Friday, July 25, 2014

Smallville - Season 1

Smallville: Season 1
     In spite of what people nowadays may say about Superman and his boring, perfect, too-good-to-be true image, who can never touch the ultra cool Batman (who I find to be an arrogant prick in the first place), there's is still no denial that he and his alter ego, Clark Kent still manage somehow to fascinate the world. It's an evident truth that is found in the successful television series Smallville that had a wonderful ten season run. 

     So, if an entire decade of Clark Kent's coming of age from a shy high school student from modest Smallville, to a respected reporter of the Daily Planet in upscale Metropolis, who is also an alien from another planet and is destined to rescue humanity on a day-to-day basis isn't enough to convince people that Superman is still kind of cool, then frankly nothing will. 

~ ~ ~

Clark Kent
Clark Kent; high school student and destined superhero

     At first glance, Clark Kent may seem your ordinary high school student with friends, a happy family life and plans for a future, but a second glance after an accident may suggest otherwise. All his life, Clark knew he was different due to his bizarre abilities, such as super speed and strength. Although his loving adopted parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent try to protect him from the scrutiny of others and teach him to control his abilities, Clark is inherently born with other incredible gifts that are just as strong, such as compassion, courage and honor. All those gifts combined make for an unusual, but powerful person who seems to be destined for more in life...but first he has to get through high school.

     Handsome and charming, but also awkward and shy at times, Clark sees himself as a consistent bundle of bizarre abilities and emotions. Never are these traits more evident than when he's around his childhood crush, Lana Lang who is under constant surveillance from her overprotective boyfriend, Whitney Fordman. Clark can't get within 15 feet of Lana without getting tongue-tied crazy, but has no problem running into a burning building to save a child or rescue a millionaire's son from drowning. Yes, Clark Kent is a strange person and no one knows it better than him. 

     The one aspect of Clark Kent that I loved so much was his genuine kindness toward other people. Even people he may not like (such as Lana's boyfriend), he still gives them the benefit of the doubt. He loves his parents dearly and respects their judgement, even when he may not agree with them. Although, his abilities may allow Clark to save the day, to protect himself he must step aside and let others take the credit or just shove it off as 'an accident.' He has a strong sense of justice and refuses to let the bad guy win even when it may cost him his life.

     Does he sound too-good-to-be-true? Sometimes, but at a young age, Clark already begins to see himself at a crossroads between what is right and what is wrong. Every choice he makes may or will have an effect on the people in his life and good or bad, those choices will one day create and define a great man.

~ ~ ~

Lex Luthor, Lana Lang & Whitney Fordman
Allies, enemies and secret love

      Every good story has to have a bevy load of complex and interesting characters to keep the audience guessing and you don't get anymore complex than these three Smallville residents. Each play a significant role in Clark's growth and discovery of who he is and who he will become.

     Lex Luthor: The once party playboy of Metropolis is exiled to the county of Smallville by his millionaire father in hopes that his son will learn responsibility and respect. Only, when you're a Luthor, responsibility is left on the shoulders of lesser mortals and respect is a foreign concept, especially to the middle class citizens of Smallville who are less than thrilled when Lex Luthor arrives in his father's mansion to take over Luthor Corp industries. 

    Lex himself is enraged at being sent away to the boring little town, but an incredible accident that should have killed him results in an alluring mystery concerning one of its young residents, Clark Kent. Now Lex is intrigued and finds himself staying in Smallville to uncover the story of Clark Kent and unexpectedly forges a  friendship with the young high school student, in spite of the protests of Clarks parents and his friends who warn him of the dangers of befriending a Luthor.

     As the show progresses, Lex begins to slowly opens up and you start to see that the once arrogant and independent rich kid has a had a lonely life that is constantly consumed by a demanding father who casts a long shadow for his son to live in. When given the opportunity, Lex can actually be very kind and compassionate, but still keeps a distance from people he doesn't trust. As a matter of fact, Lex's biggest problem is earning the trust and respect of other's and proving that although his name may end in Luthor, he is determined to create his own destiny for himself and for Smallville.

     Lana Lang: Beautiful, generous and gifted with a compassionate nature, Lana Lang is the ordinary girl next door (literally) who has Clark Kent in an all consuming daze whenever she approaches him. Even though Lana may give the appearance of content happiness with her quarterback boyfriend and school popularity, she finds herself haunted by the death of her parents who were killed in the famed meteorite shower that she witnessed at only three years old. Lana longs more than anything to see her parents again and even visits their graves when she feels alone. 

