Smallville: Super Sorority
As mentioned in the recent Painkiller Jane post, I have a penchant for putting up with TV shows for a lot longer than I (or anyone for that matter) really should. I called it a superpower, but some may say that it’s just an inability to distinguish between something worth watching and utter drivel (lets call it ‘Farscape Syndrome’)… Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.
There are some shows that I simply choose to ride out. For whatever reason: Something in the premise of the show may have caught my attention, or I can see huge untapped potential and am unwilling to miss the moment when they uncork that geyser. No, people who suffer from Farscape Syndrome actually believe that the shyte that they watch is brilliant television, their delusion affords them a mirage of quality, where there unfortunately is none. Where for me, this is never the case. I’m holding out, hoping… but always aware that the show is crap.
Smallville is one of the shows that meet the criteria I mentioned above: The show’s premise really appeals to me. I love, not so much the idea of a young Superman series, but the idea of cracking open the bonnet and taking a good look at the events and relationships which drive Superman. I also love the fact that we’re finally seeing something which may finally get it out of people’s heads that Clark Kent is Superman in disguise (NO!!! Superman is Clark Kent in disguise, moron!).
The other, albeit dwindling, appeal of the show is it’s vast untapped potential. On an episode by episode basis the show is almost unbearable and, at times, utterly inane. However stepping back and taking in some of the larger exploration’s that the writers have tackled (Like Lex’s slow turn to the dark side) really are quite cool and, honestly, the reason I keep watching.
I’m not sure how often this term is used these days or if people even know the origin of “Jumped the shark”, but I get the sense that, had Smallville ever been a great show, we’d be about to use that term in reference to it. The term was inspired by the series HAPPY DAYS and refers to an episode in which The Fonz (for whatever reason) jumps his motorcycle over a shark infested water tank. Many point to that event, and episode, as being the moment at which the formerly brilliant series lost it’s mojo.
In Smallville’s case the introduction of a new character may sound its deathknell: The character is Clarks Kryptonian cousin, Kara Zor-El, a.k.a: Super Girl (To be played by the stunning Laura Vandervoort).
I can’t say too much about just how this addition to the already heavily female cast (I’m not complaining!) will change the show, but one is taking the long bet to suggest that a stretch like this will actually bring with it any real benefit. Having said that, the character may very be what the show has been lacking: Not so much the Super Girl aspect, but the direct tie to Clark’s heritage. It’s also clear that Clark is getting ever closer to becoming Superman. Potentially with that comes the end of the series and given the ground work that the show has put in it would be great to see it go out with a couple of really stellar seasons.
At this point Vandervoort has only been signed on for seven episodes and those familiar with Super Girl’s comic outings know that she’s been erased from history and revived more times than John Travolta’s career, so the writers of Smallville may not be planning on keeping her around for long. All I do know is that Smallville is one of the very few shows that can manage to get me to totally lose control of my inner nerd… once was a few seasons back when they referenced the John Williams movie score for the first time and more recently in the final scene of the last episode of season six. Season seven begins airing at the end of September, so hopefully they can pick up on that high note and finally live up to the show’s potential. [source]