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Smallville: Blast from the past - I worship at the television altar — LiveJournal
Smallville: Blast from the past
With the premiere of the final season of Smallville coming up this Friday, I thought it would be fun to take a look back. Were you watching on October 16, 2001, when the pilot first aired? If so, what did you think? And if not, what was your first episode? What made you fall in love with this wonderful, amazing, sometimes infuriating show?

I didn't watch Smallville in the beginning. Back then I had a job where I worked nights, and I only watched TV on DVD, so I never even saw a commercial for the show. When I checked out the DVDs I was skeptical, afraid they had turned my beloved Superman into an angsty teen a la Dawson Leery, and there were as many bad reviews as good ones on Amazon. But during the summer after S4, I was desperate for something new to watch, so I decided to order S1.

By the end of the first episode I was hooked, utterly captivated by Tom Welling, and fascinated by the relationship between Clark and Lex. I ordered S2 and S3, and blew through them in a matter of days. Then I started over, watching every episode again while I counted the days until the release of S4. And thus an obsession was born.

I wasn't around in the early days of fandom, and missed a lot of the media coverage of the show. Recently I bought the November 23, 2001 issue of Entertainment Weekly (#627), which must have been one of Tom's first magazine covers. It's interesting to read the article inside, an interview with the show's creators (there's a single quote from Tom), and see the road the series has traveled as compared to their original vision for Clark's story. I still can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that Smallville will have been on the air for a decade by the time it's done. I feel like Jeremy Piven's character in Gross Pointe Blank; I have this irresistible urge to yell out, "Ten years! Ten years!!"

Here are my scans of EW. Click for BIGGER.

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whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: September 19th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Believe it or not, but I did watch the pilot. I think I made it through season 2.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 19th, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's about how long I lasted with Dawson's Creek. It's still weird to think that Smallville was on for as long as it was without me knowing anything about it.

I wonder if anyone who stopped watching will come back for the final season, just to see Clark complete his journey.
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: September 19th, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww memories. I was so excited when this show was going to air. I actually can't believe I'm still watching it.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 19th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's been quite a journey, hasn't it? And now I can't imagine my life without Smallville in it.
miss_tress From: miss_tress Date: September 19th, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
How could anyone forget that cover? I still have that issue saved in my box of "important" papers.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I was very happy to get my own copy! By the time I got involved in fandom Tom had stopped giving interviews, so it's been fun for me to go back and see the ones he did early on.
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: September 19th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I knew they were going to do a show about the early years of Superman and I was very interested (I have always LOVED Superman) When I saw the Pilot I was not disappointed but, above all, I fell in love with the actor playing Clark Kent, a boy I had never heard of before, Tom Welling. I became obsessed with him and with the show and... the rest is history.

Now Tom keeps me watching. I no longer love SV but of course I'll always love Clark Kent/Superman.

Thanks a lot for the gorgeous scans!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)
So our experiences were the same, just four years apart. :)

In some ways I see Smallville's final season as a beginning, of the next step in Tom's career. I hope the future holds many more roles for Tom, and that he truly does want to do it all.
jeannev From: jeannev Date: September 19th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tom looks amazing on that cover. but I'll always wonder whose idea it was to style the cover that way. He, in no way, resembles SV's Clark Kent, but instead looks like expensive trade. LOL

I didn't watch from the very beginning, but I can't recall when I started. Somewhere in S2, I think. Then caught up. Its always been about Tom, and Clark for me. 9 years and counting.

Do they actually say in this article that they are staying true to the fact that he never gets together with Lana? Wow, how plans changed, eh?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
The first words that came into my mind when I saw that cover were "rent boy." :) He does look amazing, and I love that he's giving us his best model face. Tom may not have loved that game, but he sure knew how to play it.

It surprised me how fierce my loyalty to Clark was, instantly and always. And I think that's all about Tom's performance. I've never fangirled anyone the way I do him.

