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Red Right Hand: (P)REVIEW: REAPER
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



The supernatural version of Chuck? Or is Chuck the techno/espionage version of Reaper?

Neither is especially accurate. All they have in common is the slacker main character. Too bad they're not on the same station on the same night, I think they kinda compliment each other. Interestingly, they were head-to-head until NBC moved Chuck to make a sci-fi Monday schedule.

Okay, Reaper goes like this. Young Sam (Bret Harrison) is having his twenty-first birthday and weirdness is afoot, largely having to do with the fact that his parents sold his soul to the Devil and the term, it appears, is up. Now, he has to be Peter Horton in Brimstone. Translation: catch escapees from Hell. Except sillier. Two words: unholy dustbuster.

It was said in the comments to (P)REVIEW: CHUCK that Reaper gets the slacker vibe much better and it does. How much of that has to do with Kevin Smith directing (showing a little (a little) more pinache than he usually does), I don't know. It does make me wonder what all those years of working on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit might have done to the writers of Reaper, Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas. Goes to show, don't get all pigeon-holey on people (foolish be those who do). They got the slacker thing pretty good.

Chuck is more geek than slacker. Sam is just genuine slacker. Nuff said on that.

Short of it, I liked this at least as much as Chuck, and I think that says a little something because I've kinda had my fill of demons and supernatural stuff in TV shows and I really like guns-and-spies crap. When I first read about this in pilot season last year, I could not care less. I think the show could be a lot of fun and it should stay the fuck away from getting too arc-ridden (don't get the idea that I'm anti-arc, know...not always called for and too easy to overdo), which it didn't really lay down anything like that, so...points. Gimme a demon of the week and some good stuff with his friends.

Reaper's supporting cast really shines, from his parents who regret having done the unthinkable to his grungy slacker bud, Sock (Tyler Labine) to the "chick" of the piece (a.k.a. the love interest) Andi.

Andi in the pilot is played by Nikki Reed and alas, she has been recast. This, for me, would be a cuase for great sadness were it not for that fact that she's been replaced by Missy Peregrym. We have spoken before on these digital pages of The Peregrym. Let us not belabor the point.

So, yeah, I'd be watching this anyway. Hopefully, Andi gets a bigger role as the series progresses. She not directly involved in the demon catching, nor does she even know about it. I'd like to see that change...and in a way I've not seen before.

Ray Wise is the Devil. No argument here. A devil looking to make Sam into less of a slacker. He want to see him do well in service to Stan, you know. Makes me wonder a bit how much the slacker vibe will be sustained once Sam has a little experience under his belt in hunting down the damned. Ah, Sock will always be sidekicky slacker boy.

So far, pilot-wise. Stuff's looking good (though I think I'm the only one who likes Bionic Woman).
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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