08 July 2009
Finding family together time that makes both a 7 year old girly-girl and a 15 year old too-cool-for-his-sister happy is a challenge. There's not much they have in common, other than their gene pool, and even there they seem to be swimming in opposite ends. One is over in the deep end doing dolphin flips and the other is spiking the volleyball over the net and yelling "Eye of the Tiger!" when no one can return it. I'll let you guess which is doing which.
But a month or so ago we stumbled on something that has kept all three of us entertained for an hour a day. Smallville, the television series that tells the story of Clark Kent's teenage years, has given us a happy meeting place.
The violence level is mild enough that my daughter can watch without me worrying about nightmares. Most of the sexual tension is kept to heated looks and the occasional kiss, although there was a Clark-gone-bad episode that my son and I saved for a day it was just the two of us watching.
My son can completely relate to the high school angst and drama. He's old enough to catch some of the nice asides in the dialoge (Clark: If aliens came to Earth, don't you think they'd find someplace a little more exciting than Smallville?)that show up a few times each episode.
My daughter is totally caught up in the Lana / Clark / Chloe love triangle (we're only up to season 2). She doesn't "get" a lot of the inside humor and points, but the relationships are the hook for her.
I'm enjoying the series, even while I'm sitting there laughing at some of the stories. We all laugh together about how many people Clark has saved from car accidents / explosions, and how many episodes in a row someone has said some version of "Clark, it's not your fault." There is little that is subtle about this series. But it has turned into a bit of a character development class, and my son and I especially have had some great conversations about how both script and book authors use some of the same devices - foreshadowing, character development, cliff hangers, plot moving grand revelations.
We're watching the episodes in order(yay Netflix!), and I've resisted the temptation to peek ahead online or watch the current season that is in repeats Mostly I'm just glad I've found something that for an hour a day lets us all do something together, each getting their own bit of enjoyment out of the time.
If you've seen Smallville, what do you think of it? Melodramatic good vs evil, or an entertaining view into the past of one of our favorite superheroes?