Grim Reaper


The CW tells me that a reviewer has called its new comedy, Reaper, "nearly flawless." Hmmm.

Frankly, it reminds me of one of those college creative writing assignments that the professor would thow back at me for a hackneyed premise that would be too hard to sustain and probably not worth it at that.

Borrowing from Ghostbusters and perhaps from the devilishly wonderful 1967 film, Bedazzled (remade in 2000) Reaper manages to have a little fun with the "devil tries to take your soul" chestnut, in this case roasting on an open hellfire, but it seemed forced to me, more like a forgettable cable original movie than a sustainable series convention.

Some gimmicks work–Buffy comes to mind–but this one didn’t for me

Our hero’s parents have sold his soul to the Devil before he was born, but rather than collect it on Sam Oliver’s first birthday, makes him collect souls who have escaped from Hell.

I have to give the CW props for the most obvious product placement of the new TV season. The first device for sucking up lost souls a la the Ghostbusters is a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner, which gets plenty of lovingly-shot screen time and probably should get co-star billing.

Apparently, though, there will be a different soul-catching device in the second episode. Perhaps that was a way to sell a new sponsor each week. Who knows what brand name household appliance will be next used to send the deserving back to hell. Perhaps they can be run over with a Ford F Series truck. Which reminds me, I could have done with one scene where a Zamboni became Satan’sweapon of choice, though I don’t remember any reference to the New Jersey Devils.

I did like the idea of the portals between this realm and the one below. I won’t give it away, but if some place feels like hell on earth, according to this show, it really is.

Clue: Now serving number S666.