Series Review: Reaper (2007 – 2009)

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The Devil went down to Georgia. He was lookin’ for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind. He was willing to make a deal
When he came across this young man sawin’ on a fiddle and playin’ it hot.
And the Devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said “Boy, let me tell you what.”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is… “Reaper”.

Sam Oliver (Bret Harrison) is a slacker of the highest degree(ish). He basically had a pretty smooth ride through life. That all changes however when he on his 21st birthday finds out that his parents sold his soul to the Devil (Ray Wise) before he was born. So now Satan himself comes to take Sam’s soul. Or is he (cue “X-Files” theme)? While he isn’t coming to collect it in the literal sense, he still sort of does. Instead of instantly making Sam his slave or sending him straight to hell, the Devil makes Sam his very own bounty hunter who has to collect souls who have escaped from hell. And from that we get a “freak of the week” show that actually manages to weave it’s main plot into every episode perfectly. The best way I could explain the plot is that it is a mix of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Clerks”. Because, you know… Sam is a slacker who works retail with his friends who also takes down hellish beings. I can also say that they manage to weave so much humor perfectly into the plot as well despite the relatively serious idea. Don’t get me wrong, this show can be serious and actually do drama surprisingly well, but it also has some hilarious comedy in the plot. What can I say, it’s a perfect blend of stuff.

The characters in this show are all very colorful, interesting and really entertaining with their very varied personalities. Bret Harrison perfectly plays the character of Sam with both a mix of “What the fuck is going on” and “Well, I guess I have to save the day”. He doesn’t look like much but trust me, this guy got some serious talent. Tyler Labine plays his best friend and sidekick Sock and he is just awesome. Rick Gonzalez plays the third man in the gang, Ben, and he does a great job as well. Missy Peregrym plays Sam’s love interest, Andi. And you know what? She’s great too. She’s actually a great female character. You may have noticed that I saved one for a short while now. If you didn’t then you obviously didn’t read the last section where I mentioned “The Devil” who is played in this show by Ray Wise. And oh my god (I mean “Oh my Devil”) he is by far the best part of the show. Wise not only gives a really good performance but he also has some of the best, if not the best lines in the show. And Wise plays Satan perfectly! Every actor does in fact do a great job in this show.

I swear guys, I am looking for the person/people who did the score for the show because it’s really good and it would be fun to share it with you guys. So if you find them somehow then please share the info in a comment. However I can mention that the soundtrack to a pretty big extent is made up of licensed tracks that are really good and fit the not too serious tone of the show. It’s mostly rock/metal/punk songs and with my taste in music that means it’s pretty great. But if you hate those types of music, you might get annoyed with the use of the tracks in the show.

The writing for the show is excellent, with some surprisingly deep drama being created through the dialogue. And of course the writing is pretty fucking hilarious at the same time. The show also manages to create a pretty deep lore about the Devil and hell and demons and all things inbetween which I’m not gonna lie, impressed me a bit. They also got really creative with the escaped souls and the vessels Sam had to use to capture them with. Great job, writers of “Reaper”! It’s just so sad that the show got canceled so soon.

This show has gotten a little bit of mixed reception. On Metacritic (yeah, no Rotten Tomatoes this time) it has a score of 81/100. At least on season 1, season 2 has a lower score. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Reaper” is a show that caught me off-guard in every way with a surprisingly good plot, great characters and acting, a great soundtrack, good action scenes, surprisingly deep lore and some hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. O potens ultima signant, conjuro te. My final score for “Reaper” is a 9,93/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Reaper” is now completed.

I am the dark lord of asses!

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