7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2010
Technically this season shouldn't have worked; the show's main villain and arguably most popular character, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) has now departed; secondly they were introducing a villain which was virtually impossible to bring to the big screen never mind a television series in Doomsday. However whilst a massive void had been created by Rosenbaum's departure, it was filled suprisingly very well by the main cast of heroes who finally come into their own this season with performances and stories which intelligently test those who have big destinies to embrace in the Superman era to come.
Tom Welling finally begins to take his final steps to becoming Superman and is starting to demonstrate how capapble as lead he is while bringing a new found presence to Clark Kent. There is also an increased number of on-screen scenes between Welling and Erica Durance's Lois Lane and the result is a relationship which is as funny as it is touching and believable. Likewise other support characters like Chloe and Jimmy are tested by the new villain in town, Sam Witwer's Davis Bloome who is a great unique character to the series who undergoes a menacing and horrific transformation as the season unfolds. There is also a welcome return from Justin Hartley's Oliver Queen who now becomes a series regular after a successful stint in the sixth season and a brief cameo in the seventh. Queen's character is also successful to the season's story as his questionable methods bring him into conflict with Clark who is now trying to figure out what sort of hero he wants to become.
The Doomsday story is a well written one in itself and Doomsday is interpreted in a way which is both unique in style yet never undermines the characters standing in the mythology. Sam Witwer is more than capable playing the villain, he lacks perhaps the charisma and flair of Rosenbaum, but the horror given off by his transformations is more than projected out of the screen. The same cannot be said for Cassidy Freeman whose Tess Mercer is terribly aimless and lacking in focus, in terms of a series villain, Rosenbaums absence is felt though not quite fatal.
The season is very well executed in tone, humour and story. There are many episodes which take the series much further and there are some more characters from the D.C Universe in episodes such as 'Instinct', 'Legion' and 'Hex'. 'Bride', 'Eternal' and 'Beast' are also exceptional drama episodes featuring Doomsday which keeps building up the season to a final climatic battle.
It is unfortunate therefore that what prevents the season from achieving pure greatness is a series of misjudged stories which threaten to undermine every bit of progress Smallville made this season. The brief reintroduction of an old character in 'Power' and 'Requiem' was a terrible mistake and unpopular with viewers, as was the apparent demise of another important character. Also while the season does a sensational job in building up the tension towards the final episode, the final episode of the season itself is very weak and sadly anti-climactic. This is a shame since many may feel cheated by a poor resolution but on the plus side, the drama remains top notch throughout and the themes explored this season are never forgotten and never betrayed, even in the finale. Smallville has enjoyed a fantastic return to form overall this season and many fans will be left feeling hopefull of the action and drama to come in the ninth season. Well worth buying though this eighth season.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2012
It was perfect, so good everything i wanted it to be but then they screwed up. Why did they have to bring Lana. I wish Erica Durance could have been contracted for more episodes cause she left a huge gap when she left for a few episodes midseason. The whole Lana Storyline was meant to give her character Closure, it didn't give it closure it messed up the Clark and Lois relationship for this season but it can be rectified next year. The first few episodes were amazing it was everything i had hoped for when i started watching smallville all those years ago. Clark and Lois finally start to realise they are in love with each other and we get some excellent episodes. The season ended poorly but the series coped well with the cast changes.
best episodes; Odyssey,Plastique,Instinct,Committed(The first almost solely Clark and Lois relationship episode yet),Identity ( we see Clark starting to clear up the streets of metropolis akin to Superman, The press dub him the Blur),Bloodlines, Bride, Legion,infamous,Hex and Stiletto.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2009
Smallville Season 8 is an improvement on Season 7 and very nearly the best season of them all. However it has been let down by some shoddy writing in the middle of the season and also a very disappointing last episode.
The first problem is the re-introduction of Lana and the whole nonsense about her being some sort of covert, ninja type warrior who gets her hands on a alien body suit that gives her super-powers. Putting this story aside, bringing Lana back virtually stopped the season in its tracks as the story moved away from the genesis of Doomsday to a soppy love story that has the usual Smallville sad and predictable ending.
The second problem is the Season Finale where the fight between CK and Doomsday should have been far better. The whole thing was over in a couple of minutes and I couldn't help feeling let down and disappointed given the excellent story lines leading up to it.
Finally, my last gripe is that the effects around Doomsday could have been better! Doomsday is meant to be the ultimate destroyer not a bloke in a suit!
