I have to admit when I first heard about Smallville I had many doubts. A show about "Superboy" essentially??? No costume? No Flying?
But the producers succeeded in making a superhero show that is not about a superhero. Tom welling's brilliantly downplayed role as the young Clark Kent, learing and coming to grip with his powers has been a wonderful surprise to TV viewers and a nice addition to the Superman mythology without making any drastic changes.
While the first season was kind of a "monster of the week" routine with Clark battling a new Kryptonite spawned villian each week, Season two really hits it's stride.
A plot thread is begun exploring just who Clark is and why he is on the Earth...and it may not be very pleasant. We see More development of Lex and Lionel Luthor as they battle over their company, the Kents, and Lex's soon-to-be wife.
Clark finds out about his father, Jor-El...and Jor-el wants Clark to do his bidding.
I won't go over all the episodes but hear are some of the season two highlights:
"Heat" Clark discovers a new power...heat vision.
"Duplicity" Clark's best friend, Pete, discovers Clarks Secret. I still don't like that this happened myself.
"Red" Clark gets his class ring only to find out it was made of red kryptonite. Red Kryptonite effects Clarks mind. Making him arrogant, rebellious, removing his inhibitions, and he abuses his powers.
"Suspect" Lionel Luthor is shot at the beginning of the episode turning this one into an old fashioned "who done it". Suspects abound including jonathan kent and Lex.
"skinwalker" Clark discovers some ancient caves with drawings on the wall that reveal secrets about his origins.
"Rosetta" Perhaps the most important episode of the season. Clark discover the octagonal key to his ship also perfectly fits into a spot on those ancient cave walls. When he inserts the key, he is grabbed by a high power. Later, Clark goes to meet a myserious scientist played by Christopher Reeve. He reveals to Clark that he picked up a strange transmission during the meteor storm that brought Clark to Earth...And He reveals Clarks real name..Kal-El.
"Exodus" The season finale and cliffhanger. Clark Destroys his ship but in doing so his parents are cought in the blast and martha loses the baby. Distrought..Clark puts on his red Kryptonite ring and heads for Metropolis.
Meanwhile, Lex's new wife drugs him, and sends him off in an unmanned plane, straight to the ocean.
Season two really began developing the major characters especially Clark, Lex, and Lionel Luther. The series gets stronger and stronger!
First, I'd like to say a few things about how the second season differs from the first season, and then I have somemore general comments about the series so far.
In the second season, the plot lines introduced in the first season are developed even further. Clark's relationships with Chloe and Lana become even more difficult, and the bad guys get even stronger powers from the Kryptonite. We see Lex going even further to protect Clark and his family, but he has even more serious problems as well, both with women and his relationship with his father. Finally, even Clark's character takes a turn toward the dark side at the very end of the second season due to contact with "red Kryptonite," which has an effect on Clark's brain, different from the weakening effect green Kryptonite has on his body.
As a boy growing up in the 60s, I was an avid fan and reader of Superman comics. I didn't catch this series when it first aired, but I found it at my local movie rental store and my curiosity led me to rent it. So far I've seen all of seasons one and two and a few episodes of season three, and was impressed enough that I wanted to make a quick comment.
So far I haven't enjoyed a TV science-fiction series this much since the original Star Trek. The series's strengths are the engaging story ideas and the strong cast, all of whom strike just the right notes in their roles, and are really excellent. And for a TV show that's probably operating on a limited budget, the special effects are impressive. Clark is great and also Lana Lang. But the real show stealer is Michael Rosenbaum, who is terrific as Lex.
I note one dour sounding reviewer here who says it's a terrible show and the acting is horrible, but come on, it's a TV show based on the famous comic book series, and to me it seems just like watching it on the screen instead of reading the comic. The teenagers and adults seem more like real people who might have grown up in a small midwest town like Smallville rather than polished, professional actors, and I liked that. They're not making Citizen Kane or War and Peace here, and if I want to increase my cinema I.Q. a few points, I can always rent those. Personally, I'll take Smallville, which is a lot more fun. :-)
So I think the acting and performances are just fine and strike just the right note, especially Lex's. But this is a Lex with a difference. He isn't the evil mastermind of the comics out to get Superman. Here he's a good guy and Superboy's friend, and although sometimes he does resort to, shall we say, certain morally questionable and expedient means to accomplish his goals, he truly wants to protect Cark and family and friends. There is no doubt he has a dark side, but it's mostly kept in check and when it does come out, it's usually to fight an even more evil bad guy who's out to expose or exploit Clark or to hurt his friends or family. In other words, to fight evil, you need an even sneakier and more ruthless bad guy who's still on the side of good. :-) It's a brilliant concept and one of the ideas that really make the show stand out from the herd.
