Tuesday, September 25, 2007

TV premiering tonight: Reaper & Cane

These are both shows that I'm sort of on the fence about, and if I have time I'll try to catch one or two more episodes of each beyond the pilot to see if they're worth watching. Reaper (The CW, Tuesdays, 9 p.m.) has a premise very similar to that of NBC's Chuck, with a sardonic retail employee finding himself inadvertently caught up in a large-scale battle between good and evil. In this case, he's drafted to be a bounty hunter for the devil, tracking down souls who have escaped from Hell. Like Chuck, this show mixes humor and action, but it's not quite as effective, and some of the subject matter in the pilot (the main character's parents selling his soul to the devil, threats against his life and that of his mother) is a little bleak to be taken so lightly. If they can balance the tone better, it might end up being an entertaining show.

I'm a little more wary of Cane (CBS, Tuesdays, 10 p.m.), one of two sprawling family soaps that weren't as good as I was hoping they'd be. Focusing on a family of Cuban immigrants who run a massive rum business in Florida, it has all the familiar soap elements but is a little too bland and conventional to offer any new twist on them (the race of the characters may be different but their behavior is pretty much the same). There was a pretty sinister plot development at the end of the pilot, and I think the show's future success will depend on embracing that dark tone and not just trying to become the Latino version of Brothers & Sisters.

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