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Weighing in on Smallville - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Weighing in on Smallville
I haven't had much to say about Smallville over the past few months. My desire to stay positive about the show in this final season, and savor what little time I have left with Tom Welling on my TV screen, went to war with my disappointment over some of the choices the showrunners and writers have made, and with each new episode I found myself at a loss when it came to putting my confused feelings into words. But that doesn't mean I don't have opinions. :) So, for the record, this is where I stand on all things Smallville right now.

1) I still love my show.

Some episodes make my heart soar, and others make my head want to explode, but no matter what, I still greet each new chapter in Clark's story with breathless anticipation and renewed hope. I watch shows with better writing, and ones with better acting, but none that I love more. That doesn't mean, however, that I won't, or shouldn't, complain when I'm not happy with what I see. It seems that as the end of Smallville draws near, fandom displays less and less tolerance for criticism about the show, or even for an opinion that differs from one's own. The sentiments I've seen expressed have varied from "please don't harsh my squee" to "DIAF," but in the end, if you don't want to read anything negative, you should probably skip the rest of this entry, as well any others I post in the future.

2) For me, Smallville is all about Clark Kent.

I was a Superman fan before Smallville ever started, so of course I came to the show with some baggage. I always want the show to focus on Clark, and I have certain expectations about what kind of man he should be, and what his journey should look like. But those are just my wishes and dreams, and the show obviously has no obligation to live up to them. I don't want or expect Smallville to strictly follow comics canon (how boring would that be?), and I embrace the unique universe the show has created, where Lex Luthor will always be so much more than the villain of the story, and where Clark Kent meets, falls in love with, and maybe even marries Lois Lane before he becomes Superman. But lately it seems to me that the story is more about the romance than the man, and I'm never going to be okay with that.

I'm not writing a review of Collateral (some of it I loved, and some of it I despised), but I will say this about the episode: I don't think I've ever seen Clark look less effective. It boggled my mind that everyone got to play the hero EXCEPT the actual hero of the story. Clark not only wasn't a superhero, he was a freaking damsel in distress, who couldn't even make a decision without Lois's help. Kudos to Tom Welling, though, for perfectly capturing the nobility and joy of Clark in flight. The context drove me crazy, but he totally sold the moment. LOVE him.

Anyway, part of my enjoyment of this show has always been wrapped up in anticipating the eventual end, in seeing Clark complete his journey and become Superman. When the writers focused on other characters and other stories, and regressed Clark over and over again, I tried to convince myself it was a necessary evil, a way to delay the payoff so I could hold on to the show (and Tom) a little longer. I lived in fear that Smallville would be cancelled without warning, and leave us all hanging. But even now, after we've been given the best possible gift, an entire season to finally let our hero shine, instead of a clear path to glory, Clark has been handed an incomprehensible muddle of a storyline, and it's kind of killing me. I need more than a bucket list stuffed with iconic moments, cool comic book characters, easter eggs, and returning guest stars. I need decent storytelling, and after all these years, Clark deserves better than what I've seen so far.

Still, I'm relatively easy to please. If the big Smallville news Greg Beeman teased on his blog is that he's coming back to direct the finale, that will make me forgive a multitude of sins. If S9 had been the last, I would have been pretty content to end the series with his Salvation (minus the cliffhanger, of course).

3) IMO, TPTB don't love, or understand, Clark Kent/Superman.

In a recent interview, Miles Millar had this to say about Superman:

I’d never been a fan of Superman. He was always this earnest, boring character. Our whole task with Smallville was to write the character, so that I was interested in his story. How did he become this earnest guy that is a boring do-gooder? That was the whole point of the show.

