'Smallville': An open letter to Michael Rosenbaum
You don't know me, and there's no reason you should. I stopped watching "Smallville" regularly after Season 2. I think I was distracted by getting my driver's license and waiting around to see if the cute boy in my pre-calc class would call me.
Yeah. That show has been on for a really, really long time.
Over the years, I've caught the occasional episode, and of course, I've made sure to tune into Season 10 for a number of reasons. First of all, the show is on a creative high. I'd be stupid to miss it. Second, I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and the endless callbacks to my pre-driver's license days are simultaneously heartwarming and thrilling as the episodes build toward a climax 10 years in the making.
And that's the real reason I'm watching: I want to see how it all ends. As a fan of television in general, I wouldn't want to miss a rare feat like this. Essentially, "Smallville" will end with a beginning -- when Tom Welling last appears on screen, it'll feel like a goodbye, but it'll really be the launch of a classic story that's practically wound into the DNA of American culture.
Do you really want to be That Guy who makes the iconic moment feel less than perfect?
I don't want to be rude, but after speaking with executive producers Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders at the "Smallville" 200th Episode Party -- which was a blast, man, you should've been there... seriously -- I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to return to the show.
Lex Luthor is an essential part of the Clark Kent mythology. So essential that Peterson and Souders have put a contingency plan in place in case you don't show up on their doorstep. "The reason why we brought Lex Luthor's clones in and put Lex Luthor back into the premiere this year was because Lex Luthor in some form has to be part of the final season. It really would feel wrong if we just acted like Lex Luthor never existed," Souders says.
Mr. Rosenbaum, do you really want to be the guy who makes them use their contingency plan? Contingency plans are supposed to be used in case of nuclear fall-out or market crashes or other grand disasters. I'm assuming you don't want to be somebody's grand disaster.
Here's the thing. There may be an army of little Lex Luthor clones stashed away in some Metropolis basement, ready to bring on the apocalypse and inspire Clark to wear that suit and do the whole it's-a-bird-it's-a-plane thing. But those little Lexes aren't your Lex.
For fans who have watched the show since the beginning, your Lex is as important as Welling's Clark. The history, the rapport, the antagonism -- you're the only one that brings your unique combination to this show.
Many will say that you don't technically owe the fans anything. You fulfilled your contract and moved on with your life. That's allowed. Plenty of people have done it. But if you ask me, as long as you're still making the time to attend "Smallville" conventions, where you get paid to sign autographs and take photos and answer questions, you might as well get paid to actually attend "Smallville."
So answer the phone. Make the call. Your buddy Welling is so enthusiastic about your return that he'd probably film the scene in your back yard with his iPhone if necessary.
Plus, there's word that you could even bald-cap it, so you wouldn't even have to Bic those lustrous locks you missed so much during your LuthorCorp days.
It's a few days of work with a group of people who would lasso the moon to get your butt to Vancouver. Just go! It won't take long. You can go back to drinking beer and eating chicken wings with Cheech and Chong right after, I promise. (Yeah, I follow your Twitter.)
Do it for your long-time fans - the people who watched Lex turn to the dark side before they got their driver's license or finally got kissed by that boy in pre-calc. But mostly, do it for yourself, because you don't want to be That Guy. Right?
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Photo Credit: Warner Bros.