Rosenbaum Leaves Smallville, Will The Show Get Even Worse?

May 5, 2008
By Bruce Simmons

It's officially been reported that Michael Rosenbaum, who portrays Clark Kent's nemesis Lex Luthor on CW's Smallville, has left the show. The character is going to be replaced by two new baddies. But more on that a little bit later.

He posted the following on his website:

"It is time for me to start the next chapter of my life and career," Rosenbaum said. "I hope that I gave you some enjoyment over the years and that you found my portrayal of Lex Luthor to be satisfying." In that same post, he stated that the executive production team from Smallville hinted at the idea that Lex may show up in season eight.

They go into a little detail on the replacement characters that will fill the evil void that Lex Luthor is leaving behind. One is a dangerously sinister female villain "whose attraction with Clark may prove to be as deadly as kryptonite for him." They don't specify anything else about her, but the second nemesis they announced is... Doomsday.

To the Superman aficionado, Doomsday is the Krypton spawned monster who killed Superman in the DC comic universe.

Every now and then something pushes my buttons, and the new creative forces bringing in Doomsday hit that sucker hard. Up until now I've been pretty neutral about Smallville, season eight, the departure of Gough and Millar at the end of season seven, and other things.

I've been pretty patient with the "no fly" rule initiated by Gough and Millar, despite more and more flying Kryptonians showing up on the show.

Vic has mentioned previously that Smallville should have bowed out willingly - as he also said, like Seinfeld did, at the height of their game. I've been fairly patient with Vic's perspective, but I'm getting on his bandwagon and thinking that this eighth season coming up is a mistake.

With Gough and Millar leaving, the CW is replacing the duo from within the show's ranks with executive producers Darren Swimmer, Todd Slavkin, Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson. They've been with the show for the last 6 seasons, and the series is where the majority of their creative experience comes from. The lack of outside experience causes me to take pause.

When Gough and Millar (G & M) said things in their open letter about leaving the show like: "they never compromised their vision", they thanked folks like John Litvack for ".. when the knives were out, he always had their backs." and they referenced the "much missed WB staff".

With the announcement of Doomsday showing up, I think I can read a few things between the lines here. That G & M had to defend some of their creative input like the no-fly rule that made their interpretation unique, (I didn't say I liked it.), that others at the new CW wanted something different than the WB was producing and the introduction of Doomsday proves this to me.

After season 7, I'm guessing we're going to get very little character growth and more Black Canary type episodes that are painful to watch.

The introduction of Doomsday to the show sounds like a last ditch effort to generate attention and make some lame promise of violence. There are so many other bad guys that could have provided an intellectual challenge that they could have introduced to the show for the long haul of the season and they're bringing in yet another Kryptonian. There's no originality in that approach.

Doomsday changed the face of the Superman franchise. The sales for the comic were mediocre and slipping and they were going to end the title with a bang in 1993. But when the Kryptonian beast came on the scene and ended up killing Superman after quite the slug fest, the sales numbers went through the roof and DC changed their minds and instead, Doomsday ended up creating several new Superman based story arcs and characters.

What the CW is now trying to pull sounds like a desperate ploy to me. It is way too early in Kent's life to have Doomsday show up. With G & W departing and the CW pawns at the helm, I'm betting Clark flies next season.

That's how desperate I think they are.

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