Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Warehouse 13

Okay, so SyFy -- Lord, that abomination of a term looks incredibly stupid every time I see it -- Channel premiered its new show last night, Warehouse 13, which looks like a cross between X-Files, Eureka, and the first scenes in the last Indiana Jones movie -- the latter of which, I am given to understand, was the spark for it. Hey, what a cool warehouse -- what if we do a whole series based on it?

This is what happens if you do that. I have two words for you: Houdini's wallet ...

Saul Rubinek, as the cryptkeeper -- uh, custodian -- is always worth watching, though CCH Pounder is wasted as the über-spook in charge. The two Secret Service agents dragooned into their new jobs as spook hunters (Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly) have as much chemistry onscreen as Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman did as Anakin and Padmé, which is to say none whatsoever. Good-looking guy and gal who meet cute and who -- surprise! surprise! -- don't get along! He's a mystic and has hunches; she's a hard-headed doesn't-believe-in-magic girl. Haven't we see that one before?

There is an attempt to give them backstories, but it's all tell and no show, and for me, they rate a term you sometimes see in screenplays when speaking of background characters, "ND," which stands for "nondescript." As in, it doesn't matter who they cast, long as they are warm bodies ...

If the special effects on this show got any cheesier, you'd have to put them in a can and serve them with Ritz crackers. X-files was fairly silly throughout its run, B-TV at its best, but at least you liked watching Mulder and Scully bounce off each other.

Eureka, which is also silly, is at least enough fun to watch to be considered a guilty pleasure. You gotta like it that the main viewpoint character is always the dumbest guy in the room, and that somehow, he always winds up acting smarter than anybody else. You don't have to believe it, but you gotta like it ...

I don't think Warehouse 13 is going to make anybody forget Battlestar Galactica -- either version.

I probably wouldn't have even watched it, save that the guy who makes steampunk keyboards and about whom I've posted here a couple times, did a keyboard that Rubinek uses on his desk, and he sent out a note telling folks.

It might get better, and to be fair, I'll give in another try, but I can't say my hopes are real high for this one.


Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on Burn Notice, Steve? It quickly became one of my favorite shows. The fighting isn't always top-notch but the characters are great, the stories are compelling, and it's got style. It's like MacGuyver meets A-Team.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

>"Lord, that abomination of a term looks incredibly stupid every time I see it"<

HAH! YOU ADMIT THIS!!! Exhibit "A", yer honor. The defendant clearly knew the identity of the oncoming wave of fecal matter, yet stood idly by and allowed it to wash away the masses.

They've started using it on everything now, and it just makes me want to cancel my cable subscription.

>"It might get better, and to be fair, I'll give in another try"<

Steve...You're reaching. I'm glad your friend made a keyboard for the show. I hear the chef on the Hindenburg made a phenomenal souffle', I'm still not going to fly on the fucking Hindenburg.

>"but I can't say my hopes are real high for this one."<

That's the spirit! I knew you'd find your way back to reason and sanity. Or, failing that, within eyeshot of it.

Taintmonger: I thought burn notice would run out of steam after two seasons, but the writers are doing a great job of character depth on the show, and I'm still interested in it.

Steve Perry said...

I confess that I kinda like Burn Notice. Kinda has that old Mission Impossible/MacGyver flow to it, and the characters all work for me. Donovan, Anwar, Campell, and Glass do have screen chemistry and presence.
Not talking Ibsen, and the gadgets are silly, but at least it's fun and they all look like they are enjoying themselves. Plus the scenery and all.

Dan Moran said...

I'm not alienated from American culture -- at least not if alienation implies any particular hostility -- but I'm broadly uninterested in it. I don't care who can dance or cook or sing or scheme -- nothing wrong with that, just not to my tastes. I like good drama, and as a result I watch a lot of British television. Doctor Who and Torchwood, on the SF front; Robin Hood and Merlin and for my boys; Ashes to Ashes and Secret Diary of a Call Girl. David Tennant's Hamlet is coming to BBC soon ...

It's not all great, but it's better than American tv. The presumed literacy of the audience is about four or five grade levels higher than American tv presumes, as best I can tell.

Anonymous said...

I love burn notice, but have noticed that the American shows i watch are dwindling in number. I'm just sick of reality TV or TV that simply relies on shock value to grab its audience. I also think Dan is right British TV is more literate and for my money sometimes more human. I forget what the hell the show was but there was a scene showing a loving platonic relationship between two adults. I cant remember the last time i saw that on US television. Nowadays it seems like sex just has to be part of the equation no matter what.. As for Warehouse 13 i wish it luck and godspeed anything has to be better than another version of Stargate!