Third-episode verdict: Reaper

The Carusometer for Reaper 3-Minor-Caruso

Reaper didn’t exactly start off on a high and it’s pretty much maintained the same level ever since. A slacker who works in a faceless retail outlet (shades of Chuck), pushing around trollies, finds out his parents have sold his soul to the devil and he now has to return escapees from Hell back to their rightful torture point.

That’s pretty much every episode. Bad person escapes. Slacker has to return them with the help of his friends. Every. Single. Episode. All that’s different is the bad person and the way he sends them back.

Trouble is it’s been done better (not much better, mind) as Brimstone. It might be a comedy drama, but the show’s not especially funny or dramatic. It might have horrific overtones, but it’s not especially frightening. The Devil is more like a cross between Frank Sinatra and Puck than the Lord of All Evil.

The show’s just there. It exists, purely to fill the airwaves so that people smoking something illicit have something to watch while they’re doing it.

The only spark of any real interest is the interplay between our hero and his secret crush, now recast as Missy Peregrym, who somehow manages not to be very irritating at all (a first for her). Now that’s a miracle.

The Medium is Not Enough declares that Reaper scores a three or “Minor Caruso” on The Carusometer. A Minor Caruso corresponds to “a show in which David Caurso might guest star as a minor demon. Although perfectly happy for his character to shoot and torture other characters, he will insist that there be no use of ‘cuss words’ because it would set a bad example to young people, resulting in dialogue like ‘I’ll darn them all to Heck’. The show will be cancelled within two seasons.”

  • I’ll put ‘Reaper’ ahead of ‘Brimstone’ because of the difference in attitude/style. ‘Brimstone’ was too unrelentingly grim and downbeat. And the method of dispatching the souls was the same every single episode – shoot them through the eyes. A bit much to take on top of all the other heaviness.
    One nice thing about ‘Brimstone’ – it took place around the same time Angel came back from hell on ‘Buffy’. So for Toobworld, the two shows are linked by a common event – the escape of the souls from Hell.

  • “‘Brimstone’ was too unrelentingly grim and downbeat.”
    How can something be too grim and downbeat…? All the same, John Glover was amusing as the Devil and Teri Polo had her moments.

  • espedair

    I’ve seen the first few eps of this and I actually quite like it. Its pretty funny in a reassuring kind of way. Isb’t that what TV is all about?

  • “Its pretty funny in a reassuring kind of way. Isb’t that what TV is all about?”
    You’re a Last of the Summer Wine viewer, aren’t you? You’ve got the box sets, haven’t you? I suspect you got them through a partwork series as well.

  • espedair

    Not that reassuring!
    I won’t be subscribing the the DeAgustino weekly sets.. no sir, not me.

  • I watched the first episode on e4 last night… really enjoyed it actually! Though I can imagine the format getting a little tired…

  • MediumRob

    It does! They’re all the same…

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