Then, yesterday, I watched the pilot episode of "Smallville" that The CW broadcast a few weeks ago in the run-up to the season finale. I hadn't seen it in quite a while, even though I have a DVD that I think I bought at a Wishcon or United Fan Con or whatever name the con had in Springfield that year. It was definitely the first time I'd seen it in HD. I guess it must've been shot on film and the effects produced in 16:9, since it looked as though it was always meant to be seen this way, never mind that no one was broadcasting in widescreen format or HD ten years ago. Even though Tom Welling still doesn't look his age (he's 34), it's striking to see him at the start of this ten-season-long epic. His co-stars, like Allison Mack and John Schneider and Sam Jones III, looked even more dramatically younger.
I'm way behind on the show, having more or less stopped watching and started letting episodes pile up on the TiVo about a year and a half ago. I've just watched from "Kandor" through "Conspiracy," and have 28 more episodes to go, through the two-hour finale that aired a week and a half ago. One reason I fell behind is that I've tended to prioritize watching HD shows before SD shows, to free up space on the TiVo faster, and for a long time, our "local" (i.e. Syracuse) CW affiliate wasn't available here in HD.
A few episodes either didn't get recorded or got lost due to my previous TiVo HD filling up (the Premiere has yet to get anywhere near full) or whatever, but I was able to take advantage of some Amazon Instant Video credit to buy them at $1.99 each, and soon thereafter, they appear on the TiVo ready to watch. I could also buy the HD versions for $2.99, but the widescreen SD versions from Amazon look good enough that I'll save the buck.
The middle of Season 9 was when "Smallville" was having some fun exploring other comic book legends, ranging from a goofy guest spot with Zan and Jayna, the "Wonder Twins" from the Justice League, to a near-reverent two-hour episode featuring such golden-age characters as Hawkman (a great job by Michael Shanks) and the Star-Spangled Kid. The respect the "Smallville" producers have for the universe in which they're playing is palpable at such moments.
Callum Blue, perhaps best known for portraying Mason in "Dead Like Me," is obviously having a blast playing Zod, and that character is really developing nicely at this point. The few weeks between the network series ending over the last couple of weeks and some summer series beginning in June should give me time to catch up a good bit more.