Friday, September 29, 2006

Smallville Season Opener

Watched the season openers of Smallville and Supernatural. There are two kinds of season opener: the flashy beginning of a big new story arc (Smallville, and pretty definitely Lost as well) and the quiet coda (Supernatural).

Both Smallville and Supernatural ended on cliffhangers last season. But Smallville played big and bombasticin their opener, wrapping up the big story arc of last season (Brainiac/Zod) with frighteningly quick efficiency while setting up new villains for this season (the escapees from the Phantom Zone). I had thought, after all the build-up of Zod last season, that they would make him the big bad for at least several episodes, if not the entire season. But no, wham-bam-boom, he was gone and the new guys were in place. At the same time, they put just about the final period on the Clark/Lana relationship, and the Chloe/Clark crush, introducing a love interest for Chloe and finally showing a real spark between Lois and Clark. All in an hour, so there was very little time to linger on tender moments.

Supernatural, on the other hand, while it ended on a cliffhanger, had basically wrapped up the immediate storyline, sort of putting everybody back to the status quo of episode one, until the final shocking moments (and BTW, is it just me, or is the whole "view from inside the car as it is unexpectedly hit on the passenger side" thing getting a little played out?*). But instead of launching immediately into a big new arc, the season opener focused instead on the characters' reactions to the events of the finale and disposd of most of the dangling threads. They set up the new arc in only the vaguest way. It was a much quieter approach than Smallville, but it worked pretty well. I'm still not sure I'm going to be a regular viewer, but I'm willing to keep tuning in, at least for another couple of weeks.

*I remember it happening in Reunion, and Smallville, and in at least one other movie or series, and in a seat belt PSA, and now Supernatural.

ETA: When I listed the seat belt PSA above, I thought at the time it might be an insurance company commercial, then somebody reminded me that Volkswagen had done the same thing. I remember one of the commercials, but couldn't find a video to link. however, they did a sequel.

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