Sunday, August 23, 2009
Back in 2001, when I was twelve, Smallville started airing. I had heard about the show, but didn't think much of it. I was a big Superman fan, but I was more interested in "Superman" stories, not "how Clark Kent became Superman" stories. The fact that Smallville seemed to be taking some rather large liberties with the story (such as creating the idea that Lex Luthor and Clark were best friends while Clark was high school) didn't exactly excite me either.
However, it so happened that Smallville aired right after my mom's favorite-show-at-the-time, Gilmore Girls. When we left the TV on that channel for a few minutes after my mom finished her weekly ritual viewing, Smallville came on. The "preview" for the episode involved a football coach who'd somehow gotten the power to control fire. At this revelation, the still-childlike geek in me squealed. Who cares about overall story quality when you've got live-action superhero stories coming every week? For a twelve-year-old, that's like someone giving you a free $50 bill every week. It's amazing.
It was very interesting watching Smallville at that point in my life. Even though I was a good three years younger than the characters in the show and never even attended public school, I could still relate to the stories. It's been said that the Superman character is unrelatable, but I found Clark Kent's portrayal in Smallville to be the most relatable story I'd ever seen.
Clark is a truly good person; he chooses to walk the straight and narrow because it's the right thing to do, even though he has to make sacrifices.
He wants to be with the girl of his dreams, Lana Lang, and he actually ends up saving her life many times. However, because he must keep his powers a secret, he can never tell her just how much he cares for her, nor can he show her who he truly is. I can't tell you how many times I've felt that way: how I wanted to be with someone, and thought "if only she knew."
Clark is also an alien. He doesn't know exactly where he's from, where he's supposed to be, or what he's supposed to do. All he does know is that he's destined for greater things. Now, I realize that it might sound egotistical of me, but I feel much the same way: like there's something inside me that just wants to leap into the sky and take flight. However, much like Clark in Smallville, I have no idea how to do that.
Come to think of it, Smallville may have been responsible for my obsession with wearing Superman T-shirts in my early teen years.
I recently started going through Smallville again, right from the beginning. I'm surprised at how much I'm loving it every bit as much as I did when I was twelve. It's full of sometimes-cheesy teen drama and storylines that are completely contrived, but somehow I'm wholeheartedly enjoying it. Maybe it's the generally-hopeful message that it gives me; maybe it's the fact that for once there's a story about a teenage boy who's a genuinely great person; maybe it's that Allison Mack is adorable.
Whichever is the case, Smallville is entertaining me once again after all these years. I am pleased. :)