     Overtime, Lana finds herself attracted to quiet and awkward Clark Kent who helps her overcome her silent mourning and break free to make a new life for herself. Attraction, becomes friendship and that may lead to something infinitely more frightening...falling in love, especially when her boyfriend becomes increasingly distant from her. Now, Lana finds herself at a crossroads of her own between the two men she loves and the life she desperately wants to make for herself.

     Whitney Fordman: Smallville High School's prize quarterback who is fortunate enough to be dating the prettiest girl in the county, Whitney's life is completely mapped out for him or so he thinks. He just wishes that the weird Kent kid would just go away and leave him and his girlfriend alone. At the start, Whitney is a bully who runs over the less popular kinds (such as Clark Kent), but brute reality hits and forces the star jock to grow up and grasp of stronger perspective of life. By the end, the Whitney in the beginning has all but disappeared and is replaced by a stronger and more mature young man, whose life changes have come through love, loss and unexpected friendship.

~ ~ ~

Pete Ross & Chloe Sullivan
Every superhero needs a good sidekick or two

     Clark's loyal and supportive best friends, who have no problem dealing with his weirdness, awkwardness and sometimes, general cluelessness about life. 

     Pete Ross: Clark's oldest childhood friend who knows him better than anyone else. Practical, but with a fun loving nature, Pete brings a relaxing presence to Clark's confusing life and is always willing to help his friend with whatever he needs him for. Always dependable and like Clark, Pete has a strong sense of justice and has no problem standing up to school bullies and defends other people with no thought to what scrutiny it might bring him the next day. 

     Chloe Sullivan: The editor of the school paper, The Torch, Chloe has big ambitions of becoming the next great journalist at The Daily Planet in Metropolis, where she grew up. Life in Smallville seems anything but ordinary, especially with the strange happenings that begin to have a common link to the meteorite shower that hit Smallville 12 years prior. So when something bizarre or unusual comes up in the news, it's not uncommon for Chloe to get the story for her school paper...not matter what it takes. When not dreaming of becoming an award winning journalist, Chloe spends time with her best friends, Clark Kent and Pete Ross who she oftentimes drafts in helping her uncover the strange mysteries of Smallville. 

~ ~ ~

Jonathan and Martha Kent
It all started with a drive down the road...

     And that drive down the road led Jonathan and Martha Kent right in the middle of Smallville's famed meteor shower which brought them to the discovery of the unusual baby boy they find coming out of the smoke disaster. 12 years later, the Kents have raised the baby boy into a intelligent and courageous young man, who they've trained to control his abnormal abilities in the belief that he will need them in the future. Life on the vast and prosperous Kent farm has given Clark the opportunity to be free to be himself and gives his parents an anything but boring life. 

     Although Jonathan and Martha are proud of their son, they live in constant fear that someone will discover who Clark is and take their beloved child away from them. Jonathan especially will stop at nothing to protect his son from the harsh glare of the world and even forbids him to join the football team, but also teaches him responsibility and caution. Martha wants her son to be all he can be, but also sees beyond his shy exterior when she notices his growing affection for sweet Lana Lang.

     Clark's love for his parents is shown consistently throughout the show. Even when he may not agree with their decisions regarding his life, he respects them, because he truly believes that everything he is is due to them and their abounding love and devotion to him. 

~ ~ ~

The residents of Smallville
The Smallville Cast - Season 1

     One reason Smallville may have been so popular was that it premiered a month after 9/11 and I think that America was desperate for someone to believe in and who better to believe in to do the right thing in the face of adversity, but Clark Kent? There is a wonderful and endearing quality about the show and its characters, as well as the abnormal happenings due to Kryptonian (although we don't know anything about Krypton yet) meteors that go beyond unbelievable. 

     One funny thing I picked up on was the soundtrack used in the show! I know it may sound silly, but I would hear a certain song and I would remember "I loved that song!" or "That song was so popular when I was 11 or 12!" Total trip down memory lane with each episode, well that and the clothes that the girls wore...All in all, Season 1 of Smallville was a fun watch that (of course) leaves you on a frightening cliffhanger! Thank God, I have Season 2 waiting for me at home!!

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