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If you’ve been a long time reader of this column (if so, my condolences) than you know that I’ve had a mixed relationship with the show SMALLVILLE. There have been times in the past I’ve loved SMALLVILLE and there have been times in the past where I’ve detested it. It has been a very uneven show that has strayed far away from its original concept in the fight to stay viable.

For those of you that may be completely unaware of what SMALLVILLE is still the premise is really simple: It’s a revised version of the life that CLARK KENT lives leading up to becoming SUPERMAN. The show started as a hybrid version of THE X-FILES and ROSWELL with a monster-of-the-week theme while the young CLARK learned about his powers and abilities. As the years have passed the monster-of-the-week theme stuck but the developing Supes story also merged with MELROSE PLACE along the way as characters slept with other characters and Kryptonian story lines furthered to muddy the waters of comprehension.

With SMALLVILLE entering its tenth and final season I wasn’t sure if I was going to stick with it, which is pretty much what I’ve done each year for at least the past five seasons. Thankfully I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what the creative team behind the show has done with the stories thus far and with the direction that the show is headed. They know that this is the final season and they seem to be guiding us into the final transitional chapter of CLARK KENT finally putting on those tights and becoming the protector of mankind.

A few seasons back the show did what I considered the unthinkable in the offing of SUPERMAN’s greatest foe, the corrupt and powerful LEX LUTHOR. The move was one the show had to do since Michael Rosenbaum decided it was time he move on from the role. In this final season it would seem that they’ve come up with a way to remedy this in a way that I find acceptable both creatively and conceptually.

The most important part of this final lap that SMALLVILLE is taking is the solidification of the relationship between LOIS and CLARK. In the past the relationship wasn’t one that I was able to buy between the two actors but this season the chemistry between TOM WELLING and ERICA DURANCE is more palpable. I can finally believe them as a couple and I’m ready to see them move towards the closing of this story.

My only gripe right now is the VIGILANTE REGISTRATION ACT story line that they also are playing out. I suppose the MARVEL COMICS CIVIL WAR is still too fresh in my mind to have this topic retread but I’m not sure if the comic reading uber-geek is really the core audience of this show any more and I may be speaking in the minority. It’s also been a few episodes since we’ve had to deal with DARKSEID but I’m sure he’ll be cropping up some time in December just in time for a winter break cliffhanger.

Enough about SMALLVILLE though, let’s get to the nitty gritty.

MONDAYConan on TBS

NBC - 8:00 PM: Quick note to NBC, if you want to get out of last place running DECISION POINTS: A Conversation with George W. Bush opposite… well… anything on the schedule… won’t help you. Another bad decision may also come back to haunt you later tonight at 11.

CBS - 9:30 PM: Tonight on MIKE & MOLLY it turns out MIKE’s snoring may be an issue. Oh yeah, there nothing more of a knee slapper than sleep apnea.

TBS - 11:00 PM: Seriously, is there anything else on tonight that is more noteworthy than the premiere of CONAN? TBS is going to have their highest late night ratings tonight. This isn’t a prediction, it’s a fact. The real question: how long will the ratings wave last? Yes I’m petty and yes I hope the ratings stay high just long enough for the execs at NBC to REALLY regret their decision.

TUESDAY

FOX - 8:00 PM: SAM and FINN find an unconventional way of controlling their urges on GLEE. Does it have anything to do with guys bursting out into song spontaneously or singing show tunes? That’s a mood killer for me any day.

NBC - 8:00 PM: Instead of just yelling at the contestants on THE BIGGEST LOSER to work them to death in the gym BOB and JILLIAN also confront them on issues they can’t overcome. I’m sure that’s just what you want when you’re muscles have turned to jelly and your coated in sweat.

ABC - 8:00 PM: It’s always hard when the in-laws drop in, but imagine if you’re NO ORDINARY FAMILY and you have to hide your powers. Even worse, imagine you can read minds and your grandma is in the room checking out your grandpa. Eeeewwww!

WEDNESDAY

ABC - 8:00 PM: I’ve never watched the CMAs before but tonight on THE 44th ANNUAL CMA AWARDS we’ll get to see GWYNETH PALTROW make her live country music debut. Anyone who’s seen DUETS has to be as excited as I am for this (I’m not).

NBC - 8:00 PM: At press time I’ve yet to watch a single episode of UNDERCOVERS. According to the ratings I’m not alone.

FOX - 8:00 PM: Tonight on HELL’S KITCHEN it’s the men v… oh, who cares. I’ve never watched a single frame of this show either. It’s just filler at this point isn’t it?

THURSDAY

HBO - 9:00 PM: JAMES GANDOLFINI interviews men of the service and their families to examine the lingering effects of battle in the gripping documentary WARTORN: 1861-2010.

NBC - 9:00 PM: ERIN and GABE host a viewing part of GLEE on THE OFFICE and I’m at a total loss that a competing network show gets this kind of coverage. Oh those whackey OFFICE writers!

USA - 10:00 PM: It’s the mid-season return of BURN NOTICE and MICHAEL WESTON still continues his quest to find the people who burned him. Shouldn’t he just find a good therapist at this point and let it go? He’s got a pretty decent ‘protector for hire’ business going on, why not just be happy doing that? Oh yeah, then there’d be no angst to the show.

FRIDAY

THE CW - 8:00 PM: TERI HATCHER returns to a super-themed show tonight on SMALLVILLE as she shows up as LOIS LANE’s mom only thirteen years after she herself played the character. That’s gotta not feel too good for the ego.

CBS - 8:00 PM: Weird stuff happens on MEDIUM, same as it ever does. I only mention it because the network cut the show’s order down to 13 episodes so this may be one of the final five episodes of MEDIUM ever.

FOX - 9:00 PM: JACK and LIZ try to get away to a romantic Bed & Breakfast and I’m sure DAN won’t do anything to ruin it on tonight’s episode of THE GOOD GUYS.

SATURDAY

BBC AMERICA - 6:00 AM EST: An all day marathon of the last season of DOCTOR WHO is kicked off with the final TENNANT installment THE END OF TIME. You’ve only got to endure two hours to get to MATT SMITH, and it’s well worth it. Since this season was also available on home video November 9th I’m sure you’ll see plenty of commercials to buy it as well during the run today.

NBC - 8:00 PM: The series finale of OUTLAW airs proving once again that Saturday night is where cancelled shows go to die.

HBO - 10:00 PM: TRACY MORGAN: BLACK AND BLUE tries to continue the time honored tradition of a hilarious Saturday night HBO comedy special. Yes, I said tries.

SUNDAY

ABC - 8:00 PM: CARRIE UNDERWOOD, LEANN RIMES and KEITH URBAN help the EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION team rebuild a school. Yes, HOME EDITION rebuilds a  SCHOOL. I guess they’ll be brushing up on reading comprehension while they are there.

TLC - 9:00 PM: Because we just haven’t gotten enough of her the good folks at TLC decided we really needed to see SARAH PALIN’S ALASKA. I’m sure it is majestic, beautiful and filled with at least 10 minutes of political crazy talk.

PBS - 9:00 PM: In a way it is sort of fitting that the woman who did the most notorious SARAH PALIN impersonation is honored and it airs opposite her TLC premiere with tonight’s counter-programming of TINA FEY: THE MARK TWAIN PRIZE. Talk about going rogue!

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