Reaper
Pilot

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Lady Lola: B- | Grade It Now!
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Pilot

We open on Sam, our protagonist of above-average looks and below-average intelligence. Cue Beck's "Devil's Haircut," and we're out of the gate running with the painfully obvious allusions to all thing Satanic. Sam gets ready for his retail job and heads downstairs, where his parents are talking. It's Sam's birthday, but they're not all smiles. His mom looks particularly concerned, saying, "I want you to have a wonderful day, no matter what happens." They head into the kitchen, and Sam's younger brother Kyle ribs him. Sam, however, is momentarily transfixed by an anvilicious news report about an apartment fire. Sam snaps out of it and spars with Kyle about which of them is the bigger loser. Does there have to be only one?

Suddenly the Designer Impostors version of Jack Black enters. It's Sam's friend Bert Wysocki, a.k.a. Sock, a.k.a. Jack Black Lite. JBL wishes Sam a happy birthday and from the get-go establishes that he's a real wisenheimer of the har-har variety. I suppose every hour-long dramedy-thriller-mystery-action adventure has to have at least one. Dad, Sam, and JBL banter about birthday plans. Sam's involve being lazy and useless, just like every other day of his life so far. JBL's involve killing a hooker in Vegas. And Mom's involve running away in tears. Dad gawps at how awkward breakfast has become, and Sam begins to suspect something’s awry. Apropos of nothing, JBL jokes about Ma and Pa Oliver having sex. Way to dust off the classics, Beavis.

The guys ride Sam's white '92 Taurus station wagon into the parking lot of The Work Bench. As JBL tells Sam to get ready for the evening's festivities by wearing "puke-resistant clothing," Sam bemoans his existential crisis. He's worked in the same place -- a warehouse store, no less -- since he was 16. Quelle horreur! That sounds like a problem only the forces of evil themselves could solve! Apropos of that, a rabid dog is now jumping and growling at the wagon's passenger side door. (The Devil's in this detail, I suspect.) Because he's bored enough for a random act of cruelty, JBL opens the car door and whacks the crap out of the pooch, then laughs his Jack-Black-imitating ass off.

As the boys walk into work, JBL, ever the lothario, advises Sam about asking Andi, his coworker crush, on a date. Sam claims he's tried in the past but timing got the better of him when Andi's dad died. JBL is predictably callous, insisting that Sam can prey on Andi's low standards, and indeed should do so before she realizes what losers they both are. Devil in the detail the second: Sam spots an errant grocery cart and goes to put it up. Before he can reach it, the cart rolls off as if he moved it with his mind. Sam is baffled, but minimum wage calls, so he heads into the warehouse.

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Reaper

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