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What The Devil?!
on May 13, 2009
"Reaper" was the best new show of the 2007-2008 season and the best new show the CW has yet to offer, and it ended it's first season on a cliffhanger. Two, actually. What would happen on the show, and would the show even return for a second season?. Thankfully, the show did get a reprieve, but not without a price. It would be held back for mid-season. By the time the second season finally premiered, it had been off the air for 2 months shy of a year. Not only that, but came back with less than stellar promotion and was put on opposite "American Idol". "Reaper" was always 'on the bubble', but it did as well as any show could do with such challenges bestowed on it. Season 1 was cut down 4 episodes because of the writer's strike, and season 2 is cut down 9 episodes, only 13, for being a mid season show. While the series is still the entertaining show it always was, season 2 had some flaws, and the limited time it had certainly didn't help. But we'll get to that....
Season 2 finds Sam Oliver(Bret Harrison), Sock(Tyler Labine), Ben(Rick Gonzalez), and Andi(Missy Peregrym)continue to fight the good fight amid Sam's ongoing mission as a bounty hunter for the Devil(Ray Wise), finding escaped souls and sending them back. There are a few new ongoing story arcs this season and some new recurring cast members. Sam continues to find a way out of his deal, his relationship with Andi suffers, and yet there just may be someone who can help. Elsewhere, Sock finds himself attracted to a young woman who turns out to be verrrry close to his family, and Ben begins a relationship with a demon named Nina(Jenny Wade). If that isn't enough, there is the ongoing story of how Sam is dealing with his deal with the devil and how, or if, it's changing him.
Season 2 of "Reaper" is filled with what we have come to know and love about the show. The wicked humor is there in full force. The fleshed out characters continue to make the show. The potentail that season 1 found itself reaching towards the end of that season is...well, it's somewhat here. And just like season 1, the flaws are very evident as well. There is a lot going on in season 2, and it seems everyone has something going on in their lives, and then some. Sock's storyline seemed funny at first, but soon became kinda unflattering and just ended in a non-satisfying way. Sock is still Sock, but this storyline wasn't flattering for the character. There are also some loose ends that go unnoticed, storylines that aren't capitalized on, storylines that aren't dealt with properly. All in all, season 2 feels a bit disjointed. Whereas season 1 sort of stood still until the latter half not knowing where it's going, season 2 seems to have an idea in mind, but has a lot going on and a much shorter time to pull it, and everything else, off. The 13 episodes in this season definitley is a contributing factor. It's not as tight or as consistent as it should be. But hey, the makers had a lot to do, less time to do it in, and not getting a lot of support from the network. I guess they are doing as well as they can. If season 2 had gotten a full season, it would of had more time to flesh some things out. But "Reaper" is so charming and entertaining, even it's setbacks aren't enough to ruin the fun and enjoyment of it all. The actors still do a wonderful job with their roles, and you can tell they are having just as much fun doing the show as we are watching it from the comfort of our couches. Each and every one of them is fitting for their character. I continue to think that Ray Wise is a treasure as the Devil, and Tyler Labine is a comedy star.
Season 2 of the show does have a lot to offer. What can you expect with some of the episodes?. The premiere, "Episode IV : A New Hope", finds the boys returning home after a trip to find that things have changed at the Work Bench for them(and Andi), and that the Devil has a BIG case for Sam. Episode three, "The Sweet Science", introduces Nina to the mix, and her relationship with Ben is one of the season's best highlights. There is a Xander/Anya thing going on here, and the two of them are wonderful together. Definitley sets up for some great comedic moments. "The Favorite" adds a new wrinkle to the Sam/Devil mix, when we meet Morgan, a family member of the dark one. Tony the demon makes his welcomed return in "I Want My Baby Back", and the gang meet back up with their truly awful high school teacher Mr. Sprong(played by MAD TV vet Michael McDonald)in "To Sprong, With Love". One of my favorite episodes this season is "Underbelly", in which the whole gang travel to a small town to capture an escaped soul that has turned into a creature and manipulates the town citizens. As of this writing, season 2 still had 2 more episodes to go, "Business Casualty", and the likely series finale, "The Devil And Sam Oliver".
Sadly, it looks as though season 2 will be the last for the series. It's a shame. Even though it hasn't always worked, "Reaper" has always been a very fun, entertaining show. The humor aspect is some of the funniest stuff on TV today, and the show had a cool, intriguing premise. The characters that made up the show all had their own well rounded, fleshed out identities, and the cast did an amazing job of bringing them to real, believeable life. Even though season 2 felt a little disjointed and inconsistent in places, it was still a fun ride, filled with hilarious moments, cool characters, and great acting. Reaper has a lot going for it, and still had a lot more to show. It's too bad it may not get the chance to continue to it's full potential.