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    « Captain America Finalist? | Main | Memo To The Executives: The 'Battle Royale' Remake »
    Friday
    Feb052010

    Yep, Smallville: Absolute Crap

    Everyone is now dumber for watching that. I award you no points. May God have mercy on your soul.

    Before I get started, can anyone tell me who I can contact at WB to get that two hours of my life back? I feel like I was just mugged by Robin Hood and his oh so merry men...in costumes from the high school drama club. Was that mace made out of paper mache? 

    Where do I start? Seriously. There are so many great points to touch on. No member of the cast or crew can possibly be happy with what was just aired, although I'm sure the ratings went up after all the internet hype this show got. On the flip side, I'm guessing that even some of the hardcore weekly viewers were put off by that catastrophe, which may aid the campaign to put this mangy beast out of our misery. I know WB has been draining every penny they could out of this, but hey, even Travis had to shoot Old Yeller in the end.

    The show has always had that feel of an awkward reject that was stuck somewhere between day time soap operas and low budget, made for Lifetime movies, but at least, for the most part, the acting from the regular cast is passable. I won’t persecute the regulars, because we pretty much know what we’re getting from them week to week, but these guest stars…someone must be held accountable.

     Whether it was Michael Shanks’ pitiful attempt to blatantly copy Christian Bale’s Batman voice every time he donned that ridiculous Hawkman mask or Wesley Maclnnes’ over acting that would have made Jim Carey’s Riddler look like a Buddist monk, the performances were nothing more than atrocious.

     I suppose, though, that it must be hard to fully get into character when you can’t possibly connect with the script. The one scene where Clark was looking through the Hall of Justice and rummaging through the old super hero gear would have had potential had it not been surrounded by so much garbage.

     Oddly enough, that garbage mirrored a DC mini-series from 1986 entitled Legends, in which Icicle (yeah, he really is a DC character) joins with an ant-justice group at a time when America turned against its heroes and outlawed costumed crime fighters. So, I don’t know if I should give kudos for using a comic arc, or be even more disappointed that the writers were so unoriginal that they used a failed story line from 24 years ago.

     In any case, the show sadly fell even below my already rock bottom expectations. Its sad to see that a concept with such great potential has turned out nothing better than what it has.

     I always want to hear from the readers. And if you liked the episode, PLEASE comment. I’d love to hear an argument for it.

    Reader Comments (13)

    I really don't get what was wrong with this episode. I'm not a Smallville defender by any means. I've had many disappointments from this show, but I still watch, hoping they'll get it right in the end. This episode got a lot right, and was very good, not only for Smallville, but for a TV show on a non-major network in general. They got all of the back stories right (with minor tweaks for story), they're introducing new elements to the growing universe, and setting the stage for more of the mythos to be introduced. You didn't like Hawkman's voice. OK. I thought it was a bit over the top myself, but what was wrong with the rest of it? The costumes were good. I really don't get what people expect from this show. IT IS A TV SHOW, NOT A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE! Yes, Icicle was a bit lame in appearance and performance, but it is the message of the episode and how it fits with the path the show is on and the supposed ultimate goal that is important. You managed to say that the entire episode was utter crap, yet only gave two very minor examples of why it was bad.
    Here is what I think was right with the show:
    1) They introduced the JSA. INTRODUCED being the key word. They didn't feature the entire JSA. They only let us know of their existence and established them for possible use later. It was great to see these characters in live action. The Easter Eggs in the brownstone were great. As you mentioned, that scene with Clark revealing everything was very good, and gave enough information for anyone unfamiliar with the characters to understand their place in the story, while leaving them wanting more. Of course this was based on the comics, that was the point. That's why Johns was there. We all bitch about this show not being true to the comics, yet when they are, we bitch that they're unoriginal. This story served the purpose of introducing the JSA, and did a fine job.
    2) They introduced Checkmate and the Suicide Squad. Again this is a serialized form of storytelling, just like the comics. Plot threads are introduced slowly and allowed to build. This is establishing a new organization that will bring some trouble for the fledgling JLA as the show moves forward.
    3) They gave J'onn his powers back. Yes that outfit was stupid, but the character is fairly well written and his role as a kind of mentor holds great potential.
    4) They made the JLA realize their faults and move toward becoming a better team. We actually had character development for once! We have forward momentum!
    5) Darkseid might be coming! (This could be good or bad. If we get a major boost in budget next season and a real Superman, this could be good. If it goes the way of Doomsday, it will be very bad.)
    6) I had FUN watching this episode. The nods to the comics were great and this felt like a real comic book/JL TV show. This episode reignites my hope for the show. Now TPTB need to live up to it.

