MTV’s new show “Happyland” is out to show you the underbelly of amusement parks — and teenage love stories. In the pilot episode, 17-going-on-40-year-old Lucy finds herself falling for the new Prince Charming at the amusement park she works at. When she finds out he’s the new CEO’s son though, things get complicated extremely fast.
“Lucy is totally not the type of girl that just falls for people. She definitely has her guard up,” actress Bianca Santos explains to Zap2it. “Ian Chandler is the CEO’s son. She totally doesn’t know that at the beginning and disregards that so she makes a fool of herself.”
Every new relationship has it’s bumps and bruises though, and Lucy soon finds herself under the spell of the new bad boy in town. “You find out he’s the guy that you don’t want to like but he’s so charming,” Santos continues.
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Ian Chandler though. “The privilege and the wealth and the status he’s always had — I don’t know if that’s resonated with [Ian] as much as it has with the rest of his family,” says Shane Harper, who plays Ian on the show. “[Lucy] is the opposite of what he is. She grew up in the park and has been there her whole life — and I think he connects with that element within her that’s grounded.”
As they say, two is a couple, three’s a party and four is — a love quadrangle mess. Since “Happyland” is centered on the emotional journeys of a group of teenagers, there is of course some relationship politics that will come into play. Lucy is into Ian, but her best friend Will possibly has feelings for her and his girlfriend Harper is not stoked about it.
Shane feels confident that people will back up Team Ian though because, “Ian needs a good woman in his life!” the actor laughs. “Will is a hardworking, grounded young man but Ian needs a good woman to set him straight!”
Knowing that the actor is clearly biased, “Happyland” creator and showrunner Ben Epstein also weighs in. “There’s something appealing about every character [in the quadrangle]. I think that whatever is the most honest for the characters for who they are in that moment is who I’m rooting for,” he says, giving nothing away. “I am also going to put all of them through the ringer.”
The big reveal at the end of the pilot will also throw a wrench into Lucy’s potential fairy tale ending, but Epstein is adamant that viewers will be tuning in for much more than the drama.
“There’s something that everyone is going to see of themselves in these characters. There’s a lot more than that twist at the end of the pilot,” Epstein says. “The show is about these characters trying to do the best they can in this strange and unusual world that still has a lot of connection to our reality.”
“Happyland” premieres Sept. 30 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.