Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fall TV Preview - Reaper - Pilot Training

Reaper - Original Pilot - directed by Kevin Smith
Premieres Tuesday September 25th, 9pm, The CW and Citytv

Okay so I know I swore off The CW when it cancelled Veronica Mars (as well as Everwood) but hmm...but there are three shows on The CW schedule that have made enough waves that I figure I should check them out before I completely dismiss the entire network (save for Supernatural and Everybody Hates Chris). One of the three is Reaper (the other two being Aliens in America and Gossip Girl), which with the combination of a pilot directed by KevinDegrassi fan” Smith and the main lead Sam is played by Bret Harrison (The Loop), gave the show a lot of potential.

Throw in a cast of Tyler Labine (Invasion) as the crazy slacker best friend (a role he so valiantly played to Ryan Gosling in the genius that is Breaker High (the epitome of “so bad it’s good” and made Saved By The Bell look like Shakespeare) and oddly enough, the Captain plays Sam's dad here), Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) as The Devil and the always lovely Nicki Reed as Andi, the girl Sam adores… oh wait. Nicki Reed has been replaced by Missy Peregrym (Heroes).

The pilot version that I saw still had Nicki Reed and she was one of my favourite things in the show, so as much as like Missy (mainly for being in life as we know it and being Canadian), the recasting is already annoying me.

The show is basically about Sam, a slacker who works at The Work Bench (a blue version of Home Depot) whose soul had been sold by his parents and must now work for The Devil helping him capture escaped evil souls, all while trying to get the girl. Simple and the show might get pretty repetitive with another baddie-of-the-week that needs to be reaped (?is that a word?) but thankfully with Bret Harrison, things are pretty amusing and there are clever touches (like using a Dirt Devil Dust Buster as a tool to suck the souls back to hell).

As a huge fan of Bret Harrison from The Loop, I’ll keep watching anything he’s in for now, and I’m glad Tyler Labine gets another chance at a network show. Ray Wise still emenating creepiness since his Twin Peaks days, is fun to watch as The Devil and while the pilot I saw (which has since been revised) was a lot of fun, I’m wondering if it will devolve into the tediousness of Smallville after they try to switch up the baddie-of-the-week routine when that starts getting old?

Based on the original pilot, I’ll give it a 3 (***) for now (It would have gotten a 3.5 if Nicki Reed were still in it). Not quite the slam dunk I hoped it would be but still thoroughly entertaining though I'm not sure how much I would want to tune in week after week yet (except for Bret's facial expressions)

Here's the old promo that still has Nicki Reed in it, but Scooter has the newer version with Missy, and he seems even more annoyed at the recasting than I am.

The Reaper Extended Promo
Uploaded by SeriesBlog


Scooter McGavin said...

The thing about dumping Nikki Reed for the chick from Heores is that every show needs a Token Hot Chick, just a chick to stand threre, look pretty, preferably with little to no clothing on. There are very few shows that are any good that don't have Token Hot Chick, Veronica Mars is the only one that comes to mind. And I doubt it is a coinicidence that Lost began to tank quaity wise after they killed off their Token Hot Chick in the second season.

Now Nikki Reed certainly can pull off Token Hot Chick status, but the chick from Heroes is at best the annoying friend of a Token Hot Chick. Her role on Heroes definately suited her better.

It is laughable when watching the scene where the two dudes talk about how the girl is out of their league back to back with the different actesses because Nikki definately is but the other chick I'm not buying it.

Vance said...

That's a good way to put it! I don't even want to sleep with token hot chick but I definitely know Nikki Reed is better than Missy. Somehow Nikki seems softer and yet harder at the same time (probably due to Thirteen days).

Jennifer said...

Wow, someone else who watched Breaker High too! (Which, yes, was terrifically horrible.) I just watched Half Nelson today and it's amazing how far Ryan Gosling has come...

Vance said...

I swear to god that when I watched Breaker High, I truly felt Ryan was WAY better actor than one would think anybody on a show like Breaker High would be I told my sister, watch out for him. There's more to him. so I feel vindicated! even though I have no way to prove my prediction. ha!

Seriously though, maybe I should be a talent scout or casting agent? That seems fun!