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Smallville in TV Guide - I worship at the television altar — LiveJournal
Smallville in TV Guide
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From: (Anonymous) Date: April 22nd, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

From MJ

I think you make some good points. But honestly, I don't compare the focus on Lois in the beginning of the season with what seems to be happening now for several reasons.

Maybe it comes down to the fact that I'm a fan of Superman in every incarnation. Yes, I've been watching Smallville since the Pilot (and I love it) but I'm also a comics fan, a fan of LnC and a fan of the films.

As much as people don't like to hear it (and I'm not accusing you of this, this is just something I've noticed in general) the closer and closer we get to the end of Clark's journey the more it becomes a classic Superman story. Lois Lane is the second most important person in that story. I would argue that Lex is probably a close third and Martha and Jonathan round out the top 5. Some people might argue that Jimmy and Perry replace Martha and Jonathan in that top 5 depending on what phase of Clark's life you are talking about. But Lois Lane is second only to Clark in every medium of the Superman story. She's been there since the very first Action comic back in 1938 when Clark asked her out on a date. Richard Donner famously said that he knew that if he "got the love story right" his movie would be successful. This is the mistake that people make when they accuse a Clois centric episode of turning into "Lois and Clark." Lois Lane is going to be a central character (second only to Superman himself) in the Superman story. As Smallville gets closer and closer to the end of it's run, it's only fitting that Lois has more time in the spotlight.

Yes, the first half of season 9 focused heavily on Lois and her relationship with Clark. In a similar way, there have been countless series of comics throughout Superman's 70 year history that ALSO focus heavily on Lois and her relationship with Clark Kent. One of the most beautiful things about the relationship between Lois Lane and Clark Kent is that the reader/viewer gets to SEE CLARK THROUGH LOIS' EYES. Through Lois' perspective, the viewer (and I'm talking about comics and tv shows here) is able to see Clark through the eyes of someone who is falling in love with him or loves him. And that is a beautiful thing.

Now, I'm not going to excuse the writers for neglecting Clark's POV so often over the years. I'm a mythos fan first and foremost and I have argued tirelessly on other boards about my frustration over the way Clark is treated on his own show.

However, to compare Lois Lane, the second most important person in the Superman story and the woman who will spend the rest of her life as Clark's wife having enhanced screen time---screentime that was almost exclusively focused on Clark, her feelings for Clark and her relationship with him to what now appears to be an enhanced focus on Chloe and Oliver and their relationship completely ABSENT of any influence on Clark or about Clark is, in my opinion, a very flawed argument.

My biggest beef with the enhanced plotline for Chloe and Oliver is that I can't for the life of me figure out HOW it's supposed to enhance Clark's story. I really do love the entire supporting cast of Smallville. Despite my dissapointment with Chloe this season and last, I have still hoped and prayed for her redemption and an honest apology on her part so I can like her again. Even now, if she expressed a genuine moment of emotion and apology with Clark, I would embrace her again as a character because I know that's what Clark would do. His forgiveness and graciousness knows no bounds. What upsets me is that it seems clear that this story for Chloe is there soley for Chloe. It's not there to enhance Clark's journey in any way. Whereas with Lois, I always know that if Lois is on screen Clark's development will be important. He will grow from their interactions and everything with Lois will always come back to Clark. But the anger over Lois having increased screentime this year is in my opinion, misplaced. Lois' importance to the story stays true to her importance in the overall canon.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 22nd, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: From MJ

I should have specified that I was replying to the posts above talking about Lois' screentime and not to you, Tariel. I apologize if I wasn't more clear.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 22nd, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: From MJ

I got that, but I hope you don't mind if I respond anyway. :)

For me, it's not a matter of comparing Lois to Chloe or Oliver, it's comparing Clark to Clark. When I watch an episode, and find myself wondering what Clark is thinking, feeling, or doing, it doesn't matter if the person the episode is focusing on instead is Lois, Martha, or the bartender at the Wild Coyote, I'm still going to feel like something is missing. And as much as I love Lois, and Clark and Lois together, I did get that feeling at the beginning of this season.

The other thing I think the early episodes of this season had in common was that they revolved around romance. Don't get me wrong, I loved those episodes, but the relentless focus on Clark's relationship with Lois, and the progression of their romance, especially from Lois's POV, made me wonder what happened to the story I signed up for: Clark's journey to become the Man of Steel. I'm cool with Clark falling in love with Lois before that journey is complete, even though that's something that is unique to Smallville, but I don't want her holding his hand every second as he finds his way.

