Written by Jonathan Wojcik

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The Wishies

Adapted pretty faithfully from a Grant Morrison graphic novel, Syfy's Happy tells the story of a gritty and seemingly unkillable detective who teams up with his own daughter's wholesome, colorful imaginary friend to save her from a hideously disturbing criminal plot. It's a unique and interesting premise, for sure, and I'm impressed by the kind of media that actually manages to get direct adaptations these days, a sure sign that audiences are bored of more traditional fare and opening up to more niche, more original narratives.

Unfortunately, I couldn't really get into the series myself; as much as I'd like to, its style of writing and especially that "grittiness" is something that just has some difficulty reeling me in if it's not played just right. That said, I did know about what we're reviewing today already, and am glad someone asked me to put these weirdos up on bogleech.

The "Wishies" are the setting's fictional equivalent to our own Teletubbies, gaining popularity as the holiday season approaches and associated with a sketchy children's TV host who, of course, turns out to have deeper and deeper connections to some pretty dark goings-on, with silent, mascot-suited wishies appearing more frequently as evil minions further into the miniseries.

The designs hit a pretty decent spot between the uncanniness of the actual Teletubbies and what I want to say is a "less believable" creep factor, but then I remember characters like Pob and Noseybonk, so no, it's not unrealistic at all that a children's show would parade these gimp-mouthed trolls in front of innocent children.

Things take a turn for the freakier when, in a later episode, one of these "mascots" gets shot and bleeds some sort of pinkish jelly, which gets collected into a jar as evidence. Later still, the jelly is mistaken for the edible variety - since it was left in a refrigerator - and well, you can see that didn't go so great. I absolutely love when something is so ambiguously and bizarrely monstrous like this; when the audience is truly left with a sense of "what. the. HELL. are. they."

For better or for worse, that question is at least somewhat answered by Happy's second season, as we now know that what lurks beneath the costumes are faceless, pinkish lumps of flesh shaped remarkably like Patrick Star, and that they are in service to a demonic entity the the Romans knew as Orcus, the god of death and the true antagonist of the series. Specifically, the things inside the Wishie costumes are lemures, which were understood in real world mythology to be the formless, malignant and hateful spirits of the restless dead. Happy's take on them seems to draw more from the Dungeons and Dragons interpretation, in which Lemures are comprised of semisolid flesh and represent the lowest form taken by souls in hell.

Perhaps this revelation demystifies the wishies a little too much, but if they had to be chalked up to something from mythology, I think "lemures" are a vague enough concept to still leave plenty of that delightful WTFery intact, especially with their more modern fantasy gaming lore seemingly thrown in the mix alongside that wholly original "crawling jelly blood" aspect.