Smallville: The End Is Upon Us
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 11:55 by Stephen Carty in Small Screen
Over a decade since it debuted on the WB way back in 2001, Smallville is finally coming to an end. But after ten seasons and 211 episodes of consistent inconsistency is anyone still watching? And does anyone still care?
Well, as an ardent fan of the Man of Steel, I’m still tuning in. But only just. When the show began to wobble around the fifth year, I kept watching. When series six saw a further decline, I held fast. But sometime soon after the original showrunners Al Gough and Miles Millar left and the quality descended faster than a speeding bullet, my interest severely waned. Nowadays, I’m watching purely in an ‘I started so I’ll finish’ kind of way.
It’s a tragic shame too, as it began so well. Undoubtedly, the first season was mired by silly, Buffy-type villains of the week (a girl who can control bees; really?), but there was much to love. The character work was great, we got plenty of well-measured in-jokes (“Blue’s a good colour on you”) and the effects rocked for TV. Plus, rounding off some excellent casting, former model Tom Welling didn’t just fill an impossible-to-fill roll, he nailed it.
Then came the peak second and third seasons. True, there was still plenty of awful filler, but by reducing the meteor-powered baddies, the show soared up, up and away. With Gough and Millar bringing in comic scribe Jeph Loeb and writer Ken Biller, we got some truly brilliant episodes; Insurgence (jumping a building in a single bound), Red (Red Kryptonite), Rosetta (Christopher Reeve, that music), Memoria (catharsis for Lex) and two stonking finales. Clark developed new abilities, Rutger Hauer was a Metropolis crime boss, we had a brief intro to Perry White… all great stuff. But best of all was the expansion of Lionel Luthor’s character, who gets more nefarious by the minute and is played to show-nabbing perfection by a bearded, business-is-war John Glover. Just check out the jaw-dropping, opera-assisted series three finale…
And then, slowly but surely, we started the descent into an obviously sexed-up Smallville. As always, the opener soared and got our hopes up (Kal El taking flight? Awesome), before settling into a familiar pattern of problems that started to really grate. Credibility began being stretched like a lycra blue suit with enough inconsistencies to fill Suicide Slum and before I knew it, my previously-favourite show was awash with niggles.
One of the worst offenders was (and still is) patchy internal logic. Our Teen of Steel drank Kryptonite. Lex got shot in the forehead and survived. The Kents shared a warm Thanksgiving dinner with Lionel. Clark got a job at the world’s biggest newspaper with no experience and a crumpled application form. Though there were plenty of awful subplots that didn’t make sense if you stopped to think (Pa Kent running for office despite his main goal in life being to keep his alien son out of the public eye?), it was the mishandling of CK’s powers that ticked me off. I mean, how many times can you sneak up on someone with super-hearing?
Then we started getting stunt-casting like Lil' Bow Wow and – wait for it – Tori Spelling. The ludicrous filler continued (subterranean farmers; plant-like femme fatales; a baby that rapidly ages; a teen who freezes students to make a high school museum). And whilst it was always nice to see the likes of Margot Kidder, Marc McLure and Dean Cain pop up, the budget had declined so much that all the big scenes took place on the same set. I mean, by now everyone including Clark’s dead mother and 14 Kryptonians has been in his ‘secluded’ barn.
Now, before I descend into a red-eyed anger haze from discussing those elements that really got my goat (bodysnatching; flip-flop characterisation; the line, “I did it to protect you, Lana”) there were still plus points. Of course, this includes the constant sight of Erica Durance’s Lois Lane in something skimpy, but more the constantly shirtless Justin Hartley (seriously, every week is torso-time) whose spot on turn as Oliver Queen / The Green Arrow always elevates the show.
So why keep watching? Well partly because I'm an anal completist; partly out of a desire to see it through to the end. Whilst recent years have played like a Superman programme without Superman (Clark and Lois work at the Daily Planet, he's a secret superhero and there's a romantic triangle – but no cape or flying), at least the holding pattern was broken. As the end approaches, we’ve seen the tights and we might see the flights, but do we still care? Yeah, I have to admit, that I do. Statistically speaking of course.
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Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 14:58
first season was good
after that? guff.
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 15:07
For the most part I agree with a lot of what this blog is saying, there's loads of rubbish episodes to wade through. However, the strokes of genius are enough to keep me coming back for every episode.
And yep, in every single season there are some cracking episodes.
As already mentioned, Red Kryptonite. Loved the episode where Pa Kent went to get Clark back "Son, your coming home with me, now")
And even this season's 200th episode was an absolute corker. Try and tell me you didn't woop with geek joy at the Daily Planet save.
The final season is currently on a break till the 28th Jan, and I fully anticpate seeing a well rounded finish.
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 17:49
I stopped watching shortly after the Doomsday storyline (I must admit I didn't see that coming). I'm surprised to see that apart from one passing mention you hadn't highlighted the best bit of the show - Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor. It was the story of his rise and fall that kept me coming back each week and it was only after he departed the show went into a nosedive, never to recover.
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 18:47
Oh Smallville, Smallville, Smallville... The first show that taught me that I could walk away.
I stopped watching around the time of Doomsday too I think, was that season 7? 8? I just couldn't take it!
But let me start at the beginning... I enjoyed the first few seasons. My main bug was Lana Lang. Everyone loved her. Clark & Lana didn't work. It just didn't make any sense.
The good though... Chloe. Loved her proto-Lois (and I'm talking the Lois that I'd always imagined smart, funny, hardworking...). And the Luthors. They were the best. Lex was great. I loved the Ho!Yay of Clex (oh boy the naming mash ups are coming back to me now). The fact that Lex wasn't just out and out bad guy. He was trying to be good. I used to root for the guy. Tarnished by the Kents for being a Luthor and terrorised by Lionel for being weak.
