Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Favorite Thing #2: Smallville

I've been meaning to come back to my blog for a long time, but I couldn't decide on what to write about. Then a number of things happened to help me decide.

1. Heroes got cancelled after only 4 seasons.
2. Smallville was renewed for it's 10th season.
3. It was announced that Smallville's 10th season would be it's last.
4. I watched the Richard Donner cut of Superman II
5. I bought Season 1 and 2 of Smallville and the Richard Donner Cut at the same time.
6. I met a new friend with the same love of Smallville that I have.

How do these relate?

Heroes being cancelled after 4 seasons proved what I had long suspected: that the show was more focused on plot than characters. After they changed the characters after the 1st season, that's when I stopped watching and apparently a lot of other people did too.

The next 2 reasons are self explanatory: I've been watching the show since day one so when the show was renewed I was excited, but I should also mention that while I was sad that Smallville will be ending after this season, I also thought it was a good decision. I can't think of a better time to end it. It seems to fit the story arc so well and where they're going with the storyline makes sense for it to be Clark's last confrontation before he sports the tights and cape.

After watching the Richard Donner cut of Superman II, I couldn't help but think about how Smallville had maintained a similar serious nature and tone to the Superman story. Also, there are several nods to the Superman films. Among them being the guest appearance of Christopher Reeve himself.

For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past 9 years: Smallville is a show chronicling the life of Clark Kent from his birth to the time he becomes the great American superhero: Superman.

To say Smallville is one of my favorite things almost seems like too little to say for such a great show. I've been watching the show since day 1 and if I ever miss a show I always find a way to watch it before the following week. Though there have been many changes throughout the years: Michael Rosenbaum and Kristen Kreuk leaving being 2 of the biggest, Smallville has maintained its integrity and focus. While many shows these days include crude humor, inappropriate situations, and sex overload, Smallville has maintained relatively clean. What impresses me the most is that while each season has an individual story arc, it builds upon the previous one and sets the vision for the next and the character development, to me, is unparalleled. When you've been watching this show for as long as I have, you begin to become attached to the characters and you look forward to what the future has in store for them. The writing is some of the best in the industry. They know how to build a compelling plot without sacrificing character development and they also create a plot situations specific for each character so that they can explore a different aspect of who they are. I've watched too many TV ads where it feels like they're just using star power to pull an audience without creating characters that are actually enjoyable week after week. It's also one of the very few shows I know that have both self contained episode plots along with an overarching story arc. Most shows I've seen on the air are all about plot, but you get no satisfaction from that single episode. You have to watch the whole season to get that.

On a final note, I think the Superman saga itself intrigues me because it's so similar to how God loved us enough to send us his only son.

"They can be a great people Kal-El. They wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you, my only son."