't strange and unusual enough. Twin Peaks as a place was full of the bizarre and mind-boggling, almost to the point of excess. It also had a thematic cohesiveness to it that "Haven" utterly lacks. There do seem to be a few ongoing mysteries and conspiracies to explore, in terms of the Colorado Kid and her true purpose in being led to Haven, but it doesn't connect on the same level as, say, Fox Mulder's ongoing search for his sister.
It's certainly possible that the show will grow over the course of the summer season; it wouldn't be the first capable series to have a terrible pilot and improve dramatically. But even in comparison to other recent Syfy fare, this is a disappointing start.