Greetings Cinescapers! It's been two weeks since I asked you the Cinescaper to offer up ideas of the worst possible direction SMALLVILLE could take in its third season. Well, the response was so overwhelming that I had to take an extra week just to narrow the pieces down to a solid five.
On an interesting note, judging by the responses, the true worst direction the show can take, according to Cinescaper tastes, is to feature more Lana. Many readers wished out loud for Lana to be crushed under a tractor or to drink a poisoned latte. Alas, none of these was a "bad" direction so we had to dismiss them. Sorry, but thank you.
Now before we get to the top five we had a submission from Cinescape's own Tony Whitt that I found quite amusing but had to remove from the running due to his unfair advantage. But just cause it had to be removed from the running doesn't mean that I can't print it, so here it is:
That's a pretty God-awful direction I'd say. It's almost as bad as if Krypto showed up, almost.
Looks like I'm getting a little long in the tooth with this, so here, ladies and gentleman, are the five finalists in no particular order:
1. "The next season of Smallville is set to be the most explosive yet. Clark's erupting hormones come to a head as he discovers further depths to his sexuality. In episode one Clark realizes for the first time that he really doesn't like Lana at all. He confesses to Lex that it was all a disguise to make people think that he was straight. His true feelings are in fact for Lex. At first Lex in confused but by the climatic ending the two are joined together in a super-sexy embrace. The rest of the season sees the two lovers donning tight-fitting t-shirts, fighting crime together in Smallville." -Rich Smith, UK
2. "Ok, now Smallville is a great show but, come on, your not pullin' in the numbers like the big boys. Right? Ok, now the show's ok, but we have some changes that could really draw in those Nielsens. First: what is the hottest show on TV? American Idol. The kids love the music. Now you have had great soundtracks so far and that has been a draw, so why not go a step further? A musical. From now on Smallville will be a musical. But only the leads will do the singing, and at the appropriate time of course. We don't want Cop Rock. Example:
a) Clark has to rescue his parents locked in a safe at Luthor Corp. But Kryptonite prevents him from getting too close so he has to melt the door open with his heat vision. While he's doing that he begins singing, "It's getting hot in here, it's coming from my eyes" and we cut to his parents inside the vault and they respond in song, "I am getting so hot Clark must be melting the door down!" Of course we have to get the rights from Nelly, but hell, we could give him a guest spot and I'm sure he'll agree.
b) Lex finds out his wife and father plotted his death, he has her killed and in a moment of reflection we see him sitting at his desk looking out a window. He sings, "It's not so easy being mean, when all your enemies are your friends, half the time." Of course the Henson bunch will be harder to get rights from but we could always contract out some Muppets for some guest monsters, hell it might attract some disheartened Farscape fans.
And another continuing viewer favorite? CSI. Gore. We need gore, and lots of it. Exploding heads, rotting corpses. Maybe the new sheriff was once a forensic scientist!
Lastly, what sells more than anything else? SEX. We need skin. Chloe is turning evil, right? Well let's make her naughty evil. Tight short skirts. Erect nipples popping through blouses. Or better yet a sheer blouse. Hell if E! can get away with visible breasts through sheer clothing, what's stopping us? And whenever there is a bathing suit, one word: thong. Male or female, it's all good. And especially Welling. That scene last year with him coming out of that blast furnace scored big time with the early teen female audience.
Believe me, this is going to make ratings hit the roof!" -Swoper
3. "Clark discovers that the love of a good woman has the power to save the world... in roll-playing games. Although Lana dumps him after he hits the road in the end of season two, he discovers the wonders of D&D and with his elven wife, Ylana, by his side, he protects the world from the scourge of monsters and evil-doers. Using his elven/wizard abilities to allow him the powers of flight, certain spells that enable him to direct concentrated beams of light, and a charisma score of 16, Clark's character is the most effective hero in the history of Dungeons and Dragons." -Dezoid
4. "Clark's English, identical twin cousin moves in with the Kents and wackiness ensues." -Adi
5. "Clark moves to Metropolis and into an apartment with five friends and a monkey; they all date each other successively over nine more seasons (the monkey gets no play)." -Charles Bucci
My work is done and now it's your turn. Here's the deal. You're a disgruntled WB employee who is pissed off that their winter bonus this year was a Daffy Duck coffee mug filled with Bugs Bunny shaped gummy candy. Something about that just made you snap. The WB must burn, must burn to the ground and you've got to be the one holding the matches. Suddenly you're put in charge of picking the next direction for the sleeper hit SMALLVILLE. The above five pitches are the worst you could find, but now you have to finalize your decision. You need your "Springtime for Hitler" and it's...
Please send your final selection from the five choices above to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Thursday, June 26. Remember the winner of this contest will get the super power of their choice, but alas it won't work.
By the way, on a relevant note, this week it's re-runs, Spike (or is it still TNN) cartoons, and a few distractions from rerun madness.
MONDAY, JUNE 23
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (8 pm, TCM)
BLUE'S CLUES (8 pm, NIK) When Blue throws an outdoor party an innocuous comment results in two deaths. Blue is forced to piece together the clues and use vigilante justice to bring down the killer. Blue's back and he don't take no s--t.
QUICK CHANGE (9 pm, BRV) For some reason Bill Murray's directorial co-debut was a flop. In retrospect the film proves to be a charming comedy ripe with laughs. Randy Quaid is a standout.