Doesn't that explain so much? I don't find Superman boring, I think he's amazing and inspirational, with an unshakable moral center that some people mistake for a lack of nuance or complexity. The life he leads and shares with Lois Lane is rich and captivating, and I will never get tired of their adventures, both separately and together. I not only admire Clark Kent, I love him. I think telling Superman's story was a job for AlMiles, not a passion, and that they never loved their hero. It showed then, and I think it shows now, with the successors they nurtured and trained. TPTB seem to struggle to find good stories for Clark. I suspect they relate much more easily to the supporting characters who surround him, and end up writing stories that build them up at Clark's expense as a result. The press release announcing the two-hour finale is just one example of how I think their view is skewed:

This final season, Clark attempts to find a balance between saving the world, which becomes even more difficult as the Vigilante Registration Act separates a nation, and spending time with his new fiancée Lois Lane.

In my mind, what this season should be about is Clark and Lois each struggling to find their own individual identities as they fight together to save the world. A subtle difference, maybe, but one that's important to me. Their description makes it sound like Clark is worried that his activities as the Blur will cut into his dating time, or that Lois will be annoyed if Clark isn't around to help her pick out wedding invitations. And while we're on the subject, with Darkseid, the VRA goons, the Suicide Squad, AU!Lionel, and Clone!Lex all running around, is this really the time to be planning a wedding?

I think Smallville has had some wonderful writers who completely understood what Clark Kent is all about, but most of them are long gone. Doris Egan, Jeph Loeb, and Mark Verheiden were some of my personal favorites. Of the current staff, I think Bryan Q. Miller totally gets it. But the showrunners do exactly that, they run the show. The way they see Clark colors every episode, and I just don't think they see him at all the same way I do. Of course I'm going to be disappointed.

At the heart of it, my ONLY problem with the show is TPTB's inability to shine the spotlight on Clark and just let him be the man he is meant to become, the man I know he already is inside: a brave, intelligent, unwavering hero, who stands ready to take the weight of the world on his impossibly broad shoulders, who doesn't need to be led or pushed or shown the way, but who leads and inspires others, and gives the planet hope, as much by who he is as what he does. There are only nine episodes left. Isn't it about time they allowed Clark to step up?

4) Lois Lane is awesome.

One of the main reasons Superman is my favorite superhero is his relationship with Lois Lane. I love how both of them are so strong, and yet so vulnerable, and the way they're always there for each other. I love that their relationship is fun, and sexy, and real. I love that Lois is so much more than Superman's girlfriend/wife, and is never overshadowed by her larger-than-life man. And I love the way he needs her.


Scan from Superman/Batman: Absolute Power TPB

I've had my problems with the way Smallville's Lois has been written over the years, but the changes made to the show at the beginning of S8 fixed all that, and since then I've become a huge fan. In S10 in particular, Erica Durance has blown me away with her performance, episode after episode, and made me fall for Lois even harder. The big romantic moments between Clark and Lois this season have been some of my favorite scenes of the whole series, and as a Clark fan, it means the world to me that he finally has someone who truly loves him and is there for him, without reservation, in every way. But I think the show has taken the whole concept of the woman behind the man a little too far, and as usual, with all the subtlety of a sledge hammer.

Every time I turn around, Lois is giving Clark another heartfelt pep talk, and it's beginning to look like he can't do anything without her standing on the sidelines cheering him on, if not telling him what to do in the first place (and if it's not Lois, it's Kara, or Oliver, or Chloe, or Brainiac). Can't he figure out some of this stuff on his own? I'm fine with the idea that love finally unlocks the secret of flight for Clark, but couldn't he discover that for himself, rather than being talked through every step by Lois? Did his first flight, imaginary or not, really have to be all about her? At this point I feel like Lois is actively inventing Superman, and making Clark look needy, or reluctant, or just plain dumb in the process. It diminishes him, and that is so wrong.

And what about Lois? Isn't there more to her story than being Clark's support system and making wedding plans? Where is the relentless reporter, the beacon for truth, the Pulitzer Prize waiting to happen? I want to hear more than lip service about some conference call with Perry White; I want to see Lois in action, and I want to see her have a life outside of Clark.

I get it. Clark loves Lois and Lois loves Clark. But Clark's final steps on the path to his destiny are about more than their epic romance. Or at least they should be.

5) I don't much like Chloe anymore.

