Thursday, November 01, 2007

DVD Review: Smallville Season 6

smallville6 I haven't always been a fan of Superman, or any other superhero for that matter. In our family my older brother's the one who collects comic books, and he's the one who tells us about the adventures of his favorite superheroes. It's no surprise, then, that he's also the one who introduced me to Smallville.

My brother started collecting DVD box sets when they started making them. He has dozens: the complete Friends series, Alias, CSI, Desperate Housewives, Six Feet Under, Buffy... you name it, he's got it, including of course, Smallville. I couldn't be bothered to watch them because there were just too many and I didn't have the time. Sometimes my brother would tell me about how good some of the shows were, but I usually ignored him, and he usually left it at that.

When Smallville came out, though, he insisted that I watch it. He actually bribed me! "I'll pay you ten bucks to watch one episode," he said, "on the condition that you give me back the ten bucks if you like it. You can keep the money if you don't like it." How would he know if I really liked it? I could pretend not to, and keep the money. "Well, then you won't get to watch the other episodes." Shrewd guy, my brother. But then again, he was so confident I would love Smallville that it wasn't really a gamble to him.

(SPOILER ALERT: spoilers ahead for Smallville seasons 5 and 6.)

So I watched Smallville, and six years later, I'm still watching. The thing about Smallville is that although it's one of the most unrealistic shows on TV, it's got a human element that touches and inspires. I can't even begin to count how many episodes have brought tears to my eyes since Season 1. Judging from the fact that Smallville is now in its seventh season and still going strong, I'm not the only one who feels that way.

So many things have changed since we first met Clark, Lana, Lex, and the rest of the gang in Season 1. Our favorite characters have grown and changed, some for the better, some for the worse. We've lost a few beloved characters - most recently, Clark's father, who died in Season 5. Tell me you didn't cry when you watched that happen, and I'll call you the biggest, fattest liar on the face of this earth.

Season 6 brings even more changes. It starts with Lana and Lex still together after Lana's breakup with Clark. For most of the season, as we watch Lana and Lex dancing around their trust issues, we can't help but think that this may be one of the worst couples in television history. It's plain to all Smallville fans that they're so terribly wrong for each other. Lex even tricks Lana into believing that she's pregnant with his child so that she will agree to marry him.

Well, she does end up marrying Lex despite all Clark's efforts (or lack thereof) to break them up. Lana had actually decided at the eleventh hour not to marry Lex, but then was forced into it because of Lionel's threats against Clark. I was resisting, praying all the way to the altar for something to stop the wedding, but I guess it had to happen. It's what kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole season, that's for sure.

This season is also when Lana finally finds out the truth about Clark for real, with no losing her memory or whatever nonsense that usually happens after she comes even remotely close to the truth. It's actually part of the reason she decides not to marry Lex, though it happens just a little too late.

My favorite thing about this season, though, is the introduction of DC Comics' Green Arrow intojustin the show. Justin Hartley makes his debut as Oliver Queen a.k.a. the Green Arrow, and he is deliciously hot! He's so hot I'm getting a fever just thinking about him in his green tights (which as it happens, his character wears to a costume party that Lex organizes). Oliver Queen is a young millionaire who used to be Lex's schoolmate, but they weren't exactly the best of friends, and we find out later that the apparent death of another schoolmate was what ended their acquaintance all those years ago.

Lex isn't happy about Oliver's appearance in their lives, but I sure am thrilled about it! The show desperately needed more good guys; there were too many meteor freaks using their powers for evil, and while Clark may be a superman, sometimes even Superman can use some help. Oliver Queen a.k.a. the Green Arrow is the perfect addition to the show, and I hope to see a lot more of him in the coming seasons.

If babelicious Justin Hartley isn't enough to make you want to go out and get Smallville Season 6 on DVD now, then wait until you hear about the special features. "Green Arrow: The Legend of the Emerald Archer" is a special documentary about the evolution of Green Arrow through the decades. I must admit I had never heard of Green Arrow until his appearance in Smallville, but this documentary is a really intriguing look at the character's history.

"Smallville Legends: The Oliver Queen Chronicles" are short computer-animated stories about the Oliver Queen character. There's also "The Making of Smallville Legends: The Oliver Queen Chronicles." "Smallville Legends: Justice & Doom" is an animated feature about the superheroes introduced in the season. These special features give so much more depth to the Oliver Queen character, and to the other superheroes, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Impulse. smallville_justicepic

The best extra, though, is "Smallville: Big Fans," a feature on Smallville fans from all over the country. They talk about what Smallville means to them, how much they've gotten out of it, how much more meaningful their lives are because of it - basically how great the show is. It's truly wonderful and amazing to see the effect Smallville has had on people. It has brought so many people closer. Just watching this feature made me feel closer to fans halfway around the world. This feature in itself is worth getting the DVD for. I'm not a die-hard fan of Smallville like most of the fans profiled, but like them, I've been given something deeply inspiring in my life by Smallville.


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