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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Smallville Finale

This weekend, there was a very important occasion in Tom's life - the "Smallville" series finale.  I'm not a big fan of the show, mostly due to its bad acting and horrendous script.  But, while Tom somewhat agrees with me on the script, and hasn't watched it much lately because of it, the show has a lot of sentimental value for him.  So, by way of closure, I have encouraged him to make a guest appearance on my blog so that he can express his thoughts to the world.  So, without further ado, the one, the only, the amazing...Thomas David Armstrong!!!


It’s an honor to be a guest writer on Sheri’s blog. She works hard on it, and it’s important to her. I love to see the joy a new blog post or comment brings her. And speaking of vicarious joy, I’m here to pay tribute to perhaps the second or third greatest show of my generation. In preparation of the Series Finale, Sheri, despite vehemently disagreeing with me about the quality of the show, took full part in making the day as special as possible {Note to all wives reading this who want happy marriages, follow Sheri’s example}. We did two things to commemorate the auspicious occasion. 

First, I wore a plain blue shirt. Why? Because in over 200 episodes of Smallville, Clark either wore a plain red or blue shirt 85% of the time. Second, we bought some OJ. Why? Because in over 200 episodes of Smallville, Clark pulled out a pitcher of OJ and poured himself a glass 100% of the time he opened the fridge, though rarely ever drinking it.  And dangit, I wanted to pull OJ out of our fridge Saturday morning.  
In my devoted yet unbiased opinion, the Finale didn’t disappoint. Especially when you consider the last 2 1/2 seasons have been almost complete rubbish. I felt that the final episode encapsulated everything that made the show special. Those things being relationships and choices

Relationships: The show was built on fabulous relationships. First between Clark and his parents, which is somewhat of a television novelty. Quickly off the top of your head try and think of how many TV shows currently on feature a mother and father, who are happily married, and provide a moral center for their seed. I can think of – zero. Clark’s relationship with his mother and “now-deceased but still found a way back into the finale” father provided some of the most touching scenes in the show’s history. Whenever Clark had a problem, he went to his parents and received good, sound counsel – as life should be. There was a scene in the Finale that followed this pattern and gave me a good shot of tears…err….misty eyes. 

This relationship was contrasted beautifully by Lex’s relationship with his father, who pushed, manipulated, and ultimately gave Lex ample motivation to become the villain of the story. An easy 1,500 words could be devoted to this complex dichotomy between the Kent and Luthor families. 

The second set of relationships that was paramount to the show was Clark’s friends: Chole, Lana, Sam, and Lex (through seasons 1-5). In fact, one of the first lessons I learned from the show was that it was better to have 3-5 really close, “I can walk right up to your loft without knocking and be at home”- kind of friends, then 113 “facebook friends”. Again, more could be said about each of these relationships, especially Clark and Lana (the single greatest TV love connection that never panned out). Clark’s unrequited love for Lana drove 6 of the 10 seasons to stardom in my opinion.

 But the beauty about Clark and his close friends, is that he was ultimately left alone to deal with many of his “who am I going to become” issues….a position that I think we find ourselves in much of the time.

Choices: My dad always told me, life is about choices. And Smallville highlighted this fact both in the finale and over the course of the show. The best episodes to me were always the one’s that illustrated the complex choice Lex faced between choosing good and, for lack of a better phrase, choosing bad means to reach a good end. I think any follower of the show can own up to feeling sorry for Lex as his father worked him, as his mother left him, as nobody showed up to his birthday parties, and on and on. Sheri is always telling me to feel bad for evil people because we don’t really understand all the circumstances in their lives that lead them to do what they do. In that sense, Sheri should be a fan of the show and join me in the three week long marathon we are going to have in the future where we watch all ten seasons straight through! Seriously. 

For purposes of the finale, I was thrilled to see Michael Rosenbaum come back, a Newburgh, IN native, and like always his acting was pitch perfect. He’s a highly underrated actor with plenty of depth and range. The writers haven’t always given him the best lines to work with, but he’s always made the most of the hand he’s been given. 

Finally, the Finale did what the show’s always done best – inspire me to be compassionate and help others.  I can’t count how many times I finished an episode (usually after downing over a pint of ice cream and three-fourths of a pizza) and been filled with the desire to be a better man, to be like Clark, to help other people. That’s what Clark has always done, and what he’s always wanted to do. Again, how many television shows today even attempt at leaving you with that after-taste? For better or worse, Smallville has always fed and fueled my Savior complex. 

Ultimately, the Finale was epic. I loved it. To me the show was never about Superman. It was about a young man trying to find his way. Say what you will about Smallville’s reputation as a teenage melo-drama, filled with strange freaks and cliché lines about destiny, but ultimately it’s a show that shaped much of my personality and character at an age where we are more susceptible to being shaped by TV shows. Equally important is the fact that the characters and themes gave me hope when I had voids in my life. So thank you Sheri for giving me a forum to voice my love for Smallville. The show I love. Smallville, you would be missed if it weren’t for the fact that I can watch any episode at any time.  


  1. Go Smallville! We need more shows like Smallville. That is one reason why I don't watch TV much. There just isn't much of anything uplifting to watch.

  2. Tom,
    You are a great writer! I think you should publish this post in ...something! I will now go watch the finale.