Reaper Season One

Reaper Season One
It turns out the maximum security nature of Hell has been somewhat exaggerated. Sam’s (Bret Harrison) parents sold his soul to the Devil (Ray Wise) before he was born. On his 21st birthday, the Devil came to collect. Only he didn’t come to drag Sam kicking and screaming to the Underworld; instead he offered Sam a job. It seems condemned souls regularly escape from Hell and Satan employs bounty hunters to capture them and send them back. With the help of his best friends Sock (Tyler Labine) and Ben (Rick Gonzalez), Sam grudgingly agrees to do the Devil's dirty work. Sam quickly finds himself juggling shifts at the hardware store, bounty hunting, hiding his new job from the girl of his dreams (Missy Peregrym) and being the key to a demon-led rebellion. Like most new comedy series based on a gimmick, the first set of episodes have trivial plotlines and a lot of punch lines: the appearance of a new soul gets the show rolling, while the guys seem somewhat inept in their new role as reapers. But part of the fun is the weekly reveal of Sam’s unique weapons, designed to capture the soul; they have ranged from a Dirt Devil to a snow globe to an 8-track. However, it is Wise’s portrayal of the Devil that brings the show together. He is charismatic and charming one minute and mean and vindictive the next. His overly tanned skin is also a nice touch. Harrison had already proved his flair for comedy in Grounded for Life. However, he proves here equally convincing angry or scared stiff. Labine is the comic relief in any and all situations. His unabashed confidence and carefree personality allow him to pull off something as bizarre as "tape-hand.” Gonzalez is usually in the background of their Batman/Robin dynamic, but eventually gets a couple of storylines. Until then, he spends most of his time getting hurt. Gay demons Tony (Ken Marino) and Steve (Michael Ian Black) are great additions in episode 12. For 18 episodes, the bonus features are meagre, and only the pilot is accompanied by commentary. This would be acceptable if first episode director and series consultant Kevin Smith had provided it; instead it is an all-female cast of writers and producers who fail to maintain interest for the whole 42 minutes. The fifth disc contains seven minutes of deleted scenes without episode titles and a short gag reel. Finally, there isn’t even an episode guide to make easy returns to favourite episodes. (Maple)