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Tuesday, October 25, 2005
TV Round-Up
Smallville: Aqua
Good start and finish to this week's Smallville, but the middle parts--yeah, not so much.

Let's look at what was good--Professor Milton Fine. I have to admit, it was a bit strange to hear James Marsters sans the Spike accent and to see him without the bleach-blonde hair. But the same depth of acting ability he showed on Buffy and Angel showed up here in spades. Marsters was fantastic, even though his scenes were limited to the opening and closing of the story. Interesting that Fine has some type of axe to grind with Lex and how influenced by what Fine said Clark is. Of course, it's helped by the fact that over the course of the episode, we see that Lex is being manipulative and secretive, all of which I enjoyed seeing.

But the middle parts--namely any scenes with AquaMan were just roundly OK. Growing up in Hawaii and watching SuperFriends, I remember thinking how cool it was that AquaMan could swim around in the ocean with his eyes open and not have it sting or hurt. Also, the whole calling schools of fish to help him out seemed like a pretty cool power at the time (I was five.) But as the years have gone on, I've become more fascinated with other superheroes and never really thought that much about AquaMan since. And then he shows up in Smallville and...well, I honestly wished he'd stayed around a bit longer. It seemed as if we were trying to cram a lot of background story and plot into just one episode here. A.C. (as he prefers to be called) is here to stop Lex Luthor from marketing a weapon that will get the U.S. naval superiority but kills all ocean life around it, even when it's not in use. He gets Clark to help him take extreme measures to stop Lex--destroying the device during the test before Pentagon officials--and he gets to put the moves on Lois Lane, who he resuces in before the opening credits. (On a side note, what is it with me and watching stuff where people conk their head underwater this week?)

Of course, at first, Clark mistrusts the guy and then slowly he sees that A.C. ain't all that bad and ends up helping them. The two do have a pretty good underwater battle about halfway through the episode that helps keep things going.

It's interesting to watch the portrayal of everyone here, though I think Lex as a character got a bit one-note. We see that Lex is determined to continue the project no matter what the consequences. Honestly, I was hoping we'd see a few more shades of gray to Lex than we got here. One of the things I've enjoyed about Smallville is seeing how Lex becomes the ultimate nemesis for Superman--and that he's got some motivation for how and what he becomes later. I think having Lex almost be the Simon Legree-type villian here where he's going forward and damn the consequences just didn't work as well--except to push Clark into the camp of wanting to help Fine uncover the truth about LutherCorp. Honestly, the plotline of the obsessed company billionaire leader who goes forward and damn the consequences seemed a bit more suited for Lionel (who is conspicous in his absense) than it does Lex.

But hey, in a sesaon that's delivered three strong episodes in a row, a bump in the road is acceptable. Let's just hope it's that--a bump in the road (seeing the preview for next week, I am really feeling wary of what's to come...)

Veronica Mars: Green-Eyed Monster
What you have to love about Veronica Mars is that in even in what amounts to little more than a standard mystery of the week plotline, that the show finds a way to move the main plotlines of the season forward just a bit.

Veronica takes a case of looking into the background of a woman's potential fiance and finds out he's as too-good-to-be-true as advertised. The problem is--she can't accept this, getting package after package of detective work done, trying desparately to find something wrong with her boyfriend. In a lot of ways, it's a classic Seinfeld thing--trying to find some reason to dump or break-up with the seemingly perfect person...whether it's man-hands, close-talking or wanting to make sure that you love him for him and not him for his money.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Neptune the pot continues to simmer and may soon reach a boil. Keith is told by Alicia that an old boyfriend has shown up and is stalking her. Keith catches him at her house and takes photos of him. Keith believes Alicia, turning the guy into the police only to find out he's a Chicago cop who has followed Alicia there. And in the end, we find out he's Wallace's father (which I saw coming a mile away). But the question is--why did Alicia lie about him and did she take Wallace and disappear from the father? Is so, why? And how will Keith react? I mean, he didn't take well to the constant lying and betrayal by Veronica's mom, so I can imagine this is not going to help things here.

Elsewhere, Weevil comes to Veronica about the night of Logan's party and losing an ear ring. We get some more possible explanation of who might be behind the bus crash...or at least a few more red herrings for the show to pursue in the quest for the truth. And I will call it now--I do not expect Weevil to make it season's end alive.

And then, Veronica finds out that Duncan has been trying to visit Meg every day and her family aint' letting her. It ends up with Veronica getting Meg's secret files on her HD but not looking at them...at least yet. We all know these files will come up again. It also makes us wonder--why does Duncan want to visit Meg and how much time is he spending there?

Man, this show is good. Seriously, if you've not watched, go get the season one DVD, TiVo or tape the eps of season two and get caught up. As we got the end this week, I thought--no, that can't be it...surely there must be more. Because I was enjoying it that much. Unlike another hit show that aired opposite it last week and didn't really grab my attention...

I'm not gonna name any names here....but I think you know what I'm talking about.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/25/2005 09:09:00 AM | |
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