TV Review: Inconsistent Season Premiere For Syfy Hit ‘Warehouse 13’

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CHICAGO – Syfy relaunches two of their biggest hits tonight with the fourth season premiere of “Warehouse 13” followed by the second season premiere of “Alphas.” While the latter starts strong enough to presume that the show’s sophomore outing will be vastly improved over its first year, “Warehouse 13” opens with a clunky affair, one that doesn’t really hit the right beats and somehow finds a way to waste the great Brent Spiner, as difficult as that is to do.

HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 2.0/5.0
Television Rating: 2.0/5.0

With “Buffy” writers like Drew Z. Greenberg and Jane Espenson behind the scenes, “Warehouse 13” often has glimpses of the genius of the two TV pioneers but it just as often gets weighed down in silly plot contrivances and tonal inconsistencies. There’s SO MUCH going in the season premiere of “Warehouse 13” and yet none of it really connects on an emotional or entertainment level. Perhaps it’s just the writers bit off more than they could chew with their season premiere and not a sign of weaker writing to come.

Warehouse 13
Warehouse 13
Photo credit: SyFy

At the end of last season, the warehouse that holds thousands of mystical/magical/historical/supernatural items from around the world blew up. Artie (Saul Rubinek) takes center stage in much of this episode as he runs around the world trying to figure out how to turn back the clock 24 hours and stop the explosion. It turns out that the warehouse has a fail safe that involves a watch, a French basement, and even the Vatican. Artie, Pete (Eddie McClintock), Myka (Joanne Kelly), and Claudia (Allison Scaglietti) take off on an intercontinental scavenger hunt and the writing gets bogged down in details and plot twists.

It’s particularly disappointing that the season premiere of “Warehouse 13” feels flat given the incredible potential of its set up. As you might imagine, the warehouse held a few objects that could do some damage were they blown up, including what is essentially Pandora’s Box. As depression takes over the world, the team has to fight to turn back time not just for the warehouse or the people they lost when it blew up but for all mankind.

The characters on “Warehouse 13” are more engaging and interesting than a lot of modern sci-fi television but the writing in the premiere simply doesn’t work. Not only is the dramatic potential of a world with a decreasing quantity of hope not utilized in any serious way but neither is the idea that the team is going to turn back the clock 24 hours and therefore could take significantly more risks given the likelihood that they’re going to hit rewind on all of it.

Last year, I felt like “Warehouse 13” was the strongest program of Syfy’s Monday night series (which also included the now-canceled “Eureka”) but “Alphas” starts this season on a significantly higher note.

“Warehouse 13: Season Three”

Warehouse 13
Warehouse 13
Photo credit: Universal

Synopsis:
Return to the mysterious Warehouse for the most thrilling season yet of Syfy’s most popular series ever! Pete, Myka, Claudia & Artie are joined by new agent Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore, Smallville) as they pursue dangerous new missions, and face a powerful new enemy whose vendetta against the Warehouse knows no bounds. Filled with explosive action, fantastical artifacts and inventive gadgetry, this collectible three-disc set is packed with every Season Three episode and riveting bonus features including a never-before-seen episode of the webisode series Of Monsters and Men.

Special Features:
o Deleted Scenes
o Gag Reel
o Episode Commentaries With Cast & Crew
o Interviews With Guest Stars Lindsey Wagner, Kate Mulgrew, Anthony Michael Hall and More!
o Of Monsters And Men: 10 Part Animated Web Series With A Never Before Seen Bonus Chapter

‘Warehouse 13,’ which airs on SyFy, stars Eddie McClintock, Saul Rubinek, Joanne Kelly, Allison Scagliotti, and CCH Pounder. The fourth season premiere returns on Monday, July 23, 2012 at 8PM CST. The third season was released on DVD on July 17, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Carter's picture

I have watched Warehouse 13

I have watched Warehouse 13 since season 1, and this was one of my favorite episodes so far. Personally, I look for the characters playing off of each other to try and keep the humor light. As dark as the tone of the episode was, it didn’t take away from the central idea of the show: to have a light-hearted fun show about federal agents capturing mystical artifacts. I recommended this episode to all of my coworkers, at Dish, friends, and family, because of this. I wasn’t able to watch it live on Monday, but it is on Dish Online for free, so I watched it this morning. I don’t see how the writing wasn’t suitable enough for you, as it has the same playable story that most of the other episodes has.

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