We cut our cable around when Vivian turned one year old and we haven’t looked back. In the years since then, we’ve weened ourselves from downloads and now get most of our television through Netflix and via iTunes. But we’ve also watched less television. Well, watched less adult television, anyway. Our quota of children’s television remains high.
A couple of years ago, our adult television staples were Doctor Who, Mythbusters, House and Battlestar Galactica. House faded away for us before finally being cancelled. And, of course, Battlestar Galactica came to an end. No other show came up in our hearts to replace them… until recently.
I’ve reviewed Warehouse 13 before. Since then Warehouse 13 has gone up in the world. Already one of Syfy’s most popular television shows, the fourth season saw its length expanded from 13 episodes to 20, and the quality of the program has significantly increased in strength.
Recently, the producers of the show indicated that they wanted to move away from “artefact of the week”, and I think that’s a wise choice. With many successful shows, people come for the ideas, but they stay for the characters. The characters of Warehouse 13 were always strong, largely thanks to the talents of the actors and actresses playing them. But now the fourth season is giving these characters a real chance to shine. Everybody is forced to deal with consequences of previous actions, especially Claudia, who defies just about everybody to raise her friend Jinks from the dead, only to discover that she’s permanently and rather dangerously linked to him from there on out.
But where things have really picked up is in terms of the season’s “big bad”. The previous seasons had varying success with the concept. In season three, though Anthony Michael Hall did his level-headed best, his character of Walter Sykes felt like a rather superficial villain, not really connected to the warehouse despite what the plotline said. This season is quite different, and I think the reason for it is Saul Rubinek as Artie Nelson. He had been the anchor of the show in the past, but this season he’s put on a virtuoso performance, as the world around him is disassembled by the big bad he unleashed in a desperate act following the cliffhanger of the third season.
The tenth episode of the fourth season has already debuted in the United States, and will debut in Canada in two week’s time. Then there’s no new episodes until April. And I will be counting the days until the show returns again.
Another television show I’ve been quite enjoying is Leverage, which is now into its fifth season. It has been, from the start, a fun show about four former super-criminals and one embittered ex-insurance investigator who have got together to get all Robin Hood on the really bad people of the world. I’ve only seen up to the fourth season so far, but they’ve really got the formula down and working. The characters are strong and gaining depth, the actors and actresses have good chemistry, and the storylines are usually fast, smart and funny. I look forward to catching the show’s fifth season on Netflix.
And we’ve recently purchased the first season of Once Upon a Time on iTunes after seeing the pilot. We’ve heard good things about this series and it has definite star power. The pilot was also well done. It was over-the-top, but in a stylish sort of way that suited the story it was telling. We’ll see how the next episodes play out.
What new shows have got you excited, these days?