Ahhh! Lionel! How I loved him! Loved him! Thank you Mr. Glover. Hell the character was so good that when Welling played him in Transference he still killed ("Don't you wish..."). Pretending to be blind! What an evil Magnificent Bastard!
It all went to the dogs when the Smallville!Lois turned up. What an absolutely dreadful character. I never took to her. She was a stupid slacker. With both her and Lana on the show at the same time it was a chore to watch as they tried to force both of them onto Clark. I was dodging anvils from the writers trying to just make Lois into a great reporter without her acutally doing anything. Chloe was being sacrificed for the sake of Lois. Hated it!
By S5 the big bads and finales just got more and more stupid and anti-climactic. I think when they brought in Jimmy to distract us and gave Lois a job at the Planet for no real reason at all other than the fact her name was "Lois Lane" I was near the end of my time with the show. Why was I watching? It didn't make any sense at all. If I hate more than half the characters I couldn't ignore the ridiculous plots.
So I walked. Thank you Smallville. You taught something.
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 19:14
Ah well we all have our own opinions, and for me a have been a loyal smallville fan from the beginning. I thought the first 4 seasons were truly awesome, 5 had a couple of good episodes, 6 a slight few, 7 was shockingly bad, but 8 and 9 really brought the love back for me. Having Lois and Oliver Queen be forfront and involved made the show much more watchable, and with some better writing and how the actual thing was shot, the show got new life(to me anyway) the tenth and final season isnt blowing me at the moment(except for a couple of awesome, awesome moments) but i will watch it to the end as I am loving the Clark and Lois dynamic. I just find the a show a bit of escapism and enjoy it for what is.
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 19:37
Smallville. Jesus, what can I say. Firstly, I am stoked to hear someone say that they enjoyed how it started more than where it went and (for me) where it's going. I'm young, and I got into Smallville when I got into Superman only about 3 or 4 years ago. It goes like this: 1-6=loved (because I watched in bulk within a 6 months), 7=Lara Vandervoort (best Supergirl ever), 8=liked alot (Sam Witwer is a great actor), 9=losing the love to hate by the end of the season, 10=A SETHERING HATRED FOR THE PIECE OF CRAP IT IS TRYING TO DO. I didn't say these things before because I liked it but Tom Welling is a shit actor and is NO Superman, all the main characters are annoying as they bitch about everything and each other, and it's sooooooooooooo repetitive (about 13 episodes would of focused the show much better in a consistent fashion) that by now, I can't even watch it. Just terrible.
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 20:33
HOW FUCKING SHIT WAS HE ACTOR WHO PLAYED ZOD.......I MEAN FUCK ME THE PLANT THAT MARK WAHLBERG SPEAK TO IN "THE HAPPENNG" WAS BETTER.
NO WONDER THEY GOT RID OF HIM AND I CHEERED IN THE SERIES NINE FINALE WHEN CLARK FUCKED HIM UP!!!
OVERALL I AGREE IT DECLINED RAPIDLY AND I GUESS Michael Rosenbaum SAW THAT AND JUMPED SHIP AS SOON AS HE COULD. THERE WERE SOME AWFUL FILLER EPISODES LIKE THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS AND THE SAW COPIED ONES.
IT'S HARD TO WATCH NOW. REALLY IS
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 21:08
Personally, I enjoyed and continue to enjoy this show. I completely agree that season 3 was the winner. What Lionel did to Lex was pretty intense stuff. I found the witches plot in season 4 a bit annoying, but I liked where the whole thing was going. For me, the weakest season was 7 (supergirl just didn't work with the show, despite the best efforts of the actress), but picked up again in 8 and 9, with the idea of a Zod clone being done fairly well.
Personally, I found season one annoying way back in 2001 and gave up, but caught a few episodes in season 5 and found it pretty interesting, so decided to give it a go again. Partly completist, but partly really enjoying it. Not as good as the films and probably could have done with condensing the story into maybe 7 seasons, but overall it's been an enjoyable story.
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 21:38
I can see why you wouldn't latch onto the show during season 1. It was cheesy. And I really didn't like the earnest Kents/Lana (That's a problem I've always had with Supes though. Give me Batman any day! Moral ambiguity is the way forward!). But the Luthor dynamic along with the snarky Chloe kept me interested.
I could just go on and on and on about this show because I'm damn bitter about it. Even after a few years of not watching, seeing this blog has got me all pissed off about the missed opportunities.
I just think they didn't take any chances. When they started to bring in canon characters like Jimmy and Lois it all became a bit too gimmicky. They seemed to shoe horn them in and have things happen with a little nudge-nudge wink-wink to us because of who these people were named rather than anything in relation to the story. Great if you just want to see Jimmy running around with Clark or Lois working at the Planet, but if you want to see a logical reason or have these characters earn their step ups and adventures then it's just a fail.
I must admit, I do like the Green Arrow.
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 21:58
Smallville has progressively declined over the years however I found there remains truly excellent episodes during every season.
I think its always best to watch recent seasons as a box set. I have no motivation to follow the show over 23 weeks.
My biggest gripes are
1. Why do they continue to call it 'Smallville' when they spend 80% of the time in Metropolis????
2. I though Smallville was supposed to be a little bit far from metropolis? How often does the characters make the journey in one day between the office and the farm? must be a four hour round trip!!! Its actually silly
3. How cheap has the budget become. I'm sick of everyone going to the barn or to the fortress of solitude. Effects dont blow my mind like it did in 1st three seasons! Also you can always tell what set they are using for the scenes.
4. Red blue blur!!??!?!? what the hell?
5. Killed off the Luthors and replaced them with the likes of Mercy!??!?!? and Mr 'lisp' zod?!?!? Sam witter as Doomsday?!?!?! -- the only decent villian in recent times was Brainiac!!!! I say bring back the villians with the meteo-rocks! Especially some from older seasons.
