The essence of summer shows always creates an intensive perspective on the eye of development. In what is mostly a high yield cable situation, sometimes the networks have trouble launching a diversified level of show. With the perspective of three through the pipeline, the intention here works both sides of the line.
Warehouse 13 This basis mired in the antecedent motivation of “the warehouse” as lifted from “Raiders” and “Crystal Skull” actually works within its structure. The cast rounds out nicely especially a couple episodes in as they hit their stride. Having met most of the cast at Comic Con this year, the balance of personalities between the angles of the show and the interaction is totally paradoxical to real life. Pete and Myka on screen are polar opposites but Myka longs to break loose (which she does in the Las Vegas/Alice In Wonderland episode). The storylines are fun and diversive since this kind of series can go a lot further than say “X-Files”. It is also buoyed by Saul Rubinek who plays Artie with a delicious anti-social quality that bemoans him. The character of Claudia (although a ragtag addition) adds a more humorous dimension that Myka cannot personify unfortunately. In terms of mythology, three middle episodes in the first run hinted at more of an outside terror. In actuality it turned out to be elements of Claudia testing the infrastructure. That said most of the episodes in terms of 6 in seem to function on their own which seems to work in the essence of ratings. While not mind boggling or awe inducing at any rate, the intent is effectively channeled. The use of music is somewhat inspired since the budget allows for some fun (aka using Jefferson Starship’s “White Rabbit” at the end of the Alice/Vegas episode). As long as the dynamic is maintained, the future of this series is consistent.
Royal Pains At first sight, despite having hung out in the Hamptons many times, the key to highlighting its people is by making them just kooky enough to be lovable, just cunning enough to be lethal and just rich enough to be dangerous. The producer/writers here take a note from “Burn Notice” and its structure elements. Like Sam, Michael and Fiona in BN, here you have Evan, Hank and Dieva. The personalities are different and the angle is skewed but it follows the same direction for the most part. A man is out and he may want back in. The thing is that is some circles in what Hank gets to do is a step up and possibility the “wave of the future” from where he was before. It does however carry some inherent dangers which Hank starts to deal with, specifically with the omnipresent Boris (played with delicious restraint by a wonderully regal Campbell Scott). The romantic subplot with Jill, who works as an administrator at the hospital, is handled in a very adult way. Towards the end of the season there is a thwart in those plans but that happens in any series. But unlike the series of the past there are certain societal blocks involving sex that are no longer an issue (at least on cable television) which allows the character’s lives to grow in a sometimes more organic way. Instead of spending all of their time thinking about sex, they just do it part of the time. Very practical. The humor especially with Hank and Evan works well in the first couple episodes but the Evan factor inevitability becomes a little annoying simply due to the nature of the characters. These points may be nitpicking but overall, the series hits the spot and catches the cool while also tackling the weird, human and interesting. Like “Burn Notice” it has legs and doesn’t have to worry about as high as stakes.
Mental Seeing the crescent of “Lie To Me” which still needs to find its way, this FOX series on the tactically minefield-like arena of mental health has its challenges for sure too. Unlike pure procedural elements, the differences of opinion here in a very tactile field can go one way or another. For example, the treatment of a movie star who has a hidden past but plays method has its pratfalls. A kid who believes he is in a video game but cannot connect in the real world has more practical applications. However the structure within psychosis of a lawyer who lost her way and can’t tell reality from a dreamworld can be truly confusing. The lead Chris Vance has his charm, in a roundabout kind of way, but he doesn’t possess the incumbent intensity of say a Tim Roth which is what this show will be compared to in the current medium. The reality is that the concepts here in terms of stability is unsteady at best so its possibilities in serving out the year tend to be weak.
And the music plays on…