I can't even tell you how much I used to adore Chloe, back when she was Clark's BFF. But starting in S8, the writers created a rift between our hero and his trusty sidekick. Clark embraced his destiny, applied for a job at the Daily Planet, and entered a world that he would share with Lois, where he no longer looked to Chloe for help on a daily basis. Chloe in turn discovered she had super brain powers, and decided to hide them from Clark. Their lives took divergent paths, and they drifted apart. Chloe began to question Clark's judgment, and ultimately she would betray him. That's how I saw what went down, anyway.

S9 was even worse, as Chloe kept more secrets from Clark, spied on him, plotted behind his back, and treated him with contempt to his face. If she had ever offered Clark one sincere apology (I think he gave her at least three), I would have forgiven her completely, but she didn't. Am I holding a grudge? Yes, I suppose I am. And now she's back, to out-hero Superman himself, lecture him about trust, and make my eyes roll right out of my head. I just hope it's not Power and Requiem all over again.

6) I couldn't care less about Chlollie.

This relationship bores me to tears. I think it could have been interesting, if they had kept it purely physical: two broken people, finding comfort in each other's arms, but never quite able to let down the walls they had built around their wounded hearts. It would have made a striking contrast to the kind of love that Clark and Lois share, and could have been a heartbreaking reminder of the traumatic histories Oliver and Chloe both have been through on the show. Oliver and Chloe living happily ever after serves their shipper fans, but not the story, and I don't think that's ever a good choice. But of course that's just my opinion.

I find Oliver vastly more entertaining when he's as devil-may-care about his love life as he is about putting himself in harm's way to save others, and Justin Hartley plays the snarky but good-hearted playboy to perfection. That's the Oliver I love to see interact with Clark, hero to hero, not the lovesick puppy he's been this season. And I still think Chloe deserves a boyfriend all her own, an original character, not one the fanboys will always insist belongs to someone else.

7) NEEDS MOAR TESS.

I think Tess Mercer has been fabulous this season, and Cassidy Freeman continues to play her brilliantly. My only complaint is that she hasn't been onscreen nearly enough.

8) There are too many villains, and I still don't get what the Darkness is.

I challenge anyone who works on the show to provide me with an explanation of what we've seen so far that ties all the different storylines together and makes sense of it all. I've read a whole bunch of Superman comic books over the past three months, and they did help me understand characters like Darkseid and Granny Goodness a little better, but the whole thing still makes my head hurt.

9) I dread where the Clone!Lex storyline is going.

Unless Michael Rosenbaum is coming back, and I don't think he is, I don't see how this can end well. I am looking forward to Lucas Grabeel's episodes, though. I think he's wonderful, and I can't wait to see him act with the rest of the cast.

10) I can't wait to see Booster.

Geoff Johns wrote it, Tom directed it, we have two hot guest stars on board, and I even read a couple of Booster Gold graphic novels to get some background on the characters. There's a definite potential for humor, but I think we'll also see the exploration of some significant concepts, like what it means to be a hero, and why someone would choose a life of personal sacrifice for the greater good, with or without the promise of recognition or reward. Plus the early buzz is that it's going to be a good one!

So there you have it, my top ten thoughts about Smallville. If you made it all the way here to the end, thanks so much for listening. Even if no one reads this, just posting it is a big deal to me. I have found myself retreating more and more in recent weeks, lurking but never commenting, and posting nothing but news and scans. It feels good to break my silence and talk about Smallville again, if only to get a few things off my chest. :)

Oh, and one more thing. This guy? Will ALWAYS be my Superman. ♥




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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. :) And even when we don't agree, I know you won't condemn me for having a difference of opinion.

My feelings about Chloe have run the gamut over the years, and have now come full circle. It's always been fascinating to me how some people can champion the same actions from her that I condemn (and vice versa when it comes to Clark), but I think those kinds of differences are what the Smallville fandom has become famous for.
homicidalfink From: homicidalfink Date: February 10th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow. Agreeing with just about all of this. I'll come back after class and try to make some coherent points, but yes. It all comes down to this for me:

In order to effectively write or direct anything Superman related, you should probably like and/or try to understand him.