John Glover as Lex's father is also great, and their continual attempts at one-upmanship create much of the tension and drama in the show, as you wonder who will win this round and what will they be up to in the next episode--which is almost always something. :-) Glover looks like he is enjoying himself more than any other person in the cast, and he is the one indubitable bad guy. I've never considered the matter before, but I think actors enjoy playing bad guys even more than good guys, since that's one thing you can't do in real life without negative consequences.
I've spent a lot of time on Lex and his father so I don't want to overlook the other characters, but as I just wanted to write a brief review, I'll just say they're all really great in their roles too, especially Tom Welling and Kristen Kreuk. I just think that Allison Mack overplays the jealousy thing for Clark and Lana a bit too much, but otherwise she's great as the intrepid reporter for the Torch who has a promising career ahead of her in journalism.
One other interesting idea is that the Kryptonite meteorite fragments are creating strange abilities and talents in different people, aside from its property of being toxic to Superboy. This idea wasn't in the original comics that I can remember, but it's a great idea nevertheless.
So far I think this is great series and the best thing in a sci-fi show to come along in a long time.
on July 7, 2004
The second season of this show is even better than the first one! The writing and acting improved drastically, and Tom Welling's acting ability blossomed considerably in this second season. The focus on character relationships is alot better than in the first season, and there's alot of character developement. There's still a heaping helping of Kryptonite mutants for Clark to square off with, however it's not as formulatic as in the first season. Also, the best episode of the season by far is the episode "Rosetta", featuring Christopher Reeve! It was a great episode, and not only did it delve into Clark's origins, but it felt almost like a passing of the torch, from one man of steel to the next. A great season, and definately a must own DVD set for Superman fans, along with the first season.
I sincerely hope that Warner Brothers chooses to use Tom Welling and the rest of the Smallville cast in a Superman movie. Smallville really does feel like it's a prequel to a Superman movie series, and it'd be a terrible shame if this vision is never realised. Christopher Reeve himself has endorsed Tom Welling as the next Superman for the silver screen, and is lobbying to get him into the new movie. Also, the performances of John Schneider, Annette O'Toole and Michael Rosenbaum are excellent as well, and it would be wonderful to see their performances carried into the new movie series.
on February 20, 2004
Smallville: The Complete Second Season on DVD!
Before the Legend...Before the Icon...He was a teenager growing up in Smallville. The Complete Second Season of the hit series about the life of the young man who in time would become Superman is now available. This wonderful TV show is coming to DVD in a 6-disc collector's edition with 23 episodes and with a ton of bonus features. You can also access a number of deleted scenes from episodes as well as view original pre-production storyboards and WB promotional spots, season 3 sneek peek and DVD-ROM owners can use the discs to access more features via the Smallville web site. Smallville is truly a great show and icing on the cake for those who are Superman fans. I can only hope they release "Lois & Clark The New Adventures of Superman" on DVD soon.
Smallville The Complete Second Season 2 DVD Episode Guide
Aside from some lapses in writing, Season Two is absolutely hot. Clark gets "heat vision" as a result of puberty. We all know that Superman had heat vision, but this take on its development is absolutely diverting. His susceptibility to red kryptonite is equally exciting, with an episode "Red" that mixes teenage rebellion with bad, bad meteor rocks.
The space ship and its mysterious powers are developed further, and the Luthors are even more dastardly, Lex is edging ever towards the dark side.
