More Smallville talk, Part II in a series.

§ November 10th, 2008 § Filed under smallville, Uncategorized Comments Off on More Smallville talk, Part II in a series.

Okay, as threatened, here’s part II of “Mike Goes On and On re: Smallville and Watches His Web Site’s Traffic Plummet.” But, what the hell, I used to talk about each new episode of Smallville on this site, but fell out of the habit. I guess this is me making up for lost time.

And awaaaaay we go:

Wilfredo hammers

“…The final nail for me was when Lois was insisting calling Clark ‘Smallville’… in Smallville! I’m more than sure I’m not the first that’s noticed that.”

Yeah, that does seem a little peculiar…mostly it just grates a bit that Lois is…well, not that she’s in the show at all, but that she’s in the town of Smallville as much as she is. In the comics, Lana was the quintessential “small town girl” in Clark’s life, whereas Lois was the “Big City Gal,” and the show sort of maintains this. But with Lois being in Smallville so much feels like crossing the streams a bit.

Also, the whole Lois calling Clark “Smallville” thing…that came out of the mid-80s comics revamp, I’m pretty sure.

David Z kids

“Never tried watching Smallville. I never watched the Birds of Prey show, either. Was that any good?”

And yes, as he said, he was joking. But I did want to take the opportunity to repeat my belief that had Birds of Prey received a second season, I think it might have improved a bit. There was potential there…an attractive cast, an interesting premise…but it was just a bit too rough around the edges, a bit too dopey, which was too bad.

Longtime Customer Jo had a lot to say in defense of the show…I’m not going to quote it all, but she pretty well sums up, I think, why people seem to be enjoying this new season a lot more than the last three or four dozen seasons. In short, it feels a lot more superhero-y, and it’s a relief to finally be moving in that direction after years of just sort of running in place.

Jonathan Miller supposes

“Supposedly, this is the ‘last’ season, which would make sense. Which means it’ll get strung out another few years anyway.”

Eight years feels like an enormously long time for this type of show, and I don’t know that this story (and Clark’s putting off “his destiny”) can realistically go on yet another year without driving us all crazy. I’m guessing without spending the fifteen seconds it would take to Google this up that the show’s ratings are still strong, so it’s still making money, so there’s incentive to keep the show on the air.

Pal Tom barks out

“I understand Lana and Lex are gone now. What’s the point of even keeping it going? Please tell me it’s ending this year.”

It should end this year, yes, but I suspect we’re getting one more year. But Lana leaving was probably necessary, as Clark makes the transition from young man in Smallville to adult in Metropolis. And Lex…we needed a break from Lex, and the show hasn’t suffered much with his absence. But it feels like the show is building to a big return to the character, and I suspect that the actor not wanting to shave his head for a guest appearance may put the kibosh on that.

Poor Mojo reveals

“I want Clark to man up and develop the morals, intelligence and conviction of character we expect of him.”

It feels like that this is the end goal of this season…we’re taking some small steps in that direction so far, which will accelerate as we approach the end of the season…and hopefully will pay off if this turns out to be the end of the series.

Jim notes

“I like the Remy Zero ‘Save Me’ theme song. And then it’s on to Survivor.”

I like the theme song, too. Which reminds me, we haven’t had as much blatant WB musical product placement this season. I suppose there’s a reason for this which I missed and someone will bring up in my comments section eventually.

Speaking of the comments section (as if I haven’t been), “Anonymous” nags off-topically

“I just found out there’s a “Swamp Thing” still appearing in Ambush Bug!
Is it the purple one of Earth-6 from the first issue, or the real deal?

“******* SCANS, PLEASE!!!!!!”

You’ve posted about a half-dozen of these comments nagging me about this, regardless of whatever the post is about that you’re commenting on. It’s a bit annoying, and I don’t want to ban your IP from the comments section…so please stop it.

Back on topic, Sarah sez

“I know two people who have watched Smallville from day freaking one, and are still watching it. I am kind of in awe of those people. I hit the eject button somewhere in season five. I stand by the sweetness, sense of wonder, and nods to the epic of the early years, despite the clunky writing, but even I can only take so much.”

