Tag Archives: Syfy

Where hokum and bunkum collide.

I’m sorry – what’s that you say? Did I manage to struggle through the remainder of the pilot episode of Warehouse 13, SyFy’s new paranormal drama series? (See yesterday’s post)

Well, strangely, that depends on what you mean when you say ‘rest’.

If you recall, I’d made it to the three-minute mark, then switched off when nothing interesting seemed to be happening. Naked girl in bed, lounging post-coitally, playing with FBI badge – pah, don’t give me that. I have a raw food meal to prepare, I’m not putting up with cheap audience titillation. Goodbye, Warehouse 13, it’s over. Let’s see other people.

But last night, feeling that I’d perhaps been a little dismissive and that it might yet show potential – after all, it’s trying to be the new X Files, and I very much liked the old X-Files – I gave it another go.

Well, immediately after the three-minute mark, it turns out, something does happen. A researcher at a museum gets bitten by one of the ancient artifacts he’s studying: a malevolent-looking stone Aztec head with glass teeth. Uh-oh, that can’t be good. The head, by means unknown, turns the guy into a very sweaty, googly-eyed assassin who then quits researching and tries to murder the US president instead. He’s thwarted by the FBI agent, who has a premonition about such a thing, and some fat guy with a homemade pseudo-scientific gizmo that shoots lightning and, with no real explanation as to how, makes everything right again.

Next thing, this FBI agent and a female one who was on the scene (think Mulder and Scully)  are shipped out to South Dakota to visit a warehouse so big and digitized that even the computer it’s being drawn on can’t quite show it in its entirety.

So why are they transferred to S. Dakota? What is the warehouse? Why are all those thousands of crates and other objects stacked up way into the distance as far as the eye (with the help of a computer) can see?

Actually, I will never know.

Around 12 minutes into the show, even my TiVo became outraged by its preposterous lameness and switched it off for me. I swear.

This is an even bigger mystery than why an Aztec head would suddenly bite someone and want to kill the president.

TiVo hated Warehouse 13 so much, it seems, and thought it so miserably formulaic and desperate, that it spared me the bother of being dumbed down by such generic rip-off nonsense, as well as angry at television for sticking in the same old cynical rut to attract viewers, and simply stopped recording it, something it has never done before.

So the answer to your question is yes, I did see it. And no, I didn’t.

Have a lovely weekend.

Warehouse 13 gets 2 magic carpets out of 5.

TV Swami – he say NO.


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In the grip of quitter’s remorse.

This just in:

warehouse13-28The first three minutes of Syfy’s latest supernatural drama series Warehouse 13 were terrible. Not only that, but Syfy is also a terrible name for a network. So it’s a double whammy of sorts. Two mistakes in one.

The show is about a hangar in the desert in South Dakota that’s filled with all the mysterious artifacts collected by the US government over the years, and which the public is never allowed to see or know about.

Same way they weren’t allowed to know about the secret hangar at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark where thousands of mysterious artifacts were stored. In fact, this may be the same hangar. There can’t possibly be two of them. I’m assuming, therefore, that the creator of Warehouse 13 saw Raiders of the Lost Ark when he was a kid and thought, “You know what? That would make a brilliant idea for a science fiction TV show someday.”

And look how wrong he was!

Now, I know, I shouldn’t judge a series on the first three minutes of the pilot. But I’m quick on the uptake and I know what I like and don’t like, and I don’t like this. At first glance, the acting is excruciating – “You say a line, then I’ll say a line, then when you’ve said your line I’ll say my next line, then we’ll go to lunch.” – the script is dire, and the action too slow to unfold.

But perhaps I’m being unfair. The idea has potential at least (how many Indiana Jones pictures were there – four?). So this time, rather than give in to my first impulse last night, which was to delete it from TiVo before it had barely started, I’m going to try again tonight. Call it quitter’s remorse.

I left the “story” at the point where a woman lying naked in bed was toying with an FBI badge, gurgling, “I know what you do” to the guy she’d just had sex with. Well, that was enough for me. It’s a supernatural series; you don’t have to be TV Einstein to figure out that hooking viewers at the very start with something supernatural or horrific might be the way to go, not a naked woman on a bed. Sci-fi geeks are asexual, we all know that.

Still, I’m intrigued enough by the concept to watch the next three minutes. Once I have, I’ll report back and tell you whether this show is worth any face time at all.

Already, though, the signs aren’t good.

TV Swami – he biting his tongue.


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