DVD Review: ‘Reaper’ Season 2
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Season 2
Starring Bret Harrison, Tyler Labine, Rick Gonzalez, Missy Peregrym, Ray Wise
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 9, 2009

The second season of Reaper had the unfortunate disposition of being seemingly cursed from the very start. After a highly-acclaimed first season gained it a large cult following, the show’s future was still in danger, and the writer’s strike did not help their cause. Eventually, when the dust settled a bit, it was decided that the show would get more of a second chance than a second season with a shortened 13-episode run. Sadly, this uphill battle ended like the finale of Glory, and at this moment Reaper has been canceled with only a few small chances at another network being it’s savior (Read: “˜Reaper’ Canceled: The CW Decides It Wants To Be Just Like Fox When It Grows Up). This of course isn’t the first time a great show was killed too early, and even in this depressing hole, Reaper still has plenty to offer those who have yet to see it.

Reaper is a show about Sam (Bret Harrison), a regular guy who works at a home improvement super store called The Work Bench with his best friends Ben (Rick Gonzalez) and Sock (Tyler Labine), as well as his love interest/friend Andi (Missy Peregrym). On his 21st birthday, Sam discovers that his parents (thinking that they would never have children) sold the soul of their first born child in order to heal his father who was very sick at the time. After he turned 21, the Devil (Ray Wise) comes to claim him and set him off on his new eternal job as the Devil’s bounty hunter, who catches the souls of the damned who escape hell. The show for the most part sounds like a horror movie, and certainly does have scary content, but rest-assured, it’s an incredibly fun and funny series.

Due to the full length and story completion in the first season, I can’t stand here and tell you that season 2 is better — it’s not. What I can tell you is: season 2 is still kick-your-ass good TV that STILL, in all of its short, disabled glory, was better than most shows that are today. It was always known that it may just be the last hurrah for the show; but instead of just coasting through and cashing it in, Reaper tore through its second season with guns blazing to show how damn good they can be. We can only hope that it was enough to show some smart executive that this show is one worth getting aired.

This is one of those shows where the characters are the priority; where you feel close to every one of them, like they’re relatives or friends. This is a mark of brilliance. Sam is your typical every-man that you could easily hang out with and have a beer; Ben is the strange-but-lovable friend who you’re not sure you get, but you don’t need to; Sock is the completely out of his mind, hilarious heart-and-soul of the show; Andi is the beautiful girl-next-door type who’s always there to offer up a little logic and reason. Simple profiles equal characters that are easy to relate to. Hell, even the Devil himself…yes, SATAN, is someone you like. That’s not easy to do! The way that Ray Wise portrays him is perfect and one of my personal favorite characters in TV history.

Even though this second season of the show gave it their best fighter’s shot, there just wasn’t enough time. This means that there was still so many great storylines going on that I and many others were dying to get to the bottom of in future seasons. If there is any flaw to be had, this would be it. If you’re new to Reaper, you just have to come to terms with the fact that some things will never be known, unless we get this show going again of course.

This one flaw should not…I repeat, should NOT keep you from entering this world. I urge every single soul who has not yet seen this show: go out and get the first season and watch it right this moment. I promise you, if you do that, you will fall in love with the show and its characters, and then you can get season 2 to continue the ride!

It’s very rare and special for a show like this to come along. While its end is a sad and tragic story, I’m one who believes that it’s hard to keep a show like this down. In recent times we’ve begun to see canceled shows that fans latch on to and demand they be resurrected — and it is starting to work. For a show like Reaper which is still incredibly young, it already has an impressive army of fans calling for it’s return, myself included. We can only hope that it’s a matter of time before Reaper returns to us, and I for one will be first in line at Booze to celebrate.

Special Features

As far as extras go, the selection is fairly meager. A few deleted scenes, a gag reel — the regular stuff you find. Because the DVD was released pretty much immediately after the show’s finale aired, there wasn’t much time to add some great extras. This may mean that there’s a treasure chest of extra content waiting to be seen somewhere, but will we ever get to see it?!

1 Comment »

  1. Season 2 of Reaper corrected some of the obvious “Buffy” and “Angel” comparisons that marked a show about a young protagonist fighting demon of the week while interjecting humanity and humor into the unearthly task.

    However, with the concentration shifting away from “hellspawn of the week” over to the relationships between Sam/Andi, Ben/Nina, and Sock/Insert Name, we got away from the Favourite Tools of Satan tagline and more into the “how do I accept the other person” melodrama. And let’s face it, Sock just didn’t get enough comic A-material in Season 2. The exclusion of Sam’s mom and little brother also hurt in terms of what could’ve been done to expand beyond the relationship of the week plotlines.

    Comment by burning_chrome — June 22, 2009 @ 4:56 pm

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