With the new season of Smallville kicking off yesterday on The WB, I thought it'd be fun to go back and see what I'd said earlier. If you watched last night's premier, then you'll recognize that many of the themes I discussed in February have certainly been developed further and in interesting ways.
I'm also excited to see that a DVD of the first season is now listed on Amazon. What was for me a growing interest last winter has now become a downright obsession. My dedicated TV lineup this Fall: Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, Enterprise, The West Wing, Firefly.]
Smallville is turning out to be a surprisingly good show.
[Note to those who haven't seen much of the first season but plan on doing so anyway:
This is quite long (and spoilerful) for a review. If you don't have time, then just watch the show for three episodes, and pay close attention to Clark, Lex, and Mr. and Mrs. Kent. Don't worry too much about the plots of specific episodes; the series is about the development and interrelations of the characters that happens parallel with the superhero vs. supervillain and high school silliness plots and subplots. Trust me, this is one of the top five shows to air on TV in a decade or two.]
Generally, I have been a Marvel Universe kind of guy, and I have no personal loyalties to any particular interpretation of the Superman cannon. Perhaps DC-heads out there may be bothered by some of the (heavy) rewriting of history that is happening in this show, but for the average viewer, that should not be a problem.
The main plots, for the most part, are set-piece comic book scenarios, with fairly predictable outcomes.
The main characters that are supposed to be in high school just don't look like high-schoolers. Of course, that's pretty typical for TV and film.
All that said, though, I highly recommend you see this show.
It's all about the characters, man.
I could go on about some of the clever tensions created among all the different characters, particular that between Clark Kent and Lana(sp?). But for me, it all comes down to two particular relationships.
The first one is that between the boy of steel and his parents. The writers are quite clearly doing something deliberate and intentional with Mr. and Mrs. Kent. Last night's episode was a great illustration of this: