Small Town Problems

by on Sep.24, 2008, under TV

Smallville has long been a guilty pleasure of mine.  It is part of my super hero geek passion – the show is cheesy and a bit flat and predictable, but it is Superman so I forgive it.  Every season they do a great job at butchering new facets of the Superman mythos, but not being a purist in such matters, I forgive it.  I have not always been alone in this – I’ve known people who also secretly enjoyed this show and we would chat about it occasionally on Fridays, but many of them haven’t been as patient with the show as I.  So it seems now that I’m a fan alone.

Fortunately I’m ok with that and will continue to watch – as I did this weekend (the premiere was on Thursday, but I didn’t get to watching it until Saturday evening).  The angle they are taking now is interesting:  they are bringing back more of the heroes they’ve introduced and they are introducing new villains; they start with Clark alive but powerless and end with him back to normal but ready to pursue his destiny beyond Smallville; they are starting to have Lois act more like the sharp reporter she should become.  But there is still some cheese-factor present.

Most of the issues that I have with the show fall into the category of what I call aged cheddar (cheesy, but not freshly so).  Some of these are as small as the issue that Clark gets introduced to both Lois and Lex much earlier than canonically probably or as big as the fact that Lex has ongoing suspicions about Clark Kent that I can’t see being put aside once he dons a cape and tights (like he won’t know it is him).  I’m okay with the set of made-up characters they have introduced who have found out about Clarks abilities, but the number of people who are classic Superman characters that already have reasons to suspect that he is more than meets the eye makes the whole show, well, suspect.  There is also the drastic overuse of Kryptonite as a source for random mutant abilities in heroes and villains alike, and the fact that I can’t recall a season that didn’t end with some huge climactic problem (e.g., Clark sent to the phantom zone, Clark gone evil, Lex posessed by Zod, Clark lost his powers) that didn’t get completely rectified within the following season premiere.  They could at least drag things out through 2 or 3 episodes before Clark is back on the farm repairing fences with his bare hands and hanging out with Lana in the barn.

So it is clear to see why many are probably not fans of the show.  I like it and I can’t even manage to keep from complaining about it.  Dispite that, I will likely continue watching the show until it starts to bore me or gets cancelled.  I think the main draw is that I honestly keep thinking that somehow they have a clever scheme on how all of this will neatly flow into the Superman mythos that we all know and love without a single incongruity or loose end.  But that is highly unlikely.  So in the meantime I will watch him continue to wear the same blue T-shirt and red jacket and fumble his way through life as a hero hidden among humans.

The premiere itself was as expected – Clark ends up back to normal and hanging out in his barn in the end.  The opening credits seemed to suggest we will see a lot more of the Green Arrow and Black Canary this season.  But one face I don’t recall seeing in the premiere (and can’t seem to remember where she was at the end of last season) is Clark’s cousin Kara.  I may have to look into that one some more.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Stacy

    I am still a sucker for the show, but I have come to accept that they aren’t going to follow the true story at this point. wouldn’t Jonathan Kent still be alive? where are Clark Kent’s reporting glasses? and remind me where Lex went? I missed the premiere, but have kept up with everything else. I agree they should stretch things out a tad, but you don’t really miss too much if you miss one episode. I am always curious to see where the writers will go next. I am still a fan. it doesn’t hurt that Tom Welling plays Clark. :o)

  • SilentBen

    At the end of last season, Lex confronted Clark in the Fortress with that purple crystal that would supposedly allow the holder to “control the Traveler”. The result was that the Fortress collapsed on both of them and Clark walked away unharmed, but without his abilities (when we first saw him this season, he was in Russia working for some guy who wouldn’t let him contact anyone, but Green Arrow got him out of there). Lex has yet to be located and they haven’t found any sign of him at the site of the Fortress. We probably won’t be seeing him anytime soon since Michael Rosenbaum has parted ways with the show.

  • Stacy

    thanks for the update, it was much needed! bvk needs to eat! love you S

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