One of my biggest problems with Pandora was the suggestion that without Lois, Clark would not become the hero he is destined to be. That made me furious! In every other incarnation of his story, Clark becomes Superman before he meets Lois, and presumably, sadly, there will come a day when he will have to continue without her. Of course I would expect Clark to be devastated by losing Lois, and to grieve, but I would also expect him to carry on, because that's the man he is. Lois doesn't make Clark Superman, she makes him a BETTER Superman.

I like the balance the show has found with Lois and Clark in recent episodes. We see the romance, sexy and funny, but we also see them working as reporters, and saving the world, separately and together. But now, as you say, Chloe and Oliver seem to demand equal time.

Lack of relevance to Clark's story is the number one reason why I couldn't care less about the romance between Chloe and Oliver. Similarly, I have limited interest in Oliver's struggles with his dark side, or Chloe's schemes to snap him out of it. I do think it's relevant to Clark when Chloe is plotting behind his back, but I'm certainly not happy when she's validated for it.

I had hoped that the Chlollie romance would be used to show Oliver in conflict, his loyalties torn between Chloe and Clark, with the result that he would chose Clark, and perhaps convince Chloe to see the error of her ways and do the same. But obviously that's not what the writers had in mind at all.

Finally, my concern over Lois's screen time never began to approach anger, and I know that's true for tasabian as well. I'm sure you were responding to sentiments against Lois you've encountered in fandom at large, but I just wanted to make that clear.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 22nd, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: From MJ

I never thought you were angry so no worries. :)

I still maintain that a focus on Lois and in some instances, Clark and Lois, is more closely connected and important to a Superman story than a story about Chloe and her romance with the Green Arrow. (And I think from what I can tell you agree with that.)

I apologize if I wasn't more clear. My point was that I just don't think that you can compare a Lois/Clois heavy first half of the season with the shifted focus on Chloe now. They are not the same thing. And some fans out there (not you specifically) have done just that. One is directly related to Clark and the overall Superman story and one is not. In my opinion, the Lois heavy stuff is way way more acceptable due to Lois' overall importance in Clark's future in the larger Superman canon. I ABSOLUTELY agree that the writers have screwed up with not giving us more of Clark's point of view. But I have no problem with that relationship getting a ton of focus from time to time just as it has in every other medium of the Superman story. In general, when you are talking about supporting characters in the Superman story...it's Lois...and then everyone else. Lex is in there too as the close 3rd. The other supporting characters are lower in importance though. And yes, I know that Smallville is a prequel...but enough changes have been made at this point that I consider it an AU Superman story so in my mind, the "rules" of Superman apply. (Not sure if that makes sense. LOL)
In general, Smallville has established that Clark is encountering many super "milestones" earlier in his life than he does in the comics canon.

There are tons of comic books out there that focus heavily on their relationship....so what Smallville chose to do this year in the first half of the season is really nothing new. Some of the most touching moments in the Superman comics are told, in my opinion, from Lois' point of view. The Death of Superman is a classic example of that. Part of what made Clark's death so powerful was seeing it through Lois' eyes. Then I think about the issues where Lois is the one who narrates and tells the audience how difficult it is to watch him fight and struggle and how touched she is by his compassion. Many times, it's her voice that is laced across the pages as he's fighting. Recently, of course, the comics have shown Lois quitting the Daily Planet in order to fight back against her father. Again, the comic showed Lois' words and point of view as she reminded the world of the hope and peace that Superman had brought to everyone he encountered.

You know....I never got the sense in Pandora that Clark couldn't be a hero. Yes, he was beaten down and sad but I still felt like he was a hero. He had resisted giving in to Zod's regime and continued to stand against them. What really bothered me the most about that episode wasn't his grief over Lois. Again, that whole idea that Clark was "dead" without her wasn't new. That was borrowed from a few different comic stories and the Superman Animated series "Brave New Metropolis" where Clark is overcome with his grief and realizes what she meant to him too late. I was intrigued by the fact that the humans were at the Kent farm. In my land of fanwanking, I imagined that Clark had tried to provide a safe harbor for people at the farm and the Kandorians had taken it over. I wanted to hear something like that in the episode. But what really bothered me was the idea that he had turned his back on Chloe and Oliver and it was somehow "his" fault with no mention whatsoever of Oliver stabbing him in the back in Doomsday or Chloe running off with Davis. That whole thing should have been addressed in Pandora and it wasn't. Had they addressed the whole thing with Chloe and Oliver I might have been happier about the entire scenerio.

