Monday, August 31, 2009

Smallville Season 8

Okay let me make it clear right off the bat; I Have been a fan of Smallville since season one. While I am a fan of the Superman saga, I am not so uptight on Superman that I was offended as some loyal fans are with the concept of Smallville. Frankly, I believe the series has done a rather good job of staying true to the Superman storyline. While there are at times concepts that are more unique to the Smallville story than to the original Superman series, I believe, that as a whole, this has added to the Superman saga more than taken away from it. I believe the series has even increased the fold of fans. I like this series so much that I need to give a disclaimer, I have watched every episode, every special feature of every season since season one, I even belong to several groups that have followed the series in detail.

One of the reasons I have loved the series is the excellent production. Smallville seems more like a lengthy movie than a television series. The reproduction has been rewarding, for fans of the series, they will be very satisfied with the DVD’s. Over the years the DVD’s have done a great job at giving the fans more, season eight is no let down in this area. Fans will be pleased that the series has worked to make the DVD’s even more fan friendly and the reproduction, art work, inserts and more are extremely well done and satisfying. I wish other television series and other boxed sets did as good a job at giving the fans more. The DVD set is so satisfying in fact, that for those who have already seen the series on television, they will be pleased they purchased the DVD’s.

While the series is well done the one thing that starts to lack in season eight is the story itself. Missing in season eight are several notable characters. With no clear story as to what has happened with the characters we as viewers are left somewhat in the dark. I have to give credit though, the story does a good job of trying to fill in holes and we even see the return of several characters from seasons past. The primary character, Clark Kent is back and Tom Welling is as good as ever. In some ways he continues to grow up and we see the transformation continue in the life of Clark Kent. I must say though; it is here, in the character of Clark Kent, that I believe, even though I am not a die hard Superman fan as some are, begin to have some issues with the story line.

One of the early signatures of Smallville from the makers is we would never see Clark wear the Superman suit or fly. While the producers have skirted around that, and even in some ways broken their promise, the story line is developing in such a way that either they can’t keep their promise at all, or they continue to deviate in such a way from the original Superman that they change the entire storyline. For many fans, even fair weather fans, this may end up being totally unacceptable. They need either end the series and stand on its own merit, which it can, or start a new series with the same characters either in the mode of Lois and Clark or an entire new Superman series. Frankly, I enjoy the characters, but I would rather the series end than continue in the way it has. It detracts from the original concept of Superman too much. I would love to see a new series, either Lois and Clark or Superman, it is time and Smallville is at a place this needs to happen. Unfortunately if it don’t happen, then Smallville begins, and according to some, already has, loose credibility.

There are so many things about the character of Clark Kent I love. Actually Clark Kent is not the primary character, he is really the alter to Superman or Kal El. It is Clark’s struggle to discover who he is, while recognizing he is more than human, even though he has an apparent human body. There are obvious efforts at making the comparisons to Jesus Christ in the series, this becomes clear when watching the special features and listening to the directors’ commentary. This helped me think about the difficulty Jesus had to go through. We see struggles in the life of Clark Kent portrayed in a way that mirrors the person of Jesus Christ. Clark Kent tries to cope and come to an acceptable conclusion as to who he is, what it means to take a stand to do what is right and ultimately his purpose.

In the concept of learning to accept ones responsibility; season eight of Smallville succeeds. We see Clark Kent more than in any other season come to understand that he can’t sit back and not use his gifts, and powers to help those in need. It is in this struggle that we can all relate. Do we sit back and not change the things we can, or do we make a difference. Season 8, using characters in the early formation of the Justice League, along with long time friends helps Clark with his inner struggles in this search.

I love Smallville, I am anxiously awaiting season nine, but I want the saga of Clark Kent in regards to Smallville to come to an end. I am ready to see Tom Welling take the character to the next level, I am ready for Superman.

I must also comment on the product itself. This is a series that gives the fans what they want in product, I am grateful for that. Not only do we have what we want, it is also affordable. If you haven’t started watching the series, go back and get season one. I promise, it won’t take long for you to discover what I am speaking of and I believe you will also fall in love with the series. Smallville is a wonderful series that thankfully has up to this point, not forgotten the fans.

While I don’t normally give a rating to DVD seasons I will here, for season eight, I give an enjoyable 8.

The following is a clip from season 8 episode 1. It all gets better from here. If the video appears just click on it, otherwise, just click on the following link:

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