Reviews: Warehouse 13
Right up my alley!
I bought Warehouse 13 season 1-4, and watched all episodes - twice! Both times from start to end, all day long! Can't work after an accident, so I like to watch series I like one episode after another. I couldn't get enough of it. It had it all. Strange phenomenon, brilliant characters, especially Artie (Saul Rubinek), good actors, a beautiful woman - Myka (Joanne Kelly), the "emotional" tension between her and Pete (Eddie Mc Clintock), comedy, action, sadness and sorrow, unanswered questions (a lot!). Like who (and what) is actually Mrs. Irene Frederic (CCH Pounder)? I can go on and on... Of course, some episodes wasn't as good as others, but thats just impossible to achieve. But if you like Sci Phi without spaceships and robots, and more "mind-stretching" stories, Warehouse 13 is for you. Add some more family comedy and you have the "sister-serie" Eureka. Replace most of the comedy to more gruesome scenes and you have Fringe. There's "mind-stretching" all the way! But please, experience Warehouse 13! You won't be disappointed! (well, if you have the same taste as me, that is...)
I was originally a bit "Meh" about Warehouse 13, having watched the first two seasons more or less as they were airing and being somewhat underwhelemed but keeping up because nothing else was on at that time. Consequently I decided not to bother with watching Season Three until I had a free weekend with not much to do. Boy do I wish I'd been watching all along. Season 3 turned out to be a notable bump in quality. Not in a Children Of Earth way, it still felt like good old Warehouse 13, but the episodes were just a little bit more emotionally impressive, the humor was better, the campy qualities were still there but with some more heavy undertones. The Arc Plot was enjoyable and the developments to the mythology were subtle but noticeable if you were paying attention. Steve Jinks was a fun character and I wish we'd seen more of him, partially because he amused me and partially because he was a highly refreshing gay character: They never played it up for gimmicks or cheap laughs but made him a legit character in his own right, and the gay jokes at his expense were often actually funny. While there are always ways it could improve (Effects, maybe some plotting issues, etc) it was a great example of how lower-budget Sci-fi can be done. The cliffhanger ending will definitely bring me back in Christmas and for the next season.
Warehouse 13- Not as interesting as it sounds.
This show had a lot of potential, but it's not all that engaging. It lacks the depth, internal consistency, and/or a sense of whismy it is so desperately in need of. When a show takes itself relatively seriously, but everything from plot to prop design seems utterly arbitrary, it is very hard to care about any of it. Additionally, given that it is in the mold of shows which have mixed the paranormal, supernatural, and extraterrestrial without too many qualms, the excessively nonsensical and lame "scientific" explanations for the various macguffins are utterly unnecessary. It'd be far better if when the characters were confronted with something that defy science and history and fit supernatural tropes to either have the characters themselves have no idea why things work the way they do, or just have it be magic. JUST HAVE IT BE MAGIC, dammit*! This misplaced desire to make things seem more mysterious and cool by throwing out random bad explanations extends even to the historical aspects. The show is always trying to invoke historical figures and hint at secret histories...without having done any even superficial historical research. That sort of thing only works when you at least loosely base it off actual historical details and characters. It doesn't have to all that accurate. Just enough that it isn't an instant wallbanger. For example, it makes no sense to have the bio-energy golfcart designed by Thomas Edison for Henry Ford, and then covered up. Nor does it make sense for Houdini to have something that actually lets you talk to the ghosts of dead loved ones.
- I'm still a little exasperated that the cursed piece of jewelry that made people evil-ish that was "created by European alchemists" several centuries ago, and which shoots magic beams of light, was explained as "it transmits the mindset of Lucrezia Borgia via the crystals and ionized metal of the comb." No. Just No.
This show is one of my favorites I've seen on tv. First I have to mention the humor. Between Petes epic ability to Shout Out to anything, Claudia's tech talk, Artie's oddball behavior and newcomer Jinx's naivite to the whole warehouse thing, I pretty much am laughing every minute. This ties in to how well developed the characters are. They all have different personalities and play off each other really well. When they bring out their inevitable tragic backstories it's easy to feel a twinge of regret for them. The artifacts are all really unique and not typical of what you would expect of them, and they manage to pull out really obscure items for use as artifacts, which adds to the mythos. Most of the time one of the agents get in trouble because of them, and even though you know they won't kill off a main character in episode 2, it's still effective. Even more effective is when the myth arc for the season starts up. It really manages to stay tense and climactic throughout the finales. The special effects do range from good to heh but that adds to the tongue in cheek attitude they have about the whole thing. Highlights of this show include the recent "Stuck in a game" episode, the second to last episode of Season 2, Petes aforementioned Shout Outs, and the way it builds up over time, referencing other artifacts and building up conflict for the finales. All in all, a really great show. Easy to watch in reruns, and you could probably start in the middle and still get a lot of enjoyment from it. Highly recommended.
Not too bad for Minimal Budget
And for some of you, it might be Better Than It Sounds, but all in all it's just about as far as Sci-Fi (or Sy Fy, all thanks to the stupid Fantasy vs. Science Fiction crud) can go with it's usual minimal budget shows. Warehouse 13 in the simplest form is basically Hollywood History with mixed dashes of fantasy and some science thrown into a kind of Gotta Catch Them All plots that pits various forms of wit and tropes together for about 50 minutes time. I wasn't too impressed with the first episode, but it seemed to get better for me as I watched the later episodes. Really, this show seems to be best enjoyed when meta humor is applied, especially when you consider just how redundant some of the artifacts are. The Baylor Dodgeball and Silly-Sticky String that are out for your blood? Just how crazy is that?! Of course, that's about all I can say about the show. Your Mileage May Vary greatly with this, as with just about anything on the channel today will.