Friday, March 28, 2008

Before the Devil Knows Your Dread

Thirteen episodes. That's how long it took Reaper to figure out how to deliver on the promise of its pilot. Part of the rebirth here is the addition of The State vets Ken Marino (Vinnie on Veronica Mars) and Michael Ian Black (VH1's go-to -guy for their I Love the 70s/80s/90s series) as Steve and Tony, Sam's gay demon neighbors. The natural chemistry between Marino and Black is obvious, and they help provide some comedy relief, letting Tyler Labine (Sock) off the hook from having to carry the burden.

If you've been reading my posts, you know my common complaint has always been the lack of an over-arching story. Now here we are at this unlucky episode number -- and Reaper begins to move forward. The endings of the two most recent episodes are the first times in awhile that creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas have shown their Buffy pedigree, first by revealing last week that Steve and Tony are demons (the sanding of the horns was Whedonesque genius).

Then last night came the reveal that Sam has a more-than-unusual relationship with the Devil, and that our favorite gay demon neighbors are all about using that connection to get to Scratch. Honestly, until these two episodes, I was having a hard time mustering any sympathy for the show's fate. But then Tony invited Sam into his secret room and now all of a sudden I'm willing to start a campaign sending Lil' Devil Dustbusters to CW headquarters to save the show.

But, as Tony says to Sam as he tries to apologize for assuming the worst about their demon status, "it's too little, too late." Here's hoping Reaper changes The CW's mind like Sam did Tony's with some 11th hour magic.

Musically, and it really is only an aside here, the past couple episodes have been pretty typical setting only choices, highlighted by last week's use of brakesbrakesbrakes' "Beatific Visions" and Robbers On High Street's "You Don't Stand A Chance." Last night, it was all about the fashion world, so New Young Pony Club's "Tight Fit" was just that, a tight fit.

Playlist: Reaper - Eps 112-113
1. You Don't Stand A Chance" - Robbers On High Street
2. Oh Yeah" - The Subways
3. Beatific Visions" - brakesbrakesbrakes
4. "Because Of You" - Joel Evans
5. "Tight Fit" - New Young Pony Club
6. "What Chu Wanna Do?" - Mobonix

More: Reaper also scores with some nice true-to-life casting, as Tyler Labine's brother plays the Seattle Style magazine lackey. Sock says of him: "I think I found a brother."

Previously: The Devil's Concubine (Episode 1.09)

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