Monday, October 01, 2007

Reaper and Gossip Girl

So aside from stealthily avoiding the bears of Yosemite, I've also been trying to catch as many premieres and new season kick offs I can of this Falls tv season. And recently I got a chance to catch up on 2 more new shows, Reaper and Gossip Girl.

Reaper is a show that I knew I had to check out. As a fan of Kevin Smith's Smodcast, I'd heard something of the behind the scenes of his experience directing this pilot episode of this new series, and it really sounded like a pretty fun show. I have to say, while a lot of critics have been kind of luke warm to it, I honestly enjoyed the heck out of Reaper.

The story follows Sam a guy in his early 20s who has yet to actually make anything of his life. He works at a dead end job at a K-Mart like store, his best friend is also a go nowhere slacker, and he doesn't even have the nerve to ask out the girl he likes. The series picks up when Sam turns 21 and finds to his surprise that before he was born his parents sold his soul to the devil. Now the devil has come to collect, but instead of taking Sam to hell, he recruits him to become a bounty hunter collecting itinerant or escaped souls from hell and returning them to their damnation.

Its a funny show, with a good heart and a silly attitude. I know that its on CW which is an automatic turnoff to some people, but I say during the Smallville commercials is worth it for a quirky comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously. I recommend you check this one out.

The other show I checked out, which is currently available for free on iTunes is another CW offering, Gossip Girl. It follows a group of extremely wealthy young people living in the Upper East Side of New York City. Helmed by O.C. creator Josh Schwartz this show plays a lot like a darker, grittier version of The O.C. and that proves to be both a strength and a weakness. Even in just the pilot, it has way more teeth than the O.C ever did, but that also makes it less appealing. The lives of the young and social elite in California seem to involve beach parties, sailing, and looking good in a swimsuit. Whereas the New York scene is darker, and heavier with more emphasis on fashion, nightclubs, and being sophisticated. Maybe its the other element of the show that makes it stand out, namely all the gossip. The show is framed by a narrator, voiced by Kirsten Bell, who gives the viewer and often the characters the scoop on whats what in the lives of these kiniving rich kids. Basically this gives people license to repeatedly stab each other in the back. This show has a lot of people manipulating each other, betrayal, and of course gossip. Its the kind of show that will regularly use the word 'frenemy', and now I just have to decide if I can handle that.

While I think I still prefer the sunny, emo rock scene of the O.C., I'll give Gossip Girl another couple of episodes to grow on me. A darker soap series may be just the thing for the coming winter months.



Anonymous said...

I think gossip girl might be the worst show to ever grace our airwaves... cablewaves...w/e. It makes the Hills look like quality.

Chappy said...

I think you should see the show before making that call.

Also, its not great, I mean its not O.C. or anything, but it's definitely something that I will give another couple of episodes.