While some episodes were frankly, stupid, we still love this series more than any other on television. Having the DVD's means never having to say "sorry, nothing on tonight." For someone who, as a kid who was not allowed to read comic books and who read "Superman" under the covers with a flashlight, this series gives me the same childish delight in the supernatural.
on June 28, 2006
That is, if you liked the first season of Smallville, then your money for the second season will have been well spent. With the second season of Smallville, more of the Superman mythology is revealed. Clark learns about his heat vision and about that red Kryptonite which unleashes his inner James Dean. This series could have easily gone the stale way of Enterprise, where discovering everything about the Star Trek universe for the first time that we already knew about was inheritantly not very interesting, but instead was kept fresh thanks to the continually high performances by Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling. Special mention this season should also go to John Glover's portrayal as Lex's father, Lionel Luthor-picture a jolly reptilian and you have the idea where to go from there. The strengths of Season 2 for me were in Clark's ongoing conflicts with those who continued to get affected by the meteor rock, and the above average special effects, most particularly Clark's speed and heat vision. The unfortunate shortcomings, however, were in the scriptwriting in regards to Clark's emotional/romantic/human status. It almost seems to be an ongoing dilemma with the writers over what to do with Clark and his personal life: is he a normal kid, or a messiah who is above and over the rest of humanity. Isn't the essence of being an agent of goodness also in being an agent of love and compassion? What kind of superhero is he going to be if he can't feel love for anyone? These and other questions will boggle you as you watch Clark screw up just about every potential relationship throughout the series, especially with Lana and Chloe. Although Kristin Kreuk and Allison Mack try very nobly to inject some kind of pathos and verisimilitude to their respective teenage characters, they usually come off as nothing more than emotional yo-yos going back and forth between weepy lovelornedness and girl-done-wrong outrage. If you can get past this frustration, then much fun can be had in this season. The highlight episodes for me were: "Visage"--a very disturbing and psychotic episode; "Insurgence"--a pretty action-packed episode; "Skinwalker"--a very vital episode for the direction of the second season; "Accelerate"--an even more disturbing episode about Lana being visited by her best friend who died when she was 10. The little girl is spot-on creepy; "Fever"--maybe one of the most sublime moments of the whole series is when a very sad and frustrated Chloe reads her feelings out to an unconscious Clark, a scene that almost single-handedly justifies the whole series. The extras for the Season 2 set are very high-caliber: A tribute to Christopher Reeve, arguably the best Superman ever; a great featurette about the visual effects; the Chloe Chronicles delve even deeper into some of the weirdness of Smallville, especially with the Jitter episode.
on March 24, 2006
Show: The adventure continues in the second season of the hit WB series "Smallville." The show, I must say, really hit its stride in the second season. The freak of the week stories became few and far between. Instead, we get to become closer to the characters, going deeper into their psyches. "Smallville" is truly the best show on television right now, and one of my favorite shows of all time. Tom Welling is superb as Clark Kent. I can actually see his Clark Kent becoming Superman. Kristin Kreuk makes a great Lana Lang, Michael Rosenbaum is excellent as Lex Luthor, Annette O'Toole and John Schneider are good as Johnathan and Martha Kent, Allison Mack is excellent as Chloe Sullivan, and Sam Jones III is good as Pete Ross. Special mention must also go to John Glover who is excellent as Lionel Luthor, and the incomparable Christopher Reeve as Dr. Virgil Swann. Classic "Smallville" season 2 episodes are "Vortex," "Heat," "Duplicity," "Red," "Visage," "Fever," "Rosetta," and "Exodus." (10/5)
Video: "Smallville: Season 2" comes to DVD in an outstanding 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer. These transfers are abolutely stunning. The colors look superb, sharpness and detail are excellent. Simply put, the transfer is smashing. (5/5)
Audio: The Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround is excellent. Most 5.1 tracks wish they could be this good. In Dolby Prologic II, the soundfield is completely immersive. Very well done. (4/5)
Extras: First up, there are two commentary tracks on the episodes "Red" and "Rosetta." The first on both episodes is by the series creators and producers. The second one features Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, and Greg Beeman. All four commentaries are good. The ones with the producers are more technical, while the ones with the cast are more fun.
There is also a gag reel, deleted scenes, 2 featurettes, and the "Chloe Chronicles" Webisodes series. Not a ton of stuff, but fun and informative nontheless. (4/5)
Overall: The second season of "Smallville" is a true winner, and the DVD is no exception. Great audio and video transfers and some fun extras to boot make this easy to recommend. Enjoy your visit to "Smallville!" (5/5)
on April 29, 2004
The first season of WB's young Superman show "Smallville" was great, but season 2 completely tears it apart and steps on the pieces. Clark gains new powers and a new confident; Lex and his father (John Glover, now a series regular) take their power struggle to the next level; Lana discovers her dad and moves in with Chloe; more is revealed about the day of the meteor shower; and in a surprising appearance by Christopher Reeve, the overall mythology is pushed further along than anyone could've expected. It all culminates in a shocking season finale that completely tears apart the series even more than the twisters did the first time around.
