26.5.09

You Reap What You Show


I'm pretty damn angry.

I've never really gotten the whole American thing that they complain about tv shows getting canceled. Before the Youtube era, I'd never been involved in the embryonic development of a new show on the telly. Usually it only made it across the water if they were going to make it succesful anyway. No matter how terrible it is. Yes I am talking to you Desperate Housewives. Ugly Betty. The Hills. Grey's Anatomy. 90210. Big Bang Theory. Prison Break. 24 got repetitive and pointless a few series ago. Even Lost has just become a parody of itself.

I'm sure House is rubbish too, and I'm sure Hugh Laurie doesn't give a daaaamn about that either. He might see selling out and spoon feeding Americans tripe as the only way of getting recognised. Fair play to him for it. Scrubs, despite having a full farewell series and an amazingly over soppy final ever episode is somehow getting yet another series.

Its one thing to put or keep these shows on the telly. Its quite ANOTHER to cancel possibly the best new thing on the telly since Flight of the Conchords' series on HBO found us, to find the room for a new one of these awful shows! Looks like FoTC only ended because they didn't want to drag it out 'til it became rubbish. A noble and difficult choice. One I can tolerate, however, as Black Books et al chose a similar path once they ran their creative course.

To strike Reaper down in it's prime is nothing short of malice. It was never given a fair chance. Every episode had to move a hundred miles an hour, pretty big character turnover. Potential new arc's looming at every turn which all gives it an addictive quality. There's never really a lull in the series because a storyline doesnt interest you. All a glorious indirect result of network executives demanding shakeup after shakeup craving ever larger audiences. When really now is that time that comes along every 5 or so years where a new generation of shows needs to take on the baton. Not smothered at birth.

That aside it has thrived under these conditions, because the genius writers never run out of ideas. Everything is hilarious. What you wouldn't expect from what can nearly be seen as a frat-boy comedy, though, is that every episode uses clever and astute motifs aswell. Refreshingly it doesn't even consider slapstick or canned laughter. Everything is well thought out. Excellent accessible characters with substance to them. The Devil is played brilliantly by Ray Wise. Seductively convincing and assured, together with everything you'd expect a Devil character to be. Anybody who watched Reaper's less laidback forerunner Buffy the Vampire Slayer will recognise Sam's actor as a onetime bit part character, so there's pedigree one could say. Tyler Labine keeps the show ticking along, and Rick Gonzalez comes into his own in series 2 when his own unique humour flourishes. Unlike Buffy though, it only pays lipservice to any arc, and episodes can easily be watched in isolation. Its all just epic. If we all watch it now it might just get a DVD resurrection!

So there you go. Episode One right here. Watch it. Thou haveth no excuseth noweth!

1 comment:

  1. We could really use your help with Reaper! Industry insiders confirm Hollywood Reporter's article that ABC Studios is actively trying to sell Reaper. Syndication is a very real possiblity right now, but EVERYONE is recommending writing ABC Studions your affiliates - even international! Help out! All details here: http://community.livejournal.com/reaperdmv/46875.html

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