6. Whats with the Dialogue?!?!? Who talks like Smallville characters in real life?? The worst lines are reversed for Chloe!!!! I feel like pulling my brain out of my head when they say what they say
I watch it coz I'm a superman fan....I'm glad its ending and I'm going to see it through!!! I started it and now I will finish it
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 22:14
The most surprising thing for me on this blog was discovering that Smallville was still on!
I haven't watched since they started the Justice League Jnrs and it all got a bit too much.
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 22:43
I actually enjoy Season 10.
Let's face it folks...it's a show based on a comic about a guy who lands in a spaceship and is a God among men...you kinda gotta suspend belief a little when you sit down to watch anything Superman related.
They tried hard with this show and did well to keep it going for a decade...good for them. There were always going to be some good and bad points, but in my opinion, the good have outweighed the bad. Lionel/Lex and their slow transition across the good/ambiguous/evil boundaries (Lionel, even when trying to do good, would end up being bad) has been amazing to see
It's interesting to see the writers plumbing the depths of Superman history (silver/golden age storylines, plot points, characters) to keep the show going and change things a bit...the recent episode which featured a Clark raised by Luthor, and his alter ego was none other than Earth-2's Ultraman!!
It's been a shame to lose Lex...and it'll be interesting to see how they play out his disguise of Clark and the new "Superman" hero stepping out...not to mention the Marvel-cloned Vigilante Registration Act storyling playing out at the moment.
Chloe has been sacrificed for Lois, yes...Chloe was the character Lois should have been from the start...though that's not to say Lois isn't bad, she's closer to the "Lois and Clark" Lois than to the comics' Lois, which is a shame, as Chloe is superb...and it's nice to hear that they're bringing Chloe into the comics now!
Re: Inconsistencies...let's be honest...none of the comics have been consistent...retcon after retcon...so why not fuck with it a bit on TV as well...add their own little touches to it...
Tess isn't so bad...she's a quasi Luthor...but she plays it out better...
Just waiting to see him fly and do the flights and tights, and I'll be happy...come on Jan 28th!!
Posted on Friday January 14, 2011, 23:13
I truly enjoyed your blog (and usually I'm not a fan of blogs). I joined Smallville in season 4 (then went back and watched the first three seasons). I agree with many others on here, Season 3 is without a doubt, the best season. I disliked Lana from the beginning, and was quite overjoyed when she eventually left the show. I understand that when they first wanted to do Smallville, they had to get the audience interested: a show about how Clark Kent became Superman?? to get the target audience (15-30ish?), they had to have some romantic storyline, and it would be foolish to introduce Lois Lane at the beginning. Although I greatly disliked Lana, I know why they had the character.
I think Tom Welling has done an amazing job, he literally "flew" into a stereotype; a role that has been done superbly by (my favourite) Christopher Reeve. It's hard to enter that type of role and make it work (i.e., the best Mr. Darcy will always be Colin Firth...). Kudos to him for making it work.
The Luthors (both Michael Rosenbuam and Julian Glover) were ideal casting (fingers crossed for Michael Rosenbaum to make an appearance sometime this season).
Erica Durance has done a fantastic job being Lois Lane; although some find her annoying, she ultimately has become Lois....it just took her a couple seasons.
Everyone else...there's been good (Rutger Hauer, the evolution of Allison Mack, Michael Shanks as Hawkman was probably the best casting done in years) and the bad (Sam Jones III (I'm sorry, I just didn't like Pete), Callum Blue was not a very good Zod)....
And yes, some plots just do not make any sense at all, but the plots in the comics dont always make sense either....
Many of the stories have faltered since season 3...but the wonderful special effects, the few good storylines, fantastic acting and overall scope of the show has kept me coming back, and I can't wait to see the final "tights and flights."
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 10:13
I really enjoyed your blog and its about time someone wrote about the subject of smallville!
Back in 2001 when I was 13 Smallville was a huge excitment to me. i followed it religiously and bought the dvd boxsets.But like you I got bored and fed up of crappy plots and terrible script writing. season 5 special effects are awful. i gave up after that (lana and lex relationship mess).
such a shame, im the same and will only catch up later just to see how it ended. will he finally put on that sodding cape?
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 10:21
oh and i agree lana lang was the most irritating character ever on the show.
thank god she's gone FINALLY.
The worst plot lines for her - training not to feel pain - please!...and season 3 her bad character tring to find the stone.
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 10:24
dont know what will happen to tom welling's career after this?
will he dissapear into obscurity, or be typecast forever in bad shows and straight-to-dvd movies.
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 13:01
its the last season but now they are going for broke and adding more DC comic mythology its has been worth watching again.
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 13:08
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Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 14:11
I disagree that its been all downhill since season 4. Yes there have been some terrible episodes, and on the whole some disappointing seasons (doomsday for instance)... but its been more like a rollercoaster than a downhill slalom ;-).... and as someone has pointed out, Season 10 is actually pretty awesome. They have finally just given into the comic book heritage and started to bring in major characters and plotlines from the DC universe, and its very enjoyable. The Justice League is pretty much shaping up and the Darkside storyline has been very well done.
I think its too simplistic to say its been pants since X. There have been points where i have nearly given up as it got too ridiculous, but I'm glad I've stuck with it. Its going out on a high and for a show to make 10 seasons and complete its run the way it wants in this day and age is a real achievement.. in a world of cancellations.
If you did enjoy the show before, honestly, checkout season 10 (lets face it its not like it will take you long to get up to speed). Anyone I've spoken to who i still watching all say the same - its going out with a bang ;)
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 15:01
Will absolutely agree pretty much with everything you say. It lost its way. Simply because it kept being given....'yet another series'. As usual a great show is diluted by the desire to squeeze very last drop of cash from it.
Despite attempts to do something spectacular each series left something to be desired.... momentum. Even the fight against doomsday was highly anticlimactic. Seriously one punch???? Really? After a series of getting beaten and a character built up...one punch???
