Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reaper, "Coming to Grips": Handy Andi

"Reaper" spoilers coming up just as soon as I put Sue Grafton's "X is for Xylophone" on my Amazon wishlist...

Dammit, why must so many rookie shows this year get their acts together right when they're about to be canceled?

Now, I don't know for sure that "Reaper" is doomed, but given that The CW is a complete Nielsen disaster area, and that they've already renewed "Gossip Girl" (slightly lower ratings, much bigger buzz), I'm not optimistic. And, as with the fate of "Journeyman," I'd be much more at peace with it if the producers hadn't made a significant course correction in recent episodes.

Because this? This was easily the best hour of "Reaper" since the pilot, one that mixed in an interesting Soul of the Week with the rebel demons story arc (glad to see Ken Marino's not gone yet), plus a major breakthrough in the Sam/Andi relationship and some good side comedy from Ben, with a bonus helping of the always wonderful Lucy Davis from the British "Office."

So now Andi's in the loop, but at the cost of Sam -- gullible and short-sighted as always (if there's one area where the show could still stand to improve, it would be making Sam less of a mush-head) -- having to betray Tony and the other peacenik demons. And just as Ben finds the potential girl of his dreams (played by Kandyse "Dualla from Galactica" McClure) but finds he's trapped in his own deal with a different kind of devil. Good stuff -- entertaining here, and with myriad possibilities for down the road. This is much better than those bland episodic Soul-hunting episodes they kept giving us pre-strike.

What did everybody else think?


AndyW said...

Why couldn't Sam rat out the Devil once he's in the circle? Hell (so to speak) that's probably what the Devil expects him to do anyway.

There's a lot of stuff I like about this show, but it too often relies on its characters' stupidity to move the plot along.

And while this cast does comedy well, they really don't have the chops for the dramatic stuff. It ain't "Buffy."

Mrglass said...

What a great episode it was, the best of the series so far. Funnier and more entertaining than the pilot and the story finally moves forward. Oh, and definitely as good as 'Buffy' but in a different style.

After all the money CW has spent to promote and already renew 'Gossip Girl', it will be very annoying if it cancels 'Reaper', a show with similar ratings but next to zero support.

Anonymous said...

I never bothered to watch this again after the strike, just because I had gotten so bored by it....was that a mistake? It sounds like it actually got good.

Anonymous said...

Sam has to do as the Devil asks, because if he betrays him, the Devil will take it out on Andi.

I didn't like this episode as much as the rest of you. It was a bit light on the comedy (with the possible exception of the Devil putting Andi in yet another trunk), but I dug the parallelism with the Ben sub-plot, and Ken Marino keeps things interesting.

I think the problem I have with the show at this point is that Andi is still such a blank. They have given her an occassional hint of personality (leaving the note on Ted's car apologizing for a dent that doesn't exist, or her little hideaway in the store room), but putting her in danger doesn't hit me srongly enough for me to care. I know that Sam is in love with her, but until I can relate to WHY, she will always be the weak link on this show.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Sam already have to do what he's told? Or is there something in that thousand-page contract that says he's only responsible for specific tasks? At the very least, Sam should have brought up this up.

I enjoyed this episode, but I thought there should have been a whole lot more about Andi's introduction to the whole concept of good and evil and devils and souls and such. Once she accepted Sam's role as soul bounty-hunter, she didn't seem all that interested in how the whole thing works. Wouldn't a normal person have a million questions?

Shawn Anderson said...

I guess comedy is subjective, but I thought there was a lot of laughs in this episode. It was more subtle, to be sure... like them standing frozen as Andi runs off and drives the car away. Or the Devil channeling Gene Wilder's Willie Wonka with his sarcastic empathy over the fate of the video store clerk. Or Sock speaking for us contemplating what powers the Semen Demon might have: "my head is going to some pretty awful places with this one." And "problem solved: you tell them you have an open green card marriage."

How about this for a tv series pitch: SciFi/Food Network mashup called The Demon Chef?

Matt said...

The CW lurves "Gossip Girl" more than "Reaper" for two big reasons:

1. Digital traffic. iTunes downloads/online viewing of "Gossip Girl" are apparently very, very high. (New episodes of "GG" regularly get to the top of the iTunes chart.) Given that the CW, at least for the moment, gets to keep almost every penny of that, they're obviously high on it.
2. "Reaper" skews older and more male, and overall more cross-sectionally. "Gossip Girl" skews young and female. Advertisers will pay big money for the target demo that "GG" is hitting.

Also, "Reaper" is an ABC production, even though it's airing on the CW. Would be interesting to see if, say, ABC Family took the bite on it assuming the CW cancels it--the Canadian location, lack of name actors, etc., all ring of "cable show."

K J Gillenwater said...

I loved it. The look on Andi's face when Sam chopped off the guy's head was priceless. I also like that the Demon of the Week has a smaller role in the episode. Unless the demon is somehow super duper important to the bigger plot parts, it works better that way.

I also liked it when Andi told Sam she was afraid of him. That, to me, was a real reaction and believable...until she ended up stabbing the demon with the scythe herself.

I also liked the introduction of the English bride and Dualla as the perfect gal for my favorite secondary character. Plus, they stuck Sock back with what's-her-face. The only thing lacking? More Ted!

I hope it gets renewed. I haven't watched one ep of Gossip Girl, no do I intend to. Not too many CW shows I if they would just put Supernatural and Reaper on the same night, it would make sense.

Anonymous said...

I don't follow the Reaper mythology very well (nor do I think that the writers have it all hashed out) but wasn't it shown in an earlier episode that Ben and Sock were not able to activate the vessel? Would that make Andi somehow special?

This show has gotten quite a bit better and I would hope that it would continue that trend since it has such great potential. Let's hope the CW sees the same thing.

Chip Chandler said...

Of course that was Dualla! I knew I should recognize her, but I thought she might be a Top Model. I don't know why.

Mrglass said...

AndyW and BigTed... perhaps wait for next week? Reaper is not the best at character development but Andy barely had any time to talk about the Reaper job this episode, and we don't even know what Sam is really going to do as a spy.

As long as they continue to advance the storyline and keep the Demon-of-the-Week screentime to a minimum, this series will keep getting better.

(insert another Buffy reference)

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I'm pretty happy that the Devil not only called in his favor in the same episode, but that it was just making Sam spy on Ken Marino and friends. Because it could have been a lot worse. Sam could have unintentionally sold any number of his friends or family to the Devil as well, or who knows what other things the Devil could have come up with.

afoglia said...

I'm glad that Sam finally told Andy, but I don't remember the Devil ever telling Sam he couldn't. Except for one time last week, that he later said he was kidding about. Have I blocked out big parts of "Reaper"?

Anonymous said...

This is a completely random question....a fashion-related this episode, Sam wears a khaki hooded jacket. Does anyone know what brand it is or where I can get one?

khushi said...

What a great episode it was, the best of the series so far. Funnier and more entertaining than the pilot and the story finally moves forward.I think the problem I have with the show at this point is that Andi is still such a blank.
Also, "Reaper" is an ABC production, even though it's airing on the CW.