Smallville, Big Comfort

Bailey and I were talking—and by talking I mean FB chatting—about the site and what we want to do with it. One of the ways we want to be innovative in the TV blogging biz involves traveling to the past. No worries, though. In no way does it involve a frozen ship wheel or the Charmed One’s Book of Shadows.

In addition to talking about and reviewing current television—duh—we want to discuss past shows. Shows off the air, shows canceled too soon, shows near and dear to our hearts. There are so many things we can do with this idea seeing as how your fearless writers have far too many box sets and credit card charges to Netflix.

After that conversation with Bailey, I thought about why I love re-watching shows. In lieu of movie nights, I’ll blackout an entire Saturday to plow through half a season of Smallville or Lost. It’s a comfort thing. I like re-living the evolution of a series. Seeing how each season differs, what each one focuses on, is a fascinating thing when you’re a teleholic who’s taken one too many literature classes

The first past show I want to talk about on the site is Smallville. Having just completed a decade long run last May, Smallville premiered on the WB. In 200-freaking-1. I have been watching the series since I was thirteen. For the pop culture-impaired, Smallville is the story of Clark Kent before he becomes Superman.

Boom. Instant interest. I am and always have been a huge nerd. Superman was my favorite superhero as a kid and yes, my mother has the embarrassing cape-and-underwear pictures to prove it.

I grew up with Clark Kent and Chloe Sullivan as they solved the mysteries of their small Kansas town. Each week the show blended fantastic special effects and beautiful cinematography with elements from teen soaps and genre television, reimagining the Superman mythos for Generation Y.

Here was a Superman show that, unlike its predecessors, featured a “no tights, no flights” rule; there were no blue tights or red underwear in sight. Instead Clark favored plaid and a flip-flopping shirt/jack combo, always red and blue. Creators and Executive Producers Al Gough & Miles Millar wanted the show to focus on the places, faces and experiences that shaped that mild-mannered farm boy into the noble hero Metropolis will eventually come to know and love.

“When is he going to be Superman already?”

“He still isn’t superman?”

“Who cares? Don’t you know bow it’s going to end?”

I don’t even know how many times I heard those questions—in annoyed or impatient tone—over the last ten years. And yes, most of the time it was when it was a live episode. Not okay. Yes ten years is a long time and yes we had to wait until the last episode of the series to see Tom Welling in the primary colors of Mr. S himself. But that was never the point of Smallville.

The series is a journey. I spent ten years tagging along. There were ups and downs. Many of the downs were in season seven, which I’ll be the first to admit is the series’ weakest.  Now, thanks to my dad, I have begun reliving that journey with the Smallville box set. Best Christmas present ever.

You don't even know.

Remember when I said past TV was a comfort thing? Smallville is the queen-size- featherbed of my old show arsenal. There are episodes that I’m sure I have seen a few dozens times. Yes, I’m absolutely okay with admitting that. This is a safe-zone for all forms of television gluttony.

I hope you guys will follow along while I look back at a show that made an impact on both popular culture and the Superman mythos. If you’re a fan of the show already, great! Let’s discuss it. If you’ve never seen it, even better! Maybe one of my forthcoming pieces will compel you to give the series a chance.

And now I’m going to find some ice cream and pop in one of the 62 discs in this beast.

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