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July 24, 2014

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TV Squad Ten: TV's top second bananas

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 16th 2009 11:09AM
Barney Fife (Don Knotts)So what's a second banana? Well they're certainly not second best. No, in fact they're often the main reason to tune into a particular show. Not because the show's major plotlines revolve around them, in fact they generally don't, but because they liven up every scene they're in. Virtual show-stealers, a good second banana can turn a generic sitcom or drama into television gold. The ultimate wingman on television, there was no greater second banana than my man Barney Fife, brilliantly played by Don Knotts on The Andy Griffith Show, and later Mayberry R.F.D.

When it came time to put together this list, I wondered if I'd be able to find ten viable and qualified bananas on the airwaves today. But I guess I needn't have worried. It looks like Barney was an inspiration (in more ways than one) to the current crop of second bananas. They litter their peels all over the television landscape, leaving us to trip over in laughter time and time again at their antics. But how do they stack up? Who's the biggest fruit in the tree? There's only one way to find out!

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Short-Lived Shows: Invasion - VIDEO

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 10th 2008 2:14PM
InvasionInvasion aired for one season from 2005-2006. Check out Jonathan Toomey's great reviewcaps here.

Along with Surface, Invasion was one of my favorite new shows that season, with each episode getting better and better. By the series finale, I was hooked. I'm still miffed that ABC didn't give it more time to flesh out the story and characters.

Incorporating a sci-fi-alien mystery, a government conspiracy, and plenty of family drama, Invasion had a built-in audience because it aired directly after another sci-fi mystery, Lost. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep the series on the air.

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Reaper: The Leak

by Brett Love, posted May 14th 2008 7:28AM

Ken Marino and Conrad Coates - Reaper
(S01E17) All things considered, this has been a pretty good week for Reaper. In light of the very real possibility that next week's season finale could have been a series finale, news that the show has been picked up for next season is cause for celebration. Sure, the thirteen episodes for mid-season part isn't ideal, but hey, gift horses and whatnot. I am already looking forward to a Reaper/Supernatural block on Thursday nights. And hey, there was a new episode too. There was a lot going on, but the big news was that after months of patience, there is finally some news on the contract. That, and the rest of the episode, after the jump.
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Reaper: Greg Schmeg

by Paul Goebel, posted May 7th 2008 7:41AM

Not your typical backseat driver(S01E16) "Trust, honesty, integrity...I don't like those words, not one little bit. - Jerry

I found it funny that Sam and Andi were comparing scary demons when they got attacked, because for my money, very few things are scarier than an chainsaw wielding dude in a mask. It's like Leatherface, Michael Myers and Casey Jones all rolled up together.

I really wish we could see more of Gladys. I find her to be really funny. I think it would be great if she had one small scene in every episode ala Carlton Your Doorman. Just the idea that the DMV is where demons do the work of the devil still makes me laugh.

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Reaper: Coming To Grips

by Brett Love, posted Apr 30th 2008 1:10AM

Missy Peregrym and Ian Gomez - Reaper
(S01E15) "I'm going to rebuild the army... Pass the paprika." - Tony

Finally, the season-long game of Sam trying to hide his demon hunting gig from Andi comes to a head. It was a welcome event in my little corner of TV land. I had taken issue with their relationship early in the season as it started to feel like we were in a rut and watching the same scene play out over and over. These last two weeks with the two of them together have done a lot to repair that chink in the Reaper armor. But wait, would finding out about Sam's special gift send us right back into that old familiar loop? Ours is not to spoil above the fold, so read on for thoughts on that, and a boatload of other goings on down by the 'Bench.

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Reaper: Acid Queen

by Paul Goebel, posted Mar 28th 2008 9:06AM

The Reaper triumverate(S01E13) "Racist." - Tony

So, Andi decided to bite the bullet and tell Sam how she feels. Now I know this could easily be seen as a disastrous turn of events for Reaper but it could very well be awesome. The way I see it, Cady & Sam were destined to break up anyway and now Sam has one more very big reason to show Cady "the gate." The best part will be Cady making Sam's life a literal hell on earth after he dumps her. The whole situation could lead to a very cool cliffhanger for next season. I know what you're thinking but I'm being optimistic.

