By CAINE GARDNER
In what could be its final go-round, Reaper proves that its formula for success didn't produce a one-hit wonder. Season two takes all the good aspects of the first season, mixes them up and offers up a devilishly delicious bowl of hilarity.
In season one, Sam (Bret Harrison) learns that his parent sold his soul to the devil (Ray Wise) and now the devil has come to claim his prize. Convinced he's just punched a first-class ticket to Hell, he soon learns Satan has other plans. Instead of heading south, Sam is to be the devil's right-hand man and become a reaper, or harvester of escaped souls. His friends Sock (Tyler Labine) and Ben (Rick Gonzalez) reluctantly accompany him at first, then soon becomes willing participants.
In the sophomore season, we again are along from the ride with Sam and this time around, things are even hotter. After Sam, Sock and Ben return from a roadtrip, they learn they've been evicted and have lost their jobs at the Work Bench, but that is the furthest thing from Ben's mind.
After learning that a soul has found a loophole and has returned from Hell, Sam devotes himself to outsmarting the devil, getting out of his contract and getting on with his life.
Complicating matters is his unwillingness to tell Andi (Missy Peregrym) the whole story as well as Ben's new girlfriend, who also happens to be a demon. Sam is outwitted at every turn and just when it looks like he finally gets the answers he seeks, the devil pulls the rug out from underneath him.
Things become personal after Sam enlist the demon Steve (Michael Ian Black) to translate a scroll and summon the devil into a competition that could result his him getting out of his contract. When things go sour, Satan's attention shifts to someone besides Sam -- Andi. Now Sam must fight to save both their souls.
Harrison, Gonzalez and Peregrym are quality performers, but it's Labine who steals the show as he did in season one. In season two, the ante is upped and Labine provides some of the best chuckles of the entire television season. Not only is he rude, crude and completely over-the-top, now he has his sights set on an Asian beauty with one major stumbling block -- she turns out to be his sister. It's as funny and awkward as it sounds.
Wise continues to shine in the role of the devil. He's able to blend the qualities of a used car salesman, a slimy executive and Frank Sinatra in his prime and has the charm and charisma to pull it off without a hitch.
Currently Reaper is a hit without a home. The almighty CW cancelled the show, but talks of it being picked up by another network are still going strong. I guess the network needed to clear up space for 90210 and the upcoming return of Melrose Place. We'll see how that pans out for them.
Final Cut: Reaper is a top-notch, laugh-a-minute pleaser that grabs you and doesn't let go. With sharp dialog and wonderful acting, Reaper is as hot as Hell itself and must find its way into your DVD collection.
4 out of 5 stars
Reaper: Season Two
Four-disk box set
* Gag Reel
* Deleted Scenes
Starring: Bret Harrison, Tyler Labine, Rick Gonzalez, Missy Peregrym, Ray Wise