Smallville: Icarus TV Review (Mania.com)

By:Joe Oesterle
Review Date: Monday, December 13, 2010

Allow me to preface this review by saying I managed to sit through the first 15 minutes of Gossip Girl the other day and I felt shame. I felt shame because I hated the show immediately, and then realized how similar the scripted discourse was to Smallville. I have at times compared Smallville to Gossip Girl, but truth be told, I had no idea how close I was to the truth. Nothing annoys me more than cloying dialogue that tries to pass itself off as witty banter. My girlfriend (who knows Gossip Girl is frivolous, yet still enjoys it) tried to tell me it was mindless fun, but I shot back at her, informing my sweetie that nothing could be more wrong. Shows like Gossip Girl aren’t mindless. They actually hurt my mind. People posing instead of acting, inconsistent writing, ridiculous scenarios all…make… Joe’s… head… feel all burny…. Must escape, some...how.

 

The fact is Smallville at its worse is Gossip Girl with a guy who should, but can’t yet fly. At its best, it’s a fun, action-packed adventure series with heart. As many of you can guess, I believe far too often Smallville serves us much healthier doses from Column A than Column but, and once again, this episode seemed to give us an way more from the inedible side of the menu.

 

Part of my problem with the show has always been the teen angst angle the writers still try to shove down our throats, and these characters and actors have all out-grown the chance of still making that believable. I also think the shows suffers from too much Lois. Those of you who dislike my reviews and expectations of this show love to point out the show is called, “Smallville” and not Superman. This, you bellow, is why we shouldn’t see him fly, or don the cape etc. To that I say this - (I’m actually not saying anything, I’m just placing my thumb on my nose and waving my other four fingers in your direction.)

 

Now I will say regardless of the title, Clark could still have worn the outfit by now. They’ve changed enough of the mythos from the comic books, that there’s no reason whatsoever (from a creative view point) the show shouldn’t have Clark in big red S regalia by now, but whatever. It ain’t gonna happen until the end. Dumb decision, but whatever. That said, the show is also not called “Lois and Clark,” and yet the non-powered girlfriend seems to get way too much airtime for my liking. I’d much rather concentrate on super powers and super villainry. Maybe it’s just the boy in me, but I never read Superman comics for his wacky escapades with Lois. I read them for the bad guys, the traps, the team-ups, the fights. And not the fights with his girlfriend.

 

So this week, Lois, being Lois, throws a monkey wrench into Clark’s proposal plans. Oh Lois, that’s just so you. Ha ha ha, and then I puke. So obvious. Now undoubtedly some of your hearts melted when Clark made in rain white rose petals above the phone booth. I was just happy she accepted and didn’t turn it into some convoluted, unnecessary plot point about her trust issues or some similar Lois-style crap. So Clark knelt down and placed the ring on Lois’ ugly hands. Damn, for such a fine lady, Erica Durance has a gnarly pair of hands. If that’s what her hands look like, I hope we never have to see her feet.

Worse yet than Lois’ feet, we get a cameo from Chloe. Oh look, I puked again. We also get a note from Cousin Chlo, which hints that she will be slamming the golden helmet on her dopey dome and will likely become Dr. Fate. GROOOOOOOOOAAANNNN!!!!! If I were to ever make out a list of all people on the entire planet in order of who should play the worldly wise and mystical champion, Allison Mack would be at the very bottom of that list – below Kate Gosselin and the late Gary Coleman. Stop violating the characters that I loved Smallville. Please stop.

As Ollie left the surprise party Tess threw for the happy couple, he breaks up a potential mugging/rape but is seen as the bad guy and gets a beat down by the entire population of Metropolis. (Close to a dozen if memory serves.) Hawkman and Stargirl to the rescue, and later we’re joined by Black Canary (who was obviously painted up by Annie Lennox) via the monitor.

 

All this time Lois and Clark are blissfully unaware of what has happened to Ollie. Lois is contemplating her new last name. OK, here’s another part where my head hurt from the pure idiocy of the writing staff. Here’s Lois Lane; a woman who has probably thought a few times about marrying Clark Kent, and maybe Oliver Queen, and most likely the boy she had a crush on in second grade, and she thinks her hyphenated name would be “Clark-Lane” and not “Lane-Clark?” I’ve never been married, and I’ve never been a woman, but I know you either take the man’s name, keep your own name, or do the hybrid thing with your name first, his name last thing. His name first, your name last is not an option. I wish this were mindless crap. I’m in pain.

 

Want more pain? You must. You do watch Smallville after all. After Cat Grant (and let’s give it up to the writers for creating a character more annoying than Chloe) turns in Tess, Emil and Lois, she is swayed by Lois in the matter of 3 minutes because Lois claimed The Blur saved her life without Cat ever knowing. This means Lois Lane would have also been able to change the ostensibly long held political beliefs of a woman who just went to the government to turn in her co-worker and boss by telling her Santa Claus gave her presents that she never knew about, so believe in Santa, Cat. Believe. I believe I’m going to puke again.

 

Oh yeah, and since it was just established not 30 seconds after Lois escaped down Tess’ safety slide – a secret slide that ends in plain view of employees, that the government has used the Daily Planet’s own surveillance system against Lois and company, why is Ms Lane so hard to track? She’s still in the building. Flip on the surveillance camera and locate her. Damn.

 

In the best scene of the night, Hawkman comes crashing through a window in the Luthor Building and… and … well that’s about it, because if you’re expecting me to believe Carter Hall, a super strength hero who is armed with a lethal mace, and has thousands of years as a battle-tested warrior, and if you’re telling me he can’t take out some one-eyed John McCain looking old dude, then let’s just drop the discussion right here. Even if Slade was suddenly granted some kind of meta powers, I refuse to believe a guy who has been fighting bad guys since before Christ walked the earth and sea gets bested by him. Maybe the Slade in the comics, though I still doubt it, but not this tired old fossil. Did I like the burning wings and the diving heroics? Sure I did, but come on. I can’t forgive the pain they are putting me through. That little special effect does not forgive the blasphemy that went before.

 

So how does Clark put an end to this threat? He whips out his handy-dandy Super insignia thingy, and I’ll assume banishes Slade to the Phantom Zone. That’s just a guess, but even if I’m right, wouldn’t it make sense to establish that new gizmo at some point in the last two seasons so we have an idea what the hell it is? Ouch, I think I’m having a Smallville induced aneurysm. Can I sue the CW for pain and suffering caused by their stupidity even though I’m at least as stupid for watching this show?

 

And then they bury him, and then some shiny white pyramid comes out and Lois notices it, and then they’re all lying unconscious. Lucky stiffs. They don’t have to watch the remaining 5 seconds of this shit.

 

Am I madder than usual this week? Eff yeah I am. This show sucks! I’m sick of it. Kill it. For every decent show they do, they churn out 5 pieces of utter monkey dung. Put Clark and the gang out of their misery before you continue to ruin the brand. There’s no chance the finale is going to tie everything in nice and effective like. It’s going to suck. How do I know that? Because it’s gonna. That’s how. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to puke again.

 

Follow Joe Oesterle’s book, “Weird Hollywood” on FaceBook. Lots of deleted and unedited stories from the book, but also plenty of genre discussions and some like-minded people. Daily updates.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Weird-Hollywood/129515117077132

 

 

 



Mania Grade: D
Episode: Icarus
Starring: Tom Welling, Erica Durance, Cassidy Freeman, Alaina Huffman, Justin Hartley, Michael Shanks
Written by: Genevieve Sparling
Directed by: Mairzee Almas
Network: The CW
Series: