'Eureka' and 'Warehouse 13' Get in the Holiday Spirit with Christmas Episodes
But both shows are back with Christmas episodes (9PM ET and 10PM ET Tuesday, Syfy) so if you like a little dusting of comedic sci-fi on your eggnog, put on your best Christmas sweater and park yourself in front of your TV.
It won't surprise you to learn that tonight's 'Warehouse 13' involves a rogue Santa and that a "tactical assault sleigh" visits the town of Eureka, will it?
Yes, the comedic quotient is amped up a bit tonight, effectively, for the most part. And it's not a contest -- fans of both shows will no doubt enjoy these lighthearted holiday romps -- but for my money, 'Warehouse 13' offered the more enjoyable hour.
The 'Eureka' episode offered the usual science-project-gone-wrong scenario, and even if we don't necessarily fault the show for being leaning hard on a formula (though that one is showing its age), it's a bit disappointing that the predictable formula isn't tied to the characters' emotional journeys in more substantial ways. Also, for my money, a little of Matt Frewer's manic mad scientist character, Taggart, goes a long way.
Still, the regular cast does dependably solid work and I'm always happy to see Chris Parnell on my TV screen: In the episode, 'O Little Town,' he plays the mysterious Dr. Noah Drummer.
When 'Warehouse 13' is really humming, as it is in its enjoyable holiday outing, the pace is brisk and efficient yet there's plenty of time for those little asides that the actors have such fun with (Eddie McClintock, in particular, is one of the most deft and delightful comic actors on television).
There's nothing particularly subtle about this episode, which involves a naughty Santa and the weird holiday of a stressed-out businessman, who is played by Paul Blackthorne with his usual competence. But it's a sweet, efficiently told story, and anyway, Christmas isn't really the time of subtlety -- it's the time that all kinds of emotions get dredged up, some bad, most good (if you're lucky).
The interaction between the effervescent Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) and wonderfully grumpy Artie (Saul Rubinek) remains one of the best parts of 'Warehouse 13,' and the story line in which Claudia tries to arrange a reconciliation between Artie and his irascible father (Judd Hirsh) is quite well done.
So what if Hirsch and Rubinek ham it up a little in their scenes? If you're not going to feast at the holidays, what's the point?
Follow @MoRyan on Twitter.