Wednesday, July 8, 2009
In Which I Review "Warehouse 13 & Lament Cancelled Series
Enter my contest for "Blood Ties: Season One" DVDS. They're my own copies, watched only once, and I want to share the "Blood Ties" love.
Speaking of fab things, I discovered that one of my favorite authors, Charlaine Harris, had reviewed my first novel, Happy Hour at Casa Dracula. Charlaine said, "Marta Acosta’s book has moments of being absolutely entertaining... there are several hours of fun in HAPPY HOUR." It was quite a thrill for me to learn that she had read my book and enjoyed it.
Another fab thing, one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Wendell of the deliciously snarky Smart Bitches, Trashy Books site, emailed me to mention that our books had been named as funniest reads for June by VoterMom: "The funniest book: Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Wendell & Tan. Marta Acosta's Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, The Bride of Casa Dracula."
I'm all ferklempt.
Enough about me. Last night I watched the new supernatural series on the SyFy Channel, "Warehouse 13." It was...okay. Reviewers referenced "The X-Files," "Indiana Jones," etc., but the show really seemed to owe more to the CW's very funny "Reaper" and perhaps a little to "Dead Like Me," a terrific series that was cancelled too soon.
Basically, two Secret Service agents (the he's-wacky-she's-by-the-books) are conscripted to work for a government warehouse that houses all the supernaturally things that no one knows what to do with. There are a lot of steam-punk type items mixed up with modern technology. They have to collect supernatural items, neutralize them, and return them to the warehouse. The task is all too similar to the "Reaper" crew having to collect souls and put them in a "vessel."
The task in the premiere was decidedly banal and silly (not the good silly, but the boring silly) -- the haunted hair comb of Lucrezia Borgia was causing a middle-aged woman to wreck havoc. (As if menopause isn't reason enough.) If you are like me, you find hair combs terrifying even when they aren't haunted. However, they're not as scary as elastic scrunchies, and the writers missed a better opportunity for tension here.
But I thought the real problem with the premiere was that it seemed like the actors were in two different shows. There were campy elements like the ridiculous-looking artifacts, and then there was a more standard investigative drama, but they didn't fuse in any way. The humor wasn't funny enough, and the drama wasn't moving enough.
Eddie McClintock plays Pete Latimer, the easy-going agent who follows his vibes. Joanne Kelly plays Myka Bering, the star agent who resents the assignment.
Saul Rubinek plays the supposedly quirky Artie Nielsen, the curator of Warehouse 13. Rubinek is a fine actor, but I think he was miscast, or misdirected, or trying to work with nonsensical dialogue. The quirky manager has been done much better by Mandy Patinkin as Rube in "Dead Like Me," who had an air of menace and anger under his rumbly, rumbled schlub. Ray Wise brings campy charisma to another manager-type role as the Devil in "Reaper."
The real delight of the episode was Joanne Kelley. Her face was so impassive and smooth in opening scenes that I was afraid that she'd Botoxed all expression out. But as the show went on, I realized that the blank face is part of her actor's repertoire. She had the thankless job as being cast as the smart, no-nonsense woman with a Troubled Past who has to Prove Herself to Her Parents, but Kelley make the stereotype sympathetic and believable. And she's great to look at -- not just beautiful, but interesting.
I hope the series will improve. They have to write better stories than scary haircombs, though.
GRATUITOUS VIDEO OF THE DAY
The GVDs are tributes to those too-soon cancelled shows that Vampire Wire readers mentioned in my current contest.
Bad Euro disco and vampires? Vampire Wire is all over that. "Moonlight" and Mick St. John (Alex O'Loughlin) are still missed by fans. GVD by Tortoiselle.
The chicks of "Farscape" kick ass in this GVD by Tishy53ster.
So many people mentioned the wonderfulness of "The Dresden Files," based on Jim Butcher's novels. I'm going to see if I can get a DVD for a contest. Here's a GVD to Harry Dresden by Cynvision. It's set to one of my favorite songs. Crank it up.
Posted by Marta at 9:26 AM