And these people don't, although I think the lone voice of reason with the showrunners might be Tom. At least that's what I'm hoping.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure we'll never know how much, or how little, Tom goes to bat for Clark, but I do remember BP telling that story during the DVD commentary for Identity about how he "pushed back" when they wanted to have Clark be influenced by Tess and Oliver to start practicing subterfuge in his dealings with people. Tom said Clark wouldn't do that, and he was able to convince them to drop the idea. I'll always love him for protecting Clark that way.

The other thing I appreciate about Tom is that his performance always does Clark justice, even when the actual dialogue may not. He definitely makes the most of what he is given, and has overcome a lot of bad material over the years, IMO.
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luvmax1 From: luvmax1 Date: February 10th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Word, word, word! Perfectly put, sweetie. Why the hell can't you write the darn show?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2011 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I really do struggle to understand what the writers are thinking sometimes. I would have loved to hear the brainstorming sessions they had for some of these episodes, just to gain a little insight. How do you write for a hero you don't love with all your heart?
jeannev From: jeannev Date: February 10th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Part 1

Wow, what a fantastic post, and analysis of the season. I've missed your insight so, so much. There are so many parts of this post I want to quote and discuss, but if I did, I know I'd take over your whole journal. So, I'll try to just hit certain points.

I think I've realized, for me, that I don't love the show in its present form anymore. I still love what the show WAS, and I still love what the show should've, and could've, been, and I still love Tom Welling, and Clark, and I love Tess. So, there's a lot of love there. But in its present form, I cannot love this season. It is a heartbreaking disappointment to me. Because, as you've said, this show is run by people that don't love, or get, Superman. And thats not going to change in the next 9 eps either.

And ya know what? Amongst friends, with mutual respect, it should be OK to feel that way and talk about it.

And while we're on the subject, with Darkseid, the VRA goons, the Suicide Squad, AU!Lionel, and Clone!Lex all running around, is this really the time to be planning a wedding?

OMG, YES to this! YES a million times! I understand them getting engaged. I understand them pledging to remain devoted to each other through thick or thin. I would even understand an elopement. But wedding planning? Bridesmaids, flowers, parties? Really? Right now? See, when people talk about the show being overly obsessed with Clois to the detriment of other stuff on the show, this is the kind of thing they are talking about. It just feels like Clois is everything, and all the other stuff, including the DARKNESS THAT THREATENS THE WORLD! is a distant B plot.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2011 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 1

It's so good to talk to you about Smallville again! *twirls you*

I totally understand your disappointment with the show, and I think you're both more astute and more realistic than I am when it comes to knowing what to expect. I didn't think I would love Collateral, but I wasn't prepared for how deeply it would disappoint me, and 15 minutes in I was thinking of you and how right you were. :)

Honestly, I'm such a sap. I'm already pumped for tomorrow's episode, looking forward to AOT, John Glover, and Lucas Grabeel, and anticipating the scene between Clark and Martha we saw in the promo pics. Hope springs eternal, I guess. Still, if it weren't for Tom, I would have walked away long ago.

And ya know what? Amongst friends, with mutual respect, it should be OK to feel that way and talk about it.

Of course it should. For everyone I hold most dear here, I know it is, and I feel so fortunate to have friends like you guys.

But wedding planning? Bridesmaids, flowers, parties? Really? Right now?

I was ranting at my TV screen! "How can you be worrying about flowers and bridesmaids dresses at a time like this?!" :) Besides, after what happened in Bride, you'd think these two would want to be doubly sure all potential party crashers had been dealt with before going ahead with the ceremony.

I miss Tess, and Cassidy. A LOT.
jeannev From: jeannev Date: February 10th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Part 2

Every time I turn around, Lois is giving Clark another heartfelt pep talk, and it's beginning to look like he can't do anything without her standing on the sidelines cheering him on

Again, YES! Thats it.

I feel like everytime I discuss a legitmate problem with the way Clois is written, its dismissed as "hating". And thats such a dismissive way to view a different opinion.

