Lost reaches its 100th episode and Smallville’s eighth season could be the show’s last.
It’s always sad to see the end of the line of a long running TV show. When shows like Smallville,CSI, and Law & Order appear in our living rooms, year after year, there’s solid comfort in the familiarity of the story and the complexities of the characters who seem to grow with us in every season. Over time they develop a history and we talk about these characters as if they are real. If our own lives are falling apart around us we can take comfort in the knowledge that our favorite cast of characters will never let us down or beat up on us. Television writers are careful not to b/s the fan base with lame Dallas-like dream plots or heroes getting over death and destruction as quickly as the commercial break ends. Seeing a character leave a show feels as bad as having to say goodbye to a much loved work colleague or secret love that dare not speak its name. When the end is near and characters are left dangling without ever getting the boy or receiving a resolution, we are left with an empty void that begs comparisons to the end of relationships. Only a new lover or fresh new TV show can sooth the pain. And so it is with Smallville, now in its eighth season and arguably its last. It is time to cut the cord and let this one go.
In 2001 Warner Bros. dared to come up with a fresh new take on DC Comic’s ultimate hero, Superman. Eight years on and Smallville managed to surpass even Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ssix seasons to retain its hardcore fan base. With infinite plot and story lines, Smallville’s “reamagined” Superman story juxtaposed teenage angst and life in a small town with earth centric villains and visitors from outer space. Add Tom Welling’s tall, dark, and hansom turn as the shy fumbling teenage Clarke Kent andMichael Rosenbaum’s shiny-headed charismatic nemesis, Lex Luthor, in to the mix and WB had a hit on their hands.
This week sees the release on DVD of season number eight. I think we can all agree that this should be the end. Michael Rosenbaum departed at the end of season seven, leaving a huge gap in the show and WB are stretching things just a little too far if we are to continue to believe in the teenage complexities of life with the average age of the cast pushing thirty. Welling’s is thirty-two.
So, if it is the last series, my advice to you is to watch all eight seasons in one sitting and take comfort in watching Tom Welling’s glorious six-pack -forever and ever available for living room viewing.
While we are on the subject of long, drawn out television series, Lost aired its 100th episode last night. I must admit I never really got into the series, not because I objected to the premise of the show, but because all of my friends and family watched it. And just like Fox’s 24, I was reminded every day how much out of the club I was for not getting addicted. I went through the exact same experience when The Da Vinci Code came out on hardback and again on paperback, and let’s not forget every single book of the Harry Potter series. I was told that by not watching Lost or reading Harry Potter, I was somehow a non-conformist, a rebel if you will, for not joining in with the masses. No doubt I would have eventually watched Lost in my own time, especially as it is packed with UK and US hunks Dominic Monaghan, Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, and Josh Holloway.
The series maybe too far gone for me to get into now but if I happen to catch a mild strain of swine flu which puts me on my back for the next couple of weeks, who knows if 100 episodes of Lost might see me through the worse of it.