I am looking forward to Season 9 with it, hopefully, being Lana free.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2009
I've been watching Smallville from the start, and while the show rarely reaches the amazing standards of other shows, it still entertains me enough to keep watching.
Season 8 of the show suffers from the law of diminishing returns, that Smallville has been experiencing since it began. I can't really pinpoint any oustanding episodes in this season, as I could with previous ones, but overall the arc of the season was good, discounting the awful 5 episode return of Lana and "Lex" as well as the disappointing finale.
New characters are always welcome when a show has gone on for as long as Smallville has, and Tess was a great addition in my opinion. DAvis was also very interesting, at least at the beginning of the season.
Despite the law of diminishing returns thing I mentioned earlier, this season is actually an improvement on season 7. It's more focused and has a slow burning story arc, but come the finale, nowhere near the excitment levels of previous finales.
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2009
I really enjoyed this season of Smallville. I've been a fan since the start and have watched this show fluctuate in quality over the years; yet it never really seemed to fulfil its potential. A potential it always had when armed with such a rich comic book mythos and such a talented cast of actors. Until this season that is. Not to suggest that this season is perfect and a year where Smallville fully realised that potential, but it is a season where the writers went a long way towards achieving this. It certainly helped that Smallville gained a new writer (Brian Q. Miller) whose episodes were excellent. And we were rid of Al Gough and Miles Millar (the old showrunners); this fresh blood helped inject the show with a renewed vision for its future.
The usual players that we've come to know over the years including daddy Lex, Lex himself and Lana Lang have all left the building. Leaving centre stage to Clark, Lois, Chloe, Jimmy, Oliver (he's back!) and two new characters name of Tess and Davis. I thought this change of line up truly reinvigorated the show and I particularly enjoyed Tess as a villain -- seeing Ollie again was also gratifying. Justin Hartley being well deserving of a regular spot on Smallville.
The season opens as Clark joins Lois Lane at the bull pen... as with anything hilarity ensues and Clark must learn to deal with this new situation. Something which takes him a good while. This season really sees Clark acting like a hero, accepting his destiny and going a long way towards mending the damage of his horrid relationship with Lana Lang. I found myself adoring Clark again. Something I didn't think would happen -- Tom Welling certainly looked a lot happier, as opposed to bored!
There are four main threads that hold together the plot of this season. The Doomsday arc, the relationship between Lois and Clark, Tess's machinations and Clark's alter-ego: the Red Blue Blur. These arcs make up the majority of the seasons story and are generally well constructed -- the development of the Clark and Lois relationship in particular has been excellent. It's a shame Erica Durance (Lois Lane) is only contracted for 13 episodes per season, as she was greatly needed, I felt, in certain episodes. I felt her missing presence keenly during that abominable Lana arc; fortunately Erica will be in eighteen episodes in season nine, yay! The beginnings of a romance between Lois and Clark was emotional, touching and well earned since their friendship has been bubbling up for a long time now. Lois was on the money in 'Bride' when she said her feelings 'just snuck up on her'. Not many TV couples can boast such a pro-longed build up whilst still maintaining such chemistry and tension.
Season eight is a year of romance, morally grey decisions, soul searching, crossroads and huge steps towards Clark becoming Superman. Episodes like 'Beast' illustrating the darkness that could so permeate the series at this stage amidst the lighter fares. For example, Lois dons a cape to save the city in 'Stiletto' and Chloe accidentally makes a fool hardy wish in 'Hex'. It's a mixed bag tonally with plenty of ups and downs -- but season eight always comes back to the man himself: Clark and his struggle to balance his new secret identity with his reporter persona. Not to mention some darker personal struggles. One good thing about this year was I noticed a vast improvment in the episode to episode continuity -- I was pleasantly surprised by some of the things the writers actually remembered!
There were things about this season that I detested. Notably the return of the Pink Princess. I wasn't happy how her return was handled and thought it made Clark look weak and stupid (not much change there). It just serves to show how much better off Clark is without her. I was (and am) willing to overlook that particular asinine Lana plotline mainly because I never EVER have to make myself watch those episodes again. She's gone. The end. Ding dong.
