"Reaper" Pilot Premieres at SDCC 2007
Friday evening at the San Diego ComicCon, Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) presented the new show Reaper. Slacker Sam Oliver (Bret Harrison) has always taken the easy route. But on his twenty-first birthday, he discovers his parents sold his soul to the Devil (Ray Wise). Now Sam is a bounty hunter for Hell, capturing souls that escape and sending them back where they belong.
Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas have created an irreverent horror-comedy show. In the pilot episode, directed by Kevin Smith, Sam discovers his destiny and develops supernatural abilities. Along with friends "Sock" (Tyler Labine) and Ben (Rick Gonzalez), Sam tracks down a fire demon with the help of a demonic Dirt Devil and a portal to Hell through the DMV.
Comparisons to the CW's other demon-hunting show, Supernatural are inevitable, but the similarities are superficial. Although both shows have a demon-hunting Sam, Reaper has a light, satirical tone. It's shot and lit with primary colors rather than Supernatural's somber sepia tinting. Reaper is reminiscent of the more whimsical episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - in fact, Butters and Fazekas cite Buffy as one of their influences. Whether a series can sustain this in the long run remains to be seen, but the pilot episode is worth checking out.