“Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season”-Own it on DVD August 25, 2009
- Release Date: August 25, 2009
- Publisher: Warner Home Video
- Price: $36.99 on Amazon.com (Buy It)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1,012 minutes
- Special Features: Commentaries on 2 Episodes, Unaired Scenes, “In the Director’s Chair: Behind the Lens and Calling the Shots with Allison Mack,” “Smallville’s Doomsday: The Making of a Monster”
- Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Aaron Ashmore, Cassidy Freeman, Sam Witwer, Justin Hartley
- Genre: Science-Fiction, Superhero
As “Smallville” moved from season to season, the show just kept getting worse. By season seven, the show had basically become average at best. Add in the loss of Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (the show’s creators/executive producers) and I really thought “Smallville” should have ended after seven seasons. Well, it’s a good thing that didn’t happen since season eight of “Smallville,” though flawed, is probably the best since season four.
For those of you reading this review without having watched the first seven seasons, you will absolutely have to find a way to watch those episodes before you even consider purchasing season eight. “Smallville” is highly serialized and you’ll probably be lost otherwise. Fans of Superman might be able to watch this season first without being confused but I still recommend going back to the first seven seasons. For those new to the series, “Smallville” is basically Superman’s origin story. He’s just Clark Kent at this point, he hasn’t donned the suit and he doesn’t even know how to fly. He does use his other powers to stop meteor rock-infected humans and other threats to the world. Like the last few seasons, season eight is much more focused on the mythology instead of the “monster of the week” cases from the first seasons.
As I wrote earlier, I think “Smallville: Season 8″ is probably the best since season four. I’m not exactly sure why but maybe the show just needed a change at the top to get the jumpstart it needed. One thing I know helped was the increased focus on the relationship between Clark and Lois. Lana shows up to annoy viewers for a few episodes but otherwise the season was basically the Clark, Lois, and Chloe show which is alright by me. Clark also seemed to act more like Superman this year. He hasn’t put on the suit yet but he has finally started using his powers more wisely and is starting to make better decisions.
“Smallville: Season 8″ is a little bit inconsistent but most eight-year-old shows are. The start of the season was very good but the quality started to fall a bit in the middle. Unsurprisingly, these were the episodes Lana showed up in. Thankfully, Lana didn’t stay long and the show picked up again soon after.
The extras on “Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season” are a bit lean (and boring) but I can somewhat excuse that since the bonus features on previous sets were so good. The two commentaries are pretty much run of the mill but I’ve never really been a big commentary fan anyway. The unaired scenes add a bit more to the story than the ones on most TV on DVD releases but only hardcore fans will probably care. There are also two featurettes, one about Allison Mack’s directorial debut (”In the Director’s Chair”) and the other about the making of Doomsday (”Smallville’s Doomsday: The Making of a Monster”). I thought the Allison Mack featurette was extremely boring but I thought the Doomsday one was somewhat interesting. It’s still pretty much your normal “making of a monster” featurette but at least it kept my attention unlike “In the Director’s Chair.”
I reviewed the Blu-ray version of “Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season” yesterday and generally thought it looked amazing. I recommend that all people that have a Blu-ray player get the hi-def format even though it is almost $15 more at the time of this review. For those of you who don’t have Blu-ray, the picture quality on the DVD release is still very good. In fact, it is one of the better looking TV on DVD releases I’ve seen in awhile. Obviously the transfers aren’t as good as the ones on the Blu-ray version but they are very clear with very few problems.
Despite a few bad episodes in the middle of the season, “Smallville” was back on the top of its game in season eight. Fans of the show, even those who may have given up on the show during the last few seasons, will definitely want to pick up “Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season.” Highly recommended.