Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Magical Artifacts

This week, Amber West and I return to the science fiction world and review two of our viewers’ favorite SyFy programs.

Warehouse 13

Throughout history, government agencies have built secret warehouses around the world to house and protect magical artifacts.  These warehouses are overseen by the Secret Service and a group known as the Council of Regents. 

Warehouse 13, the current warehouse designed by a team including Thomas Edison, is hidden deep in the mountains outside of the fictional town of Univille, South Dakota, also known as the middle of nowhere.  As a part of their cover, the Secret Service agents claim to work for the IRS, and therefore the townsfolk snub them.  After all, who likes the IRS? 

Dr. Arthur “Artie” Nielsen (played by Saul Rubinek from the TV series Frasier and Nero Wolf) is the agent-in-charge of the warehouse.  Artie has a hard time trusting others with the artifacts, and he is oftentimes frustrated with his two lead agents, Myka and Pete.  Artie isn’t very personal, although he does have an ongoing crush on a visiting doctor played by Lindsay Wagner, who comes once a year to remove his regenerating appendix (it’s a magical show, remember?). 

Viewers learn that Artie’s mysterious past includes his unknowingly trading magical artifacts to the Soviet Union in exchange for the release of his imprisoned family members, an act that was considered treason by the United States.  Once he turned himself in, the US government assigned him to the warehouse where he has been ever since. 

Myka Bering (played by Joanne Kelly from the TV series Vanished and The Dresden Files) is the traditional, play by the rules, Secret Service agent working at the warehouse.  Like most women, Myka pays great attention to detail, and her professional style clashes with her goofy partner, Pete.  On a personal note, Myka has a pet ferret (that she named Pete) and she loves Twizzlers.

What “special power” does Myka bring to the table? She has a photographic memory.

Pete Lattimer (played by Eddie McClintock from the TV series Stark Raving Mad and Crumbs) is the other side of the partnership.  He’s a former Marine and a recovering alcoholic, yet he still has a goofy and fun side.  Pete loves sports, collects comic books, and craves junk food. 

What “special power” does Pete bring to the table? He’s a master at reading lips and he can sense when something bad is about to happen. 

The two partners share a cute relationship – it’s clear that they love each other, but more in a brotherly/sisterly kind of way.  Pete dated the town veterinarian for a little while (until an artifact possessed her and she tried to kill him), while Myka managed to kiss the boy she crushed on in high school at her reunion.  Other than that, the Warehouse 13 agents rarely have time for any romantic interludes. 

The Warehouse also employs Claudia (played by Allison Scagliotti), a young techie-genius who went to work for the team after breaking into the warehouse, and Leena (played by Genelle Williams), the proprietor of the local bed and breakfast where the agents reside. 

Other recurring characters include: Mrs. Frederic (C.C.H. Pounder), the director of the warehouse and liaison between the agents and regents; Helena “H.G.” Wells (Jaime Murray), an agent from the late 1800’s who bounces back and forth between good and evil; and, Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore), an agent brought in after Myka temporarily resigns. 

A huge bonus to working at the warehouse is the access to very cool gadgets.  The agents use a “Farnsworth” to communicate with one another visually and telephonically in lieu of cell phones.  Instead of using real guns, the agents use a “Tesla Gun” – a weapon that shoots lightning bolts that stuns the bad guys instead of killing them.  The agents also use caution when in public by capturing the magic of the artifacts by sealing it inside metallic “flash” bags.   

Warehouse 13 has featured many historical artifacts throughout the seasons including Lewis Carroll’s looking glass, Lizzie Borden’s compact, Marilyn Monroe’s hair brush, Harry Houdini’s wallet, Marie Antoinette’s guillotine blade (well, the one that killed her), Ben Franklin’s lightning rod, and Edgar Allan Poe’s quill pen. 

Click here for a complete list of artifacts to date.

Not personally big on most shows featured on SyFy, I find Warehouse 13 very enjoyable.  I read somewhere that W13 has over 50% female viewers, maybe for the very same reasons that I watch – it’s fun, magical, and an escape from reality.    That’s why Warehouse 13 earns a JFTV rating – it’s like the bag of potato chips that we just can’t put down.

Are you a Warehouse 13 fan? Is there an artifact throughout history that you’d like to get your hands on, and if so, what magical power do you think it might possess?   Do you like that the writers keep the relationship between Myka and Pete strictly professional and friendly, or would you prefer see a romantic spark ignite? I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she has to say about SyFy’s Eureka.

Come back next week when Amber and I recommended a few more queue worthy shows for your viewing pleasure as we close out the month of August with another Netflix edition.     

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

31 Replies to “Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Magical Artifacts”

  1. I love Warehouse 13. It’s a show my husband and I watch together. It’s always interesting to see what artifact will be featured next. It gets a little silly sometimes, but that’s part of the fun of it.

    I think my favorite character is Claudia.

    I would probably have given this one a MacTV rating.

    1. Hey, Lauralynn! Agreed – Warehouse 13 is one show that men and women can enjoy. We watch it together in our house too.

