Warehouse 13

You know that great feeling you get when you feel like something's been made just for you? A perfect pair of jeans that make you look and feel fantastic, a new flavor of juice that you didn't even know you were craving or a shooting star that lights up the night when only you are outside? That's the feeling I get when I watch Warehouse 13, SyFy's hit summer show. It was made for me by people I didn't even know existed! When the pilot debuted I only watched the first few minutes and then I paused the show, saving it for when my kids got home from vacation. There was no way I was going to watch it without them as that would be cruel and unfair.

In the first episode agents Myka (Joanne Kelly) and Pete (Eddie McClintock) are guarding the President of the United States when an Aztec carving comes to life, goes berserk, possesses someone and tries to make that person kill the President. A mysterious figure, who turns out to be a rather prosaic dude called Artie (Saul Rubinek), appears and deactivates the carving. Next thing Myka and Pete know they've been shipped off to the back of beyond, where Myka can only get cell phone service by standing on an enormous pile of cow manure, and reassigned to a storage center called Warehouse 13, run by Artie. This is where mysterious artifacts are neutralized and stored, where they aren't supposed to be able to harm anyone.

The artifacts are definitely a big part of what make this show so much fun to watch. In the pilot Myka makes a wish on a magic kettle and ends up with a ferret, the default option when a wish can't be fulfilled. This is part of why I say this show was made for me as I love ferrets but can’t own them anymore as I'm now allergic. It's nice to see them getting some love on TV. I'm also a big fan of the Tesla gun, which isn't cute and furry like the ferret, but does run on electricity and can knock someone out and fritz out their short term memories. Speaking of Tesla, the warehouse itself was designed by Tesla, along with Edison and MC Escher. As you can imagine it's a triumph of confusion. There's a communication device (which may be called a Farnsworth, I get a little confused so it's a good thing I'm not part of this team) which allows users to open them and communicate with each other, while seeing each other face to face. It's a bit like Skyping but much less bulky and way more retro and charming.

My only real wish is that the characters are as weird as their artifacts. Mind you they're not bad, but they're not as crazy as say Walter on Fringe or even say Anwar on Skins, a character who manages to be completely mad without a single supernatural artifact. Just because I'm complaining doesn't mean I don't like the characters. Myka is bold and determined and dedicated to getting the job done. She's constantly annoyed by her partner Pete but manages to work with him anyway, although she does sock him a couple of times while under the influence of a particular artifact. (That must have been satisfying. There are a few people I've worked with a few years ago who could use a good punch in the jaw.) Pete is my favorite character. He's much more laid back and is in touch with his intuition. He's also got the great ability of the nerdfighter to revel in what's going on around him and enjoy the strangeness to the maximum. While Myka is prowling the warehouse complaining, Pete is playing ping pong with his somewhat snarky reflection. He's definitely someone I would want on my side in a zombie attack.

Artie is in charge of the Warehouse and seems very at home in his job, although there are small indicators that he may not have exactly volunteered for the position. For instance he says when he first came to the warehouse it was overrun with ferrets, implying he was making a lot of impossible wishes, like "get me the freak out of here." The newest member of the team is Claudia (Allison Scagliotti), who is adept at taking artifacts apart and putting together fabulous new creations. She's young and impulsive and has a long, weird history with Artie, which is explained a little in one of the episodes. Artie, who has been in charge of the warehouse for quite some time, has a mysterious past. He may or may not be hiding some pretty bad behavior, which causes a great deal of tension in the team. Presiding over everyone, but in the same way you never see Steve Jobs selling iPods, is Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder), who has the final say on everything. Even Leena (Genelle Williams), who runs the incredible bed and breakfast, and who will soon be inviting me to stay since I love her house so much, is involved in the team, acting as a sort of conscience for Artie who sometimes doesn't seem to know what the right course of action is.

Every week Myka and Pete head out into the wide world to bag and tag an artifact that’s causing trouble. But there's always loads of trouble brewing back at the warehouse, giving Artie and the rest plenty to do. One of the many things that makes this show work for me is how faceted it is. While Myka and Pete are fetching a problem piece they're also wrestling with an emotion it's bringing up in them. While they're away from the warehouse strange things are happening, that Artie is trying to hide. There's always so much to take in, some subtle and some blatant. It's an absolutely wonderful way to spend your Tuesday nights.

Warehouse 13 runs on SyFy Tuesday nights but is also available on their website as full episodes. http://www.syfy.com/rewind/index.php?__source=Syfy_Global_Nav Grab yourself a giant box of popcorn, your beverage of choice, whatever you use to Twitter and settle in for fun, fun, fun.

One-Paragraph Review

This week's one-paragraph review is from German the Merman who writes in to say, "Mega Shark vs. Giant Squid [on SyFy] was a whopper of a tale. My fave was when the shark jumped eight thousand feet out of the water and ate the airplane. Go DUDE!" Do you have a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me for consideration. You can reach me at feedback@qualitytimeweekly.com.