Oded Fehr Oded Fehr

"You ask for a simple white Christmas ..." and everything goes to cartoon hell on Eureka, already the most animated of Syfy's quirky series, and a natural to be brought back for a one-night-only Christmas special, a gift for fantasy fans, packaged with similarly themed episodes of Warehouse 13 and Haven. The Eureka special (8/7c) is especially inventive, as the isolated mountain town's overtaxed Super Photon Generator interacts with a child's hologram-generating storybook, and abracadabra, everyone becomes a cartoon character (including Sheriff Carter's much-abused Jeep, cleverly and petulantly voiced by The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons). One Eurekan is saddled with a pull string, another becomes a bobble-head, another becomes a most unlikely Disney-style princess surrounded by chirping birds. And in the episode's best stroke of whimsy, the animation style keeps changing, from CGI to slapsticky old-school Looney Tunes to anime — which may come in handy to help save the town from a rampaging giant snow ninja.

Warehouse 13 (9/8c) borrows from a much more familiar source, the short story on which the venerable It's a Wonderful Life was based, for its enjoyable Christmas misadventure, in which Pete Lattimer's (Eddie McClintock) brush with a magical brush results in his existence being wiped from everyone's memory. Needless to say, no one — Artie, Mika, Claudia, the warehouse itself — is better off for Pete not being around. Watching him win his way back into the exasperated affections of partner Mika (Joanne Kelly), who resists him at first sight (some things never change), is great fun. And so is the return of a favorite enemy, who's running the warehouse in the spirit of Mr. Potter.

Even Haven (10/9c) is a cut above average, but maybe that's because the population keeps shrinking at an alarming rate, meaning less face time for some of the more annoying or colorless townspeople. Audrey (Emily Rose), who's not much of a holiday fan to begin with, can't understand why Haven is suddenly celebrating Christmas in the middle of July or why she keeps hearing "Silent Night" just as people disappear without a trace. The answer to this puzzle manifests itself in a visual image stolen from one of Stephen King's more memorable recent opuses, just as Haven itself was inspired by one of King's lesser creations.

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