Look, for me, its very, very important for us to believe...for ME to believe...that Clark can become Superman on his own. Because of what lies inside him. If you make it all about him being unable to get over the hump without Lois, you ARE diminishing Clark in my eyes.

That Lois can make Clark a happier Superman is a great thing. That she supports him is a great thing. That he can't get to that Superman point without her is a BAD message to send to me.

I knew the writers would be kissing Chloe's ass when she came back. I was prepared. And yet, Wow, it was still unbelievably awful at just how much they are willing to throw Clark on the sword to service a supporting character. And I have to say it, but AM's oddly smug, self-satisfied performance which started last season is really baffling to me, esp. since I think she is a good actress.

For me, the Darkseid stuff? A total and complete boring bust of a storyline that seems to have so little direct relation to Clark. In fact, outside of Lex, none of the villians of the season have much direct, personal connection to Clark. Its more a general threat to all the heroes, and people. And that sort of depersonalization contributes to my own disconnect from it.

And yeah, Tom will always be the person that I believe should've played Superman on the big screen...with much better writers behind him.

Its good to have you back. I hope you don't go away again for a long time!!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2011 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 2

I feel like everytime I discuss a legitmate problem with the way Clois is written, its dismissed as "hating". And thats such a dismissive way to view a different opinion.

I know, what's that about? I think what boggled my mind the most after Collateral aired was seeing someone basically say, "I saw this opinion. It's wrong. The right opinion is THIS."

Look, for me, its very, very important for us to believe...for ME to believe...that Clark can become Superman on his own. Because of what lies inside him. If you make it all about him being unable to get over the hump without Lois, you ARE diminishing Clark in my eyes.

I feel exactly the same way, passionately so. Are we to believe that the man who is destined to be the world's greatest hero, the savior of the entire planet, doesn't have that strength of spirit, that calling to help mankind, burning within him? And honestly, why would Lois Lane want to be with a man who didn't, who instead had to be rallied to the cause, convinced and cajoled into believing in himself, and needing validation at every turn?

There is a huge difference between supporting the man you love in times of personal crisis, bringing him back from the brink of despair, and being the driving force behind his accomplishments. Lois Lane has done the former for Superman time and time again. But the latter? Never. But that's what I'm afraid they're flirting with on Smallville.

And I have to say it, but AM's oddly smug, self-satisfied performance which started last season is really baffling to me, esp. since I think she is a good actress.

That's totally been bugging me, too. There were times last season when her tone gave dialogue a completely different meaning, a brittle edge that emphasized the barriers between Clark and Chloe when the words themselves might have softened them. It's a curious acting choice, and it was there in Collateral, too, especially in their scene together at the farm.

In fact, outside of Lex, none of the villians of the season have much direct, personal connection to Clark. Its more a general threat to all the heroes, and people. And that sort of depersonalization contributes to my own disconnect from it.

That's an interesting observation. Look how replaceable it made Clark in the showdown with the VRA. And Darkseid is so nebulous anyway. I had the same problem with Doomsday. I was invested in the confrontation between Clark and Davis in the FoS because of their history together, but once he transformed into the monster, that connection was lost, and so was my interest.

It's good to be back. And it was that nudge from you that did it. *hugs*
netlynn From: netlynn Date: February 10th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
*nods in total agreement* This post is made of awesome!! You always did have a way of saying exactly what I'm thinking with regards to Smallville and in a much classier, more meaningful post. I've missed seeing that from you.

Hope you are feeling much better now.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 12th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, thanks, Net! I've missed talking about Smallville, so much.

My back is finally all better, now I just have to work on my strength so I don't mess it up again.
damsels_fly From: damsels_fly Date: February 10th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love your post. So much correct. TPTB still really don't like Superman/CK.
Full disclosure - huge Clois fan. They're the only reason I'm still watching TBH. {Not even TW could've kept me watching Clana one second more!} Not that I think this super rushed Clois is super great. But, I do like it alot.

