I am almost embarrassed to say this, but tonight I just finished the tenth and final season of Smallville. That is the longest running show that I have ever followed from start to finish.

I am a sucker for anything Superman. I grew up idolizing the Man of Steel. Whether it be the Justice League cartoon, the Christopher Reeve movies, or even the occasional black and white television episode on Nick-at-Nite.

The only Superman interpretation that I never was able to embrace was the Lois and Clark edition. But I have to admit that I have been recently tempted to pick it up on Netflix. It just seems a bit too “Beverly 90210ish” for my taste.

But here I am, watching a show on the WB/CW for the past ten seasons. And to think that I almost missed it. My good friend, Phil Wade, called me while I was going to Northwest University and gave me the heads-up on a television show based on the origins of Superman. I watched it religiously – even carrying over to when Jana and I moved to Moses Lake. It would be some time during the third season that I would enlist another good friend, Darrin Cavnar, in watching it with me every Wednesday night after our youth ministry gathering. Only a move to Monroe would force me to go back to watching it alone and usually having to wait nearly a year after it was off the air when it would finally be released on DVD.

The first 3-4 seasons were fun. It was like watching a comic book. There would often be that jewel of an episode that would use Greek mythology, share the beginnings of another superhero in the Justice League, or even feature a surprise cameo by an actor from another Superman story. There were times, especially during seasons 6-8, where the viewer had to overcome an “OC” or “One Tree Hill” moment. But I never gave up. Even when Lex Luthor was killed off. I was too curious on how they would end it. I had watched far too much Smallville to not discover how the writers would finally morph Clark Kent into Superman. And just for the record, I am happy with how they ended it. They did the story justice.

I hope that our society once again embraces Superman. The last movie was a bust. I don’t really know why. I appreciated it. Maybe our culture does not want to believe in superheroes with a dark side. They want someone that reminds them (or even excuses them to be) of themselves). Our postmodern age prefers the like of X-Men and Batman. This is probably why Superman is being rebooted and has rumored to be a bit darker in approach. My hope is that it resonates with a new generation without comprimising the integrity of the character.

Remember that Superman was created by two Jewish students during the World War II-era. Though not orthodox, they were searching for a Messiah. They were hoping to bring hope. Young artists and writers who utilized a new medium. There are quite a few Christological references in Superman – maybe not intentionally – but they are there nonetheless. Of course, I don’t want take these correlations too far. All that I am saying is that stories like Superman are a visible reminder that people still want someone to save them. Someone to listen. Someone to act. Someone to do what they can’t. Smallville gave us the backstory. We love a Savior. And we want to know how they became one.

Smallville, thank you for the memories. Now, on to television that is more for my age group and gender.


One thought on “Smallville

  1. My friend. Superman Returns was a bust because it wasn't really a story so much as a rehashing of earlier movies. I enjoyed the Superman the hero moments, him being on screen saving the world, people was awesome and the Lex Luthor moments great (I Mean Kevin Spacey, ooh yeah) but Emo Superman was kind of a downer; as well as creepy hanging outside Lois Lane's home peering in with his X-Ray vision SuperStalkerMan was, well, creepy.

    Superman and Lois having a kid; Lex Luthor still being obsessed with real estate and killing millions of people to get himself land. I mean sometimes it's great to revisit earlier motives, but in this movie series that's all Lex wants is land? What about LexCorp? Star Labs? The Presidency? The Legion of Doom? Anything but another land grab!

    I thought the Superman, god amongst men aspect is kind of fun to explore, he is a more powerful than any human, able to do what humanity can't, but how does that affect him…and how does he overcome that, could be fun to watch, but we've done that too.

    Though they played it too close to the looks like Christopher Reeves angle, they got a good actor in Brandon Routh, and I just wish they gave him another shot.

    Now we get to see Christopher Nolan's Superman in: Man of Steel.

    June 14, 2013. We just got to make it past the end of the world first!

    My only fear is with the drive to make things dirtier, grittier and a bit harsher these days, they don't forget who Superman is. Superman is not dirty, gritty and harsh. Heck the world he lives in is not those things either. Metropolis is usually bright and clean even when chunks are destroyed! As opposed to Batman's Gotham City which is dark and falling apart.

    The fun would be taking a darker view of the world around Superman, kind of like Gotham, and introducing Superman the beacon of all things good and showing the world a savior, a ray of light in a dark, dark place and time. Which is quite frankly what this country and world needs these days.

    We need A world of hope. Because death, drama, doom and gloom helps boost ratings and ratings increase ad revenue and ad revenue drives news agencies. They are not about good things because good news doesn't sell and draw people in for long…But tragedy?


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