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Reflections on Smallville Season 8

July 11, 2009

Superman

Warning: Spoilery if you haven’t seen season 8 yet!

 

           I’m a loyal Smallville viewer.  Love it.  I’ve been watching since season 1, and I will continue watching for as long as the show runs.  However, I hope that it doesn’t run on much longer.  The entire premise of Smallville is the story of Clark Kent BEFORE he was Superman.  Early on, the creators established a "no flight, no tights" rule.  So, the idea was that we were never going to actually see Superman; instead, we would get "Superman: the teen years" … and the early twenties.  But how long does it take to become Superman? I mean, he’s been saving the world for the past 8 years, and even began working at the Daily Planet at the beginning of this season.  How long does superhero training take?  This season, Clark began being called the Red-Blue Blur.  Um, not as cool a moniker as Superman.  Clark recognized the value of bringing hope to the people of Metropolis, and allowed himself to be photographed … as a blur.  There were some moments this season where Clark was almost-Superman … and those moments were beautiful … which makes it all the more painful when the show steps backward from this progress.  Such back and forth can not be sustained indefinitely, and the longer the show goes on the more frustrating this will become.  The journey to becoming Superman is an awesome one, but it has to reach its destination at some point.  Is he going to be a symbol of hope for humanity or what?  Get out there and be Superman already, Clark!

         

          Despite my general misgivings about prolonging the series, at the end of season 8 the writers demonstrated a compelling reason for the lengthening of Clark’s journey.  Clark bent over backwards to save Davis Bloom, endeavoring to kill Doomsday while keeping his human side alive.  He was sure that Doomsday was guilty, but Davis was innocent.  After all that, it turned out that the human side of Davis was a monster too, and that human Davis killed Jimmy.  Clark’s entire view of humanity was shaken by this.  Clark has always wanted to preserve his humanity, rejecting his alien nature.  Now, he is jaded, and turns from humankind.  I’m assuming next season will be about Clark embracing his Kryptonian identity, and also a slow process of remembering why humanity is worth protecting.  I’m excited to continue watching.  Bravo Smallville writers!
 

          Seasons 7 and 8 have completely redefined the show.  It should be called Metropolis now, not Smallville.  Clark has grown up, and his world-view has widened.  Many of the characters whom we have known have left the show, or evolved into new roles.  Pete’s gone (good riddance), Lana’s gone, and (saddest of all) Lex is gone.  Chloe has gone from the side-kick to a main character.  Early on, Chloe annoyed me; I loathed her puppy-dog obsession with Clark.  It was just sad to watch, and she could be super bitchy too.  Now, I adore her.  Lois, I disliked even more.  It was almost to the point that she ruined the show for me.  My Lois was super-intelligent and snarky, and had dark brown hair and a no-nonsense attitude.  Smallville‘s Lois had overly processed chemically fried blond-brown hair (Lois would never have such awful hair), fake-boobs, and was kind of an idiot.  But, again, my attitude has changed (and her hair has improved).  She began working for the Daily Planet, and became a lot more savvy.  I can now recognize her as my beloved Lois Lane.  And the chemistry between her and Clark in season 8 was amazing.  It was like two entirely new characters.  Their rapport is season 4 was not that fun to watch (for me), but now I LOVE their scenes together.  The point of all this: Smallville continues to evolve and defy my expectations.  I have faith in the show, and you should too.

 

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