Thursday, October 07, 2004

So... if you've been avoiding watching the WB's "Smallville" because it seemed to hinge too much on being a Dawson's Creek show... The League has got both good and bad news.

The 4th season of Smallville shall henceforth be dubbed "Nakedville".

In the first two episodes, we spent an undue amount of time seeing a naked Clark Kent, and capped the episode with a naked moment from Lana Lang (craftily using a body double. Kristin Kreuk is lovely girl, but if that was her body in those shots, I'm Slim Goodbody).

Now that's either good news or bad news, depending on what you want out of your TV.

This evening's episode didn't feature a naked Clark, but it did have a naked Freak of the Week and wet and half-naked victim-guy. And there were some other various and sundry naughty scenes which are breaking new ground for Nakedville.

But here's the thing about the show which is making me uncomfortable this week, and maybe this happens all the time on the WB. You tell me. This is the only show I watch on the network.

Lana Lang is secretly dating one of the coaches at the high school. The character, 17 year-old Lana Lang, is dating a member of the faculty.

Now, she met Mr. Coach when they were both backpacking in Paris, as complained about LAST week. So, really, I didn't think much about what age the guy was supposed to be. I did think Lana's aunt is moving into criminally negligent territory for 1) leaving her frequently hospitalized niece behind in a town where she spends as much time in the hospital as out 2) letting her accident prone legally-a-minor niece go off to Europe without any supervision 3) abandoning her legally adopted niece because she met some dude who had no problem splitting legal guardian from legal liability.

Okay, so the aunt's not important, but what is creepy is that this ex-star of the Univ. of Metropolis football team is picking up high school girls in Europe and then moving to their po-dunk town and getting a job at their high school. Which makes him at least 22. Maybe 23.

So Mr. Coach is young and stupid, and he gave up Europe for Armpit, Kansas. But I think he'd at least have the common sense to know that a) this is a small town. Sooner or later, people are going to put 2-and-2 together and figure out he's dating Lana. b) this isn't just The League's prudish ways here. Faculty+student+smoochy = going to get him fired and blacklisted. And, depending on Kansas law, it could be construed as statuatory.

Begin tangential rant here: And we're supposed to believe there's a forgotten "drama room" in the school which the drama kids aren't already hiding out in to smoke cigarettes during study hall? Especially with all that cool junk in it? And what kind of budget does Nakedville high have, anyway, where they can have a room ful of props and costumes that isn't being used?
End tangential rant

Okay, League, you're tiredly saying to yourself. It's a TV show. And you're willing to accept that the guy from outer space can shoot fire out of his eyes, and yet you have a problem with the logic behind Mr. Coach?

Right, but it's dumb writing. There were a million ways to get this clown back to Nakedville from Paris. And its not that weird to have, say, a college guy dating a high school girl, or a guy working at the coffee shop, or the guy doing mime on the street or whatever... But a coach and a student... that's lazy. And the guy is going to be rich, anyway. Just watch.

Stalking your girlfriend from Paris doesn't make this guy appear romantic. It makes him the weird guy who's trolling for high school girls. Which, as my brother's criminal record can attest to, can get you in trouble.

To add to the mayhem, this season Lex (the already twice married Lex) now appears to be pining for Lana. Lex has got to be... what? 25? His Lana-love and tendency to hang out with high school kids pretty much makes Lex the billionaire Wooderson of Nakedville High.

I have to give the writers props, though. I am enjoying the Lois and Clark chemistry they're developing, and I still think that Erica-girl is making a great Lois.

Next week's Nakedville preview has hard-nosed reporter Chloe dressing up as a cheerleader and then more than likely getting naked. The League is setting the TiVO now.

I guess Nakedville is going for a lighter, sexier tone, but having a sexy plastic surgeon named "Dr. Fine" just drives the whole show toward a sort of campiness that isn't going to serve them well in the long run. I am enjoying the lighter touch for an episode or two, but after a while... let's say I hope this isn't indicative of the entirety of the rest of the season.

To make matters worse, I think I may be giving up on ABC's "Lost" already.

Given an opportunity to discover a major character's dark, dark secret, the writers used a dumb soap opera dodge so they can drag this out until I utterly don't care anymore.

Spoilers begin

Not a damn person alive would have told a wanted criminal that they didn't need to hear what the wanted criminal did wrong. Not after an FBI agent warned repeatedly about how "dangerous" the wanted criminal was. But our supposedly responsible friend the doctor tells criminal-Kate that "it's all in the past" or whatever horse hockey... That, my friends, is just stupid writing which not even the guys over at Passions would try to pull. I guarantee you, if Kate were a 400 pound dude in a Luchador mask, he would have been asking what happened.

Spoiler end

And that blonde girl is supposed to be annoying, but its working a little too well, if you know what I mean.

I am just getting a bad feeling about the way this showing is spinning into Soap Opera Island. I want to see some monsters, or I want my money back.

next time: The Legion of Super Heroes.

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