I'm curious about Sam's discovery that Steve and Tony are demons. I mean, if anyone else had walked in and saw them sanding their horns they would have completely freaked out but Sam, having had experience with that sort of thing, was able to handle it and react accordingly. Does Sam's relationship with the devil make him more susceptible to supernatural events? I think so.

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Reaper: Unseen

by Brett Love, posted Mar 21st 2008 8:01AM

Tyler Labine, Bret Harrison, and Jessica Stroup - Reaper
(S01E12) These are very interesting times for our pals down at the 'Bench. Reaper was noticeably absent from the list of renewals their CW overlords sent around a couple weeks ago. The Hollywood Reporter article that Anna posted about last week, talking about bubble shows, didn't do a lot to instill confidence either. It looks like it's going to take some solid ratings in the Winchester slot to bring the show back for round two. We'll get to that, and what was another very good episode, after the jump.
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Reaper: The Cop

by Brett Love, posted Nov 14th 2007 9:41AM
Sam, Ben, and Sock - Reaper
(S01E08) There are a few cheap and easy ways to buy me off as a viewer, and one of them is fun stunt casting. Bringing in Mitch Pileggi to play a washed up super cop that presents an obstacle for Sam is just such a thing. Really, that part of the episode alone was enough to sell me on this one. The fact that we also got a little something different from the devil, and a nice b-story with Sock and Ben and their quest to uncover Gladys was just a nice bonus. Of course, like my grandma always said, "Beware of writers bearing gifts." We paid for all of those fun things by once again being hit over the head with the Sam/Andi replay of the week.

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Reaper: Leon

by Brett Love, posted Oct 31st 2007 12:30AM

Bret Harrison - Reaper(S01E06) Since Reaper made its debut, there has been a nagging question. It's great and all, but how is it going to hold up over time? The random soul to catch each week is fun, and they have done a good job with that so far, but it's not enough to sustain the show over the long term. The writers made some good strides last week introducing the subplot with Pa Oliver and the contract. And then they took a step backwards this week by resetting the Sam and Andi relationship.

That's not to say that this was a bad episode by any stretch. There was a lot to like this week. As we move through the season though, the bigger picture story is going to become more and more important. We're better than a quarter of the way through the season now, so it's worth bringing up some of those questions. The characters are introduced and we have a good feel for all the major players. It's time to make with some revelations.

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Reaper: All Mine

by Brett Love, posted Oct 9th 2007 11:36PM
Reaper: All Mine(S01E03) "Hey brougham, never tell the crazy that you were in it for the sex." -- Bert Wysocki

Last week Kevin brought up his concerns that Reaper runs the risk of falling into the monster of the week trap. It's a legitimate concern, but at this early stage in the season I'm still quite optimistic about the direction the show is headed. This week brought us the first episode not written by the creators, and it would appear it's a pretty tight ship they are running over at Reaper HQ. This flowed very nicely out of the first two installments, and gave us a little forward motion on some of our ongoing stories.

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Reaper: Pilot (series premiere)

by Brett Love, posted Sep 26th 2007 1:08AM
Bret Harrison - Reaper(S01E01) "My mom and dad sold my soul to the Devil and now I'm his indentured servant. How crazy is that?"

Reaper is a show that would be easy for the casual fan to dismiss. To start, it's on The CW. While the network has been responsible for a lot of good television, just being on the network is a strike against a show for many viewers. Adding to that is the premise. When you try and tell somebody, "It's about a guy who finds out on his 21st birthday that his parents sold his soul to the devil." you can see their interest start to wane right before your eyes. "Wait, wait, there's more..." All in all, it's a tough sell. And that's a unfortunate, because it just might be the best new show of the season.

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