Warehouse 13 Returns!

As much as I hate Siffie, I have to respect some of their choices over the last few years. One of those choices was to kill Stargate Universe. The other was to bring Warehouse 13 into existence and to continue to renew it year after year. If you’ve never heard of Warehouse 13, I strongly suggest you take a look at it; I’ll even give you an idea of what it’s like by comparing it to a probably much more popular show: J. J. Abram’s Fringe.

The first thing you need to know is that WH13 is the funny twin of Fringe. Both shows debuted in the same season, focus on weird occurrences in a X-Files sort of way, and seem to possess nearly identical character hierarchies: the main characters (a white male and female) are employed by a major government law enforcement agency, supervised by a mysterious black character (Broyles in Fringe, Mrs. Frederic in WH13), coupled with a cranky and weird older white guy (Walter Bishop on Fringe, Artie Nielsen on WH13) who is assisted by a young woman (Astrid Farnsworth in Fringe, Leena) of questionable ethnicity. WH13 adds a few more characters, but as you can see there are really strong parallels between the two series, and the key difference is that while Fringe is generally a very serious show, following in the footsteps of Fox’s X-Files franchise and Abrams’ Lost, Warehouse 13 goes the other direction, refusing to take itself seriously at all.

In fact, last night’s season premier made me laugh harder than I have all year, with lines from main character Pete Lattimer such as “I once put on Abe Lincoln’s hat and had an uncontrollable urge to free Mrs. Fredrics.” The chemistry between characters and actors on the show make WH13 one of the best acted and alluring shows I’ve seen on Siffie or many other channels all year, and they should be proud of the work they do.

Over the last three years, WH13 has even snagged some fairly big names as guest stars. Among those are Tia Carrere and Lindsay Wagner. Mark Sheppard, whom you know as Romo Lampkin on Battlestar Galactica and as Crowley on Supernatural, was a regular on the show as Benedict Valda until his character’s self-sacrifice in last year’s season finale.

Warehouse 13 combines science fiction with humor in a way that hasn’t been seen since Firefly, and I, for one, am glad that it’s on the air and pray that it will be for a long time to come. It doing the one thing that so much of television is failing to do these days, and that is entertain me. I enjoy watching a lot of my favorite shows because I’m curious how the plot points are going to work out, or I’m trying to solve the puzzles that the characters are confronted with as they are, but so often I’m not actually entertained by the show so much as fascinated by it. Warehouse 13 does both, and I’m thankful to the writers, producers, cast and crew, and even Siffie for this show.

In short, go watch Warehouse 13 on Monday nights on Siffie. Oh, and this doesn’t change my view point that Siffie needs to stop dissing me and all the rest of the geeks and nerds that got it to where it is.

The End is Near!

Ok, maybe that was a bit overly dramatic, but I think it’s relevant and true for the topic I’m addressing today. After ten years of teasing, inside jokes, and epic moments, Smallville’s final episode airs next week. In this season, we’ve seen Clark go through some significant and important changes as he continues along the path to being Superman, and I just want to thank the past and present cast and crew for ten long and enjoyable years of television. Thank you all from the very bottom of my heart!

X-Filing Supernatural

As I told some of my fellow Cinema Studies students last week, I don’t normally recommend watching Supernatural. The reasons are many and varied, but usually boil down to my viewpoint that the show’s themes aren’t terribly original. That’s changed, over the years, but I’m usually quite bored when I watch it, and the usual reason I do watch it is because it comes on right after Smallville.

Every now and then, however, they have a really well written episode, a seriously funny episode, or one that’s fortunate enough to be both. Such an episode was “Clap Your Hands If You Believe” which carried hilarious subtitle of “Fight The Fairies!” (or at least should have), and then there was last week’s episode, “The French Mistake”, the main characters were transported to an alternate reality where they were actors playing their characters. In the soon to be immortalized words of Castle from an episode a few weeks back, “it was too meta…” Jensen Ackles playing Dean Winchester discovering that Dean Winchester was a character being played by the actor Jensen Ackles… The only way to unfuck that is to realize that Ackles was ultimately playing a unsteady version of himself. Nonetheless, it was a funny and well written episode that undoubtedly made a lot of other cinephiles like myself laugh whole heartedly… Assuming I wasn’t the only one that watched it…

So, being in my usual state, I decided to watch tonight to see if they might do anything interesting. Ultimately, it wasn’t the plot that caught my attention, though it was very X-Files-ish, but it was the fact that it actually had two X-Files alumni appearing. “And Then There Were None” starred Mitch Pileggi, known to X-Files fans as Assistant Director Walter Skinner, and Steven Williams, the legendary Mr. X himself! While I always recognize Pileggi, and knew that he’d been playing the role of Samuel Winchester, the primary character’s previously deceased grandfather, Steven Williams has only appeared in 4 episodes according to IMDB, and I didn’t recognize him right off the bat. As the episode went on, his face and voice began to ring some bells, and I looked him up discovering that it was indeed Mr. X.

It took me a full hour after the show went off to make the connection and realize that everything about tonight’s episode was in essence an X-Files tribute. Mr. Kripke, you’re slowly turning me into a fan!