Smallville The Complete Seventh Season
Starring Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release date: September 9, 2008
Smallville Season 7 is, arguably, the weakest of the series’ run. In its early days this was a show that was unique in its attempt to bring Superman to the small-screen in a trendy way making it more popular than it ever has. My favorite seasons have to be 1-4, along with select episodes within the sixth installment of the series.
Superman lore was redefined in this series giving it more edge but also more personal drama one. In Season 7, much has happened to the Man of Steel but much hasn’t, after all these years, you’d think Clark Kent could begin his transformation from boy to man and become the great superhero we all know him to be. In other words, I thought in this series certain things would come to a close, such as loving Lana Lang, running around after the villain of the week, one step closer to flying, etc. Unfortunately I was wrong.
Most of the adult cast, and some of the teens, have gone and Clark Kent has yet to make his grand transition. Instead, Clark is still hopping around in his usual red and blue garb doing the aforementioned things. He still can’t really fly and he’s far, far behind in his path to the man we know he can be. Even the Justice League is mostly set up — Clark being the only standout without a costume. What I once heralded as a perfect balance between teen edge and well-crafted mythos has become nothing short of over-stylized hot bodies running around creating so much personal drama the writers of Dawson’s Creek are even amazed. This season shows you a perfect example of a show that has lost its way and has lived past its prime.
All that being said I still watched it; I mean, why not after all these years? Other shows, like Buffy, lost its way but found it again, too. This season was certainly not aided by the “˜writers strike’-plague. Season 7 is heavy on action and excitement as Clark battles a DNA duplicate called Bizarro as well as the diabolical Brainiac and finally, Lex Luthor. However, in the development of the character there really hasn’t been any progress.
Everyone seems to be going through the motions having the attitude of being their own way too long. Lex Luthor was once a great asset to the complexity of Clark’s relationships”¦because to me the show was about relationships. Now it feels as Michael Rosenbaum‘s Luthor is merely a robot spitting out lines of chaos, destruction, and power with a few well-conceived literary quotes thrown in for taste. Same goes for Kristen Kreuk‘s Lana, who continues to say how much she loves Clark but then goes behind his back, annoyingly, to create more trouble. Allison Mack, who was my favorite from the get-go, has fallen into a much smaller role. Her character Chloe is barely given anything to do, other than to balance her newfound superpower — a terrible idea. The adults, who once gave a great balance to the show, aren’t there anymore. This is the production leaving that aspect in order to concentrate on the younger and prettier that the CW likes to market to their 18-24 audience demo.
Tom Welling, who was always the best choice for Clark, is still making the character work but isn’t given more source material to work with. The addition of his cousin Kara (a.k.a. Supergirl) does give the show some added mythos text and a new relationshiop with more insight into his destiny, but it is very apparent that she is the best way the CW could think to sex the show up with a tight bod, blonde hottie who can fly. So she can fly but Clark still is bound by the no-fly rule? What’s up with that? To me it seems as though Gough and Millar’s no-fly, no-tights rule has caused them to be where they are now, so they only have themselves to blame. Now that they are gone and a new set of showrunners can lend their brains to the last and final season of Smallville, maybe we will get back to some of the roots that made Smallville truly a wonderful part of the Superman franchise.
Again, do not mistake this critical view of Season 7 for hating it, there were many episodes I enjoyed. Pretty much anytime James Marsters was on-screen as Braniac I enjoyed the show and the Justice episode was good too, but ultimately though to me it is the weakest season of the current 7-season arc.
DVD Bonus Features
The DVD has some of the typical Smallvile extras to play with, but the commentaries are scaled back to a mere two this time around.
“¢ Commentaries featuring cast and crew. I’ve always found the commentaries on Smallville sets to be informative but also a window into the cast and their relationships and friendship. This season is no different but there are hints to the staleness and that “I’ve been doing this too long” attitude among them. Commentaries are featured on episodes “Persona” and “Siren.”
“¢ Featurettes: Supergirl: The Last Daughter of Krypton and Jimmy on Jimmy — Both featurettes are short and fun. My favorite was the Jimmy one.
“¢ Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton Modisodes – These are six animated shorts that run about two or three minutes that help with the backstory of who Kara was on the planet Kypton. If you like her addition on the show, you’ll like these but regardless it does give some insight into the Supergirl mythos. I wouldn’t skip it.
“¢ Smallville Visions Web Comic – A cool comic that brings a neat look at the world of Smallville.
To conclude, I think Smallville is still a show that can explore so much but it just needs to find its heart. The unfortunate thing is it has one more season to make fans happy and go out like it should. Smallville Season 7 is still a great addition to the other previous seasons and any fan of the show will enjoy this nice box set in the comfort of their own home.