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Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

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View Poll Results: Is Smallville worth my time?
Yes, start from the season one, episode one.
22
43.14%
Maybe, just check out the best episodes.
14
27.45%
No, it's not worth the investment.
15
29.41%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

Old 12-12-10, 03:16 AM
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Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I'll be honest, I've never cared much for Superman, the comic character, but do enjoy the first two Superman films as well as Superman: Returns.

I can't say I've ever seen a single Smallville episode, save for the end of one where Doomsday shows up at a wedding.

However, I noticed that at some point the show introduced a form of the Justice League and now that the series is wrapping up, I'm wondering if it's worth giving it a try on DVD?

From what I've been told, the first few seasons are great, then it just spins its wheels, but has become very interesting in this season and the previous one. I do understand that he's never warn the suit on the show and that will likely be saved for the finale coming up this spring.

Should I give the series a try from the start, just check out the best episodes (if so, which should I check out), or skip it altogether?
Old 12-12-10, 03:25 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

Ask yourself this...It's 10 seasons and over 220 episodes. Do you honestly have the time to commit to watch that? If your really only a casual fan of the character and have never really been interested in the show, then I say no.

The Justice Society of America was introduced last season (Season 9). And even if your only interested in that aspect, IMO it doesn't make sense to start with Season 9. Smallville is IMO 60% serialized and 40% standalone episodes. I can't pick and choose episodes from various seasons for you to watch because even the standalone episodes tie into the overall arc of the season.
Old 12-12-10, 03:35 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

If I had never watched it before, I really don't think it's a series worth investing the time commitment. I've never had the urge to watch it again, outside of a couple episodes.
Old 12-12-10, 03:51 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I own every season on DVD that's out (1-9) and I think the High School Years (1-4) have replay value even though 4 was probably the worst even though it was the season they introduced Erica Durance as Lois.

5-7 are a little tough to get through because that was the tail end of Alfred Gough and Miles Millar's years as head writers/showrunners and they stopped giving a shit about the show. And there was alot of soap opera element storylines. I think there was probably 50% good and 50% bad episodes. Episode #100 "Reckoning" is probably the best from those years. If you watch any of the bonus material from those seasons, Gough and Millar seemed like they just didn't care anymore. They actually stopped writing the show and basically handed the show off to their other writers. They actually left to "write and direct feature films" but if you at their resumes on IMDB.com, they haven't done shit since they left. Arrogant Assholes if you ask me.

But, I think 8 and 9 revitalized the show. Gough and Millar left and Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson took over as showrunners and got the show more focused on the Superman legacy. Souders and Peterson seem like fans of the characters and the DC Universe.

We're only about 1/2 way done with Season 10, but I've been satisfied with it even though there have been a few subpar episodes. Episode #200 from this season "Homecoming" was probably the best this season.

Again, if you have never seen the show it's a huge time commitment. If you choose to watch, I think you need to start from the very beginning.

Last edited by DJariya; 12-12-10 at 04:00 AM.
Old 12-12-10, 04:03 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I think starting off from Episode 1 and going through all 10 seasons is a bad idea. And that's coming from someone that likes the show and has watched about 90% of the episodes. There's a lot of filler stuff and dumb/annoying subplots. It's not that bad spread out over 10 years. But I couldn't imagine sitting through it again.

You should be able to jump in at any point and start watching. It's a serialized show, but it's not very tight (like Lost or a season of 24). It might take an episode or two to get your bearings. But once you learn everyone's relationship to each other, the rest is pretty simple. And you could always go back and read previous episode/season recaps at Wikipedia.

The best place to start might be Season 8. That's the point where they moved away from all the old Smallville storylines and it's a big shift towards the Metropolis era.

Just keep in mind that the first episode of any season is usually the "Part 2" of last season's cliffhanger. So if you start at the beginning of a season, you might be a little confused for the first hour.
Old 12-12-10, 04:29 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I'll say maybe.

it's really hard to suggest someone watch 10 season of a show when they are going into it cold and have already shown some hesitation to the theme.. It's tough to suggest 10 seasons of pretty much anything to a random stranger, it's just sooooo much time for one show..

