Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Reaper: Family Bonding

While it's great to have Reaper back, it already seems like it's on deathwatch, with The CW scheduling at the last minute to run against that series killer, American Idol. As it expected, it was slaughtered in the ratings. While last night's episode ("Episode IV: A New Hope") was charming and had moments that reminded me of what I loved about it's amazing run towards the end of last season, there was a spark missing you'd think a black comedy dealing with incest and filicide would have.

The theme for the episode was the awkwardness of dealing with new family. Sam's discovery of his father is still fresh, so he's troubled to find out his father kind of wants him dead, leaving him with a couple dozen or so maniacal souls to corral with a cattle prod. So much for father-son bonding.

Meanwhile, Sock (played by the hilarious Tyler Labine) finds out his mom got married during their absence, and he now has a new stepsister Karen, who is hot. Sock has only a brief moral conflict over the affair, which is hilariously summed up in his throwdown to Ben ("Shut up, that's my sister. I've got dibs.") When Karen calls him into her bedroom, the music playing is hilariously from the classic Kay Parker adult film Taboo 2, which was infamous for it's brother-sister incest. It's both a ballsy and obscure reference (unless you count Adam Carolla's obsession with the film,) and you have to tip your hat to music supervisor Chris Tergesen for the selection.

There were a lot of music highlights besides the funny Taboo 2 reference. First, there was the use of The Hold Steady's "Constructive Summer," which was perfect both in that it's about drinking as something constructive, and for it's religious undertones. Then, in a wholly inspired scene, Sam is lowered via rope ala Mission Impossible to zap the souls one by one with his magic wand-like cattle prod, all to Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy."

Finally, to celebrate Sam's major accomplishment, we get Satan (the magnificent Ray Wise) dancing around his muscle car to Joe Esposito's "You're the Best," (video) first made famous in The Karate Kid, and more recently made relevant again in the great Donkey Kong documentary King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.

Playlist: Reaper - Episode 2.01
1. "Footsteps" - Gabriel Moses and Jordan Harris - Gang at Brickyard bar
2. "Constructive Summer" - The Hold Steady - Drunken cram session
3. "If You Only Knew" (Theme from Taboo 2)
4. "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Sam zaps the souls while dangling from a rope
5. "Your the Best" - Joe Esposito - Satan dances in front of his muscle car

1 comment:

Arjan said...

well Reaper beats ANTM any day (or second) for me :P

Cool to read about the music choices.