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Series: Smallville Must Die

As has been established before here on EOL, I’m a glutton for punishment when it comes to sticking with a television series well beyond the point that it deserves support. Sometimes that persistence pays off. In the case of LOST for example, sure there were some rough times and, yeah, even I started to question where the show was going. However sticking with it has meant that I’m still there, still up to date, and bearing witness to it as the show really hits its stride.

The news that Smallville has been renewed for an eighth season has pushed me further than I can be pushed. Especially considering that two of the main players on the show, Kristen Kreuk (Lana Lang) and Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor) have seen fit to bail out. I don’t mean to suggest that these are fantastically realised characters or anything that extreme, but as far as real Superman lore goes, once these two leave there’s nobody left — other than Clark of course — who truly belongs in a show called Smallville!

Actually, if we’re going down that path, then Lex shouldn’t have ever been in the series at all. Nor should Lois (Erica Durance) for that matter, as it is a stretch of precept for either them to be playing a part in Clarks younger life. Not that a good stretch of precept is a bad thing (you should always do it before exercising your imagination!), so long as it’s executed properly. Sadly though, just about every last glimmer of potential has burnt out of Smallville.

The initial arc which saw Lex and Clark as childhood friends started out as a brilliant device. Originally it had the ability to be a strong emotional backbone to the show, but it has long since deteriorated and Lex is little more than a 2 dimensional bad guy with more lives than that Jason dude from the Halloween movies.

Lana’s character has long overstayed her welcome too, at least in the sense of her and Clark having any ongoing relationship. As a character she was doomed from the start as canon sees her as Clarks unrequited childhood love: The important word there being ‘unrequited’. Again the writers saw fit to take liberties with the Super guy’s back story and not only keep Lana around, but to have Clark and her relationship turn into an overblown soap opera.

With the introduction of Kara, Clark’s real live cousin from Krypton, the show finally really crossed into Lameville. Sure she’s awesome for the looking at, and I respect that the show’s creators are sticking with their self imposed “No tights, No Flights” rules for Clark. But the introduction of a character far more super than he is (She can FLY!) only serves to further Clark’s current status as a lame duck.

I won’t say that I haven’t enjoyed seeing the Green Arrow getting onto Clark’s case about not using his powers to help others. But the whole pre-justice league stuff has really be wasted. At first it appeared to be setting a new direction for the show, but like so many of the other opportunities that Smallville has approached over its seven year run, it failed to maintain any real momentum.

Jonathan Kent is dead. Martha has long since moved away. Clark has no real ties to Smallville anymore and yet, just keeps hanging around. At some point the guy has to learn to be a reporter, move to Metropolis, get a job at the Daily Planet, become Superman, bust a move on Lois and start saving the world. One has to assume that this new, eighth season will be Smallville’s last and if it is going to leave any real legacy behind when it finally disappears from television screens, then the writers need to stop taking the characters in circles and send Clark toward his ultimate destiny.

As much as I’ve enjoyed watching as the show is filled with wall to wall hotties, the nerd in me actually wants to enjoy the show on other levels too. Alas the abysmal efforts thus far in season seven have left me utterly uninterested in finding out for myself where the series ends up going. [source]

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    there’s really no point in leaving a comment…

    This show should have gone the way of more promising shows that have been axed before they reached their prime.

    7 seasons is more than enough.

  • I couldn’t agree more Macca. I’ve long supported Smallville, primarily because I kept hoping that it would live up to it’s potential. The sad part is that they’ve squandered seven (and probably eight) seasons of television that could have been used by a show like Journeyman or Firefly (ok, not the same network, but you get the point).

    Ridiculously just about every character in the show is some kind of superhero now too. And I just read that they’re bringing back one of the original characters (probably for a one off appearance) and guess what! He gets powers too.. gah, so lame! Clearly the writers a just phoning it in now.

  • Seems to me the creators of the show should have stopped the show around season 4-5, started a new show, same cast, called it “Metropolis”, in the same way The Practice ended, and Boston Legal began, with no over-lapping season.

    One might argue that’s a bad idea, we’ve already had a Metropolis show called Lois & Clark, which myself I stopped watching when it went south – and that was long before the two named characters got together.

    But then again, L&C had a different tone, one might assume a different audience…

    I’ve gotta say I prefer the idea that a show gets made, and it had a planned road-map til the end, and it finishes… Lost was planned like that (And will only get 6 seasons), Babylon 5 was like that (Although they did have to mess around with the story in the last two seasons somewhat as they were constantly battling cancellation).

    Even shows that are over now that weren’t planned were written in a way that borderlined predestination, like Buffy, the first four seasons of Angel…

    I think I recall Joss Whedon saying something about the expected impending demise of Firefly, that it forced him to work harder on writing a better show, and writing episodes that truley meant something, and weren’t just the stuff of any other show’s first season.

    Some shows just go on too long I guess. At least with a movie, or even a movie trilogy, you know how long it’s going to take you to get to the stages of development, with characters and action and story that you can plan things from the very get-go. Unless you’ve got a contract on a TV show (like Lost now has), with a limited number of seasons, then there’s no way of knowing how long or how short your series will go for. Sometimes that turns out ok, but clearly in this Smallville case… Not so much.

  • Great article I completely agree. The only reasons I still watch the show is because I’m a huge comic book geek and every now and again another superhero cameos in what has so far been some decent ways. Well except the fact that they made Oliver Queen a billionaire businessman instead of a lawyer/mayor for no apparent reason. Someone needs to explain to them that not every superhero can be a billionaire. Speaking of Oliver, “I won’t say that I haven’t enjoyed seeing the Green Lantern getting onto Clark’s case about not using his powers to help others.” I believe you mean Green Arrow here.

  • Comic team up, word association, slip corrected!

    Thanks for that.