The season finale was a disappointment. I enjoyed parts of it but the whole season had been gearing up to what would be this huge cataclysmic clash between Clark and the enemy but instead... it just all fell a little flat. Chloe was let off the hook too much for my liking as well. But that's a whole other rant. Although, I must give props to Tom Welling. If nothing else he has improved immensely over the years and today stands as a very fine actor in my opinion -- you could definately tell he's much happier with Clark's direction this year. He even praised the 'Committed' episode script for its writing, which is quite a huge thing since he never talks about Smallville anymore... and the fact that he signed a contract for a season nine and possible season ten (if the network wants it) when he didn't have to also says a great deal. Clark Kent can be a thankless role and I admire Tom's fortitude -- he plays off Erica Durance particularly well. Scenes like the rooftop one in 'Hex' spring to mind with their mutual comic timing!
I for one look forward to season nine. I love this show and cannot wait to see where the writers go next, I've hung on this long after all!
Highlight episodes include: Bride, Committed, Hex, Legion and Bloodline.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2010
Finally!!! After too many so-so seasons we actually have a show worth watching. The last four years of Smallville have produced mundane and often tear-jerk-inly boring Lana/Clark story lines. Thank the lords of Warner Brothers TV then for a change in the right direction. The Superman mythology gets a welcome jolt of the green stuff (or red stuff, I can't decide which would be better for this metaphor) right in that big fat vein, just enough to make things interesting. A bad guy that actually seems threatening, a reveal at the end that actually manages to surprise, and most of all...the ability to see how the writers might just pull off the impossible...the birth of Superman.
The season picks up several weeks after the season 7 finale. Clark Kent (Tom Welling) is still missing after the Fortress of Solitude collapsed while he and Lex were fighting inside it. Leading the search for the missing men, but with different teams and different agendas, are Oliver Queen (Justine Hartley) and Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman). Oliver is hoping to find and rescue Clark while Tess is looking for her boss Lex.
When Clark is found and returns to Smallville, it’s to start his new life as a reporter at The Daily Planet working across the desk from Lois Lane (Erica Durance). Meanwhile, Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) has a giant IQ and a fiancée in the form of and Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore) and Chloe has also taken over the ISIS foundation. Meanwhile Clark is caught on camera, sort of, and takes the next step in his evolution toward Superman as the mysterious Red Blue Blur.
But trouble is still brewing. Not only are Tess’s motives unclear, but she has moved in to the Luthor mansion and taken over all of Lex’s roles, including editor of The Daily Planet. Has she learned Clark’s secret from the files Lex left behind? Meanwhile, there’s also paramedic Davis Bloome (Sam Witwer) who is very afraid he is harboring a deadly secret. Is he correct?
There were lots of chances this season, both behind the camera with the creators and original show runners leaving, and in front of it with Michael Rosenbaum and Kristin Kreuk not coming back to play Lex Luthor and Lana Lang. Kristen did come back for a few episodes in the middle of the season to wrap up Lana’s story, however. That meant that it fell to the new characters to fill in the gaps. Tess essentially plays a Lex clone in many ways story and mythology wise, and Davis makes an interesting character. Sadly, I felt Oliver Queen was under used, but maybe that’s just my interest in their take on the character as a fan of Arrow.
Despite the changes, the season started out great with many fun standalone episodes. The increased flirting between Lois and Clark was lots of fun. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the main plot/villain of the season and what it did to Chloe and Jimmy and their relationship. As that took over, I enjoyed the season less. It was interesting, but not as fun as the beginning of the season.
The acting was great as always, and the special effects are still top notch.
The set includes 22 episodes in wide screen and full surround. Extras include deleted scenes (but no gag reel), two audio commentaries, and two featurettes about Chloe’s directorial debut this season and the creation of the season’s big bad.
The early part of the season is fun and definitely worth watching. I just didn’t care for the choices they made late in the season. Overall, this is still a good show.