For example I always likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a show.. I bought all the DVD's as they came out and that's 7 season for Buffy.. Then one summer it dawned on me I had never watch the show on DVD so "Oh no problem will knock that back over the summer".. Uggggggggggg death march going from feeling the show was great to GOOD LORD is this ever going to end, then back to great then horrible and back.. etc and I LIKE that show. lol

bought that huge box set of Xfiles. Loved that show, never watching it in reruns etc.. Still started to burn out around the end of season 7. It's just too much of one show at one time. I really like tv on DVD but IMO the "series" set can overload anyone but the most die hard fans compared to say buying one season at a time every few months.
Old 12-12-10, 04:41 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I think I'll give it a try from season eight.

I will say, if I did start from day one, it wouldn't be the biggest time commitment I've put into a show, considering I didn't start watching Doctor Who until 2007 and have gone through all the new episodes and made my way almost entirely through Tom Baker's run.
Old 12-12-10, 04:51 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

Keep in mind though that Season 8 episode 1 is Part 2 of a cliffhanger. So you might be a little lost. A very key character who was important in Seasons 1-7 is involved.

But, I agree with Dave, if you begin here, it's almost a re-boot of the show (as I mentioned above the show got new writers and new showrunners) since it's the beginning of Clark's adventures in Metropolis and Smallville becomes a less important aspect of the show.
Old 12-12-10, 09:14 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I agree with everyone above, it would be a lot of time for a casual fan to invest 9 and a half seasons. Starting with Season 8 is a good idea, as it is perhaps the best primer for being onboard for the final 12 episodes.

If you like it enouh, I do recommend going back at some point and starting again at Season 1, but be aware that the tone of the show takes that steep drop mentioned above, but it has rebounded nicely.
Old 12-12-10, 10:52 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I watched Smallville for the first few seasons ... not sure how many maybe 3 or 4 seasons? Not really sure. But, I remember what happened where I left off:

Spoiler:
In the season finale that I last watched, Clark was in some type of dam that was exploding. People were dying, iirc.


Any of the fans know which season that was?

For whatever reason, I got away from watching it. I did *really* like the seasons I watched. It was one of my favorite shows. But, for whatever reason, I just fell behind on it. I think the first few eps of the following season weren't all that great, iirc, and I just fell behind. I've been thinking about trying to catch up, but, at this point, it seems like a tall order, as I think there are many seasons that I am behind. Are the later seasons worth watching?
Old 12-12-10, 11:09 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

Originally Posted by northmoor View Post
I watched Smallville for the first few seasons ... not sure how many maybe 3 or 4 seasons? Not really sure. But, I remember what happened where I left off:

Spoiler:
In the season finale that I last watched, Clark was in some type of dam that was exploding. People were dying, iirc.


Any of the fans know which season that was?
That sounds like the end of Season 6.
Old 12-12-10, 11:21 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I like it, in a guilty pleasure sort of way. I wouldn't suggest watching it straight through in one stretch, but a season here and a season there is very fun.
Old 12-12-10, 12:28 PM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

Pretty simple. If you don't like the Superman character, then I'd say no. And while I've enjoyed the show, there's a ton of stinker episodes.
Old 12-12-10, 12:32 PM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I'm still trying to erase that season where Lana was a witch from memory.
Old 12-12-10, 12:49 PM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

If you've never cared much for Superman, then it might be easier for us to decide whether or not it's worth the investment if you tell us what shows you really love and what shows you really do not like.
Old 12-12-10, 01:01 PM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

You don't have to watch the whole series. I quit watching at the start of Season 5 because it was tedious and the stories were getting pretty stupid. I thought the first two seasons were really good and I would highly recommend them.
Old 12-12-10, 02:09 PM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I've watched the series from beginning to end, and I think what this series has done is amazing. It started out as a sweet family drama about a special boy wanting to fit in and having a crush on the girl who he had no chance with. After playing with that theme for three seasons or so, it lost its way as the characters grew out of high school and a college life show never exactly fit right. I truly believed Smallville had jumped the shark when it aired a program in which Lana joined a sorority filled with vampires. But in the last couple of years, the show has transformed itself into a true superhero saga, filled with obscure and not so obscure DC characters.