This final series however, knows it is the end. With an almighty push there is momentum and excitement. Every episode so far has taken him clearly and distinctly one step further into his ultimate destiny. And so yes... I'm excited by what's to come despite concerns over an already bulging gallery of active enemies ready to pounce....Lex, Darkseid and the Apokolips Trio, Lionel, Suicide Squad, The Government etc. Not to mention the lack of logic....If anyone can tell me how he survives (with powers) having blue kryptonite flames douse his whole body in the wickerman episode it would be appreciated. Especially when he spent the whole episode powerless becasue he was near the stuff. Let's just hope we get both flights and tights in the end.
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 15:06
I'm sorry I think that there are two ways to look at it... your a Man of Steel fan that is watching till the end coz you started or you a Smallville fan as I am and come rain or shine will watch it for the thrillers or fillers. Granted that the season 9 return of Zod was a tad annoying .
I agree with IrishC it is going out with a bang and season 10 is looking great.
Some of the fillers may not be the most action packed but the small details that give you goose pimples still get me now and then and as long as you not comparing it to the the original story and getting pissed coz it's not correct then shame on you coz no adaptation ever is and but is normally they are good in it's own right.
it's like those people that go to the cinema and bitch that the movie wasn't as good as the book... if it's going to bother you that much, stay at home and read.
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 17:49
Utter shite. Up there with One Tree Hill, 90210 and (the now mercifully departed) Gilmore Girls as the worst TV show to emerge from the US in the last decade. Good riddance.
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 18:50
I started watching somewhere around season 5, it was mildly entertaining but Lana bugged the shit out of me - far too much pouting and wistful looks whenever she and Clark were on screen together. I was so very happy to see her go.
I don't remember exactly at what point I started to love it in a guilty pleasure kind of way, maybe it was when Lana left, maybe it was when Lois started becoming a regular, or even when Oliver Queen showed up - but I think the show actually got better when Gough and Millar left. They seemed to refuse to let the show progress past the Dawsons Creek-with-superpowers template and reach a point where it acknowledges most of the characters have become adults and don't have to keep dealing with the same teenage melodrama.
With the new showrunners came a lot of DCU characters and references too - which more often than not were a little goofy because they're working to a budget, but that's not to say that they aren't fun. The JSA/JSL two parter was great, for example. The earlier seasons of Smallville might have been good for whatever reason, but I didn't see them (the thought of more Lana has stopped me), but I'm glad the show evolved, clumsily as it may have, into something approaching what you might see in a Supes comic.
p.s. any episode with Supergirl or Zatanna in it gets an instant thumbs up from me.
Posted on Saturday January 15, 2011, 21:25
I adored the first few seasons - it was a mix of The X Files and Dawson's Creek all under the cape of the Superman myth. Yeah there were filler episodes that tested ur patience and repeated plot lines (how many times does amnesia save the day?) but what kept me watching was the good stuff in between.
Then series 6 and 7 happened and it just got (not unlike the XFiles) totally out of sync with it's only mythology. And MORE episodes missed rather than hit.
That said, season 8 and 9 gradually clawed it back. I keep telling people I'm glad I stayed with it. For every terrible episode they have (and there's still penty) they have given some crackers. And the ominous tone the way most episodes end have some beautiful stuff. Especially Clark dealing with loss. Which is always what appealed to me the most in Superman (be it his father or Lana) even a superhero has to deal with the basic tenet of existence. To love and to live - means you will inevitably lose those you love the most. It's hard but beautiful.
So I'm sticking with it til the end. Because for every bad episode (and you can tell cos Tom does phone them in) there is some outstanding stuff for the Smallville/Superman fan. And hell I was 21 when this all started and at 31 I want to see the fecker fly...
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 01:40
Oh, wow, ok. Don't think I've ever read anything quite as mean-spirited as this blog entry. As a massive Superman and Smallville fan, I'm really excited that since Al and Miles left, Clark has taken steps in the direction of the Man of Steel rather than hang round the farm and whine. So I take issue with your argument that there's been a 'drop in quality' since they left. I love this show and will stick by it for it's own sake, not just because it's Superman related. Even when it makes me cross or annoyed (seasons 6 and 7, I'm looking at you) I keep watching because I'm invested in the character of Clark and the journey that he's taking. And I think Tom Welling does a wonderful job at portraying every facet and nuance of Clark's character.
Personally, I will be devastated when May rolls round and it's the final episode ever of Smallville, but at least there's ten good years of TV to fill the hole in my life.
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 11:15
Casting a girl with breast implants as Lois Lane says it all.
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 13:39
I don't think this was a mean spirited blog. :)
I must admit that I was intrested to see what would happen when Al and Miles left. I was sick of the Lana worship. Maybe they'd focus on Clark growing a pair of balls and doing things that weren't all about her.
But hey, it didn't go in the direction I was interested in. Just cheap guest star who were famous in the world of Supes to impress us. Rubbish.
Cameron1975 I couldn't agree more. :)
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 13:53
Occasionally smallville has been really fun. But it has never been ground breaking or intense or anything like that. The earlier seasons were average, purely because every week was meteor-freak-of-the-week and that got tiresome quick. It was when they dropped this and tried to see what else they could do, around season 4, that it got interesting for me. Of course, there were some terrible episodes (the one with the dogs, jeezo!) and early Lois was the most annoying thing the show had given us. The fact is that it had barely pulled from the comics the first few seasons, and only as it moved into seasons 4 onwards did they use that vast resource like they should have been doing all along. Every season has had a major problem for me to be honest, whether it be the way that Doomsday, Zod or Jimmy Olsen were handled. Of course they've all had their saving graces too especially with the Justice Society of America episodes, the Legion of Super-Heroes episode or the episodes in which the Justice League come back into play. To be honest, when I first heard of it, I thought it would be bad. When I saw it in the first few seasons and it had the scenes with Clark and Lana on the football field, I thought it was bad. But as it started to show the steady build up of Super-man's powers and classic villains were turning up it became much, much better. So I definitely think the opposite of you. (although Lil bow wow was a step to far. As was the episode with the kryptonite chewing gum. Sigh.)
