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Dawson's Comics

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In my mind, Buffy The Vampire Slayer was the first and one of the few shows to have successfully pulled off a "high school meets genre" setting. It was followed up by several copycats, some of which were good, others...not so much.

After Buffy came a successful show in Dawson's Creek which set the tone for much of what The WB aired for some time, even through today as The CW. Teen angst permeated the shows of The WB a great deal. A genre show couldn't simply be a genre show. It had to be "Dawson's Creek meets ...". So, along came Roswell (Dawson's Creek meets the X-Files), Charmed (a Spelling-produced show about witches), and eventually, Smallville.

As Smallville looks to be coming to a close at the end of this season (finally), the current show-runners are planning "Graysons," a look at the life of Dick Grayson before his family was killed and he became Robin.

Now, I like Robin. I'm apparently one of the few who do. I think that teen sidekicks as a whole get overused, but when it comes to the original, I think it's a neat idea. That said, I'm not turned off of this idea simply because we're dealing with Robin as the subject matter (if anything, it's the only thing about this that's grabbed my attention). I'm turned off by this show because I've seen what's come before in these shows.

These shows have simply become a big tease. Watering down Superman and turning him in to Dawson's Creek may have been ingenious from a marketing point of view, but storywise, it's hard to care when you know the ending. Why would I ever care about Lana when I know that Clark ends up with Lois Lane? I know, I know, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Well, weak plots and poor character development isn't an interesting journey. And now, the destination is messed up. Eight years into the show, he's Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter working for the Daily Planet, not wearing glasses. He has already met Lois Lane (sans glasses) and Lex has to know who he is. How can this possibly lead into Superman?

Smallville has twice tried to spin something off and both times have failed. Birds of Prey was created by the same guys who did Smallville. It was pretty awful. Very little like the comic. The show Alias was more like the Birds of Prey comic. Smallville also tried to spin-off an Aquaman series, potentially called "Mercy Reef." A pilot was produced and even available online and as a bonus disc with one of the DVD sets of Smallville. Nothing more ever came of it although the lead actor joined the cast of Smallville as Green Arrow.

So, one of two things would happen. Either the show gets canceled within the first 13 episodes or the show proves wildy popular and continues on long enough to where they write themselves into a corner and can't ever get to the end point. As long as Batman is on the big screen, he's not showing up on the small screen (which is a shame because a well-done live action Batman series would ROCK!).

In the end, I'm fine with the teen angst meets genre, but I think they should avoid established characters at this point. Come up with something new or relatively untouched, like Buffy, Roswell, or the one that was the best in recent times...Veronica Mars.

Sure, Smallville gets eight seasons but Veronica Mars only gets three? Where's the justice?

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