Saturday, September 29, 2007

Don't Fear The Reaper

Kevin Smith has made the jump to television a few times in the past, including several director and writer credits on a few dramas, but it's his new ambitious endeavor, REAPER that has become a real shining beacon this new season. Coming amid many new shows like the revamped BIONIC WOMAN, the time travel drama JOURNEY MAN, and the cloak and dagger comedy/drama, CHUCK. Having just watched REAPER I can honestly say this might be the show to watch. Combining elements from many of his previous films, Smith creates a lovable, if not a bit daft, set of central characters each strong in his or her own way.

Starting off on his 21st birthday, Bret Harrison as Sam starts stumbling into odd situations seemingly out of his control up to and including dogs wanting to kill him often. After saving a co-worker, Missy Peregrym as Andi, from a toppling air conditioner, Sam leaves work 'sick' only to find a man claiming to be the Devil (Ray Wise) in the back seat of his car. He thinks he's being carjacked, fails to pay attention, and crashes, ironically, into a trailer from the very place he works. Back at home his father explains to Sam why his parents were acting so strangely that morning by informing him that his very soul had been sold to the Devil before he was born in order to save his father's life. Of course Sam finds this really hard to believe yet, as such, takes it in and decides that since he has bee experiencing weird behavior himself, it sounds pretty good after all. Well, the Devil returns and tells Sam that it is, indeed, true and informs him that as payment for his parent's lives, lest the souls sale become null and void, Sam must become the Devil's bounty hunter by collecting Hell's escapees who have returned to Earth 'illegally'. Sam, naturally, distrusts the Devil and, though given precious little choice, nearly thinks twice until, finally, he makes an attempt to trap the first soul with a weapon given to him by Satan: a Dirt Devil vacuum, of course. A failed attempt and a botched go at it later, Sam figures out his roll and successfully stops the first deserter and brings 'it', a-la Ghostbusters, trapped in the hand vac to the 'way station': the local DMV.

Hysterical in a way that only Kevin Smith can create it, REAPER is an amazing ride filled with decent effects and a great story. Sure, suspension of disbelief is pretty crucial, but that's what makes this show so damn fun to watch. Oh, and if best friend Tyler Labine as 'Sock' doesn't instantly remind you of a combination of Dante and Randall from CLERKS, then you just don't know your Kevin Smith. Check it out on CW7 on Tuesday night at 9... then thank me later.

Stew Miller

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