Friday, May 13, 2011

End of an Era

Minor Spoilers Ahead

Okay, maybe not a lot of people think of this as an end of an era.  It was never the most popular show on television, although it was often the most popular show on its network.  It was a new take on a popular character, and one that brought his entire mythos into a new age.

I'm talking about Smallville, of course.

I've been a fan of Smallville since episode one.  I've loved it, hated it, been indifferent to it, but for the past ten years, I've never missed an episode.  Through freaks of the week, occasional creative decisions that made almost no sense, the addition of other major and minor characters from the DCU, and a Superman movie that rivaled Superman IV in suckitude despite some entertaining moments and great SFX, I've followed the series.  Seasons 8 and 9, in my opinion, began to bring back some of the excellence of the previous seasons.  Season 10 fell flat in spots, but overall brought a lot to the table.  After all this, I was actually expecting a finale disappointment... it wouldn't be a first for the series, after all.

Luckily for me, the writers and producers knew just what strings to pull to make me appreciate their finale.  Were some things rushed?  Yes.  There was a lot of ground to cover to close out what might have been the most ambitious season long storyline of the series.  Were there parts I wasn't thrilled with? Yes.  One moment in particular, an extended retrospective moment, I thought went on a bit too long.  You'll know it when you see it, if you haven't yet.  And the epic battle we expected at the end?  Darkseid, Granny Goodness, Desaad, Glorious Godfrey?  Epic.  Epically short.

But for a change, the big battle isn't what mattered.  What mattered was Clark finally becoming the real deal, finally becoming the Man of Steel, the flying, tights-wearing Superman.  Lex becoming the villain he was meant to be, with none of the gray area from the first half of the series.  Lois becoming the respected reporter we know she should be.  All the supporting case being in place... Perry, the real Jimmy, bumbling Clark the ace reporter.  All of the things that fans have been demanding from this finale since... well, since season 1, episode 1.

I believe there will be mixed reviews for this finale.  Some die-hard fans will love it.  Some will hate it.  Some casual fans will be confused by it.  Others will be comfortable with it.  I don't think I can predict what the general consensus will be.  But I'll go so far as to say this.  If they were to decide to make the next Superman movie a continuation of this story (particularly if they follow up on a major tease from the end of the epi), I'd pay to see it in the theaters.  Hell, I'd pay to see it in Imax 3d, and I'm half blind in one eye. 2.5d is about the best I can handle!

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