Watch Wednesday

Watch Wednesday #6: America’s Attic

I’m big American history nerd.  The Civil War is a big interest of mine; I was also weirdly obsessed with Harriet Tubman for a while in middle school.  I recorded a mini film for my project on her in eighth grade–pretty sure I still have it!  (Don’t worry, I won’t make you watch it.)

So, when a show combines that love of ‘Merica’s history with my other love, science fiction, and touches on Harriet Tubman at one point (in a very awesome way), how can I say no?

America’s Attic

If you haven’t heard of or seen Warehouse 13, dude, you are missing out.  The series follows two agents, Pete and Myka, who are transferred from their current positions in the Secret Service to a warehouse in the middle of nowhere (also known as South Dakota) that houses magical artifacts seized by the U.S. government.

To be clear, Warehouse 13 is a Syfy property and, in my experience, that means that it’s naturally more lighthearted and less push-the-envelope television.  Syfy Channel shows can be notoriously ridiculous and cheesy (ahem, Sharknado 1-5, anyone?), and while Warehouse 13 is certainly not X-Files, and works through quite a bit of green screen moments, it is a thoroughly enjoyable show.

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The warehouse is run by a man named Artie and, at his behest, Pete and Myka are sent out to investigate reports of unexplained and somewhat paranormal events throughout the country, all in an effort to locate and secure more strange and dangerous artifacts for housing in the Paradora’s Box that is Warehouse 13.

The artifacts are part of the base enjoyment of Warehouse 13, as they all are items that tie to a historical or mythological event or person.  Although this premise limits the show in some ways, the cast of Warehouse 13 is so well put together that the idea doesn’t ever feel forced.  So, when, as viewers, we’re approached with a compat mirror belonging to Lizzie Borden that makes the user kill their loved ones with an axe, it’s just a freaking fun ride.

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Overall, Warehouse 13 isn’t a show driven by crazy historical objects, but by the characters within and their relationships with one another.  Among Pete and Myka’s dichotomous personalities, and then Artie’s father-like relationship with Claudia, we experience a series that has us returning not only to see the next cool thing, but even more to witness character growth.

Oh, and did I mention how hilarious these people are?  Seriously, I cannot gush enough about the excellent casting.  Never mind that Claudia is played by Allison Scagliottim, who I already loved as Josh’s tormentor/love interest in Drake and Josh, but then there’s Saul Rubinek from Quantum Leap?  I mean, come on.  Then the leading Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly bounce off each other in such a perfect tongue-in-cheek repertoire, you will be laughing.  And then crying.  It’s good stuff.

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Warehouse 13 isn’t meant to be taken too seriously, but it has some seriously creative storytelling and story arcs that will hook you (like their rendition of H. G. Wells).  If you love science fiction, if you love history, if you just love good characters, this is the show for you!

Warehouse 13 isn’t streaming anywhere at this time (SO SAD), although it was streamed on Hulu previously (maybe it’ll make a return there?).  If you’re interested in purchasing it, Warehouse 13 is available on iTunes, VUDU, and Amazon.

For those who have watched, what’s your favorite artifact?

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