If I have one gripe with Smallville though, it's that the show writes off its supporting cast way too quickly. A few characters that we remember from season 1 take their last bow here (including Eric Johnson as Whitney), and new supporting characters introduced this season don't seem to last very long. This problem has grown more obvious as Smallville rapidly approaches the end of season 3. Hopefully it's something the series writers will take into consideration for future seasons.
Season 2 looks to be another decent set from WB. There are a few more extras this year, including the "Chloe Chronicles" that were featred on AOL, and commentary by the cast. If you like Smallville, grab this box set. It's probably the strongest season of the series thus far.
on October 7, 2004
While I love the show, I was disappointed with the Season One DVD set of SMALLVILLE. However, everything that I felt was lacking in the first set, is here is this second season set! There's a hilarious "gag reel" which includes a pretty good impression of Christopher Walken by Tom Welling (Clark Kent) and wait until you see Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luther) at the end doing a dance routine that will make you wet your pants.
Also included are TWO commentary tracks (Both of which feature Tom Welling, Kristin Kruek (Lana Lang), and Michael Rosenbaum...oh, and the annoyingly voiced Co-Producer, Greg Beeman)
The first commentary track is for the episode "Red" which introduces red krytonite (It makes Clark go baaaaad). If your tastes lean toward a serious, information-rich commentary, this is NOT the one to listen to, as it is totally unprofessional, completely hilarious, and my personal favorite!
The second commentary track is for the episode "Rosetta" (That's the one with Christopher Reeve, as Dr. Virgil Swan) A little more serious of a commentary track, but Michael Rosenbaum is still cracking wise through it.
There are SIX deleted scenes ("Heat" "Duplicity" "Dichotic" "Prodigal" "Fever" and "Exodus")
There is also TWO featurettes: one is about the visual effects of the show (Sorry, they don't exactly show you how they do that stuff, though they DO show a breakdown of how they filmed the "200 foot leap" that Clark does in the episode "Insurgence" and a couple of other effects from other episodes) and the other featurette is about Christopher Reeve (His "Superman" career, as well as cast and crew talking about what it was like to get him to be on the show.) I liked them both, personally.
There's also a quirky little feature called "Chloe's Chronicles" which is the character of Chloe videotaping some of her investigations and interviews with some people about the strange things that have been happening in Smallville. It's cute. Quirky, but cute, especially if you're a fan of the character (Which I am...What can I say, I like quirky!)
There also ROM-Enabled features for your computer (My DVD-ROM is being a brat, so I have no info on this)
This second season begins immediately after Season One ended, which I won't spoil for the late commers who have not seen the first season finale.
The next episode dives right into Clark gaining a new "superpower."
Episode 3 is where a main character finds out Clark's secret.
Episode 4 is when red kryptonite is introduced (Baaaaad Clark)
In later episodes, we learn what happened to Lana's Marine Boyfriend, Whitney, Clark takes a not-so-flying leap, there is a nostalgic "Who Shot J.R.?" style episode involving Lionel Luthor, Lex gets a brother, Clark gets a fever, Superman and Super-Teen meet for the first time, Lana learns to kick some a$$, Chloe is tempted by the dark side of the force, the cave pictographs drive a specialist insane, and Lana and Clark advance things just as everything revealed during the season comes to a head and Clark ends up...TO BE CONTINUED (Ain't I ba$tard?)
Excellent season, excellent DVD set, with excellent bonus stuff.
That's My Opinion But You're Welcome To It!
on February 20, 2015
Michael Rosenbaum portraying the Lex Luther character is awesome, this man brings credibility to the series and a complete "megalomaniac". Rosenbaum gives the character some real depth and I like seeking of redemption through acts of his own design as opposed to just coming clean and relying in the Grace of his friends and subsequently the Living God of the universe. I would love for Rosenbaum to do some more work with the Lex character in Superman movies in the future.