They say that about Lana, and they also say they have no plans for serialized storylines or over-the-top villains, and they emphasize the realism of the show. The other thing this article makes clear is that the so-called Core Four is a fandom convention, and nothing more than that. Chloe doesn't even warrant a mention.
netlynn From: netlynn Date: September 20th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm with Valerie on the cover pic, he definitely doesn't look anything like Clark Kent in that pic. lol

I started watching in the middle of the third season - I was actually on vacation in Scotland at the time, flipping through channels and came across it and was hooked immediately. As soon as we got back, I bought all three seasons and had a marathon viewing session and finished just in time for season 4 premiere.

The pic of him wet in the red shirt? He's got that long torso that takes up most of the pic - but why is it that my eyes immediately went for the bottom of the picture? LOL ;)

You taking off this week?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, maybe Red!K Clark during his Metropolis summer. ;) How much would you love to see Tom strike that pose now?

That blows my mind that you went all the way to Scotland to discover Smallville. It was fate, obviously. And you know you weren't alone in where your eyes wandered. ;)

I have an intense week of work ahead, with a major project due on Wednesday. I know I'm going to miss lots of news, with journalists converging on Vancouver for Smallville's 200th episode party. But I do hope to take Friday off.
jaimsie From: jaimsie Date: September 20th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I still remember watching the pilot in my room, the season premier seems like forever ago.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Flipping through that copy of EW, it really puts Smallville's history into perspective. The X-Files was still on when the show started! :) And you must have been in middle school back then. Think of all that's happened in your life in the intervening years.
luvmax1 From: luvmax1 Date: September 20th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember that. I bought the magazine, but I didn't actually start watching the show until months later. Smallville was opposite Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Buffy had my complete loyalty. But on Thanksgiving they were rerunning the Smallville pilot, and I caught it, and an obsession was born.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)
It only took one episode for a lot of us!

I was a huge Buffy fan, too. And that's the show that introduced me to the WB, where I would find so many of my favorites (and still do, now that it's the CW).
(Deleted comment)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you like them! I know a lot of people have seen this article many times, but I never had, and I figured there have to be other fans who started watching later in the game, like I did. I have a few more magazines I'll be posting later. If any of them are missing from the TWU gallery, of course you're welcome to them.

I love that Smallville has such a strong international following. I've made friends all over the world because of this show! :) And I'm especially gratified if I can share something with them that they might not see otherwise.
tasabian From: tasabian Date: September 20th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I still have that issue - what an irresistible twink, Tom was! (And of course, he was media-savvy enough to understand the exact effect being conveyed.)

His curls were so pretty!

I also still have a 2001 Vanity Fair which I think was the first major publication to take note of the show's homoeroticism and Clex!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Tom always has known how to work the camera, and I'm very thankful for his talents!

I love his hair on that cover. They must have shot it before the series was truly underway, since the show chopped it all off for Metamorphosis. I wonder if Tom had any idea how his life was about to change?

I had no idea the print media jumped on the Clex bandwagon so early! What was the context of the mention? Did they review the show?
lexalicious70 From: lexalicious70 Date: September 20th, 2010 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I was a fan from the pilot. I watched for John Schneider, who I fanned at the time, but I fell in love with Tom, Michael, and the Clex right away. I remember the love I had for the show, and for the boys . . . they were my first real major slashy couple, and the first RPS couple for me, too. I remember tuning in every week because I just couldn't wait to see what happened, and then realizing what a genius of an actor Michael was and then completely falling head over heels for him. I remember it all so fondly. Smallville helped me get through the insanity of college and made me smile when I needed it most. Now, even though I don't watch anymore, I still remember all of it very fondly, and I will always have a great deal of affection for these wonderful actors who gave me so much joy as they put together a show I loved for so long every week. I will always be grateful. :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I have another friend who first started watching for John Schneider. I think Smallville was the first thing I ever saw him in, although of course I knew who he was. I'm a big fan now, though. :)

