Tele-Tuesday: A New Year Full of the Paranormal

We briefly discussed how the supernatural is taking over the world, the world of television that is, last week in our Why It’s Worth a Watch review of the SyFy network’s Being Human.

Blame it on this love for the paranormal, but we announce with excitement that there’s not only one, or two, but three new science fiction shows airing on not one, or two, but three different networks in the next few weeks.  Not all three are one hundred percent supernatural, but all three have the crucial element of sci-fi – leaving the audience believing in fantastical events, whether realistic or not.

*****

Lost Girl

What if we made a habit of waking up next to dead lovers?

That’s the story of Bo’s life (Anna Silk), her life as a succubus.

Lost Girl follows Bo as she attempts to control her power and balance her supernatural and human lives.

Bo works alongside a combination of supernatural beings and human friends: Kenzi (Ksenia Solo, Life Unexpected), Bo’s best friend and scam artist with many “street” talents; Dyson (Kristen Holden-Reid, The Tudors), a police detective and a wolf shape-shifter; Lauren (Zoie Palmer), a human doctor with valuable knowledge of the supernatural Fae organization, an organization that we can only assume is a supernatural council of sorts; and Trick (Rick Howland), the owner of a town pub where good and bad, supernatural and human, mingle.

Looks like Bo can hold her own, succubus or no succubus

Lost Girl has aired in Canada for the past few television seasons, and has been renewed for a third.  The SyFy network recently acquired the rights to air the first two seasons, and the series premiered last night.

But don’t worry; if you missed the pilot episode, you can catch the encore presentation this Saturday, January 21st at 10pm CST. 

Lost Girl airs on SyFy’s Monday night’s 9pm CST time slot following Being Human.

*****

Touch

He’s back… Jack’s back…only this time not as our beloved Jack Bauer.  Instead, Kiefer Sutherland returns to the Fox network as Martin Bohm, a single father to an autistic and mute son.  A son (Jake, played by David Mazouz), who despite his lack of verbal communication and social skills, possesses a greater ability – the ability to see things that no one else can and communicate solely by using numbers.

Touch also stars the great Danny Glover as Professor Arthur Dewitt, an expert who will help Martin better understand Jake, even if his methods are a bit unorthodox.  It is crucial that Martin establish a better relationship with his son and build a solid home, since social worker Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Undercovers) is watching his every move.

Touch premieres on Fox, January 25th.

*****

The River

The River has been described as a paranormal, action-packed, and adventurous program, that also falls into the horror, mystery, and fantasy genres.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

The series follows the friends and family members of Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood, as they search for any signs that the famous television personality and wild life expert survived his last voyage into the Amazon.

Desperate for the opportunity to search for their loved one, the doctor’s wife (Tess, played by Leslie Hope, 24) and son (Lincoln, played  by Joe Anderson, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) agree to allow Dr. Cole’s former producer (Clark, played by Paul Blackthorne, the great Harry Dresdon from The Dresdon Files) to join and film the expedition “documentary” style, in exchange for his funding of the trip.

The search team also consists of: Lena (Eloise Mumford), a valued resource; Emilio (Daniel Zacapa), the mechanic; and Captain Kurt (Thomas Kretschmann), a bodyguard.

Will the team discover the truth behind Dr. Cole’s disappearance, or will they too fall victim to The River?

The River premieres on the ABC network February 7th.

*****

What do you think – did you catch the pilot episode of Lost Girl?  Do you plan to watch Touch or The River?  Which show has the most promise and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

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

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