Couch Pumpkin: Sofa Adventures
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Warehouse 13: More formulaic than Homer

The Maverick, The Prof and The Shrew

The Maverick, The Prof and The Shrew

Apparently Warehouse 13 has been a huge hit for Syfy (still lmao over that name), so on a whim I decided to check out episode one. It’s a fun, light-hearted sci-fi/crime mix that could be a really good show…but unfortunately contains very little in the way of originality. (very light spoilers)

The premise of the show, to my mind, takes a lot from Torchwood: a secret government agency deals with strange artefacts that can cause havoc in the world at large. Rather than giving them an alien provenance, so far they seem to be mostly human inventions (by Eddison et al.) or imbued with mystical powers (reminding me of the episodes of Buffy that centred around the magic shop). An early mention of Pandora’s Box made me groan. Also similarly to Torchwood, the team make use of these steampunkish artefacts – such as two way video devices that look clunky and frankly less practical than a 3G phone.

The warehouse is run by a mysterious (ageless) woman, Frederick, who I’m betting is sinister in some way, and a slightly eccentric gadget man called Artie. The use of this name made me nostalgic for the good old days of Sliders and my favourite eccentric old man, Professor Arturo.

Into this department come Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering, two secret agents who have no idea what they’re walking into (so far, so Gwen Cooper). Lattimer is a maverick who relies on his gut instinct and seems to have few issues with buying into the idea of magic artefacts. Bering, on the other hand, is uptight and cynical with a keen eye for detail. They share lots of banter and are basically custom engineered for UST. Sorry, but Mulder and Scully did it first and did it better.

Apparently this series was co-created by Jane Espenson, who is an alumna of several great shows, including Buffy and BSG (and I still haven’t forgiven her for the clusterfrak that was ‘Deadlock’). The script has a certain Whedon-esque witty tinge to it that perhaps betrays this heritage, and this is no bad thing. Warehouse 13 is an enjoyable watch, but it’s a shame the creators shied away from breaking the mould. Still, I guess its success just depressingly proves the old adage: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.


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