Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season (DVD)
This reinterpretation of the enduring Superman mythology and its classic characters blends realism and adventure into an exciting action series. Years ago, a meteor shower burst from the heavens, raining destruction on the unsuspecting citizens of Smallville, Kansas. From the ashes of tragedy grew Clark Kent, whose transition from boyhood to manhood was particularly difficult as he came to grips with his emerging superpowers. This season, Clark will be at a crossroads -- and closer than ever to becoming the superhero of legend. He will face his ultimate challenge with the emergence of a legendary, unstoppable destroyer -- and this won't be the only nemesis to appear. With realistic portrayals and award-winning, state-of-the-art special effects, SMALLVILLE reworks the Superman lore from its roots.
]]> Who would have predicted that the departure of series creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough would have given Smallville
a surge of super-strength in its eighth season? Give a good part of the credit to saying out with the old--series veterans Michael Rosenbaum (Lex) and Kristin Kreuk (Lana), whose dreary romantic coupling dragged down previous seasons--and in with the new. The new include entirely fresh faces Cassidy Freeman as LutherCorp heir apparent Tess Mercer and Sam Witwer as paramedic Davis Bloome, and experienced players getting increased face time, such as Justin Hartley's Green Arrow joining the opening credits and Erica Durance receiving much more exposure than in season 7. In particular, with Lana having said goodbye, Lois (Durance) and Clark (Tom Welling) are given ample time to start building the relationship we know is inevitable, and their clumsy fumblings are the highlight of the season (their fake engagement is particularly funny). Chloe (Allison Mack) and Jimmy (Aaron Ashmore) grow closer, but the brooding danger of Davis reveals something much worse than a mere lovers' triangle. Clark starts to embrace his destiny by protecting Metropolis at invisible super-speed, earning him the groan-worthy nickname of "The Red-Blue Blur," and comic-book characters making their series debuts are the geek-favorite group the Legion of Super-Heroes (Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad), Zatanna (Serinda Swan), and Dr. Emil Hamilton (Alessandro Juliani of Battlestar Galactica
). The season sags when Durance is absent for stretches, and the season finale isn't nearly what it could have been, but it was still more than enough to rescue the series from what seemed to be the brink of cancellation and head strong into its ninth season. --David Horiuchi