Two sexy Federal Agents dealing with the Paranormal? It seems impossible to not make the X-files comparison. With a few exceptions (that occurred well after the characters were established), the X-file episodes always played it straight. The show worked because it took its mythology so seriously. Warehouse 13 tacts towards a light, humorous take, perhaps for no other reason than to avoid a direct X-files comparison.
Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly play agents Lattimeer and Bering. They are both appealing characters and seemed to have the requisite chemistry to make this thing work. He is charming, bumbling and apparently has clairvoyant capabilities. She is hard-nosed and trying to act tough and professional, despite inner self-doubts. Both actors did a good enough job with the characters.
Saul Rubinek plays Artie Neilson, an absent-minded professor type who bumblingly overseas a hidden giant Warehouse filled with government neutralized paranormal objects. The two agents quickly seem to accept their fate, and don’t much question the exotic sidegear he gives them, or the fact that they are quickly exposed to magical objects and miraculous happenings. They head out on their first assignment, to neutralize and retrieve the dangerous magic items out there in the hands of the great unwashed.
And this is where the show failed. Rubinek’s clownish character, and the retro futuristic magic gear (electric guns by Telsa, Cigarette tin 2-way TV’s) just seem contrived and cornball. Additionally, the 3rd rate special effects fall flat. Using comedic patter and light humor between the leads would be completely fine, but to have a level of buffoonery underlying the entire concept just gives the entire show a second-rate feel about it.
I really feel that had the show’s creators said X-file comparisons be damned, let’s make this a serious show with paranormal elements, and had they made special effects secondary (ala the gloomy X-files) they could have had a great TV show. As it is, this lightweight show may have a run because of the leads, but it’s far from a special show.