DVD Review: REAPER Season 2.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment
MSRP: $39.98
DVD release date: June 9, 2009
Stars: Bret Harrison, Tyler Labine, Rick Gonzalez, Missy Peregrym, Ray Wise

On the bubble after the writers-strike-shortened 2007-08 season, Reaper was renewed for a 13-episode second season airing from March 3 to May 26, 2009.

At the end of Season 1, twentysomething slacker-turned-demonic bounty hunter Sam Oliver (Harrison) learned he might be the son of Satan (Wise). In Season 2’s premiere, this turns out to be true, however it’s also true the Devil has many offspring, one of whom, the soulless pampered Morgan (Armie Hammer), becomes Sam’s recurring rival.

There seemed to be a conscious effort to expand the roles of Sam’s friends Sock, Ben, and Andi. Sock’s mother remarries, and Sock lusts after his Japanese stepsister Kristen (Eriko Tamura). Ben falls in love with a female demon (Jenny Wade). Andi tries to deal with the pressure of managing The Work Bench. Sam meanwhile continues to pursue possibilities of breaking his deal with the Devil.

It was nice to branch out from the escaped-soul-of-the-week formula, but the episodes as a whole became less about identifiable plot. There was little continuity between episodes beyond advancing a very broad overall story. Whenever Sam seemed to make progress, the Devil would get a step ahead of him. This was frustrating at times, but I also appreciated that good and evil were never clear cut on the show. I still enjoyed it for mindless fun and found the acting more natural than on many more serious shows.

Without a DVR this season, I was forced to choose between NCIS and Reaper, and NCIS won out. I can see why Reaper was cancelled, but I’m grateful for the run it had and proud to own both seasons.

The four-disc Season 2 set is presented in widescreen, with deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a featurette on the making of Season 1.

–Gerald So