As I just said in the latest Shorties entry, I like to get through the first five episodes of a new TV show before I decide how I feel about it. The SyFy show Eureka, which ran from 2006 to 2012, had been lingering on my Netflix queue for a while, and just muscled its way to the front, frankly because I needed an "E" for this category. I'm glad it did, though, because it turns out to be a pretty entertaining show. In fact, by the time I sat down to write this, I'd already gone beyond my five episode quota, and am now up to the tenth.

Eureka is set in Oregon, in a fictional town inhabited almost entirely by geniuses, be they chemists or engineers or physicists. The bulk of the town works for Global Dynamics, a secretive research facility that continually makes technological breakthroughs. Advanced technology is risky, though, and you never know when your experiment will cause time rifts, birth a cloud of aggressive nano-robots, or reactivate a long-forgotten doomsday device. Enter Colin Ferguson as the town's new sheriff, Jack Carter. He's no genius (he and his daughter stumble upon the town by accident, and he's offered the job when the previous sheriff meets with a disfiguring mishap), but he's intrepid and resourceful, and has a lot more insight into human nature than a lot of the smartypants he serves and protects.

By the fifth episode, the secondary characters are developing nicely. There's the by-the-book deputy, the harried Department of Defense official shaping up to be Carter's love interest, Carter's mischievous daughter, and so on. The show's universe is growing in a believable way, even if said universe involves a talking, partially-sentient house. It's also nice to watch a television show with intelligent characters. That's not to say everyone is nice; plenty of the townspeople are greedy, power-mad, or supercilious. But nobody is an outright moron, and that's a refreshing change of pace.

My alphabetical experiment is all about consuming entertainment with no preconceptions, which leaves a lot more room for terrible things to slip through - my filters would usually catch something truly wretched. But it also means that I'll occasionally stumble across properties that are far better than I ever expected them to be. Not that Eureka is a deep, complex show destined for Mad Men greatness in my mind, but as far as charming little Laundry Shows go, it's a keeper.

Eureka: B


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