Saturday, August 21, 2010

TV: Wishlist for Smallville S10 (Commentary)

Smallville's 10th and final season premieres next month on the CW. Before that happens this Smallville fan would like to present a 10 wish countdown to what would make season 10 a memorable one and create a fitting end to the decade-long series.

10) Clark & Tess - Starting with the less likely wishes to be granted, I would like to see a relationship between Clark and Tess to happen either due to both being under a spell or because of the situation they are in. Unfortunately because season nine put the Clark/Lois relationship on fast forward compared to season eight, it pretty much eliminates the possibility of pairing either up with other love interests. I remember watching 'Turbulence' in season eight and thinking now that Tess knew about Clark's secret that it would be interesting if they got together and Clark had a close relationship with her that he always wished he had with Lex Luthor. Instead Tess was handled poorly in season nine and she shared scenes mostly with Zod and Oliver, only seeing Clark when he was angry and willing to throw her around for her misdeeds. I was disappointed to say the least.

9) Bruce Wayne/Graysons - Smallville fans should remember back in season three when the character Adam Knight appeared on the show for an extended run and the rumors were that he was actually Bruce Wayne in disguise. Unfortunately the speculation proved to be false and the character instead took a much darker turn. Now that Smallville is entering its' tenth season it's clear that Warner Bros./DC Comics has a problem with certain DC characters like Batman being used in a minor role on Smallville and refuses to allow it. I have a feeling it is a concerted effort to keep the Batman property a live-action film property in the way that they only turned to TV for Superman after the movies in the eighties began to wane - after Superman IV came the Superboy TV series, Lois & Clark, and Smallville. That said, I would enjoy it if they were willing to at least mention Bruce Wayne in passing, like if Oliver or Tess came from a Wayne function in Gotham or if a newspaper in the Daily Planet had a headline on the return of Bruce Wayne. Likewise, the CW teased last year the idea of developing a pilot on the Graysons that never came to realization. I think it would be fun if they had the circus come to Metropolis in an episode and had Clark watch a young acrobat couple, The Flying Graysons. I would settle for that.

8) Wonder Woman - This is the other DC character that producers have been unable to bring into the Smallville fold and that is disappointing because I would love to see the interpretation of Diana for the Smallville universe. I think they would focus on the Amazon aspect of Diana and have her be a warrior very connected to nature and the wild. She would of course need her silver bracelets at the very least. Of course her introduction would have worked best with the Clark/Lois status quo of season eight so that she could be considered a love interest to mix things up in Smallville.

7) Directing - Smallville has had a trend of giving their main actors an opportunity to direct an episode or two during a season. I think what would be awesome for the final season is if they allowed all of the actors that have directed an episode over the series' run to come back and direct an episode of season ten. It's a small list - John Schneider, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack, Tom Welling - but I have doubts that we will see anyone other than Tom get a chance to direct during the final season.

6) Guest Star Arcs - With the continued shrinking of the main cast over the seasons, I would like to see in the final season guest stars get more than one episode to explore their character. If they were in three to four episode arcs, characters like John Jones and Mia could become more well rounded and their relationships with the main cast would become more defined compared to the time spent on those aspects in one episode.

5) More interconnectivity - Something that has faded away from Smallville as the show has continued on is how the characters on the show used to interact with each other a lot more without needing Clark to be there. Now it seems you only see a character when it pertains to something Clark needs help with outside of the rare episode where the character is in the spotlight. As a result fans saw a lot less of the Chloe/Lois cousin action that was so prevalent in seasons four and five, and now Lois has more interaction with the villain of the week than with someone like Oliver and before the start of the Chloe/Oliver relationship fans only saw Chloe in the watchtower talking to Clark about his rescue duty. I miss the days when Lex would visit the Kents or Lana at the Talon, or Chloe and Lana would visit the Luthor mansion and Clark would not have to be involved for those scenes to happen.

4) Diversified Cast - Another aspect of the show to disappear over the seasons is the disappearance of different age groups involved in the cast as the size decreased as well. In the early seasons you had three groups on the show: the Adults with the Kents, Lionel Luthor, Gabe Sullivan, Nell Potter, and various teachers and sheriffs; the young Adults with Lex Luthor, Helen Bryce, Jason Teague and the kids consisting of Clark and his friends. Now in the later seasons we basically have Clark and his friends grown up into young adults and no one else in the main cast. No one older, no one younger. Season nine gave some great ideas towards returning to the multiple age group dynamic that I would love to see explored with a new young bunch - Mia, Zan & Jayna, Courtney - along with an older bunch - Carter Hall, John Jones, Perry White, Martha Kent. It reminded me of the good old days and I would hope to see more of it in season ten, having Clark and friends act as mentors as well as have those they can look to as well.

3) Return to the Red and Blue - As nice as it was for Clark to be wearing the House of El crest in season nine, it came at the suffering of his signature color scheme which went dreadfully gray and dark. The look of Smallville for many seasons was Clark in the red/blue jacket/shirt combination and when Season eight brought the creation of the Red, Blue Blur it was the most brilliant innovation to the mythos that I can remember Smallville doing and I hope it returns in season ten. I can understand the wardrobe change for Clark now that he's in the Daily Planet but I feel some time in the red and blue is way overdue.

2) Cast Reunion/Retrospective for DVD - This is more something I'd like to see in the season ten DVD special features where they would bring together every main cast member over the ten seasons - anyone that was in the show introduction during the run - and put them in a seated room environment like the Survivor/Reality Show reunion shows and have them reminisce over the series. Perhaps as moderators you could have Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson. Talking about memories, first impressions, their last scenes, funny moments, the fans, and what they wish could have been done for their character that wasn't. Speaking of special features, I would also love if they brought back the gag reels that were in the early season sets. Those were so much fun to watch and really gave a sense of the fun that existed on the set.

1) Chloe Sullivan - Here is the one point where any Smallville fans that have been able to stay under a rock and free of spoilers may want to skip this section as something that is known about Chloe in season ten will be talked about freely here. That warning said, it is known now that Allison Mack's run as the only cast member other than Tom Welling to be in every episode of Smallville is coming to an end during the final season. As a fan of the show, character and actress, it is disappointing to hear, and while I hope that she is in as many episodes as possible I think everyone needs to calm down about the hysteria surrounding how many episodes a character is in. Every season fans go through this with Lois or Oliver and I cannot think of another TV show where the presence of every character in every episode is demanded of. Then again there is also the point that with such a small cast, it should be possible to include every character in every episode. From everything around the show it sounds like they want to give Chloe the ending she deserves so it does not sound like they would kill her or try anything to fit Smallville into this imaginary continuity people seem to think every iteration of Superman has to fit together in. While my hope that they would convince Allison to be in every episode did not come to pass, now my sincere hope is that she is in the final episode - would be nice to have her in episode 200 as well - and maybe even in the final scene of the series. If they had decided that Chloe needed to go away, instead of killing her off I was thinking something that would be true to her new direction as a character and in showing her affection and knack for protecting Clark would be that she would replace Martha Kent as the Red Queen. I think that would be acceptable but like all fans of Smallville, I will just have to wait for the start of season ten next month to see what the future holds for Chloe and rest of Smallville.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Smallville themed picspam.

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