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Smallville, my journey with you has been a trying one. Times when I thought I had rid myself from your persuasive snare you somehow still managed to bring me back into your ever-changing fold. Yes, your following is ever-changing.
In one corner, you have the Superman faithful. Those who have followed the multitude of comics and have never been able to let go of the draw of truth, justice, and the American way that is represented by the one who adores the red and blue tights. At first, the hardcore fans may have been disgusted by the notion of a universe in which Clark and Lex could co-exist as best friends, but soon jumped on board the Smallville train to see the modern yet vastly different portrayal of Superman in a somewhat odd but pleasing light. These are the same fans who catch all the nuances and tidbits that are buried within the plot that tend to put a smile on their face as they look on in gratitude for the subtle but juicy morsel.
In the other corner, you have the teen and young adult female audience, to which many of the narratives of the past ten years have played on. From the Clark and Lana romance that was played upon throughout the early years of the series, to the obvious Lois and Clark romance that has been the plot driver of the later seasons, the love interest of Superman has seemingly been a major draw to keep this demographic on board.
Finally, in the last corner, you have the viewers like myself. Whom of which are not really huge Superman fans, but look at the comic genre from a distance and are ready to admire it whenever we can see something come to the big or small screens. Yes, this is me. And with the lack of good content in this genre (until recently) in said media spaces, my demographic of viewer will chomp at the bit to see almost anything. With a lack of understanding of the greater Superman universe, we can look on and take in much of the series as just being something cool and new, and not be jaded by the multitude of liberties taken with the series, while trying to stomach the romance as much as possible.
And after ten years of being on the air, I dare say that many of the Smallville following have left the series at one time or another, only to come back and be more and more disappointed. Ever-changing? Maybe a more appropriate choice of words would be ever-dwindling.
According to Wikipedia, episode ratings peaked around the second season, and have been on an almost steady decline ever since. Season one had around 8.4 million viewers for the season premiere and 3.8 million viewers for the season finale, while season nine viewership was around 2.98 and 2.45 million. These number could easily backup my point, or it could be the result of the steady decline in overall television ratings, or is could simply be due to the burnout of a series running for ten years.
All my aforementioned points could easily be forever forgotten by the hope of the closing episodes of Smallville’s tenth and final season. One thing about us Americans, for all the wrong in the world, if you do something great, we’ll forgot it like it never happened. Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant –I’m looking at you. But then again, there are numerous instances where the potential for the much anticipated redemption story never came to pass. Chris Brown anybody. I guess the only question I can really have for Smallville as we await on the airing of the final episodes is whom will they be? It all rests in their hands, but then again, I guess they know that.