Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why I Like Smallville

Most people who know me well know that I tend to get to things late - when it comes to TV shows and video games, that is. I just finished Buffy & Angel a few months ago, and now I'm into Season 6 (of a total of 10!) of Smallville. I never thought anything would replace Buffy on my comfort-food TV pedestal, but Clark & Company have delivered.

I like Smallville for a variety of reasons: great cast, interesting take on the DC Universe, creative ways of finding about a billion ways to twist "meteor rock" into all kinds of weird situations, villains and other plot elements (anyone who is familiar with warpstone, ghost rock or gaxium will appreciate that). But what I like most about Smallville is that, at is core, the central message of that show is very uplifting to me:

Light in the face of Darkness; Hope in the face of Despair.

A few days ago I was writing up a story for work about a raping/murdering ex-cop. In reading what some of the other newspapers had to say about it, I clicked on a few other headlines. Before I knew it, an hour and a half had passed and I was morbidly depressed after reading about everything from child rape to a dad falling to his death at a ball game while his son watched to the fact that Michelle Bachman even exists....There is so much evil, so much pain, so much BAD LUCK in the world that sometimes it can seem almost impossible to imagine that there is any positive underpinning to existence.

And I need to have that feeling, just to get out of bed every day and face this universe, to focus on what's good about it and not be overwhelmed by what's bad. I want to think that everything is going to be OK.

I guess what I need is FAITH. And I've always had trouble with the whole "you've just gotta have faith" argument. I don't think it's something you can stumble into or manufacture. Without a life-changing supernatural experience like George Bailey or Ebenezer Scrooge (or even Lex Luther, though he managed to come out of his "Lexmas Carol" experience even more evil), I don't know that I'll ever be convinced everything is OK.

But when I watch Smallville, everything seems like it will be okay. And that central philosophy of the show - light out of darkness, hope in the face of despair - is one I've been holding onto tight lately.

I don't have faith in much. But I have faith in Clark Kent. He doesn't have to be real for me to believe in him.

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