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    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Review: REAPER

    Show: REAPER
    Production: ABC Television Studios and The Mark Gordon Company
    Network: CW
    Premiere: Tuesday September 25, 2007 @ at 9:00 PM EST.

    It’s Sam’s 21st birthday and things are about to change. During the course of one fateful day he will successfully ask out the girl of his dreams and then blow it. He will be stalked by a pack of dogs hell bent on attacking him. He will discover new telekinetic powers. His parents will tell him that they traded his soul to the Devil before he was born, so his father could live. The Devil will assign him the task of returning escaped souls to Hell. He will do this with "vessels" supplied to him; the first being a rechargeable Dust Devil mini Vac.

    The series, based on the “monster an episode” trope is refreshingly imbued with a wonderful slacker point-of-view that you can’t help have fun watching it. Is it something new? No. But, it is a delightful twist on the old formula. Using a directionless anti-hero was a great idea. Imbue him with self-confidence through bounty hunting for the Devil. In an odd way it’s a comedic SUPERNATURAL. It tries not to take everything so seriously although there are moments of adult emotion that are fairly seamlessly interweaved with the comedic elements. The choice of Kevin Smith to direct the pilot was a great idea due to his slacker cred. While I can’t say I felt him behind the camera, the pilot is solid and moves fluidly.

    I’m an unashamed lover of this sort of show, be it the more serious kind like SUPERNATURAL or X-FILES and the less serious like BRIMSTONE or even the comedic, albeit short lived, shows like DEAD LAST, which this show has a feel of. I’ve just figured out why by looking up Tyler Labine, who plays Sock, and he was one of the principles in that show as well.

    I’m definitely going to keep up with REAPER and hope it levels out and finds its groove. It’s the kind of show that you don’t have to watch religiously, I’m sure the creators and writers would take exception to that, but it’s one of those shows that can really make your day when you wonder across it. The initial order is only 13 episodes, so one can only hope the writers have built in an overall story arc to tie the individual eps together just in case 13 is as far as it gets. This will at least make an eventual DVD set worth having.

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