I also had hoped that the Chollie romance was going to be used as a way to make Oliver choose between Chloe and Clark. When we saw him hide the weapons in "Conspiracy" I really thought that was leading somewhere. At this point, I have no interest in their romance because, as you'e said, it has nothing to do with Clark.

Anyway, I hope I clarified my point a little better. Thanks again for chatting!
jeannev From: jeannev Date: April 23rd, 2010 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: To MJ

Again, the comic showed Lois' words and point of view as she reminded the world of the hope and peace that Superman had brought to everyone he encountered.

And I see how that could work for the comics.

I just don't think it works so well for SV, where we shouldn't need to see Clark through a third characters eyes. As the audience, and with Clark as our main character, we should be seeing his world through his eyes.

And quite frankly, I have a hard time seeing "Superman" through Lois' eyes when the show didn't really invest the time into that storyline. Lois' fascination with The Blur came along very, very quickly. And without that face-to-face connection from the comics, just the occasional phone call didn't really do it for me, but mileage varies.

I have no issues with Lois' importance in the comics, or her gaining in importance on SV. But I don't think that it should usurpe Clark's importance, and I don't think the story should be told through her eyes, and I don't really think we need any 3rd party character to provide a bridge between viewers and the main protagonist.

I do think they went a bit overboard with the Lois focus in the early part of this season (and not always to Clark's benefit), and I think the reason they did that is because they know they wasted way too much time not developing as much as they should've in the years she's been on the show. So, they slammed on the gas pedal a bit too hard for me. I have enjoyed a lot about the character, and if it is a choice between Lois focus, and Chloe focus, I'll take Lois focus, please.

But really, I want Clark focus. And when I say that, I don't just mean focus on his romantic relationship. As I've said, several times this season, take away Clark involved with Clois, and how much storyline has he had? I don't think thats as big a problem for Lois, because she's a supporting character, and the show isn't about her. But Clark should have story all over the canvas, with all the supporting characters. And I really feel like they dropped the ball there, because they really wanted to sell Clois as this love of a lifetime. But they should've started laying that foundation a few years ago, I think.

Just wanted to add my 2 cents. :)
tasabian From: tasabian Date: April 23rd, 2010 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: From MJ

*co-signs every word of Tariel's comment*

As much as people don't like to hear it (and I'm not accusing you of this, this is just something I've noticed in general) the closer and closer we get to the end of Clark's journey the more it becomes a classic Superman story.
What defines a classic Superman story is highly subjective - for instance, I don't like Kate Bosworth's Lois, I think Erica's is much better. But someone else could say KBLois is the definitive Lois and "Superman Returns" is the classic Superman story and they wouldn't be wrong. That's their opinion. A 16 year old who says "Lana will always be the love of Clark's life!" is as valid in her opinion as the 60 year old who says "it's all been downhill since the Silver Age!"

People tend to patch together their own personal canon anyway. Canon is fluid. In the classic Superman story, Lois doesn't live with the Kents and doesn't know Clark until Metropolis. So for Smallville to match up with "classic" Superman, should Clark give Lois the Kiss of Lethe & wipe her memory? I suspect most fans would rather see canon change then to go this route. And with nine years on the air, Smallville has tweaked canon in many ways. Chloe and Lionel didn't exist before 2001, but they play huge roles on Smallville. Rosenbaum's Lex is different from the Lexes that came before. Mercy jumped from TV to the comics and has jumped back in the hybrid form of Tess. Clark lost his virginity to Lana. Doomsday's origin story is entirely different.

But the anger over Lois having increased screentime this year is in my opinion, misplaced.
People watch Smallville for any number of diverse reasons and none is more valid than another. Same goes for criticism. That said, Lois getting more air time does not make me angry. Chloe getting more air time does not make me angry. An absence of Clark's point-of-view and less dialogue for Tom makes me bored and I don't care which supporting character is stealing focus from him. Clark is my barometer for episode-quality.

