Reaper Outlook Not So Grim

11/2/07 3:02 PM , , , 0 Comments

I've been watching Reaper since the season premiere because it seemed like it had a decent premise (for a CW show). I love tales of dealing with the Devil, and an hour-long episode each week sounded great to me. After the last two episodes, I'm glad I tuned in.

The pilot was better than most new shows. It wasn't awkward or grasping, although it did have plenty of the "getting to know the show" scenes. The next three episodes (Charged, All Mine, and Magic) all followed the same format and made sure to ground the viewer in the premise. At this point, I began to wonder if the show would be able to transition enough to stay on the air. Episode 5, What About Blob, managed to pull that first transition step off by adding a darker and more sinister tone to the show, which was desperately needed. Hopefully, the sub-plot revealed will become a longer story arc that is revealed throughout the season.

This week was the Halloween episode, Leon, and while it lost most the darkness that was brewing in What About Blog, it managed to mix the framework up enough to show the show has real potential. In this episode, Ray Wise, AKA the Devil, was shown smoking a cigarette (rare these days) and acting really depressed about the commercialization of evil, while Sam, played by Bret Harrison, showed some real character growth by getting a backbone and feeling some sympathy for the Devil's emotions. Comedian Patton Oswalt's performance as a soul trapped in a snow-globe at the show's beginning also added some extra depth to the show's premise and gave viewers a chance to learn more about Sam and Sock's (played by Tyler Labine) friendship. This episode also brought up some philosophical points about the real meaning of forgiveness, repentance, and sin. Way heavier stuff than the previous episodes.

Reaper recently received an order for three new scripts, which may indicate that additional scripts will be requested to make it a full season. Hopefully, the writers can continue to add more depth to the characters and the scenarios they face, since that is definitely the show's main selling point. So far, the story-lines about the escaped souls and their new Earthly forms have been decent, but they could use some fine tuning and less attention. They should be the backdrop of the show and the focus should, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville, be turned to character development and relationships. If the show moves in that direction, it may be one of the best new shows this television season. If not, then it's still more believable and pleasurable to watch than some other now defunct shows with similar mythical premises.

If you've ignored this one until now, you can still catch up and watch old episodes at The CW website. Reaper airs Tuesdays at 9 pm EST on The CW.


“If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.” – The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents