It’s hard to believe that Smallville is still on the air after all these years. What’s even harder to believe is that I bothered watching it again after all these years. I all but gave up on the series during it’s sixth and seventh seasons, catching the occasional episode mainly because of morbid curiosity and my unwavering love for Alison Mack (please, someone find her a better show, she’s too good for this one now).
Season 8 was the first without the show’s original developers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. A new creative team was brought in to take over and hopefully shake the series out of its lethargy. This was the year they finally got Clark off that farm and start working at the Daily Planet. Mind you, he still lives on the farm, long distance commuting being no problem when you’re faster than a speeding bullet. This was also supposed to be the year that Clark final got over that wet blanket, Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk), and started making gooey eyes at Erica Durance’s feisty Lois Lane.
Sadly this was not to be. Just when it looked like Clark and Lois were finally going to get together who should show up but the emotional black hole herself. Great, just what everyone wanted, more Clark/Lana moping. Like there hasn’t been enough of that in the last seven seasons. Worst of all Lois is given the boot in favour of Lana and vanishes completely for a several episodes (boo). Lex briefly returns (although not played by Michael Rosenbaum) leading the way for Lana to be finally written out. Hopefully for good this time.
The season's overreaching arc, the Doomsday storyline, limped along before reaching an underwhelming climax. Even the death of a few regular characters couldn’t save this from being anything other than a massive wasted opportunity. The problem with this entire arc is that Doomsday, even in the comics, is a very weak villain despite the very best efforts of Samuel Witwer.
The regular characters are all just going through the same motions they’ve been going through since day one. Bless’em, they try to hide it but you can sort of tell they are really not bothered anymore. Tom Welling’s face seems to be permanently set on ‘perplexed’. Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) is promoted to series regular and as such is dually wasted the entire season. New character Tess (Cassidy Freeman), a blatant Lex substitute, brings nothing new to the table except someone else to get on your nerves whenever Lana isn’t on screen.
But seriously, let’s all be brutally honest here, does anyone really give a shit about this show anymore? I certainly don’t. I struggled though this season in the vain hope that it would be a return to form and offer a promising new direction for the series. I was wrong. Smallville should’ve been put out to pasture years ago but instead it continues to be renewed, due to return for a ninth season at the end of September.
Rating: * *