I'm a Clark Kent fan, first , last, always. When I started watching a show about Clark Kent I was over the moon! Superman not really there yet?! Woo-Hoo! And then Lana happened. And happened. And happened. JFC. She ruined SV for me for nearly 7 whole seasons. There were many seasons I hated, and I only wanted to bitchslap CK. Lana had his balls and Chloe had his brain. It was torture for this CK fan. Then Lois came in. YAY! She will be his friend and ... wait, they barely interacted for THREE seasons. Sigh. IMO Clois should have started slooowly in Season... 6ish maybe. (I'm ragey about the Lana years so...) I think if Clois had really started all those years ago, things wouldn't feel so crowded. And the complaints that Clois is taking over, wouldn't be so loud. (Heh. Who am I kidding, this mental fandom...)

It would have made a striking contrast to the kind of love that Clark and Lois share, and could have been a heartbreaking reminder of the traumatic histories Oliver and Chloe both have been through on the show.
You could have made excellent Chlollie. Instead we have nails on a god damn chalk board.

Sorry to post so much about Clois but y'know -- S.10 RECAP -- Clois, check. There are some villains doing something bad, somewhere, or something. Sad Ollie is sad. Tess is completely MIA, or completely awesome. (Take your pick.) And OOC Badass (barf) Chloe is coming back to ruin the back half of an uneven final season. Eh. I've watched worse seasons.
In short, at least Lana's gone.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 12th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for your comment! Most of my favorite moments this season have been between Clark and Lois. Tom and Erica are so great together. I love your icon! That scene took my breath away. In the space of a heartbeat Clark took their relationship to a whole new level, and the heat in his gaze as he stared into Lois's eyes made me weak in the knees. Yowza!

Once Lois joined Smallville, I think they had one girl too many, and the problem was compounded by AlMiles' seemingly incessant need to simultaneously throw all three shipper groups a bone. At best they made it look like Clark didn't know his own heart, and ultimately I think it was a slap in the face to the lifelong love he was destined to share with Lois.

I couldn't believe it when they went back to the Clana well AGAIN in S7, and I still think Lana's return completely derailed S8. I think Clana should have broken up for good when Clark got his powers back in S5, and Lana should have left the show at the end of that season. S6 should have been all about Clark and Lex, without Lana being the catalyst for their growing discord. Still, as happy as I am that Lana is no longer part of the show, I would have liked to see KK return one more time in S10, to give Clark and Lana the ending they should have had, rather than the ridiculousness we were subjected to in Requiem.
trystan830 From: trystan830 Date: February 10th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
i don't watch Smallville (except for S4 and then occasional episode here and there)... but as for still loving your show, i'm getting that a lot now with Supernatural. if i say i love what my show did, i get comments from people saying it's great that i can still love the show no matter what it does.

and i'm looking foward to Booster, too, but probably for a different reason as you. =)

i also wanted to add that i still like Chloe, but i'm stuck with the fanon Chloe from the Dean/Chloe fanfics, so... that's a different ball of wax altogether.

Edited at 2011-02-10 07:18 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 12th, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
if i say i love what my show did, i get comments from people saying it's great that i can still love the show no matter what it does.

Yeah, I believe it. That's not exactly sharing the squee, is it? :) Some people can only see a show from their own perspective, and others take it even further, insisting that everyone else should see it their way, too.

I've stopped loving shows before, but that's usually when I stop watching as well. Although even if I started hating Smallville, I'd probably still watch for Tom.

Oh, Sebastian Spence is definitely one of the reasons I'm looking forward to Booster! :)

I watch old episodes of Smallville all the time, and often find myself falling in love with the old Chloe all over again. It breaks my heart that the writers took her story in such a different direction, but I can't ignore all she has done just because I don't like it (as some people do, saying "I blame the writers"). What bothers me is the inconsistency, and the lack of accountability. It's just bad storytelling, IMO.

Fanfic Chloe is the best of all. She has no limits. :)
audrey229 From: audrey229 Date: February 10th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is a really good post. I think you outlined many of the issues with the season very well and yet I still really appreciate the way you bring something positive and inspiring to everything you have to say.