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 14:20
the 1st 5 series were trying to make superman into a soap opera, Lana was very nice to look at but honestly I couldnt give a shit about much she had to say. Smallville however has become more credible after the 6th series with the introduction of more and more DC characters and now there's practically a justice league its pretty good, they could however, easilly balls up the last few episodes or they could make it classic. We'll just have to wait and see.
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 14:41
The first season is a bit lame but for me it held, mostly, fast until the end of Season 6 (though I do have a soft spot for 8 too). I love the moment Lana finally discovers the whole truth. And what a finale! I cry every time Chloe 'dies' (also very sad to see no mention of my consistently favourite character in the article above). But in a series where I have never believed he was 'meant' to be with Lana or wanted him to get together with the unbearably annoying Lois the best aspect was watching the decline of Lex as he becomes the man we know he is destined to be. Watching Clark's best friend become his arch nemesis. And OK, Justin Hartley's torso isn't bad either! Certainly kept me watching after the painful inclusion of Kara, the clunky transition from Smallville to Metropolis, additional bands of superheroes from the past AND the future and don't even get me started on the messing about of the Zod timeline! WTF.
But the main reason I am still watching? I know all will be forgiven the very moment (assuming they do it right) he dons the cape and takes flight. What can I say, he's my hero.
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 14:54
beebs_ you speak sense. I like the cut of your jib.
And thank you jeffamania for reminding me how much I HATE Mercy. Really, where the hell does she come from? And the whole Checkmate thing too. Clutching at straws.
However I did also forget to mention one of my greatest pleasures in Smallville. The totally delicious Mr John Schneider. Welcome back in to my life! Loved him as a girl in Dukes of Hazzard (totally love the reunion in season 4, sorry i'm not so completely geeky I know the episodes by name and I've started selling off my box sets...). Season 5 is probably my favourite. Admittedly the run for office is a little out of context but it also brings us a pivotal moment in the rise of Supes, the death of his Earth father. Hand me another hanky please.
Still, at the end of the say they've dragged out the premise a little too long. How many times can we false start the old "Is it a bird? Is it a plane?" moment?
OK. Rant over. There's a lot to love in this show. Just give seasons 7 and 9 a WIDE birth. Season 10, verdict pending (I don't have Sky).
Mike j g d
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 14:57
Ok the problem with this show is it has no substance , why does it need to be 10 seasons long? All that happens is you put episodes of shit after shit just to make up the numbers . When will the people that make these shows think that what people won't is quality not quantity. The best exsample of this is battlestar galactica 4 seasons of the most gritty and fantastic sci fi ever, they did not make episodes just to fill a season every episode moved the story on and was told in for seasons .this is what smallvill should have done.
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 15:21
I actually really love the show, there are things that annoy me about it, but I genuinely love Superman and I think that whilst there have been some lows there have been some great highs also. Keep the faith!
I just hope that we actually get to see SUPERMAN for one episode instead of for 30 seconds as the show is going off.
oh btw the villian of the week is only like in the comics from time to time, so I never had a problem with it.
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 16:46
I bolted before the fifth season began. Gough and Millar crowing about how Lana Lang was FINALLY LEGAL sealed the deal for me.
Smallville taught me two valuable lessons: One, I'm allergic to emasculation. Two, indifference truly is the opposite of love.
The Voice of Fate
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 17:47
This series has been up and down, and Season 8 was perhaps the pits.
That said, it pulled it's socks up for Season 9, which finally saw it embracing the DC universe more widely, with more costumes, more use of powers and lots more lois Lane, who is a major asset to the entire venture.
Season 10 is looking good and I hope they manage a really big, but optimistic finish for the Darkseid storyline.
I'd like to see more of this and less bleak dystopian crap like Stargate Universe and the dreary remake of Battlestar. Great effects, but no-one you actually like to cheer for.
My whole family still like Clark Kent and want him to become everything he is destined to be - and that's it's single biggest strength.
Oh - and thank God we have seen the last of Lana Lang...
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 19:09
I love Smallville!!!!!!!!! I have suffered the tedious programme that was Lost, and the contrived story lines that emerged from this drivel, I have even watched Heroes go from great to turd and every week I have heard people tell me that I am not allowed to like Smallville - but why not?
It is enjoyable, it doesn't take itself seriously and upkeeps the religious iconography of the World's Greatest Superhero. Superman Returns did serious Superman and nobody watched it. Smallville does enjoyable superman and no matter how bad it slips, it is still lightyears ahead of anything Dean Cain was ever in.
Fine, it has had huge slumps but the start of series 10 was fantastic. Yes, its no Sopranos or Mad Men but it is not trying to be.
Watch it, enjoy it and revel in the true escapism of The Man of Steel.
Posted on Sunday January 16, 2011, 21:37
Great blog/article (great to see Empire looking a bit more at some of the tv shows that are outshining the majority of the dross coming out of hollywood!).
The initial draw of Smallville wasn't that it was simply a teen version of the Man of Steel (Superman 90210) but that it pitched an intriging "what if" scenario involving two characters who would eventually grow to be mortal enemies. The premise that Clark Kent and Lex Luthor were friends who grew apart due to underlying mistrust and envy was a genius concept. The gradual hints towards their relationship to come were worked brilliantly, especially in the episodes where Lex fought to become a better person but ultimately circuming to either circumstance or seeing Lana always end up with Clark. That kind of pathos can only be felt because of what the viewer knows what is eventually to become of this friendship.
