Instead, I wanted to return briefly to take a quick look back at the 10 years we spent following the character we all knew would one day take flight and become Superman. I wanted to talk about the tremendous change that our main man Clark Kent went through to get here and to become that hero.
Uh... I'm kind of drawing a blank here. I skipped a few episodes, honestly. Did I miss that part? Who was the beefy, turgid executive producer in the last episode who couldn't shut up about leaving the past behind, only he could never shut up about leaving the fucking past behind even when he was saying out loud that he was RIGHT NOW AT HIS MOMENT LEAVING IT BEHIND, SEE LOOK WHAT I'M DOING HERE, I'M LEAVING THE PAST BEHIND, THIS IS ALL VERY META.
Who was that guy? Superman? Seriously? Wow. I should have quit sooner.
But OK, perhaps I'm being unfair. For quite a long time, the show was really not bad. It was even pretty good. Just when you were ready to quit it, they'd pull out a "Shattered" or a "Transference" to keep you from completely giving up hope.
If Smallville was, for all of us long-suffering close-watchers, the story of missed opportunities and not-quite-theres, it was also at times a place where expectations were so low that small pleasures (John Glover's purr; Allison Mack's sunshine grin, Cassidy Freeman's class) broke through like rainbows in the proverbial Dio dark.
What I'll miss most was the heady mix of cheesy earnestness and patent absurdity (and, of course, the Gay that was unintentional until it clearly wasn't) that made recapping the first few seasons so much fun. The platitudes, the cows, the sweet, coppery-tasting anvils.
When Wing Chun called me that summer of 2001 to ask if I wanted to recap a show on the WB about Superman, we agreed that it sounded like big, dumb fun. You guys, we had no idea. None. The show was the recapping gift that kept on giving; for me, it gave for eight seasons, long past the time we'd grown weary of each other.
Despite about a million and a half words or so worth of text to the contrary, I don't think we wasted our time. We had a lot of fun eviscerating and complaining, occasionally cheering and sometimes disagreeing about why the show did or didn't work from week to week. We formed a really great community that, for a time, was the model for silly, civil online TV fandom. We took a show to task for its constant, wanky bullshit, but in the end the damn thing lasted 10 seasons at about 22 episodes for seasons, which equals HOLY SHIT HOW DID THEY DO THAT? Really, who's laughing now? Not us, it turns out. They cranked out a show with special effects and comic book characters on a network that could barely afford doorknobs and somehow beat all the odds. The last episode was ridiculous and verbose, hammy and portentous with more fat than a McGriddle, but it was also kind of beautiful in its gawky montages and unwillingness to tie everything up without a few last-minute outrages to piss us all off.