I’m a huge fan of all things Superman. He’s my favorite superhero, however un-cool that may be in general geek culture. So, when I started renting Smallville, I really wanted to like it. I made it through two seasons, and it was not until the third episode of the third season, “Extinction,” that I finally gave up. I just can’t keep watching this.
It isn’t the butchering of the Superman mythos. It isn’t the formulaic mutant-of-the-week plots. It isn’t the fact that they made Clark Kent a less sympathetic character than Lex Luthor. It isn’t even the constant, clumsy use of the reset button.
It’s Lana Lang.
As of the end of just the second season, she has been stalked by at least 5 people (including Clark, which is a whole ‘nother article). Only one other character on the show has been stalked - once - making Lana the target of over 83% of Smallville’s stalkers.
(Why? Apparently because she is the Perfect Pretty Princess, and everyone loves her. Why, I don’t know. Yes, actress Kristine Kreuk is very beautiful, but so is the rest of Smallville. Even Ma and Pa Kent are hot. It’s not like Lana is particularly likable, either. She gets pissed at people who do the slightest thing she doesn’t like, such as not telling her a secret that is none of her business, or telling her that a guy who is plainly obsessed with her, and a probable murderer, just might be dangerous. )
So what is Lana doing at the beginning of “Extinction?” She’s going swimming. Alone. At night. At the high school swimming pool. The high school with a student body count approaching that of Sunnydale High.
You’ll never guess what happens. That’s right folks – her sixth stalker attacks her.
Lana Lang isn’t a person. She’s not even a Perfect Pretty Princess. She’s a Perfect Pretty Plot Device.