Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reaper's Demise?

So tonight was the second season and possible series finale of Reaper on the CW. This makes me once again sad for the fate of television, but not exactly surprised, because television execs seem unable to understand clever witty dialogue or concept shows that don't revolve around humiliating some poor bastard in some reality type setting. If you've never watched Reaper, the show is about Sam Oliver, a 20 something slacker (he dropped out of college because it made him sleepy) who works at the Work Bench with his best friends Sock and Ben and the love of his life Andy. The twist is his parents sold his soul to the Devil and now he works as a bounty hunter in various dangerous situations recapturing souls that have escaped from hell. The show could have gotten worn out really fast, despite the cleverness and obvious "Supernatural" Clerks feel to it (Kevin Smith was involved in this series) but it was able to remain fresh and reinvent inself and grow. The show really started to get good when they broke away from the monster-a-week (or in this case soul-a-week) pattern and concentrated on creating a mythology, the same way Angel did. The show brought in subplots of demons working to overthrow the devil and Sam being Satan's son, not just his employee.

So here's my ode to Reaper, the best and the worst (possible spoilers if you haven't watched both seasons yet).

The Monkey Dance - Love Sam in that little fez.
College - It DOES make you sleepy.
Ray Wise - Sheer genius casting this man as Satan, he knows how to balance humor and horror, watch Twin Peaks for further proof, if you should need it.
Steve and Tony - Ken Marino and Michael Ian Black, enough said!
The Way of Steve - Cancun all the way! Plus those karaoke videos.
Nina - I thought I'd hate Ben's new girl, but I really ended up liking her.
Ben's Family - They didn't talk to the uncle that lived with them, priceless.
Gladys - DMV demon I love you.
Patton Oswalt - Surprisingly not annoying.
Ted - Awesome, total loser, and he dressed up as Captain Jack for Halloween. Almost wish he was still a grunt at the Work Bench.
Sock laying the beat down on the old lady - Wrenchy Bench rules!
Satan giving Sam a pony - The first real fatherly thing he's done.
Morgan's death - And the cult of Steve did eat the son of Satan, awesome.
Andy sells her soul - Finally putting her on an even keel with Sam, now she has nothing to be squeamish about, they are in this together.

Sock's Mom's house - It just didn't work having the guys living there.
Ben's Grandma - Changing actresses is totally stupid, we are not dumb, so don't treat us like we are.
Mitch Peleggi - His career has been over for years, please don't make him play X-Files esque characters on other shows.
Sam's Dad post-death - Just lame, I know he served a purpose in the end, but whatever.
Sam's Mom - Why haven't we seen her lately?
Sam's Brother - What ever happened to him?
Gaeta on Reaper - You died on BSG FINALLY, no showing up on my other shows filmed in Vancouver! You've been on this and Smallville, I see you on Psych, and I'm coming to get you!
Ben's dream girl - Sure a demon is fun and I like Nina, but just ditching Cassidy and not explaining it for a few episodes, lame.
Josie's disappearance - Explain please! If you couldn't afford her a line of dialogue would suffice.
Sam as Satan's son - Once it was mentioned it was instantly accepted as truth, I don't quite agree.
Sam and Andy - They lack chemistry, except in the season finale, I really believed them then...maybe it was Andy finally let loose of her inhibitions.

I'm really going to miss this show if it's gone. Yes it was uneven with some episodes falling flat, but overall the show was great, always good for a laugh and it never insulted your intelligence. Also a note, if the only way they can save the show is by doing the syndication deal which would most likely result in the loss of Tyler Labine, aka Sock, there is no way they should do it, without the core three, Sock, Ben and Sam, there is no show.


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