Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My feelings on Reaper

Last night House was awesome as usual. Yep.

Then I watched Reaper.

In the past two days I've seen three new pilots about some man developing a new superpower. Journeyman was engaging and Chuck was adorable and Reaper.... eh.

The show has a cute premise poorly executed. With the other two shows I felt like these were real people in extraordinary circumstances. With Reaper I felt like I was watching actors on a sound stage, and not all the acting was good.

I'm beginning to think maybe Kevin Smith is a better writer than he is a director.

But some of this was very much a script problem. One of the things I always tell my students who are aspiring writers is to set up your character interactions for maximum conflict. Reaper did not follow this path.

Sam is the main character. Before Sam was born his parents sold his soul to the Devil. I know this because Sam's dad explained it in a very boring piece of exposition in a living room with nothing else going on. And that piece of exposition was followed directly by another piece of exposition where Sam learned about his new job as the Devil's pawn.

But it would have been a lot more interesting for Sam to be defending his parents from evil souls or something, trusting them to be the most amazing parents in the world and risking his life to save them when he finds out they sold his soul and that's why all this is happening to him. Instead he just sort of went, oh, really? That sucks.

Then he forgave his parents and the conflict was resolved.


And why would the Devil send a 21-year-old Home Depot employee out to fight evil superpowery demons without a proper training montage? The Devil is an idiot, even if he is Laura Palmer's dad.

Brimstone was better. One of the things that worked about that show, which tragically only got a handful of episodes, was how you'd get to understand each of the lost souls and what their motivation was to commit their sins. That's not happening here. Then again, this is supposed to be a comedy. I laughed once.

Maybe Reaper will improve. I like the idea, but I will not be adding this show to my regular schedule.

I'm far more excited about the new season of Supernatural. Ooooh, Jensen Ackles is gonna kick some ass.

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