Monday, July 18, 2011

Postmortem Spring 2011 - V, Smallville

As I finish saying goodbye to five of my shows that ended Spring 2011, I end with my two least favorites.  Beware of spoilers.


I really liked this show when it first came out.  It showed a young Clark Kent learning to cope with his powers and who he was.  He dealt with bullies in school.  He did everything to protect his Secret.  His father taught him right vs. wrong.  His friend Lex Luthor was basically a good kid who was struggling with his own destiny and a cruel father.

This show had promise, and it was good for a few seasons.  Sure, they got stuck in the "meteor freak of the week" formula for a while.  (You know: Dude gets exposed to a meteor; develops power; captures Lana.  She gets knocked out.  Clark protects Lana, and the meteor freak accidentally kills himself.)  They found a way to break the formula, and it was genuinely interesting.  Lex was little by little getting more evil.  Clark was learning more about himself.  All the characters were developing.

Then something weird happened.  Lana developed witching skills.  Magic?  Really?  In a Superman story?  Once that story line played out, the writers mostly let it go (thankfully).  Then Lex started getting weird.  Chloe was getting weird.  Lex eventually died and left the show.  Even the soundtrack began to detract from the show (music not fitting or playing too loud).  Still, I had to keep watching to see Clark fly and see how the show ended.

The show kept dragging out.  Clark kept getting older.  He picked up his Justice League friends.  They were cool for a season, and then Oliver went super-weird.  Clark became Luke-Skywalker-whiny.  Then the Zod season happened.  That was the year someone said, "Let's take Battlestar Galactica and try it out on Smallville."  That was the year I said goodbye.

That is, until I heard this was the last season.  I watched the last 5 episodes, which caught me up on what I missed.  Then came the finale.  It had some good moments.  The whole marriage-that-didn't-happen went too long.  I wanted to see action, not sappy soap opera stuff.

When Darkseid did his stuff and Clark finally learned he could fly, beating that floating planet thing was just too easy.  Darkseid really gave up that easily?  It did make for an effective montage when Clark realized who he really was.  It helped me remember all the good moments the show had (mostly from the earlier seasons--hah!)

The last five minutes showing Clark Kent as full-blown Superman was cool.  HE WASN'T WHINY!

It was a decent ending that only came five years too late.

V (2009)

I save the biggest disappointment for last.  This show wasn't terrible.  It was just inconsistent.  It had its good moments.  There were times when I looked forward to the next episode.  But then Season 2 felt like one of those stories you get when you have one person write the first sentence, and then you pass it on to a second person, etc.  There were so many interesting story lines that started, showed promise, and then just died out.

For example, Season 1 ended in a dramatic cliffhanger.  The motherships were descending and Anna was getting ready to show her true colors.  But when Season 2 started, it was only "Red Sky," and everything went back to normal.  The motherships were not descending.  It was the biggest "cockadoodie" ever pulled in the last ten years.

Another example: Hobbs was somewhat blackmailed to help try and kill Erica.  The V's said that they had his daughter (or girlfriend--I can't remember which).  Hobbs ended up killing Erica's husband--a situation so convoluted that I felt nothing for Erica and her loss.  In the several episodes that followed, there wasn't even a hint of Erica finding out the "truth," or Hobbs challenging the V's to see his daughter, or the V's trying to get him to do more evil things.  That story line just dropped!

Need another example?  What about Tyler?  In one episode, he was the only hope to breed V-humans.  In the next episode, there turns out to be a "Tyler" in every country.  One of them (Rafael) started to move in on Lisa, and Tyler was no longer needed.  But wait!  In the next episode, there was something seriously wrong with the "Tylers."  A virus started killing them off.  Rafael died.  Tyler got sick.  But wait!  In the next episode, there was a cure.  And if Erica continued her one plot, her son would have died.  Luckily for him the plot failed.  Too bad for him that he ended up toast in the last few minutes of the finale.  SO, WHAT WAS THE POINT?

I read that many people loved the season finale, but as I watched, I just felt so let down.  Who ever thought it would be a good idea to have Lisa kill her mother?  They really couldn't come up with a better plan?  Wait, I just came up with one in my head, and I'm only an aspiring writer. 

While Diana started to take over the ship and win back what was lost, Anna just comes on board and kills her with her tail?  Really?  Diana didn't see that coming?  The other V's didn't revolt on the spot?

There was nothing Joshua could have done to thwart the evil twin Lisa?  How about switch their places?  Since they had the same memories, would Anna ever really know which one was which?  With so many losers failing to perform in the last episode, Anna just deserved to win.  Marc Singer showed up just in time to see his show choke itself to a quick second death.

Had there been a third season, I would have kept watching.  Perhaps the writers would have gone back to all these forgotten story lines.  Perhaps they would have made sense of the cacophony they created.  Too bad the WB destroyed all chances of a third season when they decided to nix all streaming of the show.  Too many people just lost interest when they missed an episode and had no way to watch it.  Hey, WB, I'll give you a hint.  Next time, just try giving us a good show with consistent writing.  Then we'll watch it and stick with you, and you won't have to resort to such gimmicks.

The show had it's moments, and I wish they had their third season to redeem themselves.  But now it's gone, and I'll just have to find something else.  There's "Falling Skies" on TNT.  Now, that show is really picking up.

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