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My Least Favourite TV Shows - 2: Smallville

Posted on the 18 September 2011 by Crapblog @crapblog
My Least Favourite TV Shows - 2: Smallville

Continuing my countdown of the TV shows I like the least, we have number 2: Smallville.

Where to start? When I watched Smallville for the first few seasons, I enjoyed it. I’m a fan of comic books and super heroes and all that geeky shit. So I liked this take on the Superman story. The period when Clarke was still in school was an entertaining one. It was after this period that the show went down hill. The first problem is Tom Welling. Aside from playing the world’s oldest looking 18 year old, he is simply a bad actor who has one expression to cover the whole range of negative emotions, and one more for the positive ones. I think wooden is the word. Another thing that pissed me off was the writing. Characters talked in the most ridiculous way. The biggest culprit: Chloe. I’ve even got a couple of quotes: ‘Canary, you are caught in a virtual cage and you don't even know it, but I can help you fly the coop’ and ‘I have a feeling the War of the Worlds is coming soon to a planet near us’. Honestly, who in their day-to-day life incorporates alliteration and metaphor into their conversations? I know she’s a journalist, but no one does that. It’s supposed to be witty and slick, but it’s just shit.

The ridiculous number of ‘filler’ episode is another crap part of Smallville. Unlike good shows which have overarching storylines in each season which are developed in every episode, Smallville was unable to do this. Instead, in order to fill the network’s order for over 20 episodes, the writers would transport Clark to the Phantom Zone, or swap some of the characters with their counterparts from another dimension for an episode. These detours are often completely irrelevant to anything that has or will happen in the rest of the season, essentially adding zero value. There was even an episode in season 6 which depicted the idea that Clark was in a mental institution, and that his alien heritage and super powers were all part of a delusion. Not only was this irrelevant to the season’s storyline, but it was also a rip off of an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which was made just a couple of years before. Such unoriginality is not only boring, but actively annoying.

Finally, the most annoying aspect of the show is the way in which the overarching storylines were played out. The manner in which the plot evolved was always painfully sluggish and full of deviations. The writers would introduce a theme, and then not refer back to it for several episodes. This meant that when we re-encountered it, it had been forgotten as interest had waned.This stop and start approach to storytelling meant that the show simply didn’t flow, making it disappointing and frustrating. The overly drawn-out questions such as when Clarke would fly and when he’d put on the suit became stale long before the answers were delivered. The fact that the show was a sort of prequel meant that it had to be much more about the journey than the destination, however such poor storytelling ensured that this journey was about as exciting as sitting in a traffic jam for a few hours. For this reason, Smallville has to make my list.

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