on 15 November 2010
Smallville really took off for me with Season 4, where it picked up new steam and headed off at top speed. Seasons 6 & 7 saw the departures of several key characters and it looked like the show wouldn't turn itself around. From beginning to end this eighth season showed that they are heading towards the transition from "Smallville" to "Superman" in style. The action-packed premiere episode sets off the three main story arcs for this year: the fallout from Chloe's encounter with Brainiac, the introduction of Tess Mercer, a dry-witted, tough woman seemingly hell-bent on following in the footsteps of Lex Luthor (who seemingly meets his end during the final third of this year) and finally - what hopefully the majority of us fans have been waiting for - the Clark/Lois romance begins. There are a couple of stumbling blocks which slightly take the shine off - the reintroduction of Lana Lang while seemingly necessary for the episode Bride descends into silliness when three more episodes are devoted to the on-again, off-again "Clana" romance when the "Clois" wheels have already been set in motion. The other problem is new character Tess Mercer, she evolves into a jealous-lover type with delusions of grandeur who sees herself as the one true partner to the hero-to-be. Performance-wise Tom Welling, Erica Durance and Allison Mack are truly exceptional - Welling & Durance are a wonderful double act, sharing some fantastic episodes together - in my opinion right up there with Christopher Reeve & Margot Kidder. Justin Hartley is also great as acid-tongued Oliver Queen - the idea of making Oliver become a murderer seems like a ploy to finally sway leadership of the heroes in Clark's direction. Aaron Ashmore has less to do this season and his exit comes quite shockingly while new boy Sam Witwer doesn't receive much development as the human-side of super-villain Doomsday, his character comes across as an irritating, stereotypical stalker-type. The writers addition of Chloe's affection for this character is the only drawback to Allison Mack's work this season. Favourite episodes: Odyssey, Plastique, Instinct, Committed, Identity, Bloodline, Bride, Legion, Infamous, Hex, Stiletto and Doomsday. Also the commentary for Identity has some wonderful insight and is worth a listen.
on 12 November 2009
The last season I didnt overly enjoy. I think you could feel the show beginning to struggle and keeps its place without getting too ridiculous in its web of stories. So this was the first Season I considered not buying the DVDs (I only watch the episodes on DVD, part for ease of viewing and and part tradition!). However, it wasn't long before my curiosity got the better of me and I caved in, and im glad I did - eventually.
The first few episodes were dissapointing, the wrap-up to last years season finale felt rushed and too quick and generally a lot is introduced very heavy handedly. The new characters, the changes in Clarke, the new Job, and at lot of coincindences(more than usual!) all feel a bit rushed. Once the series gets going though it really gets back, in my opinion, to the heights it was at before. The new characters are definetly one of the big reasons. They seem to make all the difference, allowing them to essentially re-tell the same stories with new spins. Lex is replace by Tess, who puts a stunning female spin on the egotistical power hungry tycoon. Lois replaces Lana as the love interest so gracefully that you wonder what Clarke ever saw in Lana. Then to top off the new characters Davis Bloom aka Doomsday is fantastically both dark and endearing making a superbly complex nenmesis.
The real leap for the series comes naturally through Clarke making some really big steps towards the super hero status. With that idea the writers have come up with a lot of great stories for evaluating the super hero persona and the logistics and realities of the life. As well, they build the progress so well that it doesn't feel forced, but maybe thats not suprising since its the 8th season. The moral line continues as a strong focus point and the contrast with the Oliver Queen/Green Arrow works even greater this year and the two characters work perfectly together.
By the end of the series Clarke is so much nearer to being Superman that the show as a whole really feels like its paying off and it takes the show to a new level.
Its not without its ridiculous stories riddled with coincidences and lucky timings but this IS Smallville and its done it for so long now that its made it acceptable and almost expected. Being based on a comic I guess they have the right to be slightly absurd at times.
The season Finale is brilliantly low key, instead of the usual impending Doom, and I hope next Season picks up as strong as this one finished.
This eighth season of Smallville is in many ways a letdown but it is still entertaining and does have a few gems every now and again. This season sees Clark finally get a job at the Daily Planet and begin to accept his role as a hero but the new boss of LuthorCorp, Tess Mercer, has her own suspicions abut Clark and his involvement in the disappearance of Lex Luthor.
This season of Smallville sees a veritable bevy of DC heroes and villains appearing in one form or another with the likes of Maxima, Plastique, the Legion of Superheroes, Faora, Toyman, Zatanna, Doomsday and a couple of others all turinging up at some point. Some of these characters, such as Zatanna and Toyman, are dealt with rather well while others aren't, the Doomsday storyline for example really isn't all that well done which is a shame considering how much time it takes up in the series.
The main problem that this series has is the return of Lana for four episodes which brings with it an unwanted return to the Clark/Lana relationship which was one of the worst parts of many of the previous seasons. As well as this the writing of many episodes is somewhat inconsistent going from the good (`Toxic' and `Hex') to the bad (`Power') to the so bad it's good (`Stiletto'). The season finale was also something of a letdown that never delivers on what it could have been
Overall, although the season was terribly patchy in places and has a tendency to rely too much on dues ex mechina, it is still quite a fun season. Season eight may not have been the best season Smallville has ever produced but I am still glad it will continue into season nine and beyond.