While virtually every other night at the barbecue joint is surrendered to the tyranny of sports, one hour of Thursday night television viewing is reserved for me and my masochistic addiction to the CW's SMALLVILLE, a teen nighttime soap opera that's just like DAWSON'S CREEK, THE O.C., and many other tales of pretty white klds with problems, only this one's about the growing-up years of Clark Kent. Yes, that Clark Kent. And part of the fun is seeing how the joint's regulars react when subjected to a heady blend of teen angst and super-powered daring do.
Now before you start hurling brickbats my way and rushing out to send me a gift membership to the National Organization of the Friends of Dorothy, allow me to state right now that I am fully aware of how fucking gay SMALLVILLE is and has been since the second it aired, what with nearly every frame being an exchange of "meaningful," longing gazes between a frequently shirtless and buff Clark (Tom Welling) and his future enemy Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) and all that, and that's one of the things that amuses me most about the show; obviously not being able to get away with really going there with the action, SMALLVILLE still manages to be jockstrap-a-bursting with smoldering homoeroticism, chiseled young bohunks in skintight outfits (or less), and a bevy of very attractive women who really serve as little more than a beard providing the hunks with someone to pursue in a "manly" fashion, despite the fact that the guys are for the most part prettier than the girls (the notable exception being Kristen Kreuk's Lana Lang, who's just plain mouth-wateringly cute; SEE BELOW).
I mean, there have been many moments over the several years the show's been on when, after Clark and Lex stand there staring each other down, all doe-eyed and shit, I scream at the TV, "Oh, for fuck's sake, kiss him, already!!!"And I know I'm not alone in this sentiment.
Then the writers began to introduce other superheroes into the mix, upping the ante and missing only a new character called "the Teabagger." Loose versions of the Flash/Impulse (rocking the slacker/hoodie look and acting like a dyed-in-the-wool stoner), Cyborg (the hot, black sports dude), the Green Arrow (blonde, ripped, and oh-so prettier-than-you, played with verve by my man Justin Hartley, formerly Fox Crane on PASSIONS), and even the much-ridiculed Aquaman are now a fixture, and their presence has rendered the gals even more superfluous, especially thanks to the outrageously hunky, Aryan Youth poster child Aquaman (Alan Ritchson),
who looks like one of Tom of Finland's super-muscular, enormously-membered homosexual fantasy drawings brought to life (think the gay equivalent to a Frazetta or a Richard Corben and you'll get what I mean).
So the barbecue joint's regulars are astounded by the none-too-subtle faggotry that runs rampant on SMALLVILLE every Thursday, and they have actually come around to my side when it comes to rooting for the guys to get it over with and kiss already, but the one thing that is universally derided about the show is how the superheroes all look like a bunch of escapees from an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue rather than the colorfully-costumed mystery men who we love to read about in comic books. This past week's episode, "Justice," gives the viewers what is more or less a nascent Justice League, featuring all of the aforementioned superboys, plus Clark (in case you forgot that he was Superman, and shit), and it provided the regulars with a lot to gripe about, but the two classic comments of the evening were both directed at the "look" of the heroes.
One of our favorite regulars, Pete, looked up at the screen between mouthfuls of barbecued ribs, caught a glimpse of the Flash/Impulse in his red and yellow windbreaker and hood and asked me, "Is that supposed to be the Flash?" I said, "Yeah," and Pete looked scornfully at the screen for a moment before blurting out, "Man! These guys all look like douchebags!" Sadly, I could offer no argument to that statement.
As the episode wore on, the heroes blew up a Luthor-fronted experimental complex designed to be an R & D lab using captured superhumans as guinea pigs, and during the course of the mission we were treated to more longing gazes — this time between heroes, particularly Cyborg and Aquaman —tight costumes, and a bit of dialogue wherein Cyborg chides Aquaman for running around shirtless, to which Aquaman quips, "I swim faster when I'm naked. You're lucky I have my pants on!" which only elicited agonized moans from the whole restaurant. Then, during the final scene where the Green Arrow announces that he's forming a group of superguys with the word "Justice" in their group moniker, the heroes — minus Clark, because he has other shit to do, presumably standing around looking like the prettiest lumberjack at the logging camp — turn and walk out in slo-mo like the Resevoir Dogs or something, and what was clearly intended to be the coolest moment in the history of the known universe was pointedly skewered by our expatriate-Texan bartender, Scott, who stepped in as a narrator and said, "Well, we just saved the world. Now it's off to Old Navy."
I swear to the gods, I did not stop laughing for the next five solid minutes.