The one thing missing lately from the corporate and media three ring circus of consumerism that is Christmas, is quality TV Christmas specials. Standard shows have standard plots with a dash of gingerbread or a sprinkle of tinsel, but other than the oft re-run claymation specials, there’s just no pizzazz left in Christmas. That is– there wasn’t until Syfy came out with Warehouse 13 and Eureka Christmas specials.
Warehouse 13 kicked the night off with a Star Wars-esque opening. There was some plot, involving the guy who played Dresden (in The Dresden Files) being an absent father, but honestly that wasn’t the point of this episode. The part I remember is the subplot, where Claudia decides to get Artie the best gift she can think of: the piano he played when he was young. In the process she actually ends up reuniting him with his father through goofy “____ is dying” lies. The characters really shine throughout this episode, although if you’ve never seen the show before you might be intimidated by some of the in-jokes. (ie. Claudia’s ‘t-shirt of the artifact that almost killed you’ gifts). It’s like visiting your friends from summer camp in the middle of the winter, suddenly you can’t wait for summer again, because these guys are awesome! That being said, Pete’s “Grand Teton” jokes got a bit old, but then, that’s just Pete. At the end of the day whoever it was being plagued by whatever the artifact was isn’t important. The important thing is family, the Warehouse family.
The second Christmas special, Eureka, was nearly the exact opposite of the Warehouse 13 special. The plot was a typical Eureka plot; someone invents something, said invention goes humorously awry, and Sheriff Carter has to clean up the mess after he belatedly figures out what’s going on. This episode embodies what I detest about recent Christmas specials, not only was it the same thing, but with Christmas, the entire timeline was incredibly ambiguous. For those of you that haven’t seen the show lately, Carter, Allison, Henry, Fargo and Jo are now residing in an alternate timeline with Professor Sexypants (yeah I forget his name, so sue me). Sheriff Carter begins the episode by telling the kiddies in Cafe Diem about a Christmas past (and it must be because Zoey is still in Eureka), but he hasn’t been in that timeline long enough to have had a Christmas past. This is literally his first one as far as we know. However, all of the characters in his story are in their new timeline roles; Fargo is the director of GD, Allison is the medical director, Jo is the head of security etc… This served only to confuse and annoy me. Finally, the last cop-out of the show, crazy scientist of the week is … Santa… Why?!
All in all, boo to you Eureka, but Warehouse 13, you make stomaching the season of store bought goodwill and artificial snow just a little easier.