    The bad parts:
    1) Icicle was not portrayed well. It was a fairly passable job, but I didn't feel like he was a real threat. I saw what he did, but he didn't come across as someone who could do that kind of damage.
    2) They killed Fate, and not well. It was very anti-climatic and the "sacrifice" he made didn't really resonate, even after we realize that J'onn's powers have been restored.
    3) Clark is still in that annoying Blur suit, and now their going to waste their first "shirt-rip" on that ridiculous outfit.
    4) This is Smallville. I've learned long ago that this show has lost its bearings and should have been retired at the end of season 4. Unfortunately the show's track record has proven that they can take great ideas and completely waste the opportunity. However, this episode was not a disappointment. The inevitable lack of ability of the show runners to deliver WILL be. You can call Smallville crap for the most part, though this season has made some improvements, but this episode was not. Accept this show for what it is, a TV show, and stop comparing it to the best of the comics or movies. It isn't that, it won't ever be that. This is THE BEST DCU show ever. At least in live action. What stands up to this? The 60's Batman? (it's got nostalgia and was at least fun, but it really does nothing to help the cause of comic TV) The Flash? Lois and Clark? Birds of Prey? PLEASE!!! Even the most horrible of Smallville's episodes can rival some of the best of those others, and Smallville's best episodes can rival some of the comic movie crap that gets slopped into theaters.

    I think the answer for Smallville is to end this season, and come back in season 10 with a new name. Forget the journey of Clark to Superman, you've already failed. Keep the momentum that you've built over the last couple of seasons with the Lois & Clark relationship and the greater DCU and just make it a Justice League show already. Rotate characters in and out like JLU, allowing you to control costs, and bring Superman and the rest of the big guns in for the overarching story and massive season finales. That's where the future of this show, if it is to have one, lies.

    Sorry for the rant. Just my two cents to aid the cause of geek debate.

    02-6-2010 | Unregistered CommenterKal-El Fan

    You didn't even need to write the article. The title says it all.

    But thanks for the effort.


    Couldn't belive Michael Shanks thought that "Bale voice" was a good idea.

    02-6-2010 | Unregistered CommenterC Jeff

    This is was not a church service. You can't simply say that is the message given not the source. I love my mother and have gone to church w/her several times and no matter how good the message is I can't seem to get past the pastor's stutter. It is a show and as w/any show it should be judged on the deliverance and the acting.

    02-6-2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristi

    So, the argument so far is that the JSA was introduced, which opens up the curtain to a whole new realm of other characters that can be used in the future. I think the question needs to be asked, though, after the detestable manner in which the JSA characters were presented, do we really want to see any more?
    Now, to the point of comparison, I was and advocate of Lois and Clark. I'll admit it. I can say, though that the last several seasons didn't merit any notice, but I can't see how anyone would put last night's...whatever that was...into the same category of Lois and Clark. I originally started out just wanting to cover the Absolute Justice movie event since it got so much exposure on the internet, but I'm tempted to make this an weekly article, covering the last episodes before WB sends their cat to the sandbox to cover up this turd.

    02-6-2010 | Registered CommenterMike Shadwick

    I watched 5min before turning it off. Hawkman was terrible, not that I expected that much from it, but the way they hyped it up made it seem alot better than the turd it turned out to be. I honestly hope they give superman some dignity and cancel the show after this season, its run its course, and I think its long over due that they put a stop to the cheese.

    02-6-2010 | Unregistered CommenterMitch Anderson

    Much to comment on, but to avoid another rant:

    Yes they introduced the JSA, and yes I want to see more of them. (Just one of the six things I listed, BTW, not my entire argument.) What was so detestable about the way they were introduced? We were introduced to a broken team that was beginning to rebuild themselves by the end of the episode.

    - Hawkman was on point. He's gruff, antisocial warrior I expected to see, and he's worse than we've seen in the past because of Hawkgirl's death and things that have happened to him since the JSA disbanded.
    - Dr. Fate was great, and showing Kent Nelson virtually insane because of a lifetime of seeing the fate of others was a nice touch, and of course parallels Chloe's story.
    - Stargirl was good. I know the least about her but I thought she was written pretty well, and the actress' performance was decent. Certainly not Emmy caliber, but it did the job.
    - Star Spangled Kid didn't get much time, and clearly died only to further the plot. Sandman died way too quickly as well.

