Tag: CW

Really? This is how they’re going to end “Reaper”? Ugh.

** SPOILER ALERT **

“Reaper” fans have known for several weeks now that the show probably wasn’t going to return in the fall, but we kept watching in the hopes that the series would at least wrap up with some sense of closure.

“Reaper” has been pretty good this season though with the late premiere date it was obvious that it was on the cutting block. Let’s just hope that [Michele] Fazekas and [Tara] Butters can wrap up the series properly instead of letting “Reaper” simply go dark. No one wants that.

Denied.

For most of the season/series finale, “The Devil & Sam Oliver,” it looked like we might get some sort of a satisfying ending. Sam had discovered a way to get out of his deal with the Devil and had picked a contest — “Quarters” — that would give him a legitimate shot of succeeding. (No pun intended.) Even when Steve showed up and broke his right hand, I still held out hope that he’d manage to beat the Devil with his left hand.

Nope.

Instead, with the souls of both Sam and now Andi owned by the Devil, we are treated to a scene of Steve (sort of) explaining that his orders came from “up above.” He shows off his wings and joins a bunch of other angels in the night sky. Cut to Sam and Andi looking up in wonderment. Fade to black.

WTF?

This should be filed under “How Not to Handle a Finale.” The series was on the chopping block for the last couple of months, and even if producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters wrapped up production a while ago, they (or the network) should have had the foresight to shoot an alternate ending or two to give them the option of going in another direction if the show were canceled.

How hard would it have been to shoot a scene of Sam knocking a couple of quarters in with his left hand? Or what about cutting the scene where Steve breaks his hand and have the Devil figure out to cover his eyes after the first miss and force Sam to make all five shots with his right hand? Sam gets his soul back, Andi is safe and the series can end with some sense of closure.

Instead, the series is sent spinning off into another direction, and we’ll never really know how how the story of Sam, Andi, Sock, Ben and the Devil really ends. If we had some closure, I might recommend that my friends watch the show on DVD. But why would I subject them to this painful ending?

Shame on the CW for not insisting that multiple endings be shot. Shame on Butters and Fazekas for the same thing, and for jumping ship even before the fate of “Reaper” was sealed. This finale is a slap in the face of all the fans who stuck with the show for its entire run. Say what you will about ABC’s decision to cancel “Life On Mars,” at least the network and the producers were on the same page in that both sides wanted to give the series an appropriate ending.

More commentary on the “Reaper” finale:

Hitflix
The Star Ledger

Uh-oh, “Reaper” creators sign deal with rival studio

Bad news for “Reaper” fans — the show’s creators just signed a deal with a rival studio, so it looks like the show’s fate has been sealed.

“Reaper” creators/executive producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

Under the seven-figure pact, the duo will join a 20th TV series and develop projects for the studio.

Fazekas and Butters’ exclusive deal with 20th TV effectively seals the fate of their bubble CW series as it calls for them to leave “Reaper,” produced by ABC Studios, where the two had been based.

“Reaper” has been pretty good this season though with the late premiere date it was obvious that it was on the cutting block. Let’s just hope that Fazekas and Butters can wrap up the series properly instead of letting “Reaper” simply go dark. No one wants that.

“Gossip Girl” prequel finds its star

It looks like Brittany Snow, best known for her role as Meg Pryor in “American Dreams,” will star as Lily van der Woodsen in the “Gossip Girl” spinoff/prequel, which will focus on the future Ms. van der Woodsen as she grows up in the 1980’s.

The spinoff centers on then-Lily Rhodes (Snow), who, after a falling-out with her parents, is forced to move in with her sister, Carol (Krysten Ritter), the black sheep of the family.

Overnight, Lily has to transition from a life of luxury and education at a wealthy Montecito boarding school to living deep in the San Fernando Valley she once made fun of and going to public school. Caught between two worlds, Lily dives into the fast-paced Sunset Strip and the Hollywood lifestyle of the ’80s, journeying over the hill to a world of wealth and excess that used to be her own.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m looking forward to the prequel to “Gossip Girl,” but here I sit, looking forward to the prequel to “Gossip Girl.”

