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THIS ISSUE!:    Oscar Fever! The Lord of the Rings! Supercrap on the WB!
PLUS: Amelie destroys Western Civilization! And the Coming of the Coreys!
"Smallville": Why does TV let me down so?

I am quite the advocate of TV. It's entertaining, informative, edjucational...and often, those 3 mighty powers combine into the all-powerful infoedjutainment. TV has the power to bring news to the people. To help mold nations thanks to election coverage and presidential debates, from which the viewer may form opinions upon which they decide how to vote for future leaders. TV can bring culture to the great unwashed masses. Besides for snooty PBS stuff and "Inside the Actor's Studio", there's no better place than TV to get all the latest info and gossip about dinosaurs. And everyone loves dinosaurs! Without TV, I would have never have known how instrumental Xena: Warrior Princess was in such important historical events such as the assassination of Julius Caesar. Or that the Daring Dragoon (a.k.a. - Jack of all Trades) often foiled the evil doings of that no good Napoleon midget.

TV is good. TV is great. If you're against TV, you're against democracy. Therefore, if you don't want to watch TV, why don't you get back on that train and return to the hammer and sickle commie-land where you come from. That's right, back to the homeland to watch potatoes grow while standing in line waiting for handouts of spare toilet paper and vodka. But I digress... Unfortunately though, like in any medium of artistic expression (comic books, movies, action figures...), no matter how good the intentions of the giant/powerful/evil faceless TV network studio, every once in a while a big pile of garbage slips through the cracks. A monstrosity at such levels of awfulness, it makes you wish that you had been born a century or so earlier, in a "Land of the Lost" type time before TV was invented. A place in history where you'd have to read books or play with hula-hoops to be entertained. Yes, I realize that that sounds like crazy talk from a fool hepped up on crack. But no crack fool am I! I have seen the depths of sub-mediocrity that the otherwise beloved TV can sink to. And in this case, I point to thee, Smallville.

I'm sure that "Smallville" seemed like a good idea at the time to the executives at Warner Bros.. Of course, handing over the reigns of the Batman franchise to Joel "Fruity" Schumacher also seemed like a good idea to some genius at the studio (he typed with bitter sarcasm flying out from his fingertips as they bashed across the keyboard). Why does Batman's suit have nipples!?! Why!?! But I digress...again...

If you took "Lois and Clark" (which in itself wasn't exactly a ray of bright summer sunshine) and smushed it together with troubled teen characters of "Dawson's Creek", then amalgamated that with the plotline mentality of every single "Murder She Wrote", you'd get yourself a brand new baby "Smallville". Another in a seemingly endless stream of shows trying to ride the coat tails of the aforementioned "Creek" and "Buffy" (I'm looking at you "Charmed"...you too "Roswell"...I'm very disappointed in both of you). Like the trend seems to be for male "teen" leads (he's probably actually in his mid-thirties or something), this particular show stars a doe eyed, coquettish lil' fellow in the role of Clark Kent. There's the traditional platonic female buddy Joey Potter/ Betty (as in from Archie Comics)...she secretly loves Clark...shhh, don't tell. His other friend is supposed to be the Jimmy Olsen type I guess. He's the token black guy that network's have been placing in shows of late to reassure the NAACP and other similar organizations that all's fine with the world and there's no reason to get sponsors all riled up about a little thing like racism. There's some other characters...like Lex Luthor and Lana Lang...but I'm running out of steam in the "giving a damn about any of this" department to continue with passing along descriptions of this awful show and these awful characters to you. The only other interesting character footnote that I will pass along is that Superboy's dad is played by one of the Duke boys. Unlike the classic "Dukes of Hazzard" though, this program features no General Lee automobile and so far hasn't had any form of good ole' boys running from the law in order to spread the wonderful joy of moonshine and debilitating alcoholism to all the fine folks of the county.

Hopefully, "Smallville" will be put out of its misery before it goes too far and ends up tearing apart the very fabric that holds our society and the time space continuum together. Probably not, however, considering that we live in a world that allowed "Star Trek: Voyager" to run for 7 years and others like "Coach", "Full House" and "Golden Girls" to run for a decade or so. Plus, not to mention the fact that for some reason, the masses (Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Rolling Stone etc...) seem to actually like the thing. Not since Kevin Costner was acclaimed as a "best actor" have I been so confused by the backwards world in which we find ourselves. Comic books are great. TV is great. Why then, more often than not, when the 2 are combined does the end product end up being so painfully awful? Truly...a mystery for the ages.

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