I think Al and Miles quote is very sad and very telling. I will always believe that Superman is a harder character to understand than a character like Batman or Spiderman will ever be. Bruce Wayne, in my opinion, is an easier character to grasp. Clark Kent is a character with so many layers and so many subtle areas of depth that I think some people just miss who he truly is entirely. People write him off as a boyscout or they write him off as just a boring do-gooder and they fail to look deeper at who he truly is. And in terms of the females in the DCU..I feel the same way about Lois Lane. (Except instead of people writing her off as a do-gooder they write her off as a bitch.) She is, in my opinion, harder to understand and to truly grasp than someone like Diana. And though I love them both as strong female characters in the DCU...my heart will always belong to Lois a little bit more because of the depth and flaws that make up her character.

One of my biggest regrets of the season thus far is that the show seems to outright refuse to do any sort of proper journalism arc for either Clark or Lois. I adore their romance and I have loved their romantic moments this season. But I also think that show sometimes misses that part of their "love" is WORKING TOGETHER. It's part of what makes them...them. If you remove their partnership and you remove their passion at work together....you miss half of what makes them amazing. I have missed the presence of the Daily Planet this season for both characters and their individual arcs.

Your description of Chollie sounds a lot like how I would have written it. They would have and could have been a nice contrast to Lois and Clark. And yes, I agree. A happy ending for them might make shippers happy but it doesn't really make sense in the narrative. Plus, I will admit that part of me feels kind of bitter as both a Clark fan and a Clois fan that the show is trying to juggle two "epic" (at least in their view) true love type romances at once. IN a weird way...it feels like one more thing that's been taken away from Clark. Clark's journey to find his soulmate was basically a theme from Day 1 on this show. It was never part of Ollie's journey. And there is a part of me that feels like that particular romantic leading man storyline should of only ever been Clark's---particularly in the final season. Ollie should have remained the snarky, sidekick character supporting Clark and Chloe should have had her own journey with someone else. As it stands, I feel like the show is trying to tell me that Chloe and Oliver, with their precious little screentime/little development, is supposed to be on the same level as Clark's search for his life partner and the 7 years of screentime that Tom and Erica have shared together to get to this point. And that feels kind of insulting to me as both a Clois fan AND as someone who just loves Clark so much.

I was kind of "meh" about Booster for a while there but I think you are right. I think there is potential for that episode to address some really important themes of heroism.

Those stills of Tom are AMAZING. He's officially found the fountain of youth. How can someone so strong and masculine still manage to look like such an angel?

Hope you are well.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 13th, 2011 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much! I'm glad you don't find my opinions completely negative.

I will always believe that Superman is a harder character to understand than a character like Batman or Spiderman will ever be.

I know what you mean (I can't even tell you how many Batman/Spiderman vs. Superman conversations I've had), but there was never any contest for me. Superman has always been my guy. And Lois is the only woman who could ever stand by his side. I can't help but wonder what kind of show Smallville would have been under the leadership of showrunners who saw Clark Kent as America's greatest hero, rather than a "boring do-gooder."

One of my biggest regrets of the season thus far is that the show seems to outright refuse to do any sort of proper journalism arc for either Clark or Lois.

I know! And the worst part is that you know Tom and Erica would totally rock that kind of storyline! Part of what I like best about Clark and Lois is their playfulness, and their working relationship has always been the perfect showcase for that: the teasing banter, the competitive spirit, and Lois's reckless pursuit of the story, tempered by Clark's cooler head. I love all of that, and I miss it.

the show is trying to juggle two "epic" (at least in their view) true love type romances at once

I think they are doing that; we have two couples who are basically competing for the OTP spot. Onscreen they're too similar, and offscreen the shippers battle it out over which one is better, and more in love. And as long as the show is doing such a poor job of focusing on what remains of Clark's journey, I'm going to think every minute devoted to Chlollie could have been better spent telling his story.

Booster Gold is a pretty interesting character. I'm hoping Geoff Johns brought some of the humor he gave his story in the comics to the script for Smallville. I really want to see Tom flex his comedic muscles as a director.

