We finished watching (and in some cases, re-watching) the first 6 Seasons of the excellent TV show, Smallville, last night, and I’ve been wanting to do a review of it for a while now. I was even considering taking a day off work, plopping myself on the couch with with girlfriend, and having a Smallville Day (but couch-sitting doesn’t put money in my pocket, so.). But we got to it, watched ‘Phantom’ last night, and then sat talking about the news we had heard concerning Series 7 and 8.
First things first, here in SA we haven’t even received the 7th Series yet, so you understand why we’re behind. 🙂
Okay. As far as a re-imagining of Superman’s myth goes, Smallville does an excellent job. I’ve been reading the comics since I was a wee one, so I’m well-versed in that side (the most important, in my opinion) of the Superman legend; I’m a great fan of the comics, and the way the characters are represented there, but I’m also a fan of Smallville. (Just wanted to get that out of the way) Looking back at the introductions of major characters such as Lois Lane, the Brain Interactive Construct (Braniac), Green Arrow, Cyborg and Impulse, I can understand why they came in the way they did. Granted, it doesn’t follow the legend, but I’ve looked at it this way: when Marvel Comics brought out titles such as Spider-man Unlimited, they re-imagined the webhead for today’s readers, and pulled it off. Smallville wouldn’t have worked if they had set it in the late-thirties, say, or in the early eighties – we’ve seen both versions of the Superman legend (the thirties in the early cartoons and the eighties in the movies with Christopher Reeve) and we needed something new. This is one of the areas at which Smallville excels – giving us a young Clark Kent who uses a cellphone instead of a telephone booth, who’s afraid of heights, who’s heat vision goes haywire when he’s… umm, well, suddenly in the mood, for want of a better term that I won’t use here. 🙂 Smallville’s creators did this brilliantly, and while I will never take there version of Clark’s formative years as (nod to George Lucas here) canon, I will religiously watch Smallville because Superman’s legend is now accesible to everyone in our Age of Information. 🙂
Next, characters: Bringing in Lionel Luther was a stroke of genius! The man is a brilliant foil to Lex, and his (seeming) converstion to the light side was an excellent way of getting Clark to look more closely at his definition of good and evil. Now, I know that Lionel dies (and who kills him) but this still doesn’t detract from his character; John Glover is a brilliant actor, and brought Lionel to brilliant life. 🙂
Lana, on the other hand, irritated me to almost past any point of endurence! In the six seasons that led up to her ‘death’, she was the same character, going in circles, reacting the same way, saying the same things. Now, her parts were written, and Kristen Kreuk was just the actor bringing Lana Lang to life, but come on, how many times did she get pissed off with everyone for not being truthfull with her when she wasn’t being truthfull? Myriad events ellicited the same responses from her, and in the end, it became too much – my girlfriend and I would only really pay attention to Lana if Clark or Lex or Chloe or Lionel were in the scenes with her; if not, we had really had our fill and couldn’t care less. She never evolved as a character. I’m glad that she’s out of the show, and now that Lois and Clark are sitting across from each other in the Daily Planet, well, suffice it to say that this is the Smallville I’ve been waiting to watch! 🙂
Clark, too, got a bit irritating, especially every time he blamed himself for everything that was going wrong in Smallville, whether it was meteor-freak attacks, Lex’s machinations, Zod, etc. But other than that, Tom Welling has brought everything to Smallville that make Clark Kent and Superman such iconic characters – this Clark is excellent, but c’mon, fly already!! 🙂
Lex – brilliant! Michael, you are, hands-down, the best Lex Luthor ever!
Chloe – amazing, deep character, especially considering the fact that she’s not a character from the comics, and my favourite to hook up with Clark (even though we know what’s coming with Lois).
Lois – Lois is wonderful – her evolution into the cynical, brilliant reporter is amazing to behold, and every scene she has, especially with Clark, is legendary. 🙂
Pete Ross – I liked him, I wish he could have done more in the series, but being Clark’s best buddy and knowing his secret took a lot of wind out of his sails, and I completely understand why he left the show (but I’m glad he’s coming back!)
Jonathan and Martha Kent – no Ma and Pa Kent here! These two were wonderful! Mr Kent and Clark together were always funny, touching, deep, tense – whatever happened, they brought some great moments to TV, and Mrs Kent was as steadfast as ever, a wonderful take on the character. 🙂
The Justice League! Man, I couldn’t have been happier when they appeared! Bart Allen was done brilliantly, exactly as impulsive as his comics-counterpart (though now that the comics-Bart is dead, we’ll have to see where they take him as a character). Green Arrow was awesome, as always; Oliver Queen is the perfect guy to teach Clark about leadership and being a hero. Cyborg should have gotten more time!! We don’t know enough about him, especially considering that he’s a team member of the Teen Titans, but he’s still loaded with awesomeness. And the episode Justice? I was cheering, laughing, swearing, hell, would have jumped on the couch if I didn’t know I would hit my head on the cealing! 🙂 Awesome, awesome episode! 🙂
All in all, Smallville is a brilliant show, and with the developments on the way (Doomsday, the Legion, Maxima!) the show can only get better! I’m a huge fan and will always be! But c’mon, give Clark his suit already! He’s in Metropolis, with Lois, at the Daily Planet!! 🙂