So, for me, the show was must watch in the beginning, and it's must watch for the last couple of years. In between, I just stayed in there in hopes it would get better.
Old 12-12-10, 02:32 PM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I voted to check out the best episodes but have no idea how to identify them. For me, the best episodes involve the mythology; Clark discovering and using his powers, people discovering he has powers, how certain things happened etc.
If you could pick individual episodes that would certainly be the way to go. I just don't know how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Old 12-12-10, 03:46 PM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I started watching on DVD with season 4. I did that for another season or two then started watching "live." Agreed that the last couple seasons have been a vast improvement due to more Lois and less Lana.

I own seasons 1-3 and one day will go back and watch them, probably after the series ends.
Old 12-12-10, 04:35 PM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I would say absolutely not. I'm a die-hard DC comics fan. While I'm not a huge Superman fan, I'm a massive Justice League fan. And I can easily say that without inertia keeping me going forward, I would not have been able to finish the show.

About 5% of the time it's great. 15% of the time it's pretty good. 30% of the time it's passable, and the other 50% it's really, really bad. Especially for the first few seasons, there are an atrocious amount of reset buttons, where a character learns something, then gets hit in the head and forgets it by the end of the episode. Lana was a terrible, terrible character... shrill and bitchy and massively prone to misunderstanding. Lois is 1000x the character, and she has basically kept the show afloat.

That said, this last season has been pretty decent, as was the season before. If I was going to watch anything, I'd just pick up the last three seasons on DVD (when the final one is released) and watch those.
Old 12-12-10, 05:36 PM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I'm going to go against the grain and say go for it from the beginning. The season sets are cheap enough and when I started them on DVD I plowed through the first 3 seasons in no time. Those three are really fun even though it's 90% "Meteor Freak of the Week."

Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I'm still trying to erase that season where Lana was a witch from memory.
Then I get to season 4 in which the show grinds to a halt with a season long Lana witch arc.

As mentioned above, 4 is the low point but 5-7 are a gradual return to form, but the show really picks up steam when the show runners left after 7. It also vastly improved once Lana and Lex were gone.
Old 12-13-10, 01:48 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

Originally Posted by CaptainMarvel View Post
I would say absolutely not. I'm a die-hard DC comics fan. While I'm not a huge Superman fan, I'm a massive Justice League fan. And I can easily say that without inertia keeping me going forward, I would not have been able to finish the show.

About 5% of the time it's great. 15% of the time it's pretty good. 30% of the time it's passable, and the other 50% it's really, really bad. Especially for the first few seasons, there are an atrocious amount of reset buttons, where a character learns something, then gets hit in the head and forgets it by the end of the episode. Lana was a terrible, terrible character... shrill and bitchy and massively prone to misunderstanding. Lois is 1000x the character, and she has basically kept the show afloat.

That said, this last season has been pretty decent, as was the season before. If I was going to watch anything, I'd just pick up the last three seasons on DVD (when the final one is released) and watch those.
Listen to the posters who are actually named after DC characters. Captain Marvel's summary is dead-on, the show is mostly hack, soap writing aimed at a teen crowd with little regard for the Superman character or mythos.

That being said, the first couple of seasons are entertaining as light teen fare if expectations are not too high. Long stretches of the show after that become very spotty and are really only for the viewers who have become invested in the show by that point. The show only became better when a certain teenage crush of Clark's left the show to allow Lois Lane to take a central role.
Old 12-13-10, 04:45 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

Thanks for the posts, guys. I found this thread very informative. I've never been into the show, week to week, but a few years ago I got caught up through the current at the time season (5 or 6)...but I still couldn't get into the broadcast episodes. I've been thinking about catching up again but wasn't sure. It sounds like the show got back on form, so I'll give it a shot sometime.
Old 12-13-10, 08:15 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Listen to the posters who are actually named after DC characters.
Isn't that the exact opposite of what he should do? He admitted he's not into Superman so he's actually a prime candidate that can take the show at face value and judge it on it's own merits without bringing comic baggage to the table to weigh and judge it on.
Old 12-13-10, 08:47 AM
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Re: Is Smallville worth the investment of time?

I typed up a longer answer last night, but the server dumped it.

Anyway:

- Look for a mythology list and go through those; I figure you'd shave 160 episodes from first 8 seasons to 40
- Watch seasons 9 and 10
- Avoid season 5 episode 5 (Thirst) at all costs

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