Smallville And Popular Culture Film Studies Essay

Smallville And Popular Culture Film Studies Essay

The telecasting series, Smallville, has been basking rather a long tally for about a decennary now since its initial dissemination in October 2001. The series, which is written and produced by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, is presently on its 9th season. It is based on DC Comics ‘ Superman and Tells of the life of the high school pupil Clark Kent prior to his passage to being the legendary superhero icon. The series rubric is named after the fictional Kansas town, where Clark Kent was found and raised by his adoptive parents.

The endurance of the series can be attributed to its strong and loyal viewership, despite its being merely one of the many versions of the narrative of Superman and his counter-ego Clark Kent. To observe, the character of Superman has been in being since the late 1930 ‘s ( “ Superman cartoon strips ” ) and has been portrayed in assorted media such as in amusing books, in the large screen, and in the telecasting. And yet, why does the American audience continue to sponsor a series that carries many unoriginal and recycled elements? What does this backing imply about telecasting audience? What are the cultural ideals being reflected and in exchange reinforced by the show?

The inquiry of Smallville ‘s commercial entreaty applies to the uninterrupted public backing of any long-running superhero merchandise. Fingeroth ( 2006 ) remarks on how the “ superhero has become one of the basics of popular amusement and, through that, of mass consciousness ” ( p. 20 ) . Furthermore, he attributes peoples ‘ captivation of superheroes to the phantasy of immortalization readers or viewing audiences achieve due to superheroes ‘ capableness to exceed human restrictions. This uninterrupted procedure of spread outing superhero narratives is described by Klock ( 2002 ) as a peculiar characteristic of superhero sagas, he describes as a superhero ‘s curious relation to its ain continuity. This was portrayed by Eco as utmost haziness in the superhero ‘s narrative. He elaborates on the procedure of storytelling with the line, “ the storyteller picks up the strand of the event once more and once more, as if he had forgotten to state something and wanted to add inside informations to what has already been said ” ( as cited in Klock, 2002, p. 5 ) . Each reproduction of the superhero narrative, while keeping the original plot line and characters, is besides a reinterpretation and therefore, a originative procedure. But at the same clip, the reproductions benefit from viewing audiences ‘ acquaintance with their well-loved superheroes. It seems that the mode in which the superhero narrative is reinterpreted and recreated to suit the amusement needs of its peculiar audience at a peculiar clip is cardinal to the success of each narrative version.

What Made “ This ” Clark Kent a Hit?

a. Relatability to a Particular Audience Group

In relation to what was earlier said, Smallville, in malice of being “ merely ” one of the many versions of Superman, is besides a retelling and reinterpretation of the narrative. Smallville adds to a less-explored portion of the Superman heroic poem. Based on many constituents of the narrative, it could easy be said that the show clearly appropriated the Superman narrative for the adolescents and immature striplings. The secret plan was based on the high school life of Clark Kent, wherein he met some of the heroic poem ‘s authoritative characters such as Lana Lang and his arch enemy, Lex Luthor, besides in their immature age. Other characters such as Clark ‘s adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent were portrayed younger than how they were portrayed in other Superman movies. The show featured Clark Kent as an awkward adolescent confronting typical teenage issues such as the hunt for individuality, fondness and belongingness amidst his untypical foreigner beginning. It besides featured typical high school-related stereotypes such as the athletes, the cheerleaders, the geeks and the un-cool people. It besides employed stone music, which is typically liked by the immature population, as an gap vocal in the signifier of “ Salvage Me ” by Remy Zero.

B. Added Realism and Depth amidst the Fantasy

In the relation of this sub-story, the Godheads deviated from the more inactive and fantasy-filled superhero portraiture of Superman and of its other characters. The show did non deprive Clark Kent of his world powers but it stripped the illusion and antic facets of phantasy and “ superhero-ness ” down. The show manufacturers reportedly implemented a “ no leotardss, no flights ” regulation ( Garron, 2001 ) . This determination aided in humanising “ this ” Clark Kent. But what gave the greater humanizing entreaty is the giving of emotional deepness to Clark Kent and to the other characters. The show portrayed Clark ‘s confusion over his individuality and his use of world powers. The personal struggles of the immature Lex Luthor were besides exposed. In Smallville, Clark and Lex were conflicted characters, boies raised otherwise by different parents in different yet crossing societal universes. With these elements of humanisation, the show was able to successfully swerve off from the comparatively inactive, black-and-white character word picture seen in other Superman telecasting shows and films. For case, Lex Luthor and Clark Kent were good friends. The narrative besides laid down the historical foundation for the formation of characters as we know them in the “ present ” Superman timeline. For case, it showed how Superman gallantry was partially born out of his nurturing environment. On the other side of the coin, the show created the character of Lex ‘s male parent in Lionel Luthor, who was portrayed to be toughening up Lex to be a practical or even heartless concern baron. .

c. Employment of Formulae and Reflection of Ideals

In malice of its divergences from the authoritative Superman portraitures, Smallville still made usage of authoritative tried expression of superhero and other commercial movies – the usage of the underdog turned superhero as supporter and the rich and the powerful as the adversary ; the uncool childs versus the popular cheerleaders and the athletes ; love trigons, fantasy-filled action sequences ; damsels-in-distress. It besides employed some of the cosmopolitan selfhood struggles among adolescents such as the pursuit for an individuality and belongingness among equals.

Smallville besides reflects many cosmopolitan ideals in utmost presentations. Examples are the triumph of good versus immorality and the presence of exposure ( as in the consequence of Kryptonite ) , of evil and of goodness in each and every one of us.

Smallville is important to popular civilization as it brought the heroic poem of Superman closer to the public by making a more realistic, relatable, conflicted, just-like-everyone-of-us superhero. With this relatability, the audience is more able to allow the superhero as an inspirational figure as they face their daily conflicts. More so, the show re-introduced a familiar American classic to the new coevals in a signifier designed for them.

Yet, amidst the alterations it introduced, it remains on the safe side with its usage of tried plot lines and expression. More than the signifier and its plot line, the show bent on to antique stereotypes and ideals. It heralded by and large positive values. Yet, it besides employed negative 1s such as the use of stereotypes. It besides aids in continuing the single hero as the ultimate Jesus and bringer of alteration alternatively of the populace. One may reason that mass media reflects existent civilization and ideals. Yet, signifiers of mass media like Smallville are besides a vehicle for perpetuating these civilization and ideals whether they are good to a certain society or non.