Monday, February 8, 2010

What I’m Watching: Smallville

Smallville: Season 9, Episode 11 “Absolute Justice” (C)

This two-hour TV movie has been touted for a while now, and I have to say that I’m unimpressed. My disappointment is doubly true since it’s precisely when this show experimented with expanding its trope of heroes to include more than just Clark that it started to get good again. Part of the problem is that the two central plotlines currently on this show – Clark & Lois and the omnipresence of displaced aliens on Earth – aren’t strong enough to be swept under the rug by these other distractions. Also, there are just too many characters in the Justice Society of America to be able to devote enough time to keep up with all of them. I’ll admit that I’m not knowledgeable at all about DC Comics since I pride myself on being a Marvel man, but the JSA just seems like a rip-off of the Watchmen, regardless of which came first. This notion of Clark as a hero who can also serve as a beacon of hope has been explored in the past, and John Jones doesn’t need to get his powers back for that point to be driven home. The big fight scene with the ice villain was quite a letdown considering the incredible talent gathered in one room, and the fact that one super-bad agent was able to fell him with a bullet to the head when an entire legion of superheroes couldn’t casts serious doubt on their abilities. Having Pam Grier on the show is probably a good thing, though thus far I’m not too sold on her role. Tess Mercer’s complicity in her Checkmate operation should at least serve to bring that character back and create for a formidable duo, but doesn’t Tess have a whole host of Kandorians to contend with and a solar tower she’s supposed to be building? Let’s deal with that problem before moving on to an entirely separate, unrelated group of superheroes.

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