Last night, I tried to make sense out of “Warehouse 13” but didn’t get very far. I watched in fits and starts and in between passes of a football that seemingly circles the globe. As far as I can I tell this show is about two Secret Service agents, one a fuck-up (Peter Lattimer played by Eddie McClintock) and the other is an overachiever (Myra Berring played by Joanne Kelly), who save the President’s life. After being on two sides of the conflict with the President they both end up getting transferred to this strange warehouse in the Badlands of South Dakota. McClintock’s character, because of his fuck-up, has been suspended so he finds himself glad he’s been reassigned rather than sitting around on his couch. Whereas Kelly’s character is upset that she didn’t get promoted and is saddled with McClintock.
They are brought in by Saul Rubinek’s odd little character named Artie Nielsen who is essentially a supernatural hunter/gatherer who looks like he lives in a box. He’s in charge of this Warehouse, to which he describes as “America’s attic.” There is all kinds of strange shit in this thing. Like a tea kettle, that operates as a Genie granting you a wish but if that wish is impossible it produces a ferret, and Harry Houdini’s wallet that somehow falls into Myra’s bag and does something nonsensical.
Rubinek’s character is essentially the weird Mad Scientist sort played much better by “Fringe” actor John Noble and his latest charges are essentially his field agents. They work the Mulder/Scully archetype quite well with a bit of a refreshing taste as McClintock’s Peter is not nearly as droll as Mulder, but is clearly enjoying himself immensely with this weird stuff and that shines through his performance. Kelly’s Myra (like Scully) is clearly not enjoying any aspect of her character, or that character’s circumstances. Myra spends most of the two hours bitching and moaning about wanting to be re-assigned and getting blown off by her boss. She left me not caring about her at all. McClintock is clearly the voice you come in on, his enthusiasm and enjoyment of all the weird shit happening around him makes you smile as you, like him, are a part of this new playhouse. Its tough not to like him.
The plot only gets going into the second hour of the pilot, and I’m not entirely sure what went on. There was a car crash, a box they had to capture that caged some kind of woman that can make men do whatever she wants. I don’t know, I think I dozed off.
In the end, as with most pilots, its a touch and go kind of thing where the writers and actors are still trying to make their way around the characters, the story, and that alot of the time leaves the audience a little short. That was the case here. I feel like there is a ton of fun to be had with this idea but Pilots are generally not distinctive of an overall show. You hope you’ve done enough as creators to get people to tune back in, but, for me I liked McClintock enough to go back, but I won’t be upset if I miss an episode.
I feel like SyFy needs a Big Lights really innovative show, and I feel like their best shot is reviving the cancelled “Kings” because I don’t think this show or “Eureka” is interesting enough to get people to pay attention to the channel post-“Battlestar Galactica.” Though, from what I hear the reboot of “Alien Nation” with “Firefly” producer Tim Minear could be just what the channel needs.