Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Thoughts on the pilot: Warehouse 13

The measure I use to determine whether or not I like a TV show on Sci Fi The Syphilis Channel is usually pretty simple. Do I want to watch it?

When I saw the pilot for Eureka I not only sat riveted through the whole thing, but I eagerly awaited the next episode, but I could even finish the pilot for Sanctuary. I always watch all the Syfy pilots, though.

Do we really have to start calling that? SYFY? It looks and sounds retarded and to be honest I'm not saying "Sigh-Fi" I am saying "Siffy" whenever I see it. Plus it's just silly. Changing the name is not going to suddenly change the demographic. Perhaps they could try Cartoon Network's new strategy of replacing cartoons with reality TV. It's MTV model: once you establish a name for yourself, completely change what you are so that you can alienate your existing fan base in favor of a hipper, richer fan base.

But whatever.

Warehouse 13 wasn't too bad a pilot, but it wasn't spectacular either. It past the test where I keep watching because I made it all the way to the end of the 2-hour pilot, but it didn't exactly impress me. And I think the main reason I stayed was Saul Rubinek. I love that he is a chubby nerdy man who gets plenty of opportunity for physical comedy, yet he plays every seen straight. He comes across as serious and knowledgeable instead of silly and dumb, which would be very easy for a man with his appearance to pull off. I enjoyed his scenes in this show the most.

The biggest problem with the pilot is it has embraced cliches that didn't used to be cliches. The story is about two Secret Service agents who are pulled from presidential protection detail to search the world for weird shit and lock it up in a warehouse until somebody figures out what to do with it. Sort of like a campy Friday the 13th - the TV show, not the movie. Remember that show? I loooved that show as a kid. So creepy.

I imagine the idea for this probably came from watching Raiders. At the end they shove the Ark of the Covenant in a box and stick in a warehouse. What would it be like to work in that warehouse? The answer is this show. Kind of.

Anyhow, the male Secret Service agent, Pete, is the goofy one who just wants to have a good time. The female Secret Service agent, Myka, is the serious nonbeliever who just wants to get back to protecting the president. That was original once, that idea of the girl being the serious one while the man is the goofy one. Then the X-Files came along. Then shows like Bones. Now I think having the girl be the goofy one and the man be the serious one is the new original way to play it.

Spoiler warning for the pilot.

Plus the plot of the episode was kind of silly. In the end the bad guy was a hair comb that took over older women and made them use the comb to make frat boys into mindless drones that do her bidding. As if it takes a magic comb to make that happen. And when it's time to take the old lady out, Pete shoots his partner with the electric shock gun instead of taking out the old lady who's using comb-mind control on all the people.

Oh and when the two professional Secret Service agents sit in a room questioning a suspect and he goes batshit crazy and attacks them, they cower together in the corner until the local Sheriff rescues them. These are two people who used to protect the President. I think I know why they were transferred to South Dakota.

The show is not lacking in potential but it's got a long way to go before it will actually be good.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on this pilot. Pretty decent premise but they kept the excitement needle pegged at "meh" the whole time. The trinkets and gewgaws are interesting, but like you said, it just echoed of the Friday the 13th TV series (and yes, I remember it well). Hopefully it will get better, by Siffy shows have a way of starting dull and staying that way.


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