I like both Chloe and Lois. But if they packed their bags and left tomorrow, I'd keep watching. Send Clark to another dimension, bring in Diana and Kara as his gal-pals, shift out Green Arrow and bring in Green Lantern? Sure, no problem. For me, the only indispensable character on the show is Clark. He is not one half of a relationship, he is himself. And it’s his eyes I want to see through.
jeannev From: jeannev Date: April 23rd, 2010 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Great Paragraph

I like both Chloe and Lois. But if they packed their bags and left tomorrow, I'd keep watching. Send Clark to another dimension, bring in Diana and Kara as his gal-pals, shift out Green Arrow and bring in Green Lantern? Sure, no problem. For me, the only indispensable character on the show is Clark. He is not one half of a relationship, he is himself. And it’s his eyes I want to see through.

I love this paragraph, and I could not agree more.

tasabian From: tasabian Date: April 23rd, 2010 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Great Paragraph

Thanks, love! ♥
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 23rd, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Great Paragraph

You're right. What defines the best or definitive version of a Superman story is highly subjective. Absolutely. But that wasn't my point. It doesn't matter WHAT version of the Superman story you are talking about or which Lois you like the best: Lois is the second most important person. She's second only to Clark and Lex is a close 3rd. You could be talking about the original comics in the 1930's, the George Reeves show in the 1950's, the ill advised Superman musical, the Superman films, the animated series, "Lois and Clark", and the list goes on. When you're talking about Superman canon it goes Clark, Lois, Lex and then everyone else. My point wasn't about which is the best version of the Superman story. That's going to change depending on who you ask. But the bottom line is that when you are talking about a Superman story, Lois is going to be the second most important person to that story. Her relationship with him is going to be a large part of that story. The closer Clark has gotten to his desinty as Superman the more this show has needed to embrace the world of Superman. And in that world, Lois Lane is second only to Clark. In that world, she is sometimes around even when Clark CAN'T be there. In that world, while he's not just one half of a couple, he lives and breathes for her. Now, I completely understand that some people may not like that. That's understandable. But it is what it is.

And while I will be the first to admit that this show has pushed Clark to the side numerous times over the years and while I absolutely agree that we needed to hear more from HIS perspecitve this year....I still think he came off looking fantastic in the first half of this season. His confrontation with "Metallo" was, in my opinion, one of the most moving scenes between Clark and a villian ever on this show. I thought he was very proactive and a true hero in "Rabid." He was out there investigating and working to save Oliver in "Echo." I wasn't thrilled about his screentime or role in "Roulette' but that seems to be a popular opinion. He came off fabulous in "Idol" and had several true moments of heroism and grace both with Lois and the Wonder Twins. The only episode this year that was truly just about romance was "Crossfire." And you know? I didn't have a problem with that because there are PLENTY of examples throughout Superman canon where Clark's major arc is his romance. So I'm fine with the show taking one episode that's just about that. But the other episodes in the first half of the season were not just about Clark's romantic arc.

I actually had a bigger problem with "Kandor." I didn't like it that Clark was seperated from his father until the very last minute of the episode. I wanted Clark to be the one to talk to his father about Zod and his life on Earth...not Chloe. That was a let down for me.

And yes, I'd watch this show if it was just Clark as well. I love Superman that much. I've watched this show since the pilot and loved it through the good and bad. But then again, when it comes to the modern continuity of Superman, a story that doesn't include Lois isn't being true to the Superman canon and eliminates some of the most emotional and important stories in the canon of this incredible character. But yes, I would still watch.

Anyway, I feel like my initial point has been kind of distorted. In no way am I arguing that every episode of Smallville should be about Clois nor am I defending the show for all of the time that they have WASTED over the years not giving us Clark's point of view. We should have heard a LOT more this year from Clark regarding his return to humanity and how he was feeling after the Doomsday debacle last year. That was a huge mitsake on the show's part. I want to see every side of Clark's life explored. I particularly want to see him out there working as a journalist and I'm waiting for the show to get on that. My point was that if I had to choose...I would GLADLY choose a story about Clark and Lois than the recent focus on Chloe and buliding her up as some kind of Saint. Ideally, I would never HAVE to choose. Ideally, the show would give me a nice mixture of Clark's romance and his role as a reporter and hero etc.
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