July 10, 2010

Quick Thoughts: SyFy's Summer Shows

This past week, SyFy (still not used to that name) premiered the fourth season of its heavy-hitter, Eureka, the second season of Warehouse 13, and newbie Haven. While the episodes were not out of this world, they did set up what looks to be some pretty interesting seasons.

Warehouse 13: "Time Will Tell"
Syfy's newest hit's sophomore season picked up right where it left off. Artie's feared to be dead, Claudia's on the run, and MacPherson's up to no-good. Of course we all knew Artie was going to be OK, but "Time Will Tell" wrapped up the MacPherson mini-arc while introducing us to a new big bad.

After MacPherson was de-bronzed, he decided to reanimate another baddie to help him with his dastardly plot (still not quite sure I understand what he was trying to do). His new partner in crime was H.G. Wells, but not the person we all think of...this Wells was a woman. Confusing enough for you? Wells was interesting enough to be a pretty convincing antagonist, and I'm excited to see where this season will end up.

The stories are off the wall, but what makes the show work is the chemistry between the characters and the makeshift family they've created. The W13 group isn't as great as the Leverage Crew, but they're up there. Of course there's still a little bit of romantic tension between Myka & Pete, but I'm hoping their relationship is drawn out because I enjoy watching them flirt.

Eureka: "Founder's Day"
My biggest gripe about Eureka is how it is so procedural in nature that it has become repetitive. Some brilliant scientist's experiment goes wrong, and every genius cannot figure out how to fix said problem, but Sheriff Carter somehow always comes up with the solution. Yawn.

Also, the past few seasons of Eureka really haven't had a strong overarching storyline, but that kind of changed with the Season 4 premiere. Somehow Carter, Allison, Henry, Jo, and Fargo are transported to a 40's-era Eureka. I still don't know how they ended up there or how they got back, but they did bring back Dr. Trevor Grant, which of course changes the present.

Time travel can always been a tricky plot device, but if it can be done right, things can be very entertaining. I'm intrigued to see how present-day Eureka will be impacted by the arrival of one of town's forerunners. Season 4 should be a fun ride.

Haven: "Welcome to Haven"
Syfy's newest show is take on a Stephen King novella by the name of The Colorado Kid. I haven't read it, so I don't know how closely the series stays to the source material, by my guess is not much.

On the surface, Haven, has a very familiar formula. It's a supernatural procedural much like Eureka and Warehouse 13, but it's a little darker with a bit of humor thrown in. The pilot did a pretty decent job of introducing the town of Haven and it's odd inhabitants as well as setting up the main characters.

The show revolves around Special Agent Aubrey Parker who was brought to Haven on a case, and she quickly learned that there's more going on. The kicker was she might have ties to this extraordinary little town. She met Nathan who was a part of the local law. Of course there are sparks because every procedural needs some sort of unresolved sexual tension between the leads, but then Duke Crocker was thrown into the mix and we can see the love triangle develop from a mile away.

Usually this type of cheap storytelling (UST and love triangles) can be annoying, but there's enough chemistry shared between Aubrey and the two male suitors that I'll go along with it for now. I know these ploys rope in casual viewers, but I'm hoping they don't overrun the show. Haven is not the best show ever made, but its first outing was entertaining enough and I'll probably give it a shot.

SyFy is not going to overtake its corporate sibling, USA Network, anytime soon to become the "it" cable station, but its line-up of scripted programs is strong enough to keep me coming back for more. There's a chance that the shine will wear off, but it's not like there's a ton of quality shows on during the summer, so I really can't be picky.


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