Thursday, October 4, 2012

Television Review: Warehouse 13, Season 1

I was surprised to learn that this show is the most-viewed program on the SyFy station. I had assumed it would be Battlestar Galactica [1], which garnered a lot of critical praise, or EUReKA.[2] My guess is that it's popular because it is reminiscent of The X-Files, because it has a strong female protagonist (which attracts female viewers), and because there is sexual tension between two of the main characters (which also attracts female viewers). It is about members of the Secret Service (why that agency, I have no idea) who comb the world looking for artifacts which possess special powers. These artifacts invariably cause problems, so they are removed from general circulation and stored indefinitely in the eponymous Warehouse 13. Why they don't just destroy all these artifacts hasn't been addressed (at least, not in this season).

My verdict: I like that they balance the artifacts they present to us, drawing both from at-large artifacts as well as introducing some of the already-bagged-'n'-tagged artifacts in the warehouse. The acting is a little cheesy and the special effects are sometimes cheap. The actress who plays Myka looks like she's had too much collagen pumped into her upper lip (both because it makes her lip look like it has cellulite and because it makes her lips stick out, giving her the vague appearance of a fish). She doesn't come across as a genuine secret service agent. And Claudia is kind of obnoxious. But the rest of the main characters (Artie, Leena, Pete, and Mrs. Frederic) are interesting. MacPherson is a nice development. I particularly appreciate that he challenges the philosophy behind the warehouse (should these items be kept from the world?). But it is unfortunate that he uses that philosophy to sell artifacts to terrorists. If he were solving the problems of the world using the artifacts, he would be a much more complex and interesting villain. Comments about individual episodes:
  • There is an episode ("Elements") about a robe that allows the wearer to walk through solid matter (there is a similar episode in EUReKA) but they fail to address the reality that such a device would send you plummeting through the ground to the center of the Earth. 
  • The episode "Regrets" has some nice emotional resolution for a few of the main characters.
  • At the end of the series (the episode entitled "MacPherson") it looked like they were going to resolve a major story arc but then, delightfully, they threw in a plot twist.[3]


[1] I really enjoyed the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, but it's bleak and violent and I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone.

[2] Read my reviews of the several seasons of EUReKA here, here, here, here, and here.


Image attributions:

Warehouse is by Jandrinov, available at racks.jpg.

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