CSI: MIAMI (10 pm, CBS) Horatio wonders why a beautiful woman was killed at a fancy hotel. Figures that somebody must not have liked her. (Repeat)
TUESDAY, JUNE 24
SMALLVILLE (9 pm, WB) Somebody causes a rift between Clark and Lana. Like that never happened before. (Repeat)
LAST COMIC STANDING (9 pm, CBS) The brutality increases when Dana Carvey, fresh from the failure of MASTER OF DISGUISE, trips Mike Myers and then stomps on his face with golf shoes. Martial arts master Jay Leno rips Louie Anderson's heart out with his bare hands and then proceeds to eat it. RAW!
AIRPORT '77 (9:55 pm, AMC) Jack Lemmon stars in the 1977 installment of this never-ending series. This one brings in all the magic of the Bermuda Triangle mystery but loses it in the presentation. George Kennedy proves the only interesting character.
KEEN EDDIE (9 pm, FOX) Keen Eddie uses his keenness to figure out a shooting that involved a British celebrity. Keen, huh? Where's my 24???!!!
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25
ENTERPRISE (8 pm, UPN)
POLICE ACADEMY 2: THEIR FIRST ASSIGNMENT (8 pm, FAM) The Family Channel maintains its dedication to lord Satan by showing this putrid bag of pus.
SANDWICHES THAT YOU WILL LIKE (9 pm, PBS) Check your local listings, but chances are your PBS is offering up Rick Sebak making sandwiches that, gosh darn it, you will like or he will kill you. So better like'm.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE (9 pm, UPN) 1) Good cop meets bad pimp with supernatural results. 2) Guy who puts down missionaries gets ironic comeuppance. (Repeat)
THURSDAY, JUNE 26
THE AMAZING RACE 4 (8 pm, CBS) Though personally I've never been a fan of reality television (I don't know, it just seems so fake), I have been told by a reader that this is the best non-rerun show of the season. So check it out, Cinescapers!
REN & STIMPY / GARY THE RAT / STRIPPERELLA (10 pm, SPK - at least we think it's called Spike) Cartoons for men, yeah whatever. Ren & Stimpy return with all new snot driven episodes. With GARY THE RAT Kelsey Grammer is a sleazy loquacious rodent hell-bent on saving the tobacco industry. In STRIPPERELLA Marvel's Stan Lee brings the pathos of SPIDER-MAN and the HULK to a tale of a crime fighting stripper. Pamela Anderson provides the voice and Jack Kirby has nothing to do with it... or at least that's what we've been told. (Premieres)
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (9 pm, CBS) A woman disappears during a magic act only to reappear dead. Magician sued.
WITHOUT A TRACE (10 pm, CBS) A patient under psychiatric care escapes, may have been helped by staff member or may have been helped by Zothar of the planet Kreplock. (Repeat)
FRIDAY, JUNE 27
THE CROW: SALVATION (8 pm, UPN) Kirsten Dunst appears in this lackluster sequel that had the series eating itself.
TEMORS: THE SERIES (8 pm, SCI-FI) Perfection residents try to stop yet another government funded monster. Why Perfection even has residents at this point is beyond me.
STARGATE SG-1 (9 pm, SCI-FI) Teal'c can't save his son from being put in a death camp. It's the World War II allegory episode.
MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (9:30 pm, TCM) Gigantic gorilla is brought from Africa along with its sexy female companion (?) to be an attraction at a Hollywood nightclub. Made in the days before the SPCA.
SATURDAY, JUNE 28
WORLD'S WILDEST POLICE CHASES (8 pm, Fox) Cop chases criminal, criminal does something crazy, all caught on videotape. Smashy, Smashy.
THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS (8 pm, AMC) This delusional, insipid vision of New York City as hellhole was considered a pile of dung on its release. Subsequent viewings prove this is the case, yet it apparently is an American Movie Classic. Later remade as forgettable Steve Martin vehicle.
THE 6th DAY (8 pm, ABC) Arnold Schwarzenegger discovers he has been cloned by a secret group wishing to have two Austrian actors with failing careers.
SUNDAY, JUNE 29
TRUE LIES (7 pm, FOX)
INSIDE THE OSMONDS (7 pm, ABC) Lurid sounding title titillates until one realizes the subject matter. TV movie does little to explain the Osmonds' brief fling with heavy metal during their "Crazy Horses" period. Shame.
ALIAS (9 pm, ABC) Sydney works the "deal with the devil for the antidote" cliché while Will finds problems with IQ tests. Like why he can't score over 47 on them. (Repeat)
WITNESS (8 pm, AMC) In the days before he caused narcolepsy in viewers, Harrison Ford teamed up with the Amish to become an indestructible killing machine. I kid. Standard cop in hiding film features Mr. Ford's only Oscar nominated performance. Watch the scene where he listens to Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World" to see why he didn't win.
And that's all folks. Don't forget to vote for the worst direction of SMALLVILLE and/or throw a comment my way. Perhaps I'll list a show you like or tell you all about the Turkish prison a former Cinescape writer now resides at. Who knows?
Please send comments to email@example.com and buy the new Ween album QUEBEC, coming to a record store (or at www.chocodog.com) soon.
TV Wasteland is our weekly Television column.