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A Finer Smallville

I plan to do absolutely nothing this weekend. Well, except for dim sum with spring_1970 and her family. And we'll head to Phipps to return the items that didn't fit Mom. But other than those somethings, I plan to do nothing, dammit.

What I am going to do right now is write a little bit about Smallville. The following paragraphs contain minor spoilers for S4 and S5.

I'm not a total S4 basher: the season did at least get Clark and Lana mostly away from one another, which made me happier, because the whole "I wuv oo, but we cannot be together" shtick was old after the first 82 times the writers had trudged through it. However, the Lana witch thing was so much of a reach it pulled a muscle, and I wish they hadn't turned Jason bad just because it's so annoyingly predictable. I also pretty much hate the whole "black kryptonite tipped Lex over the edge" plotline, because A) it feels like such a huge cop-out, and B) it's very boring for Lex to be evil all the time. He's much more interesting when he's either conflicted, or when he's being good and getting trodden upon to the point that you want to give him a soft blanket and some hot cocoa.

Somehow, S5 has improved a little bit. Only a little bit, mind you: the show's ability to hit the big "Reset - last week never happened" button is perhaps only outdone by amnesiacs on LSD who happen to be lost in the desert. Exhibit A: Lana and Clark finally had sex over at her place, but somehow woke up over at the Kent farm in the episode immediately following. Sure, we can rationalize that some sort of conversation like "Well, that sure was nice, Lana, but my parents will worry if I don't get home. / Oh, Clark, let me go with you!" took place, but, again, it's yet another stretch.

Despite this, S5 at least gets Lana, Chloe, and Clark out of high school, thank Zod. As a bonus, Clark is now under the tutelage of Professor Milton Fine, aka Brainiac, played by James Marsters. Juilliard-trained Marsters proceeds to act circles around pretty much everyone he's been on-screen with in the show so far, including Michael Rosenbaum (Lex). However, Marsters' older alpha male plays very well against Lex the Newly Evil, and I've quite enjoyed their scenes together. If their antagonism is going to provide the main source of conflict this season, that suits me Fine. :) (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) I wouldn't mind seeing him and John Glover (Papa Luthor) interact as well.

So, again, 85% of Smallville bores me, but the 15% with Lex makes it worth following. It's funny: if I have five shows I'm watching, Smallville is always at the bottom of the five, but I somehow just don't drop it entirely. Maybe it's 'cause hubby likes it and it's good to have a show in common to discuss. Anyway, the Fine vs. Lex plot line is working so far. Now if they could just kill off Lana, we might really see some significant improvement in quality control.

EDIT: At the time I wrote the post, I hadn't seen last night's episode. So, it's been bad Lex, bad Lex, bad Lex pretty much since the black kryptonite situation, and now, all of a sudden, good Alexander makes an appearance? Are we to take from this that, previously, Alexander was dominant but Lex fought through to the surface, and now Lex is dominant but Alexander can occasionally win control?

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
jasondemotte
Nov. 4th, 2005 07:37 pm (UTC)
Last night's episode was a nice change. Oh the gratuitous strippers and Lois' dental floss bikini were a little groan worthy, but no krypto-freaks and no Lana. I like the idea of "kids find a problem, bungle through it till the end when they save the day" much more then the monster of the week stuff.

I don't want to blame Kristin Kreuk, because I haven't seen her outside of the show (save for maybe 2 minutes of screentime in Eurotrip), but she really adds very little to show, and I think takes away quite a bit. And maybe it's just me as the comic book geek, but we know that Clark won't wind up with her. His future belongs to Lois. So all the hints that the show tries to make that Lana is one true love ring hollow.

I kinda hope they just keep them in a relationship for the rest of the season/show, just so we can get rid of the relationship angst. Chloe's moved on, Lois should be more antagonistic then anything else at this point, so let's just have Lana play highschool sweetheart so we can focus on the cooler parts of the story (Lex, Lionel, Brainiac, Bo Duke, err I mean Jonathan Kent) and maybe develop the parts of the story that have been overlooked like Clark appearing more mild-mannered and less like a football all-star, and figuring out what he's going to do with his powers.

As for not giving the show up, I understand the feeling. The show has an amazing amount of potential, even without the cape and flying etc. Even if it doesn't live up to it, it certainly has some good moments to keep you watching, even if it's just in a vain hope for the show to improve.
pointedview
Nov. 5th, 2005 02:05 am (UTC)
Like you, I like the Chloe Nancy Drew angle. Very nice to have Lana absent. And despite Erica Durance's clearly artificial flotation devices, ;) I like Lois much better than Lana.

Kristin K. was equally insipid in The Wizard of Earthsea, I am sorry to say. And yes, you're absolutely right about it ringing hollow.

When I wrote the post, I hadn't seen last night's episode. Now that I have, I loved the John Schneider/Tom Wopat Dukes homage. I thought it was a lot of fun.

What's up with seemingly-good Lex appearing all of a sudden? (See my edit, above.) Any theories? I mean, don't get me wrong, I confess to being so swayed by the way the character has been written and by the way Rosenbaum plays him that I want to see him redeemed and saved, but I thought they'd definitively turned down the villain path last season (the scenery-chewing "I am the villain of this story!" sledgehammer was a bit of a clue ...).
wendersfan
Nov. 4th, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC)
Love the 'Tubey' icon.
pointedview
Nov. 5th, 2005 01:57 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad someone recognized it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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