For some reason not that many shows decided to return last week. I don’t know if we are in a weird summer period in which people are afraid to put things on TV because they think that the horrible shut ins that watch will care that it is nice outside? Do people watch TV live anymore? Someone had to remind me the other day that mine still got channels and did things besides hook up to my computer.
Warehouse 13: Season 4, Episode 20
When: Mondays at 10:00 PM
I have spoken of this show before, and if I am honest this wasn’t the half season that I wanted. If I am going to speak freely about the series I don’t even know what the hell anyone involved was thinking when about 90% of it happened. I know for a fact that the timing basically implies that it only ever came back to push DVD sales; something that was released the day after the season concluded. There was this interesting story arch that seemed developing this time ‘round, with a chunk of the cast of Buffy, but at several times devolved quickly into “I don’t know, magic” which while a viable excuse for the series still seems super lazy when the cast just shrugs and goes with it.
The last half of this season, or if we are being honest “mini-season”, involved the crew at the artifact hunting emporium getting caught up in the middle of a bunch of immortals and the petty feuds. This, of course, all managed to tie back to the older versions of other Warehouses and deep secrets that no one disclosed for… I am going to say plot reasons alone. For a show about mystical items being able to do whatever for any reason with minimal explanation they do seem to have an entire host of reasons that it is acceptable to use them some times but not others. If memory severs me correctly at one point I believe that they even hunted artifacts with other artifacts. Pretty much the only reason they get away with it is because after four season they have managed to convince me this is a live action comic book, and I am ok with this leave of stupidity for some awesome reason.
Pawn Stars: Season 7, Episode 12
Where: History Channel
When: Thursdays at 9:00 PM
It is really hard to hate the concept of the show. People bring in the most random things that they can find—possibly from a culvert or neighbors potter’s field— and try and get money from them, basically confirming my long held suspicion that all pawn shops are half junkyard and half of the worst department store ever. The good part of the show is when you get people talking about something that they know about, explaining why it is either worth money or not, and then watching the person get disappointed. I throw that last part in there because the moment that anyone on the show finds out that what they have is worth a good amount of money they instantly become more entitled than a teenager that suddenly became a reality TV star.
Pawn Stars is wonderful background noise, at best. It is the best kind of disposable media; when it is done well you walk away feeling like you learned about how much a four hundred year old shovel is worth when it has no historical value and how people used to dig holes before we invented child labor and the third world. The problem becomes that the programmers think that they can have plot lines so the viewers start to know the people behind the counter through a series of zany events. That would be great if they either really happened or the people there could act at any point beyond a level of a middle school drama class. The recent episode was flush with examples of this, mainly of trying to get Chum-lee to be less lazy by sending him on several fools’ errands. All this taught me was that I guess I can buy dry ice at a custard place, and that I hate old people when they think they are being funny.
Top Gear: Season 20, Episode 2
When: Sunday at 20:00 GMT
Top Gear is a show about people who have a deep and caring understanding for how cars work, lasting ideals on what empowers some to rise to the top over others, and the all-important notion of value. All of those things are true in much the same way that the Today Show is a hard hitting news organization that covers topics that really matter and can polarize the world. Sort of like a variety show based around automobiles and dry British humor. Several series ago they raced to the North Pole between a car and a dog sled, because no one had done it before and they thought it would be fun. At one point they wanted to see if they could make a space shuttle out of a terrible car, simply to make space travel cheap and cost effective. It should also be noted that most of these projects end up failing in much the same way that Chris Brown fails to understand women’s rights.
This episode, aside from the standard vehicle reviews, contained a competition to see what nation had the best taxi in the world. Entries ranged from buses to limos to the standard New York City yellow cabs and somehow became less about the best time around the track and more and more about how close they could make the event into a destruction derby without having to change their insurance paperwork. The show is basically what happens when you give teenage boys free reign to pretty much do whatever they want, they crash copious amounts of cars into it. I have to say that after all of the years that the show has been on the air there really isn’t much out there that does this better, and it ends up being the highlight of my week pretty much every time it is on.
Shipping Wars: Season 4, Episode 9
When: Tuesday at 9:00 PM
Some days I am pretty convinced that my wife hates me, and because she is married to me she knows that the formal ways of showing her disdain—such as poisoning or clown attack—are simply too good or ineffective. I am pretty sure that is why we watch Shipping Wars now. It is the story of how people took every single human beings least favorite task, moving something from one place on the planet and placing it at another, and made a living off of it. Sure, they are more the stories about shipping oddities like statues of horses with working genitals than some guys house, it is still a show about people who decided that they wanted to make the least enjoyable task man has ever known their career.
Honestly I don’t know if this show is actively trying to get me to want to hire people to move my crap by making it look worse on a weekly basis, or if they are trying to make me understand that everyone that I would hire to do it is just such a failure at life that I should probably just suck it up and keep buying beer and pizza for my friends. The “highlights” of this week involved a cake traveling up the east coast and cat caskets. The only interesting thing about the cake delivery was the fact that the guy doing it basically seemed to go out of his way to do anything other than drive the thing he was being paid hundreds of dollars to drop off. The cat casket thing was fun because it basically started and ended with everyone being as insane and creepy as you would expect when the words “cat casket” are used.