Friday, June 20, 2008

Television: Smallville

What must it have been like to grow up knowing that your true father had sent you to earth to save humanity? Slowly the realization grows on you that your life is not your own. You have a power no one else on earth has, and you must dedicate your life to saving those you can.

That is the story Smallville attempts to tell. What happened to Kal-El, otherwise known as Superman, between the time his ship crashed to earth and he appeared in the offices of The Daily Planet? Superman has always been a rather boring superhero. There seems to be little he can’t do. He always has just enough power to overcome whatever evil he must face. Clark Kent on the other, hand is fascinating, and that is where this series gets it right.

Everyone has had the fantasy of being able to lead a double life. It would be great to be a secret agent or a crime fighter. What we don’t often consider is the curse that a secret life would be. Clark’s ends up being just that. To protect himself and those he loves, he can never tell people about his amazing powers. Over time he grows in understanding of who he is and what he can do.

Smallville is more than an adventure of the week. It takes its cue from shows like The X Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and develops storylines over multiple episodes and seasons. The relationships between the characters are well thought out and the characters develop over time. Over time it begins to have a bit of a soap opera feel to it but many of the episodes deal with the issues Clark faces as the future savior of the world.

Interesting stuff.

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