MTV’s new series “Happyland” has a novel setting: Its main characters work at a theme park, and it’s going to have fun with both the backstage goings-on and their encounters with patrons.
It also has a huge twist at the end of its premiere episode that will probably overtake all of that. Here’s your spoiler warning, but since the show’s cast and creator talked openly about it with a roomful of reporters Friday (July 11) at the summer TV press tour, they’re probably OK with it being out there.
Lead character Lucy (Bianca Santos of “The Fosters”) falls for Ian (Shane Harper), the son of the park’s new owner, and they kiss. And then Lucy’s mom (Camille Guaty) tells her there’s a good chance Ian is her half-brother.
“What we really liked was the idea of taking this fairy-tale setup — a poor girl who lives in a kingdom, and there’s a new guy who comes in who’s like a dashing prince … and put[ting] an MTV edge to it and make it all weird and crazy, but still have that kind of fun, sexy energy that comes with falling in love for the first time,” creator Ben Epstein says. “But then, oh wait, here’s this crazy twist, and we promise there’s a lot more coming.”
Epstein and the cast assure us they’re not going in a “Game of Thrones” direction.
“From the pilot to the rest of the season, what you see is a bunch of characters trying to figure out what it’s like when you fall for someone and you find out this information about them,” Santos says. “And you’re like, ‘Oh, man. What do I do with this, and could this change how I feel about you?’ Really, we explore so many different things. There’s things that go on between me and my mother and me and my friends.
“Everything gets really, really, funly twisted,” she adds with a laugh.
“Happyland” premieres at 11 p.m. ET/PT Sept. 30 on MTV, airing after “Awkward” and “Faking It.”