      Claudia wears on me a bit….I think I like Pete the most. Go figure. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I need to look for this on Netflix and start from the beginning. I see previews for it all the time and know I’d like it. I’ve just never taken the time to watch it.

    1. Hey, Stacy! Keep in mind that it took watching a few episodes for us to really get hooked. I’m never one to give up early on a show. I hope you’ll give it a try. Like I told Catie, season two is better than season one and season three so far is great, maybe better than season two with the addition of Jinks. 🙂

  3. I missed Warehouse 13. Until now, I never really understood what it was about. It sounds really interesting. The premise sort of reminds me of Friday the 13th: The Series. That show was about cursed artifacts. Unfortunately, it’s one of those that didn’t age too well so you don’t see it much anymore.

    Thanks for the tip on Warehouse 13. 😀

    1. Warehouse 13 is definitely on the lighter side compared to Friday the 13th – it’s a lot of fun. The chemistry of the two lead agents is sometimes laugh-out-loudable, and the addition of the new guy (Jinks) is great because his “secret power” is that he can tell when someone is lying. “You’re lying,” is one of his most frequent character lines. We’ve been watching a Warehouse 13 marathon in our house the past few weekends, and we’re both fans now! I hope you give it a shot. Thanks for stopping by, Catie!

  4. I was surprised this show became so popular. I started it, but after about four episodes, I honestly couldn’t get into it. It seemed kind of cheesy. Maybe it got better after everyone got comfortable in their shoes.

    1. Hey, Angela! I like your new avatar picture. 🙂

      Our house agrees that Warehouse 13 gets better as the seasons progress. We liked the second half of season two much more than the first half…and season three started off (so far) great. Maybe give it another chance? Myka and Pete are fun.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. How did I miss this one? I’ll have to do like Stacy and find it on Netflix. I don’t watch a ton of Sci-fi. Remember Sliders with Jerry O’Connell. 😉 I loved that show. Very sci-fi, but who doesn’t want to watch Jerry? lol

    1. Wow, Sliders…now there’s a blast from the past. I’m still upset that The Defenders with Belushi wasn’t renewed! Who doesn’t love Jerry? Thanks, Jessica, now I miss Crossing Jordan too! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I’ve been a fan from day one. Pete’s special power is that he gets vibes warning him of danger. Joanne Kelly is the reason I tuned in. Unlike most fans though I ship Myka & Pete. I don’t see this bro/sis give you do. Eddie & Joanne’s chemistry is awesome.
    You forgot Leena & Mrs. Fredric. 😉

    1. You are right! Pete can sense trouble – I’ve updated my post. Sometimes I hit publish and remember something after the fact. They’ve really featured his “sixth sense” in Season 3, particularly episode one. I agree, Eddie & Joanne’s chemistry is fantastic, and I’m really enjoying Jinks and Claudia working as a team this season as well. W13 is a fun watch. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I can’t wait till I have more time to watch TV. I’m missing all these cool shows. Yes, this sounds like one that I’d like a lot. I love the way you break the shows down and tell us about the characters and the premise for the storylines. Well done!

    1. Thank you , Lynn. I try really hard to not give anything away about the plots and story. I hope that by writing brief character bios and providing just enough of a teaser will build the audience of my favorite shows. 🙂

  8. I’m so behind on this season, but soon I’ll watch them all in one big chunk.

    For me it’s the closest thing to a Joss Whedon show on TV. I know Jane Espenson (a writer and producer for many of his shows) co-created Warehouse 13. And she usually wrote the funnier episodes, so maybe that’s why every Warehouse 13 has got this light fun kind of feel to it. Last year’s Christmas episode was one of my favorites.

    1. Hey, Andrew! That’s what we’ve been doing the past few weekends – having a Warehouse 13 marathon. Watching episode after episode really is the best way to watch TV. I loved the Christmas episode with Harry Dresden. 🙂 I actually really enjoy when TV programs have special holiday episode like Monk used to do. I hadn’t thought of it, but W13 does kinda remind me of a Whedon program – great bit of info about Espenson. Thanks for sharing & for stopping by!

  9. I wondered, have you watched any of TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY series? I got hooked. And it’s turning into something pretty weird. Premise is what if one day everyone became immortal and couldn’t die? Even if they have mortal wounds, vegetative state, etc….nobody dies, what would government do? Was a pharmaceutical company behind the “miracle” or aliens or what? Very odd show, on STARZ channel, but interesting too.

    1. Hey, Amy – I have not started Torchwood yet, but I’ve been told that I will enjoy it. I’m hoping to catch the series via Starz On Demand. Watching episode after episode is really the best way to watch TV. Wouldn’t you agree? Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Awesome! You really must stop talking about all these great shows. My list is going to get too long. 😀 I’m in love with Falling Skies now. I watched the whole season and now I’m in agony waiting for the new season.

  11. I started watching W13 because of Jane Espenson, and stayed because I fell in love with the characters and the premise. I really dig on the idea that a strong personality can infuse an object with power either intentionally or not. Plus, when Whedon alums guest star, I get all geeky and giggly. The episode with Kaylee and Simon from Firefly? BEST EVER!

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