It stands to reason then that the show would naturally wane once this premise was removed. (It then became a noughties version of Lois & Clark with various guest stars and appearances of other DC charaters). Again though, the best episodes featured similar "what if" in the form of a cloned Zod (good sotryline, terrible choice of actor) or Clark raised by the Luthors.
Ultimately and inspite of all the filler and naff character arcs, all will seem worth it when we finally see Him in the suit.
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 00:12
The concept was good, but even in the first season the execution was terrible.
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 08:03
Smallville is one of those shows you either watch all the way and love, cause your a massive fan of Superman/DC/Comic Book things or you watched it for a few seasons and stopped because it got stupid prolonging the show till he became Superman. When the CW kept renewing the series the makers had to work out a longer story etc. I think in season 5 when Clark made the fortress then in 6 it should have been the wind down to him being Superman. However I watch Smallville religiously and will till the end.
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 08:13
Frankly season 9 and the reintroduction of the justice league and jsa have been keeping me watching,i agree that it should be renamed metropolis as they spend 99% of their time there and the only thing that really pissed me off was when jimmy olsen was killed by doomsday and his camera was passed on to his younger brother who is also called jimmy.WTF?oh no,wait,the dead jimmys name is actually henry james olsen so thats alright then.AAAARRRRGGGGHHH!
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 08:30
I have watched every episode from 2001 to now, apart from season 10, sadly I have to wait a little bit longer.
Some of the comments I agree with, I was glad Lang, left as they changed the character too much and was (even in the superman universe) unbelievable. I must say that bashing the actress is a bit mean, as she didn't write the lines or story/character development!
But after watching all episodes to now, I think it has on the whole been a great sci fi/ comic series to watch. It's been a guilty pleasure, a return to childhood and an exploration of what if's!
And please empire look deeper, you are supposed to be looking for connotations behind the story, I don't need to say "life reflects art that relects life" you can't go from a 13 year old to an adult with all life experience overnight and neither can Clark Kent!
I for one am really looking forward to seeing season 10 but will miss series when it finishes.
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 11:10
Mr Carty, you are my hero. I actually just this second spoke to Chris Hewitt on the phone asking if I can personally congratulate you on this awesome blog.
Like you, I enjoyed the first 3 seasons of Smallville. 4 got too mystical. Season 5 I felt did really well, especially their 100th episode landmark 'Reckoning'.
6 and 7 were not too bad, but everyone knows the state with season 8. However, I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed season 9. So much so that I think it is better than season 3. Season 10? Well, I would suggest everyone to watch my reviews and videos relating to Smallville on YouTube (my account is CK61938). You will see how frustated I am with season 10. Lois being in all 22 episodes is not needed at all. Darkseid has been ruined and isn't the big bad we've been promised he will be. The focus is no longer on Clark becoming Superman, it is now on Clark marrying Lois and settling down with her. I mean, the previous season with Lana were better whereas this season it feels too forced.
If I was to pick out the best episodes we have had so far in season 10, there were only 3: Lazarus, Homecoming and Luthor. 'Luthor' saw the return of the Magnificent Bastard that is Lionel Luthor. But for those who haven't watched it, I will not spoil it.
I have been reviewing Smallville on YouTube since middle of season 8. It was seeing Doomsday that got me into doing reviews. I miss what we had in the old seasons. We had a lot more characters, a lot more diversity, the stories were awesome and having Jeph Loeb on the team was even better. Al and Miles were right to leave the show after season 7, as did Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor) and Kristen Kruek (Lana Lang). Although the latter was treated badly when she came back in season 8 briefly, I felt they could have done better with her departure. So Lana is out there somewhere in a kryptonite absorping suit. Lovely.
But, Mr Carty, again, THANK YOU. I can't believe I didn't see this earlier. But happy I have now :)
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 11:35
Also for those wondering what might happen to Tom Welling after Smallville ends, he's been producing a new TV show called Hellcats. It's about cheerleaders. I don't think he'll be acting for a long time to come as he's been doing a lot behind the camera stuff. He's now a fully fledged Exec Producer on Smallville and has directed a few episodes. He's due to direct the upcoming (and hopefully awesome) 'Booster' episode that's being written by comic book writer Geoff Johns. The episode is going to bring in both Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.
The other thing I wanted to add was how this show has become "shipper focused". For those not down with the kids, it's basically now all about Clark and Lois getting together and that without Lois in his life, Clark cannot become Superman. There's been talks of Lois pushing Clark to use his secret identity. She knows all about who he is (this was revealed in the episode 'Supergirl' which was one of the worst episodes I have ever seen). Most stuff happens offscreen so we never really get certain questions answered unless you ask the writers of which some are on Twitter.
But with the "shipper" stuff, it's basically a group of people (mainly women or girls) who only care about the relationship and romance aspects of the show. Ask them if they know anything about Superman and most of them will tell you only what they have seen in Smallville. I've often berated these fans and I've been shot down many times. Tell them you don't like Lois and Clark the way they do and they instantly brand you a non-believer. Erm, I am a Superman fan, not a Lois and Clark fan. I don't care much for your worshipness of Lois and Erica Durance. That's the other thing, they've turned Lois into a Goddess of some sort and the producers and writers are loving it. They don't care about Superman, they've pretty much pissed on the mythos.
Smallville is now described as "Twilight with for superheroes"
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 13:55
I must admit I was one of the people who wanted to believe that chloe would somehow become Lois. She was the how's Lois, even when we got cousin Lois. All the groundwork with Chloe was just slowly chipped away at so that Lois could miraculously gall for Clark and get a job at the Planet, how exactly? I don't think it had anything to do with hard work and dedication...
After years of sitting through the Lana worship fiasco I found it hard to watch. Then taking away the Luthors... bad idea. More cannon names just for fanboy love just seemed cheap. I got to love me some Green Arrow... but still.
