What it Takes to Still Watch Smallville

I wasn’t going to write about this week’s season 9 penultimate episode of Smallville because I’d been giving it a lot of attention lately, especially since I haven’t even got around to Supernatural but as per usual some other bloggers comments have urged me on.

A lot of this comes back to “What is Smallville”?

  • It’s a show with an outdated, once catchy and clever theme song
  • It’s a show that has been on the air since most of us were in high school, a beaming nostalgia for the days of The WB.
  • It’s a show that provides us with that weekly dose of fantasy, the unrealistic, the unbelievable and the campy
  • It fills it’s episodes and great moments with puny 4th busting wall cameos and references
  • It’s Tom Welling,  Justin Hartley without a shirt on and Erica Durance in skimpy costumes.

If you’re looking for much more than that, I think you’re in the wrong place.  For years we here at JerkDoublebitch have held the opinion that Smallville is really good, really bad TV. You can’t expect the same things from Smallville that you’d expect from well.. pretty much any other show on TV.  Question it’s values but it’s still on the air 10 years later and is going to be remembered for a long long time.

Kent Family.. ish martha kent clark kent lois lane perry white hostageThis week’s episode was weak and, in my opinion, this hasn’t been an unreasonable response to most of the season.  I was so glad to see Martha again, if only to watch Clark bend way down and almost lift her off her feet in a hug and see Lois returned to her former glory of surrogate daughter to Martha Kent.  We can grumble about the believability of Martha and Perry White a once alcoholic bad guy of the week (which is the shows own fault for doing that back in the days where they didn’t worry about season 10), but we have to measure out the good-funny bad-4th wall punny factor of having real life couple Annette O’Toole and Michael McKean (who was on Jeopardy the same night btw winning a million dollars for charity) together on screen.   We also have to recognize that this was a necessary evil of getting things straightened out at the Daily Planet to a line with the rest of the lore.

I guess it’s that lore busting that makes the whole Red Queen bit a problem.  From the point of “In the Comic’s Martha’s supposed to be a frail old lady..”  I have to say suck it up, it’s never been like that on Smaillville.  She sure as hell wasn’t a senator either.  Looking at it strategically from a plot standpoint it clearly wasn’t in the overall plan but it does fit.  I believe that Martha could do more to protect her son from Washington and I believe that she would.  Does she have the power?  I’m not sure but after her Russian roulette of powers I don’t really believe that Chloe’s the world’s best hacker either.

Smallville requires us to suspend our bullshit meters for a few minutes and I know as sci-fi fans that’s really hard to do, considering we’ve built a culture of being party wrecking fact machines, but sometimes it’s necessary.  When do we say enough’s enough?  Apparently somewhere around season 3 of Heroes but I’m not sure.  Smallville is a show that strings me on week after week, year after year and I’m still enjoying at least parts of the journey.  I think we all need to remember we’re here for the destination. Maybe that’s wrong but it’s the fact behind all 1.9 million of us that tune in live.

See ya in season 10,


~ by doublebitch on May 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “What it Takes to Still Watch Smallville”

  1. Okay, internet is back and I can comment as the resident comic guy! Martha isn’t a ‘frail old lady’ in the comics, not at all. The Kents were pretty perfectly done in Smallville honestly, the only thing is they were about 15 years too young. The biggest difference was the Lionel Luthor stuff, and I liked that!

  2. okay well I was talking from like allstar superman and stuff like that where she looks pretty damn frail, but plays a really small part in the story, mostly I think because it’s greatly implied. It’s like world pop-culture canon.

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