Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Jimmy Olsen's Blues

Yeah, so I'm watching Smallville, right? And it's such a phenomenally bad episode (Season 4, Episode 8) that Mark Snow's background music often goes so far over the top that it's the musical equivalent to Tom Cruise's portrayal of Lestat, or Alan Rickman's portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince of Thieves, but without the award nominations. But then again, the music's just trying to keep up with the actors, who are most certainly not Tom Cruise or Alan Rickman.

I am, of course, talking about the episode where Lana (ugh, her again) gets possessed by her ancestor from France, who happened to be a witch, yada-yada-yada, and she gets Lois and Chloe in on the witchly action, which provides the two of them with fairly skanky outfits that are definitely the highlight of the episode. Beyond that, it's easily the worst episode that I have seen up to this point, and I can't really theorize how they could make it any worse. Clearly, I have reached the point where they start running the aforementioned "filler episodes."

Now, the thing that really gets my goat about this particular episode is the way that it's been built up since the first episode of the season. Now, any plot involving Lana tends to be garbage, and any plot involving the Kryptonian symbols tends to be totally overblown because the writers start out with a really good setup and then somehow manage to fuck it all up. In this case, they fucked it up by giving the plot to Lana, which is like The Dukes of Hazzard without Bo and Luke. Yeah, that's right, nobody wants to remember the show after Bo and Luke left, showing that it's not really about the car at all.

But I digress. This is one of the worst hours of television that I have ever seen, and serves to do nothing for the overall plot of the season, except perhaps to show how Lex Luthor's little miniature-tapestry-thing disappeared from his giant home-office. This episode was the sort of thing that writers only turn in as a means of fulfilling a contract. Awful. This is a (consults thesaurus) dreadful, abominable, execrable (I like this word, I'm going to start using it more often), just downright fucking bad episode, and I recommend anyone who ever buys the DVD set not watch this episode. If it's on television, watch an infomercial or public-access programming, because it'll be a far better use of your time.

This was even worse than the previous episode, which featured Mr. Mxyzptlk as a teenage bookie from someplace in the ass-crack of Bulgaria. Or maybe I didn't care for that episode because the guy who played Mxyzptlk is the same guy who played the frog that almost got Zoe killed on The West Wing. It was actually a good episode until they brought in that shit about locusts. Somehow, the writers of this show tend to put together really good episodes almost every time, but then it all falls apart in the third act for one of two reasons:
  • They have to figure out some method for Clark Kent to save the day without just using his heat-vision or super speed/strength/whatever, otherwise it's predictable and over too quickly, like if Inigo Montoya were to fence right-handed. The down-side to this is they generally make it involve Kryptonite, which prevents Clark Kent from using his powers, but makes you think that the green, glowing rocks are the most plentiful substance on earth.
  • If Clark Kent does use his powers, they always have to make some contrived excuse as to why no one saw him use his powers, or some method of them forgetting having seen him use his powers. This gets totally retarded after you see it happen enough times. It's like Superman kissing Lois Lane at the end of Superman II, and she just forgets everything about Superman and Clark Kent being the same person. How the hell that was supposed to work, I don't know, but the unfortunate side-effect is that it turned Margot Kidder into a fucking lunatic.
Anyway, time for one more episode before bed, and I'm hoping that it's better than the last. Logic dictates that it would have to be, but perhaps there is an explanation for all of this, like a writers' strike, causing Warner Bros. to actually have to field-test the "thousand monkeys, thousand typewriters" theory. This is the only way to realistically explain the horrific television event that was the "Spell" episode of Smallville, season 4.

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