I’m just going to do a short review of this new import for the first episode, as the US makes such sprawling series that they can afford to give the show a few episodes a bed in. Nevertheless, Reaper, (E4, Wednesdays 9pm) shows real promise, and I’ll definitely be sticking with it.
The premise of the show is that a couple have sold the soul of their son, Sam, to the Devil (to keep the father alive) and now that Sam has reached 21, old Beelzebub has come to claim him. Sam has to act as a bounty hunter, returning escaped souls to Hell. Yes, it’s a bit silly, but this could be great, as it’s loads of fun, has a charismatic cast, and brings to mind so many brilliant sci-fi shows and films.
The pilot was directed by Clerks’ Kevin Smith, and he is credited as an executive producer – and you can really see his influence. Sam and his best friend Sock are classic small-town slackers – Sock is played by Tyler Labine who absolutely shone in the now-cancelled Invasion – who approach their new mission in life as if they’re in Ghostbusters. The Devil find his suave form in Ray Wise (who has been in pretty much every single high-quality US drama) and is rather reminiscent of Al from Quantum Leap. But, you know, evil.
It’s smart, made me laugh out loud on several occasions, has a real Buffy-vibe and even boasted some impressive special effects. Give it a go.