Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Beta males are in right now": Reaper

A very nice fourth episode of Reaper, I thought, one that really gave me hope for this show succeeding as a series. There are still kinks to work out, but it's early days and the humor and fun of these characters is really shining through, and the monster-of-the-week thing is settling down quite nicely after a couple hiccups. I still love Sock (a lot of critics seem to find him grating, and I usually agree when it comes to obnoxious best friends, but he really charms me for some reason), I'm still infatuated with Andi and I think Rick Gonzalez as Ben is already the underrated comic performer of the year.

Let's hit Sam 'n' Andi first. Man, Andi is so hot. OK, I shouldn't make these reviews a weekly "I want to sleep with Missy Peregrym" column. That's bad. Still, she is very appealing. Flaming Lips concert? Hanging with her in her car? She snores? (Fellow snorer here). Jeez. She's just fantastic. So it IS too bad that the writers are dragging out the inevitable with these two. As I wrote before, Sam and Andi aren't a case of "will they won't they". It's a case of "when the hell WILL they?" Although Andi this week seemed more solid about the idea that she and Sam are actually JUST FRIENDS. But no, she's kidding herself, and everyone knows it. They'll hook up around episode 8, I bet. Or they would, but the other problem is the writers haven't even taken the step of letting Andi know about the whole Sam/Satan thing. They're really taking the whole 'move the season arcs forward' thing veeeery slowly, aren't they. Let's at least get that far, shall we, and not have that revelation spoil their relationship for a while. Cause that would be a pain.

Villain of the week was good here. Yeah, he lacked a little depth, but I prefer it that way. Maybe every one villain in eight should have more going on, but usually a good ol' fashioned psycho will suit me fine. As long as the banter is flying and the peril is at least slightly heightened. Rather than the suit up, run away, suit up again, beat the bad guy approach of the last three weeks, there was a more sustained action sequence and they even got Andi mixed up in the middle of it. Better still was Ben's doomed love for the dove vessel, and also the gang didn't break into the DA's office this time around (that was getting a little hackneyed). Although I still like Sock's ex, I just wish they could use her a little more creatively.

Best of all, Satan was deployed not just as a chummy goofball this time around, but he actually got a little bit scary. Seriously, this is EXACTLY how they should be writing him, and I was especially pleased by the bar conversation at the end. Satan should be kind of...petulant, but in an aloof, knowing manner. He should be on Sam's side, but he should also be willing to threaten him. Doing something creepy like seeing Andi (that's the first time he's interacted with another cast member, as far as I know, and it was a great moment, him seeking her out in the mall), but also giving Sam a few breaks...perfect! Did I mention that final bar scene? While Satan almost running Sam over with the trucks was cool/creepy enough, their final conversation was just excellent. I really look forward to those two developing that warped boss/worker relationship they have going on. My favorite bit of the night was probably when Sam compared Satan to his Work Bench boss, and Satan was actually visibly offended, saying "that guy's a tool!" He's got feelings too, folks.

I'm enjoying this, and feeling less need to compare it to Chuck. Really great stuff!

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