    I'd say the weak link of this episode was Icicle, not Hawkman. Definitely the wrong villain to use in terms of a believable threat who can take out the JSA, but they also needed someone who would follow Waller's orders.

    Since you were so focused on how Hawkman sounded, rather than what he said, or what was going on around him that I guess you missed the contrast being set up between the JSA and JLA. I guess you missed Checkmate sneaking to the surface revealing a potential new threat and the revelation that their plans INCLUDED a resurgent JSA and a JLA that's finally getting their shit together. Since none of you probably watch the show from week to week, you likely failed to see the season and a half's worth of plot lines that were brought together in this episode. Yes, this episode could have been more than it was, but to call it complete crap sounds like people just hating on the show for the sake of hating on it.

    I will admit that this will be mute when the producers fail to deliver on the promise of this episode, which is why I can't defend the show as a whole. But failing to acknowledge that the show managed to turn out a decent episode, just because you hate the show, is no better than those who defend every episode just because they loved the show. IMO, this was an episode that showed what this series could be. It was a bright spot for the production, and we can only hope to get more of them.

    02-6-2010 | Unregistered CommenterKal-El Fan

    kal-El Fan, you seem to be more concerned with the fact that the story was apparently "good" and was spot on in terms of Hawkman and the JSA, as opposed to the fact that the presentation of these characters and the episode in general was awful. You can only blame the budget so much; regardless the episode was pure cheese right from the start.

    02-6-2010 | Unregistered CommenterMitch Anderson

    yeah, I'm not attacking the story line that they were trying to follow. Mitch is right. Presentation is everything. If I went into a design meeting with the best ad campaign since "even a caveman could do it" or the talking babies of etrade (I love those little guys) and stumbled through my pitch so grotesquely that none of the members could stomach to listen to what I was saying, or if my storyboards were next to identifiable I'd be laughed out of the room and I would have lost the battle before it ever began. My point isn't that the route they want to go is necessarily bad, but they're going to have to up the annie a little in terms of production quality. Did I say a little? Silly me.

    02-6-2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike Shadwick

    That's a bit more clear at least. You kept saying that the presentation was bad. My question was what was it that was bad? Costumes? Performance? Sets? If I understand correctly, you're saying that you didn't like the costumes or the performances. I thought the costumes were pretty good. At least the JSA have costumes. I agree that the show needs an overhaul on many levels to really be what it should be. Other than that, I can't really defend the episode any further, mostly because the series as a whole isn't worth the effort anymore. At least we had a fun debate and were able to move it past the it sucks just because it's Smallville and the it's great just because it's Smallville arguments. I hope they live up to the hype they've created, but then I remember the Lana arc from last season. Oh well, what can we do?

    PS - I love those etrade commercials myself. The cavemen are getting old though.

    02-6-2010 | Unregistered CommenterKal-El Fan

    I thought it was actually slightly better than I thought it would be after seeing Hawkman´s costume but Dr. Fate´s was quite good. The story wasnt good but I wasnt bored either.

    02-8-2010 | Unregistered CommenterPowel Manani

    Smallville has been sucking ass for years, what made you think that this episode was going to be any different?

    02-11-2010 | Unregistered CommenterI SEE SPIDEY

    Since I first heard of the show, I believed it had a lot of potential, I mean a show revolving Clark Kent's youth seemed pretty cool I started to watch the first season and didn't even bother to finish. They ruined Superman, and then I get to see he was having contact with Daily Planet and Lois and still looked like he was on High School as the rest of the characters, it just sucks. Time is better spent looking for Viagra Online

    10-15-2010 | Unregistered CommenterOliver

    I've watched smallville from season 1 and loved it! Now I only watch to see how the show will end. I HATE LOIS I HATE WHAT THE SHOW HAS BECOME. AND AT LEAST PUT HIM LANA IF YOU HAD TO PUT HIM EITH SOMEONE! Lois is so annoying that do far this season I've fast forwarded thru every episode. The worst thing they did was add her to the show and what makes me vomit the most is them as a couple. THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE SHOW OFF!!

    11-5-2010 | Unregistered CommenterNeecy_b

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