So… I’m trying to decide if doing TV recaps for shows that interest me is worth the time. I’m worried that once I do one, my inner armchair critic will go overboard because I tend to analyze my entertainment a lot. Now usually I turn off that analysis in the summer because summer TV tends to be formulaic and fluffy, but this year’s summer TV shows are really impressing me with effective layered storytelling. I’ve been especially surprised and impressed by the direction SyFy is taking with Eureka and Warehouse 13.
Now don’t get me wrong, both of these shows are mostly fluff. They don’t exactly venture into the part of the emotional world that House M.D. spent much of its last couple seasons in, or even into the angst ridden (if mostly unimpressive) world of a show like Heroes but they’re managing to do something that’s pretty hard in this day and age. They’re managing to be Sci-Fi action shows that are first and foremost about the characters, without getting Emo. They’ve got a spirit that reminds me of Joss Whedon’s early seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer where the fantastical monster nearly always reflected on the very real internal lives of the protagonists. Last Friday’s Eureka was a perfect example of this, robots were loaded with emotions and started behaving a bit insane out of love, but it really wasn’t much crazier than the crazy things the humans were doing for love. One of the (human) love stories was genuinely touching in a way I don’t tend to expect from a summer TV show. Warehouse 13 is basically Moonlighting with science fiction elements and tends to be formulaic, but this week they flipped their formula around and suddenly I have a newfound confidence in their writers. I’m excited for the direction they’re going! If you haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and watch an episode of the current seasons of Eureka or Warehouse 13 I’d highly recommend it, the crossover episodes from 2 weeks ago available on Hulu are a great place to start with both shows to get a feeling for the worlds.
Now back to the recap question. I’m thinking both of these shows are well served by the recaps on Io9 so I probably wouldn’t do the recaps on them. I might use The Colony, a reality show on Discovery that’s got a bit of a Sci-Fi premise to it. Basically its an experiment on how people would survive after a world changing disaster. It’s not a contest, no ones out to win anything, they just have to start from scratch and build a society with the 9 people they have. When it focuses on their ingenuity it’s great, when outside conflict has been thrown in just for drama, it falters.
I’ve run out of writing for tonight, we’ll see what I think about recapping tomorrow