Within the 8-part docuseries For Heaven’s Sake, Mike Mildon and Jackson Rowe, true crime docuseries obsessives, examine the disappearance of Mike’s great-great uncle, Harold Heaven, who disappeared in 1934. They observe the clues they’ve and check out their would possibly to search out individuals who got here in touch with individuals who got here in touch with the admittedly-quirky Harold Heaven. That’s not a typo; as a result of the thriller was — on the time they shot the collection in 2019 — 85 years previous, direct eyewitnesses who’re nonetheless alive are laborious to search out. Let’s simply say Mike Jackson aren’t precisely probably the most expert sleuths on TV.
Opening Shot: A shot of a person smoking and studying in mattress in a country cabin. Then the person places his jacket on, ties his sneakers, grabs his hat and keys and walks out.
The Gist: Harold Heaven walked out of his cabin within the distant woods of Ontario within the winter of 1934 and he utterly disappeared. Eighty-five years later, his great-great nephew, Mike Mildon, and his buddy, Jackson Rowe, have got down to clear up a case that’s so chilly, it’s as frozen because the lakes in Haliburton County, the place a lot of Mike’s household, the Heavens, nonetheless stay.
To help their investigation, Mike and Jackson interview many members of Mike’s household, from his mom Ruth to his aunts and uncles. The thriller is so pervasive on this household that even Mike’s teenage cousins, who weren’t even born within the 20th century, have an interest. His grandfather, Ted, has led the Heavens’ efforts to determine what occurred to Harold, so he’s keen to assist Mike and Jackson determine dive deeper into the thriller.
Whereas the buddies do take their quest critically, they don’t take one another critically. Jackson creates the beginnings of a yarn-and-pin board that’s a bit sparse, writing “Mike is dumb” when he will get an opportunity. Mike’s kinfolk appear to be pleasant, however a bit quirky. And Mike doesn’t faux to be a lifelong Haliburton County resident; he has been residing in Toronto for years now; he’s a type of “citiots” that the city historian calls guests to the world.
One of many issues they discover out throughout their first days within the space, particularly after they discuss to folks in an area bar about their search, is that there are going to be loads of chilly avenues, primarily as a result of a lot time has handed. After they publicize a hotline on flyers and an area radio station, each voicemails are of individuals laughing at them.
However nobody within the Heaven household can abide by the suicide ruling the native police rapidly got here to again then, particularly contemplating the truth that Harold’s physique was by no means discovered. How do you kill your self after which disappear?
What Exhibits Will It Remind You Of? For Heaven’s Sake is sort of a humorous model of true crime collection like Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Lodge.
Our Take: Whereas Paramount+ and CBC Gem have distinguished spots within the credit of For Heaven’s Sake, the manufacturing credit score that’s most indicative of the form of present that is is Humorous or Die. It’s a “comedic docuseries,” and for the primary couple of minutes, you’re not 100 p.c positive that it is a true-crime docuseries parody alongside the traces of American Vandal. However apparently the case of Harold Heaven is totally actual.
The humorous a part of the present not solely lies within the irreverent Heaven household, however the truth that Mike and Jackson — whose declare to fame is a parody video the place folks faux to pee on one another that received 5,000 views — aren’t taking themselves critically in any respect. They understand that they’ve taken on a case that’s extraordinarily troublesome to resolve, and that they’re going to get stifled at each flip. Among the strategies that they’re going to make use of to search out out what occurred to Harold are going to be unorthodox. Simply the truth that they use hand-painted collectible figurines as an alternative of slick pc graphics is a plus.
However they’re having the time of their lives — and in addition making a docuseries about it. You may see that they’re loving the truth that they’ll mine the thriller that’s been handed by means of Mike’s household for 4 generations for a docuseries that ultimately the CBC and Paramount+ could be excited about. Their longtime friendship additionally comes by means of in how they goof on one another, particularly Jackson goofing on Mike.
The primary episode has greater than sufficient twists and turns, paired with the full-of-personality members of the Heaven household, to essentially interact the viewer. Whether or not the story itself holds up over the remaining episodes is but to be seen.
Intercourse and Pores and skin: None.
Parting Shot: Kym Heaven, Mike’s aunt and a nurse on the native hospital, talks a few affected person she had about 20 years prior; he was concerned within the search social gathering organized by native officers. When Kym requested him about it, he stated “They had been by no means going to search out him,” however when he requested her final identify and he or she stated it was Heaven, he shut up.
Sleeper Star: Paul Heaven, Mike’s uncle, truly lives within the lakeside cabin Harold was constructing when he disappeared. He’s clearly excited about what occurred to his nice uncle, and he appears to be extra invested than the opposite Heavens (aside from Poppa Ted), and so they’re all fairly invested.
Most Pilot-y Line: As standard, the reenactments take away from the by-the-seat-of-their pants fashion Mike and Jackson try to convey. It’s too slick and doesn’t slot in nicely with the present’s household vibe.
Our Name: STREAM IT. As a result of the filmmakers who made For Heaven’s Sake don’t take themselves critically, they make the already-interesting story of Harold Heaven much more entertaining.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Instances, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Quick Firm and elsewhere.