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Monday, December 11, 2006

TV Watch: Smallville

Keeping with the DC comics vein - WTF was up with last week's Smallville? The show is generally my pulp fiction for television. It's not terribly smart or complicated - but it is usually somewhat fun. And while often formulaic - it at least manages to be competent.

Last week, though, featured more writing mistakes than should be allowed on television. Martha was so out of character she was almost unrecognizable. It's bad enough that the show can't seem to decide whether it's OK for her and Lionel Luthor to be involved or not ... but when she goes from being a bleeding heart do-gooder to a by-the-rules conservative willing to ship a homeless boy back to the law ... you just have to shake your head. The Kents have been circumventing the law so much since the show began it's practically a family holiday. So when Martha reverses course just to setup some conflict in the plot - it feels haphazard and messy.

Not quite as haphazard and messy as the rest of plot, mind you. The story slips the transmission a couple of times. You can hear grinding gears particularly when Clark pulls out info from nowhere - sparking a completely illogical pit stop with the obvious reason of setting up the final "fight". The fight, between Clark and Farmer Moleman, lasts about ten seconds ... and then Farmer Moleman falls mysteriously into a coma for now good reason other than it's a simple way to stop having to write any dialogue for him.

The Girl and I caught an old Superman serial last week. The old black and white ones where Superman's powers are generally depicted with animation. Sadly even the ridiculous plot there - where Lex Luthor is using TV vans to crack safe combinations - is a hundred times better than what we got last week.

From the previews, it looks like we'll be treated soon to a Smallville version of Justice League. The show has done an interesting job of rehashing other heroes into the Smallville motif - from Flash The Boy Thief to Aquaman Surfer Dude. Hopefully this will be an uptick for the show, because a downtick will be getting it removed from the recording schedule.

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