It was a big night for The Syphillis Network. ((Yes. That will be the only way I’ll ever refer to them henceforth, unless I somehow got a staff job on one of their shows. Pick a juvenile name; suffer juvenile taunts.)) They debuted their new name in the morning, ran their interminably long promo which looks like every other promo they’ve produced for the last five or six years, and premiered new summer series Warehouse 13. Sorta one out of three ain’t bad.
Progeny of shows like The X Files and Friday the 13th: The Series but without the added draw of a redhead, Warehouse 13 follows the adventures of Secret Service agents Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) as they track down missing artifacts to put in safekeeping by dropping into a box of goo. ((Slimer, how far you’ve tumbled.)) The facility is intentionally reminiscent of the Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouse as this show relies on familiar touchstones and tropes to support its light entertainment.
It’s nothing great, but a good match for The Syphillis Network’s other summer fare, Eureka. The shows are similar in tone with quirky characters, hunky but not booksmart male leads, smart females, and an older and wiser genius around to help out in a pinch.
Since this is formula, the important thing is to work the formula in innovative and creative ways. The premise pilot was a bit lackluster and Kelly came off as rather stupid and brittle, but I’ll give the show a few episodes to find a groove. Hopefully after five or six episodes Myka will stop disbelieving everything she sees and the writers will have come up with some interesting twists.
The one place they already succeeded was in imagining the types of artifacts housed at the facility and loose in the world. It’s clear they’re going to mix familiar old things – magic lamps/jars or hair combs that are effectively cursed – with new – Houdini’s wallet helping people commune with the dead was original ((Quite funny too, as he was the leading skeptic of his day and spent much time debunking clarivoyants.)) and I was pleased to see Tesla’s Teleforce raygun. More of that inspired craziness and this might turn into something good.
What did everyone else think?