Its just tosh. I do understand the "I've started so I'll finish" people, but this was just stressing me out and missing me off too much to carry on. I'd been burned too many times. I don't get the "its Superman! I'll watch!" People. It's so utterly crap that it'd just put me off watching if I loved supes so much...
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 16:34
I could not agree more. I am one of the people who thi
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 16:39
Im sorry start again I couldnt agree more. I am one of the pople who thinks The Simpsons has totally lost the plot and Smallville is the same. While I too love the beautiful Erica Durance (probably, along with Teri Hatcher, my favourite all time Lois) the producers have overdone it. Even a comic book show has to have some resemeblance of reality. Suspension of disbekief can only go so far. And how could the kill off Lex Luthoir and Jimmy Olson? Characters that have survived for almost 80 years sacrificed for ratings. Blasphemy. Chris Nolan may have left Superman but maybe Zach Snyder can put Supes back on top where he belongs.
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 17:17
My biggest problem with Smallville is that it became tied by it's own rules of 'no cape & no flying' about 6 series ago. For goodness' sake, they're going through the entire Superman story without Superman.
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 23:55
Noelg25 how can you make comments like "Darkseid has been ruined and isn't the big bad we've been promised he will be. The focus is no longer on Clark becoming Superman, it is now on Clark marrying Lois and settling down with her. I mean, the previous season with Lana were better whereas this season it feels too forced." with such certainty when all the episodes haven't been filmed yet and although the writers know the ending no-one else does and if they do its not been broadcast in any medium I'm aware of. Also I've read plenty of comics where Supes is lost without Lois she's the person that keeps him grounded and makes him feel like he belongs such as the critical condition comic books so the fact that they focusing on that relationship is both valid and relevant, isn't it?
Posted on Monday January 17, 2011, 23:59
Got to agree with the blog, started off excellently and now I feel that I watch it more out of duty to see it out. The sense of excitement I used to get when it was on has gone; now I just want to see them maintain a consistent quality of episode & get to this final, finale scene that's been planned since the first episode.
The possibility of it getting better, due to the quality of the earlier series, draws me back, but with the exception of Tom Welling the entire cast has changed. Allison Mack has left for the 10th season, only guest starring in a few episodes. The show's just not evolved from it's roots, an episodic series about an alien schoolboy rescuing his sidekicks on a weekly basis, trying to discover his origins & destiny, into an 'overt' superhero touching on the character he's inevitably going to be.
We all know how it will end, he's the alter ego of Superman. If we know the end the makers should focus on how he gets there & make it a true origin story.
Despite this little rant, I'm still going to watch it to the end as I want to see it to it's conclusion!
Posted on Tuesday January 18, 2011, 11:54
I stopped watching when they started pissing on the mythology, I thought that it was mean't to bridge the gap that we saw in the first Superman film and started getting a bit miffed when it decided to allow Superman/Clarke Kent meet Lois Lane as a teenager rather than at the Daily Planet (as in Superman: The Movie).
As soon as it started disrespecting the films that I so loved as a kid I just had to switch off.
Posted on Tuesday January 18, 2011, 12:30
Great blog and for me the first 5 seasons were great. Lois has me laughing with her isms. Season 6 kinda lost my interest and have only been dipping in and out of the other seasons. It no longer grabs my attention, which is ashame.
Out of respect though, I will be watching the final season.
Posted on Tuesday January 18, 2011, 13:00
Ah yes. Smallville. I own seasons 1-7 on DVD, which kinda reflects my thoughts on it. Season 4 was poor with the whole Lana Witch storyline, while all 7 seasons were blighted by Lana's drippy character and Clark's tiresome pining for her. But other than filler episodes and the odd debacle, there was much to love during those first 7 years.
LOVED: Luthors, Justice League, Fortress of Solitude, Brainiac
LIKED: Kents, Chloe, Lois, Supergirl
HATED: Lana, Jimmy
But then, we lost Lionel....then Lex. Boo. Rosenbaum was brilliant - where is he now? Justice League got too little exposure and Supergirl was written out for some daft reason. Tess Mercer came in (HOT!), but her motives are frustratingly never explained.
Season 8 was just terrible - acting, SFX, cinematography etc Lois & Clark thing was cringeworthy (although I always really liked Erica Durance's performances) The whole Doomsday storyline was decent (but seriously dragged out), yet the end of season finale was a JOKE!
Season 9 is more of the same with some silly storyline about Zod and an army of Kryptonians searching for their powers - even managing to rip off Supernatural's virus storyline. So much for the last son of Krypton. Its all so confused, depressing and inconsistent, that I can barely bring myself to find out how it all turns out.
Posted on Tuesday January 18, 2011, 13:02
despite its faults it has maintained its brilliant production values over 10 years as the best looking superhero tv show to date.
mark 'x files' snow's music another key asset.
Posted on Tuesday January 18, 2011, 14:01
always felt that tom welling was a painfully wooden actor- his presence in the series was the first and most painful mistake. it was doomed to sink from the beginning.
Posted on Tuesday January 18, 2011, 17:47
Well... its flopped in the sense that its a piece of shit... but its lasted 10 seasons. How I mourn the Farscapes out there when Smallville just would not die.
Posted on Wednesday January 19, 2011, 10:03
Eomer_King - knock the terrible One Tree Hill and 90210 all you want, but lay off my beloved Gilmore Girls!
Posted on Thursday January 20, 2011, 16:37
I'm sorry but some of these comments are all wrong. It's only since Miller and Gough departed did Smallville get back on Track. Seasons 8 and 9 were great. Of course there were the occasional bad episose, but the problem is smallville are churning out 22 episodes a season and unfortunately there will always be filler.
Dare I add that the show actually picked up again not only after Miller/Gough left, but after Michael Rosenbaum left too. Now don't get me wrong, Lex was a stunning character portrayed brilliantly by MR, but it felt by season 7 the combinations of the Clark/Lex dynamic had come to end.
