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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sci-fi series about two Secret Service agents assigned to a special unit that retrieves and safeguards mysterious artifacts frequently involves dangerous situations, combat, and weapon use -- but overall the action scenes tend to focus more on the artifacts' unusual and unexpected capabilities than on person-on-person violence. There’s also some flirting and sexual innuendo and occasional social drinking by adults.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Secret Service agents Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) distinguish themselves when a lunatic makes an attempt on the president’s life -- she for a textbook response that helps stop the would-be assassin, he for an unsubstantiated hunch that something seems off about an ancient sculpture. Their talents lead to a new assignment at a top-secret storage facility in a remote part of South Dakota: WAREHOUSE 13. Artie (Saul Rubinek), the facility's caretaker and their new handler, describes the place as “America’s attic,” a dusty repository for mysterious objects and powerful relics from history and legend. Most of the items have unique capabilities, ranging from the entertaining to the deadly. Harry Houdini’s wallet, for example, constantly tries to escape the warehouse, while a comb belonging to legendary poisoner Lucrezia Borgia nearly triggers a mass murder in a small town. The agents’ new assignment: Track down and retrieve these dangerous artifacts.
Is it any good?
The characters of Lattimer and Bering are a good combination for this assignment. Her by-the-book attitude makes her ready for any crisis, while his ability to sense when the "vibes" are "off" helps him accept that some of their missions involve powers beyond their comprehension. But the actors playing the parts lack chemistry; it’s sometimes tough to believe them in the roles because they don’t always seem to buy into the premise themselves. They treat the amazing as the ordinary, which makes the show less than amazing for the viewer.
The best part of the series is watching Artie shamble around the warehouse, looking for a specific item or reshelving some of the many odd objects that always seem to be lying about. He accepts that these relics are powerful, though he isn’t always certain why, giving him a childlike sense of wonder. But once the show moves into the field, the agents’ missions seem much like the tasks on so many other shows about covert agencies. Bottom line? It's fun, but ultimately Warehouse 13 plays like the love child of a less-whimsical Men in Black and a less serious version of The X-Files.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the supernatural. Do you think ghosts, witchcraft, and magic are real? Why do so many movies and TV shows feature ancient artifacts with unusual capabilities?
Families can also discuss government secrets. Why would the powers-that-be want to hide mysterious, powerful artifacts from the public? Can you think of any other movies or TV shows that suggest the government is hiding such revelations? Why are conspiracy theories so entertaining?