Warehouse 13 – Grande Finale

(Looks like I’m in a TV frame of mind at the moment)

If you don’t want to know what happened in final season of Warehouse 13 because you haven’t watched it yet, turn away now.

Stick your fingers in your ears and go, “la, la, la, la,” all the way out of the room.

I’m serious.

No peeking through the keyhole.

Right. Now it’s just us.

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First up:
What this post’s title really is: ‘Warehouse 13 – not-so-Grande Finale.’ I wish the person calling the shots this season had been … braver.

There was this:
Deep down I never really expected the show to deliver on any kind of happy ending for Myka and Helena, that was too much to ask for, and we’ve had our hearts broken too many times, but what they did to Myka and Pete, well, it was worse than the nothingness of Myka and Helena G. Wells.

Throughout the previous four seasons there was never any romance between Myka and Pete until the ham-fisted way it was inserted into the truncated nonsense laughingly called Season 5. Up until then they’d only had a buddy or sister/brother relationship. They loved each other, sure, but in love?

In my minds eye, after they kissed they both paused while we, the audience, held our collective breath, then they wiped their mouths with the backs of their hands, said, “Nope,” and scuttled off in different directions, never to mention it again. That would’ve been true to the characters that’d evolved over the preceding four seasons, and true to the overall whimsical humor of the show.

And then:
Characters reflecting on their story arcs throughout the life of the show is a tried and true method of ending a show, and this was no exception. At least we didn’t have to sit through ‘re-runs’ of episodes we’d already seen.

Artie has an all-growed-up son. (let’s introduce that little gem in the final episode) Artie also has a wonderful melt-down about how he has devoted the last 40 years of his life to the Warehouse, and what does he get in return? Bupkis! The Warehouse goes all ‘aww, shucks’ and sheepishly rolls an apple toward him. All is forgiven.

Steve found his nirvana inside Artie’s heart, literally. Which was another of those ‘Really? How nice for you. Next.’ moments that needed a whole episode devoted to it. At least we got another glimpse of HG

And then there was this:
The way the ‘where’s HG?’ question was dealt with.

Do you remember a show called ‘L.A. Law’? It was all the rage way back last century. They got very daring one season and had a lesbian/bisexual character by the name of CJ, I think it was. Well, CJ and one of the main cast shared a kiss. As you can imagine it was rather controversial. (And marked the beginning of the ‘lesbian kiss’ trope for episodes of shows that aired during what’s known as ‘sweeps’ periods to boost ratings and increase advertising revenue)

A season later, someone mentions that CJ, a high powered lawyer in a high powered prestigious law firm, chose to leave the firm to join the women’s professional GOLF CIRCUIT!!!!! … End. Of. Story.

I’m not knocking professional sportswomen. This was lazy (and insulting, and disrespectful) writing – a horse of a completely different kettle of fish.

Disbelief circled the globe at the speed of analogue telephones and printing presses (this was before the interwebs) that such a powerful storyline had been tossed out with the garbage. However it was 1991.

Anyway … Back to HG. When asked about HG, Myka casually mentions that she’s not with that bloke anymore and is seeing someone named Giselle. End. Of. Story. Pete makes the expected squicky comment, then it’s on with the retrospectives.

I watched in disbelief, transported over 20 years back in time. H.G. and Myka deserved better than that.

And there’s a dollop of ludicrous:
What the hell was up with Pete’s hair?

At last:
Claudia – showgirl and leather mistress all in one episode! How cool is that? (one day, in another universe, Claudia shall have a show all of her very own)

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No-one made Myka light up like HG, no-one – and that’s canon!

 

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De-Immortalising Main Characters

More tissues Widds?

More tissues Widds?

Jeff, from Strands of Pattern, made a comment on my post, Cancer: The Convenient Device, and I thought it would make a great follow-up post, so here goes …

Jeff says: You raised some very valid points about the “immortality” of main characters. I admire Martin for his approach to the GoT series. Tension in its truest sense for a reader of fiction is knowing that any obstacle or peril can be fatal to every single character. He may well have set the tone for entertainment’s future.

I highlighted that bit in the middle. It speaks to the heart of the issue.

I says: I hope so, but I don’t think the leap can be made in one giant GRRM ‘splosion. (GRRM = George R. R. Martin)

We’ve become so used to, as you put it, ‘immortal’ main characters, that forerunners like George will continue to be the exception for quite a while.

Here’s what I’d like to see as a transition concept. I’ve just finished catching up on back episodes of Warehouse 13 so I’ll use it as an example of what could happen.

(click HERE  for a bit of a Wiki overview)(and we won’t mention that next season is, A – only 6 episodes long, and B – the final season!)

Wharehouse 13 has a couple of things going for it right from the start, an excellent cast of primary and secondary characters – Myka, Pete, Claudia, Steve, and of course Artie. H.G. Wells, Mrs Fredric, Dr Vanessa Calder, etc. And warehouse-13 is an ‘anchor character’ all by itself.

So, in a GRRM world the premise would go something like this: The warehouse would be the ‘featured character’ every week and the the cast would take turns, in pairs or triplets, as the storyline demanded, finding artifacts, having personal crisis-es etc, until their story arc is complete and they either die, (being an agent for W13 is a really dangerous job) or they move on with their lives. – with an appropriate melodramatic double episode.

This way, each character would be written, right from the start, with a beginning and end to their story arc. There would be an overlap between the exit of one character and the introduction of a new one, and enough time for the new characters to develop to the depth of the existing ones … a long process I admit, but full of possibilities.

The only TV show I can think of that did anything like this was the ‘Twilight Zone’

I’m not saying this should be the norm for all programming from now on, (we do love to tune in and watch our favourite characters do their thing every week, whether it be on various manifestations of TV viewing, or the interwebz) but wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone had the  … erm … intestinal fortitude, and money, to give it a try.

Oh yeah, and it’d be a web-series.

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“Art may imitate life, but life imitates TV” Ani DiFranco