12 May 2011

A Tribute to Smallville Part I -- The Path of Becoming a Fan

Back in June last year (2010), I wrote a blog post titled 'My Constant'. Part of me was sad because two of my favorite shows -- Lost and 24 -- bowed out in the same month. The worst thing was, the other part of me wasn't feeling any better! I have to brace for another double-lost in 12 month's time. Supernatural had just been renewed for season six but I wasn't sure if it would go beyond that. And Smallville was always going to end with its tenth season. The next 12 month wasn't going to be easy.

One year later… (today)

The good news is, my favorite show Supernatural has just been renewed for its seventh season a few weeks ago. But the sad news remains, Smallville will come to the end in 2 days. This time next week, there will be no more 'all new episode of Smallville on the CW'. Friday next week, there will be no more 'somebody save me'. A few weeks after the series finale, some fans will move on, some fans such as myself, may revisit the entire season one more time. For those who don't care, will still not care.
"A light in the darkness. A symbol for us to believe in when all other hope is lost. I've looked into the Blur's heart and I can tell you that his intentions are good. Let the Blur be the hero he needs to be." Lois Lane, Ep 9.08 Idol
I started watching Smallville about three years ago. My friend has been the biggest fanboy of the show. I didn't get it. It looked too 90210 to me. I was never a fan of the Superman movies or anything related to Superman. I don't read comic books, I certainly don't know anything about .. well.. anything. My friend always asked me to give Smallville a try. I did. But every time I watched it on TV, Lana was always in the hospital. I thought the episode must be a repeat! I didn't care. I thought to myself, what's the point of it if we never get to see Clark fly?'

I had no interest on watching the show if watching Lana in the hospital was all I would get. That was when Jensen Ackles came into the picture. I started watching Supernatural at the end of its second season. I started to watch some of Jensen's earlier works including Dark Angel but I was still not convinced about Smallville . During one summer hellatus, I was really bored and I needed to find something to watch. I thought perhaps I should just watch season four to see Jensen played Jason Teague in Smallville . But I knew if I only bought season four, I would so fast-forward the whole show and watch Jensen's scenes only. I thought and thought hard. I finally made a decision to watch Smallville from the beginning. If it sucked, I'd only wasted four sets of DVDs (it was on sales) and I didn't have to care so much after four seasons. So I went out and bought the first four seasons only.

My first impression of season one of Smallville was meh, it had some good episodes and bad episodes. But the last episode of season one saved it and I couldn't wait to start season two. And so, that was pretty much the pattern from then on. There were always some good ones and bad ones in every season. But something else was pulling me in. When I got to season four, I knew I was paying extra attention to Jensen as Jason Teague, but surprisingly I was getting into the story of Clark Kent; the father and son relationship between Lionel and Lex; and the friendship between Clark and Lex. The appearance of Christopher Reeve was pretty epic despite the fact that I wasn't a fan of Superman at all.

By the time Lionel went oracle in season five, I was liking Smallville a lot more. I can't explain it, but I started to really enjoy that storyarc. By season seven, I was totally convinced about the show, because it was supposedly Lana's last season. I caught up with all episodes by the time season eight commenced. So yes, I pretty much watched season one to seven in one go on DVDs.

The first few seasons were a bit cheesy but there were some good episodes there. To me, the turning point was when they graduated from Smallville High. The high school vibe kind of bothered me in a way, again, it was a bit too 90201 to me. It wasn't the worst thing ever, but once the Dairy Planet was introduced, it felt right to me. I know Smallville is supposed to be about the young Clark before he became Superman, but I was into the story a lot more after the high school days. I am not missing the Smallville High.

Without a doubt, Lois is my favorite character. I love her from 4.01 Crusade. I love season eight to ten so much because she was in more episodes. I don't hate Lana, but I think her character was a bit out of date, although I did enjoy watching the dark Lana. I think Lois (kudos to Erica Durance) was much more interesting and enjoyable to watch. And Erica is a fantastic actress who nailed her performance every time. She became one of my favorite actresses after I watched 8.10 Bride. I remembered I was on the road at the time and I had to watch the episode on a crappy laptop with crappy internet connection in the countryside. I saw the scene where Lois talked to Oliver about Clark, I was like 'this girl can act.' I can probably write another post only on Lois a bit later on.

I love Lionel Luthor. I mean, John Glover is a brilliant actor. I was really into his performance. He was so bad-ass and I just love watching his performance. I love the chemistry between him and Michael Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor. I don't know this guy at all, but I thought he was really good as Lex. In the beginning, I always wondered why Lex was like a relationship counsellor to Clark and Lana, that was funny to me. I didn't know Clark and Lex were friends when they were younger, so that was fun to watch.

Chloe is an awesome character. I didn't really like her in season one and two, I thought she was too in-your-face. But I love her after she discovered Clark's secret. Her character has grown soooo much, more so that Clark I think. But I think she grew up too fast, by the time she worked at Daily Planet, she was a woman. I admire her for keeping Clark's secret, which wasn't always easy and at times she was so close of getting killed. I love it when she became WatchTower. I had the chill down my spine when she put Dr Fate's helmet on.

What's my thought on Oliver Queen? I like Oliver. But I'd much prefer seeing Green Arrow. I wasn't sure if I like Oliver being dark and depressed. That was when I missed seeing Green Arrow. I love his first appearance as Green Arrow in Arrow. In fact, that leads to my next 'love'. I love the guest appearance of other superheroes. Justice was close to being one my favorite episodes in the series. But I love Absolute Justice more. Being the first 'Smallville movie', it was epic. I love it! I was really impressed with the story and the writing. Kudos to Geoff Johns.

It's been an emotional season ten for long time fans. I happen to know a few people who have been watching the show since the Pilot. For those who used to watch Smallville but don't watch it any more for whatever reasons, you should watch the series finale, you will be amazed how much the show has grown, how much Welling and cast have grown. For a fan like me, who have only started watching the show three years ago, it's still very sad to see a good show goes. I don't regret not watching it sooner, but I have grown to love Smallville (Supernatural still holds the top spot).

I am really excited about the series finale. I am sure I will cry. I can feel it. It's gonna be embarrassing. But I will cry! The flights and tights are given, even just for a few seconds. If I get more, it'll be a bonus. But I'd be happy to see just a glimpse of it. I want to see Clark to totally let go of his insecurity and be totally confident and be the hero he is meant to be.

I have high expectation in the series finale. I really want this to be epic. After all, it is the only long-running TV series based on a DC comic. It did extremely well in keeping the mytho going. I am sure the new Superman movie will ruin everything (I am cynical). The path of becoming a hero is not an easy one. To me, Smallville is better than any Superman movies. It's one of those things, you can't jam everything into a couple of 2-hour movies. Dumb it down for me. Story like this needs to be explored properly and extensively and you have to do it right. And I think Smallville did it right. It's a story about Clark Kent. What makes Superman interesting is Clark Kent. What complete Clark Kent are his earth parents, his friends and Lois. What makes Clark Kent awesome is Tom Welling.

I know Clark Kent will ultimately become Superman, but I am on lockdown. I am not reading any spoilers or photos etc.

Don't miss the epic series finale of Smallville on Friday 13th May on the CW. Watch it live. Watch it online. Download it on iTune. Anyway you can!

Next week: A Tribute to Smallville Part II -- Tom Welling, the Superman of our generation; my review on the series finale and more....

1 comment:

  1. I like Oliver too... When he is shirtless


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