John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Lots of TV!

I left work an hour early today, and I was allowed to leave choir rehearsal early because I'm skipping church on Sunday. So I'm actually getting caught up on some of my TV backlog! Exciting.

Smallville was fun. I always like it when they bring in stuff from the comic books, especially the goofy old pre-Crisis stuff like red kryptonite. In the comics, red kryptonite was formed when a swarm of ordinary green kryptonite passed through a mysterious radioactive space cloud. Exposure to red kryptonite was not fatal; rather, it caused a variety of bizarre and unpredictable effects. It could, for example, cause his head to change into an ant's head. Or change him into a giant ape. Every time Superman was exposed to red kryptonite, something different happened to him. And regardless what happened, it wore off in 24 hours.

It remains to be seen whether the red kryptonite introduced last night will be like the pre-Crisis version. My guess is that it won't, because for all practical intents and purposes green kryptonite is the television equivalent of pre-Crisis red kryptonite: it causes goofy, one-time-only mutations, the only difference is that the goofy mutations happen to humans. I do like the idea that in the Smallville universe, red kryptonitte has a psychological or emotion effect on Clark. That's an interesting take on the concept.

Red kryptonite aside, the most interesting parts of this episode for me were the Clark/Lana scenes. To the extent that I am any kind of 'shipper, I am a Clark/Lana 'shipper. For one thing, I've always likes Lana Lang better than Lois Lane. Also, I can relate to Clark's reluctance to talk to Lana about his feelings for her. I've been there myself. And it's not the kind of thing that you necessarily grow out of. Anyway. I find the Clark/Lana relationship fascinating. They both so clearly want to be involved in a romantic relationship with one another, and they're tantalizingly close to it. But it can't happen unless Clark comes clean about his secret, and he can't do that. It's frustrating.

Speaking of secrets, having Pete in on the secret is wonderful. It just makes the whole thing so much more fun. That bit with Clark looking at Chloe and Lana's undies was great. And it's nice to see Pete actually doing something; he was criminally underused last season.

And of course you can't talk about Smallville without mentioning Clark and Lex. It's just so damn funny. That first scene where Lex stops talking suddenly and the camera pans slowly down Clark's entire body? The excitement Lex showed at the prospect of hitting the road with Clark? Hysterical. The writers must have so much fun writing those scenes.

Not much to say about Ed other than that it was almost completely uninteresting. Carol argues with her dad, ho hum. Warren agitates against the SAT, yawn. And no ten dollar bet! The one redeeming quality was the jitterbug contest. Jitterbugging is cool.

I always enjoy flashback episodes of The West Wing, and I especially loved this one because they used it as an excuse to bring back Kathryn Joosten for a cameo as Mrs. Landingham. Yay! I loved Mrs. Landingham. And I like that they worked in a little reference to the long-lost Danny Concannon. But what about Mandy?

The West Wing has something of a problem right now: there's no suspense to it. Bartlet is going to win re-election. The US is not going to go to war against Qumar. Bartlet is not going to be dragged before an international war crimes tribunal. What's going to be the major storyline this season, the legislative battle to make college tuition fully deductable? Zzz.

The only thing that kind of remains open is what's going to happen to Sam. It seems like they're setting him up to resign from the White House to run in a special election to fill a vacant Congressional seat. Maybe that seat in Orange County they keep talking about? Sam is supposed to be from southern California. Or maybe Andy Wyatt will resign to raise her twins? Tob yis from New York, is she also? Sam also lived in New York before joining the Bartlet campaign, and even if he hadn't, they have notoriously lenient residence requirements.

Birds of Prey is shaping up as an entertaining action-adventure show, but will it be anything more? So far it seems to be little more than a standard cops-and-robbers drama with super-powers. Which is cool, but Smallville and Buffy have layers beneath the thrilling heroics. Birds of Prey can't really do the who teen alienation thing that Smallville and Buffy have, and it's not clear what BoP might have to offer in the themes category.

Tonight's episode was entertaining enough. The hydro special effects were nicely done, the relationship between Helena and Reese is developing nicely, and Dina Meyer continues to be hot. But what did I like best? The references to Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd, all former Robins. (Well, the first and the last are former; Tim Drake is the current Robin.) I'm really interested in finding out what happened to them.

One thing that bugged me: Helena was described in the intro as "half-metahuman." Huh? That's not the way, er, metahumanity works. You're either a metahuman, or you're not. (Actually, I guess there is a third option: not human, like Clark Kent.)
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