This was proceeded by perhaps the greatest ever Smallville episode in Season eight where Chloe and Jimmy's wedding in gate crashed by Doomsday.
After Lex left, Erica Durance really stepped to the plate and for me has helped get the show back on track/
All in all, for me smallville has been a great success. Yes, it has had it's flaws, but there aren't that many shows that don't.
Posted on Friday January 21, 2011, 14:03
Can anyone think of a show which has inspired this much disagreement as to which seasons are the best and worst? There seems, in particular, to be a pretty much 50/50 split between people who think that season 8 got things back on track, at least partially, after Miller and Gough left, and those who think it never recovered.
Personally I loved season 2 but thought 3 was a bit nothing-y, even with some good Luthor stuff, and probably enjoyed 5 and 6 the most after that.
Posted on Friday January 21, 2011, 20:59
that is an article that exactly expresses my relief that the show will finally die!cuz it started out perfect, amazing, unique & original until it had to kill everything beautiful & every potential it got for the sake of the myths, or so claim the new producers! they seriously think that people do not know the myths, and they do not know that Smallville was a myth on its own, laying the basis of what could have happened before the myths! this show has turned into one big Erica Durance worshipper and bringing all her fantasies true! it is no longer on how Clark will become superman, rather they are focusing on how lois is leading character in the show, and how Clark is worthy of her, not the other way around, Im waiting on seeing her literally dressing him in the blue outfit, really, without her, who would have thought that he will become superman? forget about the myths! this show, or the last two seasons turned into one big bad clois fan fiction that people all around the world are forced to watch,I dont watch it, but I have been seeing scenes here and there and hearing stupid spoilers that care for nothing but how Clark will be marrying the almighty lois lane,like WTH? excuse me, but isnt this show supposed to be about Clark Kent, how he will become superman and how his heritage will affect his relation, and not trying to play a boyfriend and now a husband to show his "potential" of becoming superman! like are Kelly souders and Brian peterson for real? they are trying to justify granting Erica's wishes by such ridiculous reasons??despite what others say about Lana being the focus, she didnt get 22 episodes FULL in ANY season, yet she proved MORE than lois can why she suits Clark better, she proved that there are better people for Clark other than lois lane and it is even the BEST! I enjoyed her, at least we got to see her grow up & develop to EARN her place, not haneded everything on silver platter becoz of the myths with no any other reason, THANK GOD ITS ENDING!
Posted on Friday January 21, 2011, 21:09
I might be among the few who enjoyed Lana Lang as being the girl who owned Clark's heart, because she showed a new angle to the old boring myths of superman, both were the center of the show, but they TOGETHER were and not only her, the plots were at least consistent and coherent and do make sense!
with the new seasons, they trashed everything that happened before and because of it, millions disrespect them and are very glad to see this show come to an end thanks to total shift in focus, aim and story to become "The glory days of lois lane: how Clark is wothy of her" , it did not only try to stomp on the heritage of Smallville, but it also is exploiting the "superman myths" to worship and glorify lois lane....
it is too bad to see the character of Clark Kent, rather than developing is regressing to the guest role, a character that held so much potential, high morales and developing only to end with being a baby in a manly body, who needs to be spoon-fed to become superman rather than showing him taking his own decisions and become more rational, leader to be! he is everything and anything except for being the promising superman...
thinking of it, maybe they should make lois wear the suit, since you know, she is the man of the show right now!
Posted on Saturday January 29, 2011, 05:30
too much teasing, not enough delivery.
Posted on Wednesday May 18, 2011, 01:53
It’s not the greatest thing that television has ever produced no but in the ten years that Smallville has ran, it has always had a decent underlying message than runs true with Superman himself. He’s an idealistic symbol of what humanity is capable of with Lex Luthor representing the opposite and it was this initial concept that made Smallville so great to begin with. It definitely reached its pinnacle in the excellent sixth season and there are still plenty of arguments to say that it should have finished closer to that point. The seventh season was an aimless disappointment and whilst the character of Lex Luthor reached his natural conclusions, they didn’t really take Clark to any new heights. The eighth season stands as the real crossroads where many stayed with it or decided to abandon it because they didn’t like what they saw; they had reasons because the shows TV budget undermined the visual ambitions, the filler became terrible and Michael Rosenbaum’s absence undermined it somewhat with new characters that lacked the same depth or presence as the Luthors. On the plus side it was these latter seasons that finally saw Tom Welling really step into the role to become a man and he really did lead the series right till the end. Those final ten minutes with Tom were moments of extraordinary brilliance and possessed such power as the iconic suit was donned and that classic piece of music came to be. BUT critics are quite right to say that despite everything, despite flashes of brilliance, the overall package wasn’t always very fulfilling. Some season arcs were ill judged, spread out for too long with dull characters and actors, and the shows themes and formula never seemed to change. Even in the final season there seemed to be an unnecessary amount of pointless side tracks; a hidden rural cannibalistic village, a drunken stag party? Was that really needed when the main villain was so badly underused at this point? It certainly seemed to be running out of steam very quickly after the eighth season. However whilst the earlier season were more relaxed and easy going there is no denying that the final seasons were richer in ideas and focus, the inclusion of DC character, both heroes and villains, are interpretations that can only be judged each to their own but I personally loved every second. I loved the ten year journey whether it was consistent or not because people love things whatever the quality for whatever reason and no blog, whether intended to sound bitter and nasty or not, will ever persuade people otherwise. Ten years of inconsistency? Fair to say. Ten years of poor quality? No chance.
Posted on Thursday June 2, 2011, 19:33
Callum Best in season 9 as "Zod" was utter shit. he ruined the whole fucking season...the prick.
I for one am looking forward to season 10. I'll reserve judgement until I've seen it myself.