Seven shows that just don’t get enough love

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to put together a list of my favorite television moments before the end of 2008, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time in front of the tube. (Come to think of it, maybe my television addiction was the reason I didn’t have the free time to write about the best of 2008. Hmm.)

Anyway, here is a list of seven terrific shows that seem to be flying under the proverbial radar.

1. “True Blood” (HBO)
Alan Ball, the writer of “American Beauty” and the creator of “Six Feet Under,” brings us a series based on vampires in the Deep South. The series is based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series of books and stars Anna Paquin — whom I argued, under the moniker of Eli Cash a few years back, would have made a better Penny Lane than Kate Hudson — as a mind-reading waitress in a small town in Louisiana. The first season was excellent, though it got off to a bit of a slow start. Paquin is the key, but her best friend Tara (played by Rutina Wesley) often steals the show.

2. “Dexter” (Showtime)
Everyone’s favorite serial killer is back for a third season. Dexter Morgan works for the Miami Police Department as a blood splatter analyst and he spends his night hunting and killing the worst criminals in South Florida. This series has been excellent from the start, and shows no signs of slowing down. This season brought in Jimmy Smits as an Assistant District Attorney with a serious dark side. After “Six Feet Under,” I thought I’d always see Michael C. Hall as the openly gay David Fisher, but now I can’t imagine him as anyone other than the dark and secretive Dexter.

3. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (FX)
Maybe this show just too crass to be mainstream, and thinking about it, that’s probably what makes it so great. “Sunny” really hit its stride in the third season, and the fourth season was even better. The show follows a group of friends (and Danny DeVito) that own a bar in Philadelphia. Every episode has its own completely ridiculous premise, but once you accept that every single character is a selfish, narcissistic moron, it becomes that much funnier. As far as sitcoms go, for me, the excellent fourth season put it in the same tier as “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “Weeds” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and that’s some good company.

4. “Summer Heights High” (HBO)
Anyone who dug the U.K. version of “The Office” should check this series out. It’s an Australian mockumentary that follows three characters — the effeminate drama teacher Mr. G, the snotty private school transfer Ja’mie and the disruptive Tongan student Jonah — which are all played by the same actor, writer/creator Chris Lilley. Watching a grown man run around in a school dress is ridiculous, but that’s part of the fun. Lilley is extremely talented; it can’t be easy to morph into three very different characters every week. The humor is outrageous and the situations (especially involving the clueless Mr. G) can be David Brent-type awkward.

5. “Supernatural” (CW)
This sci-fi/fantasy series started off in typical “freak of the week” fashion with a different monster to defeat each week, but as it got into its third season, it really developed some serious, serialized chops. Now in its fourth year, the show continues to follow two brothers who are “hunters,” i.e. they fight all manner of evil — demons, vampires, ghosts, etc. Even in its first year, the show held my attention, but with all the happenings of the last two seasons, new episodes don’t sit on my TiVo for very long. Viewers who like sci-fi/fantasy should definitely check out “Supernatural.”

6. “The Unit” (CBS)
I think a lot of people write off “The Unit” as a typical CBS show like “CSI” or “NCIS” (or some other acronym), but as the show as worn on, it’s simply gotten better and better. The subject matter is ripe with storylines; the show follows members of a Special Forces unit (led by super-badass Jonas Blane, played wonderfully by Dennis Haysbert) and their families. A quick look at the production staff reveals a couple of big names — David Mamet (“The Untouchables,” “Glengarry Glen Ross”) and Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) — that instantly give the show some serious credibility. Early on, the series could get a little “hooah!” and focus on the wives a bit too much, but the later seasons have struck the perfect balance between the professional and the personal.

7. “Brotherhood” (Showtime)
It doesn’t have as high of a profile as “The Sopranos” and maybe it’s not as addicting, but “Brotherhood” has the same feel and the same quality of writing. It follows two brothers in Providence, Rhode Island. One is a corrupt state congressman trying to do right by his family and the other is deeply involved in organized crime. Those that miss “The Sopranos” or “The Wire” should definitely rent the first season of “Brotherhood.”

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