Friday, May 13, 2011

Yes, the SMALLVILLE series finale is an event

The great WB/CW series Smallville came to a close tonight in a two hour installment that actually did feel a little like saying goodbye to a friend. An old friend. I mean, almost ten years, right? The passage of time can be seen in the lines on the actors faces, as well as in the life changes it's audience members went through. The truth is we're all getting too old for this and it's time to move on. Thankfully the show goes out hitting most of the right notes.

I myself fondly recall a lonely night in my new, sparsely furnished apartment on the other side of town, sitting down (on the floor) to watch what turned out to be a decent pilot episode. That healthy dose of whimsy led to my watching the entire goofy first season and beyond. Over the course of the next three years Smallville would be regular geek water cooler talk, building on word of mouth with consistantly better episodes each week. I would guess that season four is where it jumps the shark, but a new revamped version with a new cast, and a willingness to exploit DC comics character archives eventually brought back the clientele. Here in the finale we get a smattering of the first few seasons, and some really terrific send-off moments from the current storyline, as well as some decent special effects and, last but not least, Tom Welling in the suit, flying.

Like I said, I couldn't get past the fourth or fifth season, but I've always admired the X-Files meets 90210 take on the Super Man mythos, and dropping in on Smallville had become something I was willing to do more frequently in recent years. I never knew exactly what was going on, but it wasn't hard to imagine why the exact same scenario was playing out again for the twentieth time. It didn't matter. Maybe the time away allowed for it to seem like the kind of fun it once was. The program went as far as it could go, and then a few steps past that, and came out a winner.

With Wonder Woman getting axed, it's looking like a less colorful hero landscape on tv these days.

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