Comics Ate My Brain

February 11, 2006

Periodic TV Update, Winter 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom Bondurant @ 10:00 pm
There are good reasons why I haven’t been posting as much, but I’m sure they are either a) too complicated, b) too boring, or c) both. Suffice it to say that this continues to be a strange leisure season for me. As I wait for “One Year Later” to alter my comics-reading habits, I’m listening to more NPR and Tony Kornheiser, and my TV-watching is at an all-time low. Most of this is attrition; but I have also gotten tired of a few shows, “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” among them.

So Thursday night was the big TV night for me, and as I watched “Everybody Hates Chris,” the last half of “Smallville,” and “The Office,” it hit me that in various ways, I knew how each of these series would end, should end, or has ended. Chris grows up to be Chris Rock (albeit a Chris Rock whose timeline is a few years behind the real one). Clark Kent becomes a reporter for the Daily Planet, falls in love with his old Smallville friend Lois Lane, and squares off as Superman against his old Smallville friend Lex Luthor. At least, that’s how you’d think “Smallville” would harmonize its continuity with the familiar Superman mythology.

Likewise, the original British version of “The Office” wrapped up its main subplots in a Christmas special which was the de facto series finale. The American version is clearly distinct from the British version, even down to character names, so we are not meant to think that these are the same people. (The fanboy in me wonders if there’s not an “Office Of Two Worlds” somewhere down the line.) Therefore, what happened to David, Tim, Gareth, and Dawn may not repeat itself with regard to Michael, Jim, Dwight, and Pam – or, because its “Americanization” may demand more big events to drive ratings, those things might happen sooner or in a different order, and then be reversed to restore the status quo.

With “Smallville,” the status quo still has some radical changes to make before it will look like the “adult” Superman. Clark has to craft his civilian and superhero disguises, Lois has to show a little more interest in journalism, and Lex has to embrace his dark side more fully. Right now Chloe seems more like “Lois” and Lionel Luthor acts more like “Lex,” so maybe some brain-switching is in the pipeline before the series ends. Perhaps in all of that confusion, people will forget all the supernatural things they’ve seen Clark do over the years, and Clark himself will figure out how to use all his powers more effectively.

Still, it’s not like everything I watch is a prequel or remake. Why, just last night, after the last four “Arrested Development” episodes, I turned on “Battlestar Galactic”– d’oh!

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