Sunday, May 15, 2011

...and that was Smallville - 10 final things

This is all spoilery, so if you're way, way behind on the series or actually like the series, I'd suggest you click off to some other place on the internet.  Here, this puppy is very cute.  Look at this.

So, this last Friday (the 13th, no less), Smallville did wrap up.  And we've already talked about our feelings on the program here.  

The show did some things I wasn't sure I'd ever see.  Apokolips, the actual, entire planet, made it to TV, floating in from behind Saturn (the show wrestled with scale with the planet, but... whatever).  We briefly saw a CGI Darkseid, so Darkseid has now made it onto live TV, in a way.  Most importantly, we saw Clark fly.  The FX weren't great, and the first thing Clark did was get some speed in the air and straight up blow up a guy with HIS FISTS*, but he flew.

But...  but...

1)  Without a planet-wide mindwipe, absolutely nothing about Clark Kent becoming Superman makes sense. So, so many people knew about Clark. 

2)  They did mindwipe Lex, but they almost seemed to suggest they gave him total amnesia, and that's a little f'd up, if I may say so.  He basically would think he was, like, 11 years old, if what they said were true.

3)  I have absolutely no idea what happened for 7 years between Space-Clark scene and the flash forward to 2018 that might have meant Lois and Clark couldn't get married.  I guess the Superman-ness?  

4)  So...  I kind of got the feeling Jor-El took Clark from "superhuman" to "Cosmic" there at the show's end.  Clark moved a planet with his bare hands and flew in space, and that's straight up Silver Age.  How do you even know you can try something like that?  And why didn't the show clarify, if that were the case?

5)   In a world where Clark Kent is Superman, there's a comic called Smallville about Clark Kent becoming Superman?  I suppose that was a cute bookending piece that got re-purposed so we wouldn't think "oh, and the last ten years of TV was all a dream...."  But it just makes the whole comic sequence sort of nonsensical.

6)   I haven't busted out my Blu-Ray, but was that whole space-based scene at the end of the episode old Superman Returns CGI with Tom Welling's head Photoshopped in? 

7)  So... Clark didn't call his mom before he decided to sell the family farm?  Uh-huh.  Same guy who can't hit the bathroom without Chloe sending him directions to the can via a satellite image of the bathroom?  Okay, TV show.

Also, Martha thought he was going to live at the farm forever?  No wonder the boy has issues....

8)   You really couldn't get Michael McKean to just show up and spend 30 seconds doing a newsroom sequence?  REALLY?  Great Caesar's Ghost.

9)  And Pete Ross was never, ever, ever mentioned again (because actor Sam Jones III is about to do a decade or two in lock-up for selling oxycodone)

10)  You people realize that we never actually saw Clark in the suit, right?  

Ten @#$%ing years, and they couldn't just do a single wide shot with Clark standing there in the suit so we could see what he looks like.  Instead, we get these sort of odd extreme close-ups of Tom Welling's head, and then very wide CGI images that, I guess, are supposed to be Tom Welling as Superman, but looked vaguely like the sort of CGI done for circa-2007 SyFy original films, and clearly using Superman Returns as a template.  

Now, to me, this is the ultimate screw-job when it comes to Smallville, ostensibly a program about a young Clark Kent becoming Superman.  Tom Welling may not have liked the idea of putting on the suit, and he may have been an executive producer, director, etc...  but as the star of that show, and as a producer, he @#$%ing owed 10 years of idiot patience and loyalty a nice, clean, lingering shot of what he looked like in the suit.  

There are a few possible explanations why the show didn't go ahead and put him the blue and red.  Either they couldn't figure out how to make a good looking Super-suit for TV, Welling threw a fit and wouldn't do it, Welling looked terrible in the suit and everybody knew it, or its just one more place where this show just couldn't seal the deal, even on the single most important and obvious thing that should happen on a show about a young man becoming Superman.

It just feels like one more, final place where the show cut corners and failed to deliver on its promise.  I don't care if Welling did fail to lift a single weight in 2011...  for the love of Mike, put on the suit, stand there heroically with a flag waving in the background, and get over it.  Welling had to know this was going to happen at some point, and I can't help but think that he and the crew just couldn't pull their shit together.  Its weird and yet totally par for the course.

So long, Smallville.  Even in your final moments, you found brand new ways to disappoint.

*I don't care if it IS Darkseid, Superman's first airborne act probably shouldn't have been killing a dude.


J.S. said...

You're never going to get all those hours back. You know that, right?

The League said...

Yes, and now it is my mission to make it clear: we should stop pretending anyone involved with that show knew what they were doing.