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It's nice that you can remember the show with so much fondness. I know others who no longer watch who feel nothing but bitterness now. :( I think it's especially cool that you've made some of your most special memories with Michael after he left Smallville. The love we have for these actors isn't bound by the confines of this one series, but can continue to flourish and grow long after it's gone.
chris_43 From: chris_43 Date: September 20th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the beautiful scans! I didn't start watching SV until the second season and the first episode I saw was Ryan. I was instantly taken in by Tom's performance as Clark Kent. I purchased season one and season two, so I was all caught up for the start of season 3. I've never obsessed over an actor before and was slow to jump on the Tom bandwagon. I didn't know anything about him and thought he was much younger than he was. It wasn't until my daughter mentioned how good looking he was and I replied back in agreement, but said he was too young for me to be looking at. She told me he was around 27 and thought he was married. From that point on I hit the internet and my obsession grew from there. I also can't imagine what it will be like once SV is over, but I'm looking forward to Tom continuing his career for many years. :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 08:42 am (UTC) (Link)
It's so interesting to me how everyone came to Smallville, and fandom. Ryan is a wonderful episode, and Tom is so good in it (as is Ryan Kelley). I remember when I first watched it, I was stunned that it ended so tragically.

At the time I first found Smallville, pretty much the only places I went on the internet were Amazon and MapQuest. :) Then my local newspaper ran an article about TWoP, and I started visiting the Smallville boards there. I lurked there for almost two years, too shy to join in, and never visited any other site except SHoE. Finally, at the beginning of S7, I joined LJ and started writing reviews. People somehow found them, commented, and here we are.

I've always been a Tom fan first, so I look forward to following his career long after Smallville ends, and continuing to share the squee with my fellow fangirls. :) I just hope he doesn't disappear behind the camera.
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: September 20th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw, cute! Those pictures are well-circulated (bless all the TW fans!), but it's nice to see the actual magazine it was in anyway. And those chain-linked 'S's on the side are adorable. <3

I can't remember all the details right now, but I think I started watching S1 around the time S3 ended (just like you!), and blew through everything in a matter of weeks. I started watching real-time from S4, and have been hooked since then. I only joined fandom in S5, when I started posting on the TWoP forums. (Man, I should go back and see what my earliest post there was!) I gained a renewed interest in the SV fandom when I joined LJ 2 years ago. :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I didn't mean to imply that no one had seen these images before, this post was more of a trip down memory lane. I find myself very nostalgic as the premiere approaches. :)

I remember your entries from my days of lurking at TWoP, although of course I didn't realize who you were when we first "met" on LJ. You were much braver than I was, I never did post much of anything on TWoP, even after I found my fandom voice here. I was one year behind you in watching the show, and two in joining fandom, but we finally ended up on the same page here on LJ, for which I'll always be thankful. I'm sorry I'm failing at commenting lately. I have three of your posts open on tabs right now, but I'm always behind. :(

I thought you might like THIS. Someone edited all the Savannah/Dan scenes from 1x02 (including the cheer routine) together on YouTube, so you can watch just them over and over. :) It's awesome!
chrisluvstommy From: chrisluvstommy Date: September 20th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry I haven't commented in so long but between the new magazine I'm helping launch and twitter eating up my time I've been neglecting LJ, but this pretty caught my eye!

I always am very grateful that you take the time to find these gems along with the current news and pics. I apprecite it even if I don't comment like I should. Thanks alot T

Oh and check out OSCK magazine you can download it today
at www.osck.wordpress.com I think you'll like it!
la_belle_isa From: la_belle_isa Date: September 20th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for the scans! I saw the cover but I never actually saw the article. That's a keeper!
I came into SV really late, in May 2007, so after 6 seasons; and like all great loves, there's the period "before" May 07, and the period "after" LOL.
I was at the video store looking for a new (for me!) TV series, SV looked interesting so I rented the first disc of S1. Then I bought S1 to 5, and I watched everything until August, when I caught re-runs of S6, before the DVD was released. I was a TW fan from the first episode, and I never was a fan of anyone, except when I was 13!
For me, the "great" SV period was from S1 to 5. Now it's another show, that I don't really like most of the time, but that I follow anyway because of Tom.
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