Editor’s note: Once again, running late. Not off to a good start with this thing. But I guess all new components have a sort of grace period where they take some time to work the kinks out. Stay with me. I’ll get this shit figured out in time. In the meantime, Tony’s back with more of what’s happening on TV.
As the summer season starts to wind down, some shows begin to fizzle out. This week, a visit to the Warehouse, and a couple of strange little towns on SyFy. We take another class on how not to act. And a vampire favorite more tangled than the worlds largest ball of twine (Fun Fact: it’s located two states north of Bon Temps in Cawker City, Kansas).
WAREHOUSE 13 – We all remember Popeye throwing back a can of Spinach to the result of a heavily inflated set of biceps. Well, tonight’s Warehouse 13 follows a similar premise as the agents are sent to investigate a college wrestling team on a mysterious winning streak. The wrestler’s muscles gyrate and expand like waves, only, unlike said sailorman; their end result is spontaneous combustion. There’s no spinach involved here, just an energy drink being tested on the team by an overzealous stockholder, using an old Viking ladle with the power of adding strength. Forced to take some time off, Pete’s absence in the field results in the always-cute Claudia teaming up with Myka for the investigation. While Pete and Myka have a sarcastic, all be it, beat-perfect rapport of cooperation, I found Claudia’s style of investigation to be an awesomely fun departure. Interrogating a witness while sitting Indian style, full of charm and saucy wit, I couldn’t help but want more. H.G. Wells makes her return (Yes, HG is a she), played by Jamie Murray, best known from her stint as Lila from season 2 of Dexter. All in all, a good episode, full of great characters and hilarious props like Timothy Leary’s hallucinogenic glasses, and PT Barnum’s organ growing top.
EUREKA – Geeks, dorks, and nerds, what’s the difference really? Eureka is full of them. Eureka fans are them. And I myself am proud to admit that I am as well. Maybe not a scientific smarty pants like the Eureka populace, but a dork none-the-less. Each week the minds of this amazing little town are inventing, solving and discovering the grandest of scientific breakthroughs. These breakthroughs are nothing without the characters that inhabit the town. This week, a Paleontology expert fabricates the discovery of a fossil using a chemical solution that speeds up the petrifaction process. Of course, being Eureka, the solution leeches into the surrounding area affecting a number of the townspeople with the rapid fossilization of their skin. Frozen in time, I couldn’t help compare the petrified townspeople to the Weeping Angels from the “Blink” episode of Dr. Who. Zoe makes her return to town, and it seems that Alternate Universe Zoe is a bit smarter than the Zoe from the Eureka our heroes were sent from. At the end of the episode, Henry serenades his alternate universe wife with an epic rendition of Thomas Dolby’s ‘She Blinded Me With Science.’ With Fargo on the turntables, Henry finally establishes a connection with the woman the universe has chosen. In the end, Carter does as well, as he and Allison finally hook up after 4 seasons. “Blinding me with science – science!”
SCREAM QUEENS – Jamie Lee Curtis shrieking as Michael Myers stalks her down a dark street. Barbara Steele’s damning promise of revenge muzzled behind a mask. Marilyn Burns covered in blood running from the drone of a chainsaw. Shelly Duvall cowering behind a door as a knife plunges through it. Janet Leigh mutilated in the shower. Karlie Lewis showered in a plume of maggots. What was that last one? Who the hell is Karlie Lewis? Exactly! She’s one of the mostly unmemorable cast of Scream Queens, the one to get the axe on this weeks episode. The annoyingly whiny contestant Sierra actually did well this week, after two weeks of the worst performances on the show. Maybe it was because the acting challenge involved crying on queue, which she does constantly on her own. The director’s challenge involved a scene of a decaying corpse and a showering of maggots, and I thought every performance was atrocious. The first challenge of the episode was actually the best of the season so far, an exercise in performance capture that really tested the girl’s creativity. Ty was again impressive, but Sierra was the standout, and actually won leading lady for the episode. Comparing these girls to some of the most memorable female horror roles in history may be unfair, but it definitely illustrates how far down the totem pole these aspiring actresses really are.
HAVEN – I have to say, the mystery of this weeks episode was, surprisingly, kind of cool and well executed. An aspiring young artist sketches town landmarks and people from Haven, only to discover that these images can manipulate the real thing. A sketch of a man is folded as his bones snap in half. Another man is sliced in three as his sketch is shredded. In the final confrontation of the episode, a landscape drawing of the entire town is threatened as a flick of the paper explodes a church steeple. Actually some pretty cool effects. But again, the show has so many shortcomings, that any moment of likability is quickly erased. The acting is so hard to ignore, standing out for the uninspired delivery of Emily Rose and supporting cast as flat as the Ancient Greeks view of planet Earth. The writing however, continues to be the shows core weakness. Each wild mystery is handled so nonchalantly that any connection with the audience is immediately lost. A bunch of voodoo paintings are killing people! How can this be so easily explained and accepted? It can’t, unless you count bad writing as an explanation.
TRUE BLOOD – If last weeks episode was the spark that should have caused an explosive set of episodes to end the season, what was tonight’s? It was the writers taking a giant piss on that spark, putting out any notion of ending the season where I’d hoped. Sure there’s two more episodes left, but WHAT THE HELL?! I expected an episode full of amazing confrontations, a set of actions that would put into motion a finale nothing short of an epic bloodbath. What we were given instead was a ton of new information, which further bogs down an already overweight season. New characters were introduced, and the polluting side stories again took precedent. When we finally thought we were steeped in an actual central storyline, the writers took us right back out of that story. Finally we are told what Sookie is, a Fairy. When she finds out, she remarks, “I’m a fairy? How Fucking lame.” The rest of the episode we are shown a lot of Sam’s back-story, which is unexpected and untimely. Lafayette and his new beau have a fun trip on some V, revealing their ancestral origins. Fun, and really well stylized, but again, an unnecessary departure. Eric, instead of preparing for battle, prepares for his true death as he spends the episode writing wills and making amends. The brief time we see Russell, he is till mourning the loss of Talbot, using a male prostitute as a vessel to say goodbye. That’s it! If the final two episodes don’t deliver what us True Blood fans really want, then the Vampire revolution will have nothing on the outcry of the True fans.