It was a fun and frustrating week in Genre TV. The Emmy’s were last night, and as happy as I am for John Lithgow’s Dexter win, and Aaron Paul’s Breaking Bad win, I have to say I’m disappointed that Dexter didn’t pick up the best drama award. As much as Bryan Cranston deserved the threepete for Breaking Bad, I was kind of hoping for Michael C Hall to win best actor after what was the best season of Dexter’s run, or any shows run for that matter. The week in shows was just as up and down. While some shows are moving towards amazing finale’s, others are going through the motions as if they could care less.
WAREHOUSE 13 – My wish came true, Claudia was sent into the field again, this week escorting Artie on an investigation of a home wrecking artifact. The artifact, Mata Hari’s stockings, worn in the episode by a Femme Fatale (played by Dead Like Me’s Laura Harris) after the riches of the men she seduces. As happy as I was to see Claudia back out there in the spotlight, I can’t deny that Pete and Myka’s storyline had me quite literally laughing out load. Robert Louis Stevenson’s (writer of Jekyll and Hyde) bookends, one an eagle, one a lion have merged into an artifact that pulls the freakiest of all Freaky Fridays. This Griffin bookend causes Pete and Myka to switch bodies while Myka is attending her High School Reunion. The scenes of Pete in Myka’s body are great, but it’s the songs playing behind these scenes that really had me smiling. The Macarena, Savage Garden’s Truly Madly Deeply, and Chumbawamba’s epic Tub Thumping took me right back into the late 90’s. It was Eddie McClintock’s version of Myka in his body however that was the funniest moment of the season. A girly pitch to his voice with a distinct level of self-righteous tone made the rendition spot on. When they find another pair affected by the artifact, they realize that their body swap is about to go one step further as the two are joined as one constantly changing entity. In the end, it all works out, everything back to normal, and Pete and Myka are unmistakably connected more than ever before.
SCREAM QUEENS – What does it take to embody a true Scream Queen? First and foremost, you’ll need to play the scared victim really well. Then, you’ll have to turn the performance around into the tough vengeful protagonist. But don’t forget, you must do all of this while remaining SEXY. Sexiness was the week’s theme on Scream Queens. An acting challenge on making the mundane seem sexy led to some embarrassing moments. The week’s director’s challenge had the girls playing a snake-wielding stripper. Jessica shined, and won the episode. Allison, the bitchy girl of the season was cut for an unintentionally creepy performance sadly reminiscent of the robotic girl aliens form Mars Attacks. The first challenge of the show had the girls do a horror themed photo shoot. The winner of the challenge was awarded a spread in Fangoria magazine, an awesome prize that was fittingly judged by Debbie Rochon, former hostess of Fangoria Radio. Rochon is the truest definition of the Scream Queen, and I’d love to see her act as a mentor on a more permanent basis. I had the pleasure of working with Rochon on Richard Griffin’s Splatter Disco, and I can honestly say, this woman is one hell of a hard working actress. She’s constantly working, and not many horror actresses working today can pull off the Scream Queen title better. The girls on the show could really learn a lot from her.
HAVEN – You remember Sam Raimi’s 1990 flick Darkman? Well, when I heard that this week’s mysterious villain on Haven was the Dark Man, a part of me was hoping for the return of Liam Neeson’s Batman-esque crusader. I’m not naive, I knew this wasn’t so, but I need to build up whatever false anticipation I can in order to bring myself to scroll to this show on my DVR each week. Turned out, the Dark Man was really the angry personality of a blind man which separated itself in the form of his shadow to embark on a Haven killing spree. The Incredible Hulk he is not. The Dark Man wields a shadow sword that can penetrate human flesh, and plunges it through the chests of his victims. In one particular killing, a woman is stabbed through the back while seated on her couch. The effect is so poorly done, that the padding clumps up around the woman’s neck making it obvious to even the most untrained of eyes that she is propped up. Effects on shows like this are usually not great, using mediocre CGI at best. This however, was a practical effect that just screamed amateur hour, and really took me out of the scene. In the subplot of the episode, Nathan battles with affection, after all, the guy can’t feel anything. I just can’t tell if the cold delivery of his interactions is deliberate, as a character detached from people, or ironic, as an actor detached from his craft.
TRUE BLOOD – The second to last episode of the season started with Eric’s girl Pam scolding Bill Compton as an “infatuated tween.” HAHAHA! Indeed! I hear loads of people complain about the Sookie love triangle storyline of the show, but we can’t forget, the Charlene Harris books on which the shows are based follow the romance closely. I can be cynical however, of the constant side stories that bog down episode after episode. Really, who give two shits about Arlene? These stories might be a major part of the books as well, but series creator Alan Ball needs to do a better job choosing what to cut. The problem is, they’ve created such a massive ensemble cast that the show sometimes ventures into Soap Opera territory. I have to admit that the Lafayette story intrigues me, especially the creepy scene this week with his talking cult idols, but I have no clue where its going, or why now. Don’t get me wrong, from Jason’s dimwitted commentaries, Sam and Tara’s tortured souls, and Jessica’s trouble adapting to her new life, I love these characters. I just wish they could focus more time as the season ends, to the potentially awesome villain they’ve created with Russell. In this week’s episode, Russell promises, “soon there will be anarchy, then there will be me.” I’ve hoped for that the past three weeks, and so far, I’m disappointed. Eric sets a trap for Russell using Sookie as the pawn. The enticing promise of being able to daywalk by drinking Sookie’s blood, leads the men to kidnap Bill and Sookie. We know the affect lasts mere minutes, but Eric traps Russell outdoors, handcuffing Russell to himself. The episode ends with both men handcuffed in the sun, their flesh burning rapidly. Will they kill of Eric? God I hope not, he’s the best thing this show has going for it. In two weeks we’ll find out on the season finale. Did I see Godric in the preview for the finale?
EUREKA – Café Diem must have used some magic mushrooms in their lunch special this week, because Eureka residents were hallucinating big time. Actually, A GD invented E bomb caused Henry’s shared memory PTSD device to short circuit into the minds of Carter, Allison, Fargo, and Jo. Obviously. The characters were seeing the people they subconsciously fear the most. For Allison, that was Carter’s ex, Tess. For Carter, it was Allison’s ex, and if you’re a Eureka fan, I’m sure you were excited as I was to see the brief return of Nathan Stark (so named after Iron Man Tony Stark). Stark was killed off via dematerialization in season 3. Until I saw him again, I didn’t realize how much I missed this characters snarky attitude. In this episode, he was Carters hallucination, so the snarkiness was amped up to 11. In his first scene of the episode, Stark appears to Carter’s surprise. As Carter remarks on his “dead, undeadness,” Stark looks at his reflection in the mirror and replies, “nope, not a vampire,” a mention of his brief stint as a True Blood vamp upon leaving Eureka. Nothing gets past the Eureka writers. It has to be a fun job writing for a show where you are quite literally a scientist of imagination. The other character return of the episode was Beverly Barlow, the leader of the anti-GD Consortium. It’s revealed that she has led an effort to rebuild the bridge device that could send our heroes back into their universe. What’s her motive? We’ll find out on next weeks Eureka finale.
Fall TV Preview coming next week. Tune in, same TV Eye time, same TV Eye channel.