I am one of those people who watched it from Day One, and…yeah, I probably could have skipped a couple of those dire middle seasons. The novelty of the premise, while causing some consternation at first (“A Superman TV show? Without Superman in costume? WHA–??”), certainly carried the show early on as we saw, as Sarah says, “nods to the epic.” But one can’t help but think “oh, for God’s sake, move on already! Fly! Catch planes!” after a few years of enduring the show.

Brian Smith notes

‘I follow the comics, he follows the show and he sends me a lot of “Did this happen in the comics like it happened in the show?’ e-mails.”

My girlfriend and I sort of go through this, too. She’ll ask me if something in the show happened in the comic, and I’ll go on and on in excruciating detail with issue numbers an’ all and she immediately regrets asking.

Well, I’m not quite that bad, honest. I’ve mostly weaned myself from the “ooh, you’re asking me about comics! Here comes the info dump!” urge. Except here on the site.

Adam Horovitz observes

“Some of [the show’s actors] look older than me, though.”

I think it was Peter David who noted that he was okay with a Clark Kent that looked older and was a foot taller than his high school classmates, because it’s freakin’ Superman. But really, Clark’s gettin’ a bit long in the tooth by this point….

Adam also says

“I’m told season 8 is better, but I’m still not quite recovered from season 7.”

Well, Adam…it’s still kinda dumb, but the overhaul of the cast and the show’s direction does freshen up the program a bit. It’s a bit more light, and seems to be headed in a specific, if distant, direction.

Old Bull Lee returns to say

“…But another thing great about this season is they’ve been largely staying away from the magic crystal/Jor-Ex Machina stories.”

The Krypton stuff is necessary, I think, but yeah, they’ve had a bit of an overkill with it in the series. Plus, it’s a little too much “here’s more stuff and people from that dead planet you came from so let’s chase after them for most of the season.” It’s like an endless series of MacGuffins to string along Clark and keep him occupied for several episodes. It’s a map, a crystal, a “key,” etc.

Philip says

“I drop in on ‘Smallville’ occasionally for some of the ‘Justice League’ episodes. Not interested in a show about Clark Kent getting all Peter-Parkery. I am probably being unfair, but I prefer my Superman punching meteors and fighting volcanoes with his bare hands.”

Yeah, it’s as if the creators of the show almost did their job too well. Smallville was built around the idea of a youthful Clark Kent learning the superhero ropes, perhaps attracting viewers that otherwise wouldn’t be interested in a standard Superman TV show. But I suspect we’re at the point that the fans have had enough build-up, now they want the payoff: i.e. full-on superheroic action.

Baal amazes

“Season six is where I think I’d had enough. I just couldn’t take the formulaic meteor freak of the week, the constant pain of any man’s relationship with Lana, and the limitations of certain cast members’ talent. Seven I sampled the season opener and couldn’t even finish it. This year? Whoa. I am still watching and no one’s more amazed than me.”

Again, I think that’s indicative of the show’s retooling with its Metropolis-heavy setting and reshuffled cast. It feels like a lighter, more fun show, no longer weighed down by subplots and character relationships from seasons past.

Mike Loughlin gives up

“I was ready to give up a couple seasons ago, but they brought in Green Arrow, then Martian Manhunter, my 2 favorite DC characters. With all the crap they flung at the screen, I think the writers actually did a good job with those two. They kept Ollie’s origin the same! And Martian Manhunter is now Detective John Jones, and mentoring Clark on occasion! And there’s a Justice League! And Clark’s starting to be a hero!”

The fanboy in me wishes for the apparently non-existent possibility of Batman and Wonder Woman guest-appearances, but that ain’t happenin’. But I do like that Clark doesn’t exist in a vacuum, that the show is acknowledging a wide DC Universe is out there. So my fanboy side isn’t entirely disappointed.

I am kind of wondering if we’ll ever see the Martian Manhunter in his actual Martian appearance. I mean, we did get a blurry glimpse of his cape a season or two back, but perhaps a big green man walking around Smallville may be pushing the envelope just a little too much.

Hoo boy. There’s gonna be a part III to this, I think. I’m very, very sorry.

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