With rumors swirling that Smallville will be coming to an end either this season or next, one question becomes inevitable: will there be a spin-off? Surely one of the CW’s biggest hits will find away to live on and keep comic book fans hooked. Of course they tried to do this before with an Aquaman series, but that show tanked due in large part to the WB/UPN merger that left almost all new shows treading water.
But now the CW is in full swing and could easily benefit from yet another hour-long comic book drama starring a model-turned-actor who finds various excuses to become romantically entangled with several female co-stars while removing his shirt. And given that, just last season, Smallville introduced it’s own, slightly pared-down version of the Justice League, the potential for spin-offs is huge. Here’s a brief rundown of the four potential ideas, judging their star potential. Keep in mind, these are not official in any way, simply our suggestions for what the Smallville team could do next.
The Green Arrow
Somewhere on the Superhero Scale of Greatness between the Green Lantern and the Green Hornet lies the Green Arrow, a modern-day Robin Hood. With no true powers, he’s a lot like Bruce Wayne, relying on his rich boy gadgets to save the day. Played on Smallville by Justin Hartley, he was a recurring character in the sixth season, which gives him an edge in viewer familiarity. Also, Hartley would not be entirely unfamiliar with starring in a Smallville spin-off: he played Aquaman in the failed pilot two years ago.
Hunk Appeal: Extremely high. Hartley has a soap opera background as a former star of Passions, which means he is proficient at memorizing lines and removing his shirt. On Smallville, he was enough to make Lois Lane say “Clark who?” with Oliver Queen’s fondness for shirtless weightlifting in his clock tower loft.
As previously stated, Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar tried creating this spin-off idea before, but maybe it was just ahead of it’s time. Now that there are no network mergers in the wings and global warming has become a sexy issue, maybe the time as come. To see what it might look like, check out this trailer for the original pilot.
Hunk Appeal: Extremely high to medium. The show could go one of two routes. First, keep Hartley around, which is the best choice. The other option is using the man who played the role in Smallville, Alan Ritchson. While Ritchson certainly has the look (much like Tom Welling, hes a former Abercrombie and Fitch model), the problem is everything else. His acting is terrible at best, and he’s equally famous for doing strip tease for Paula Abdul to get a pass to the second round of American Idol auditions during season 3.
Half man, half machine, Victor was a young high school football star before a car accident left him in shambles until he was turned into a bionic man. An African-American superhero certainly has a unique appeal and could play well to younger audiences.
Hunk Appeal: High. Black is beautiful, or so they say. Actor Lee Thompson Young doesn’t have the same modeling pedigree as others, but he does come from a Disney Channel series, The Famous Jett Jackson. Undoubtedly there’s a crop of tween girls who grew up loving him, and now they’ve matured and so has he.
Sure, it’s a major cop-out that he’s not called the Flash (thanks a lot, copyright laws). But still, Impulse is without a doubt the coolest member of the Justice League simply because he’s the only one with a little edge. The other four are a bunch of do-gooders, but Bart “Impulse” Allen is a bit of a rebel, toeing the line between good and bad. He’s a compelling character, and it helps that the actor who plays him, Kyle Gallner, is the only skilled thespian in the bunch.
Hunk Appeal: Low. Sorry, Beaver lovers, but Gallner simply does not have the traditional masculine good looks that his fellow actors have. Unfortunately for him, the CW is keyed into the younger demographics where looks triumph over talent, so great as it would be to see Kyle Gallner on TV every week, this one is a bit of a stretch.
Each of these ideas has its own pros and cons. Which one would you most like to see and why? Let us know.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)