Those pics are my new favorites. He's so beautiful, and he IS Superman.
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: February 10th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's strange: I've been struggling to write reviews for S10 but have been totally blocked for almost exactly this set of reasons. (Add in the horrific dialog that has been all too common this year and the limited FX budget meaning most of the action occurs offscreen.) I guess this is the danger of working on a bucket list of items to clear up before the show ends: the season becomes terribly disjointed as the writers struggle to fit in everything but the kitchen sink.

Thank god for Tom and Erica and Cassidy, that's all I can say! They consistently rise to and even above the material they're provided.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 13th, 2011 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Totally blocked is exactly how I've felt. It's been very discouraging.

I guess this is the danger of working on a bucket list of items to clear up before the show ends: the season becomes terribly disjointed as the writers struggle to fit in everything but the kitchen sink.

Sometimes I imagine them in the writers' room, crossing each item off some huge list on a whiteboard as they figure out which episode they can stuff it into.

Thank god for Tom and Erica and Cassidy, that's all I can say!

Absolutely, the actors are the reason I watch this show! And today, of course, I'm giving special thanks for Michael Rosenbaum and Greg Beeman as well. :)
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: February 11th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Awesome post! A big WORD to most of it!

Sadly I don't share your love for the show anymore. This is not longer the show that captivated me and had me awaiting eagerly every new episode. Too many disappointments, I guess. Now I even have to force myself to watch, for Clark's and for Tom's sake, but not even Tom can save what, to me, has been utterly ruined by the incompetence of writers and showrunners. As sad as this sounds to me, I've gone from dreading the end of the show to accepting it with something like relief.

It's wonderful to be able to read your thoughts. Thank so much for putting them into words and for sharing them!


tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 13th, 2011 07:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Carol! I don't know what I'd do without friends like you, who are always so kind and supportive. *hugs*

I know how much the show has disappointed you, especially because you hold Clark Kent so dear, and the show has failed to do right by him time and time again. I'm having a hard time imagining my life without Smallville in it, but I absolutely think it's time for the show to end. My only dread is that Tom will disappear behind the cameras, and give up acting altogether. :(
(Deleted comment)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 13th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I honestly believe that all of the problems start with the thought that tptb don't like, don't care and are not all that interested in telling Clark's story.

Whenever B&K give interviews, the stuff they say drives me crazy. They just don't get it. I had to stop reading them, for my own sanity.

I also believe that the parade of guest stars this season has negatively affected the storytelling. TPTB are so busy trying to showcase them that Clark's story has become an afterthought.

I think that's true. The infamous bucket list is the driving force behind this season.
miss_tress From: miss_tress Date: February 11th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs you for this* Wordy McWord Word.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 13th, 2011 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs you back* Your support means a lot to me!
tasabian From: tasabian Date: February 11th, 2011 02:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes yes yes, to all of it.

At this point I feel like Lois is actively inventing Superman, and making Clark look needy, or reluctant, or just plain dumb in the process. It diminishes him, and that is so wrong.

And what about Lois? Isn't there more to her story than being Clark's support system and making wedding plans? Where is the relentless reporter, the beacon for truth, the Pulitzer Prize waiting to happen?

Yes! Would love to have seen them excelling more in their separate spheres, parallel paths as hero and Pulitzer Winner. It doesn't diminish the relationship if they have their individual achievements as well.

At the heart of it, my ONLY problem with the show is TPTB's inability to shine the spotlight on Clark and just let him be the man he is meant to become, the man I know he already is inside: a brave, intelligent, unwavering hero, who stands ready to take the weight of the world on his impossibly broad shoulders, who doesn't need to be led or pushed or shown the way, but who leads and inspires others, and gives the planet hope, as much by who he is as what he does.
Why can't we have the Clark we saw in Salvation all the time? Why does the show always need to take him down a peg? I understand that heroes also need to be humble - but Clark has always been humble. He doesn't need any more Life Lessons, from anyone, including Jor-El!

Your enthusiasm for Booster Gold is winning me over - will be cool to see Tom use his comic flair as director.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 13th, 2011 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Would love to have seen them excelling more in their separate spheres, parallel paths as hero and Pulitzer Winner. It doesn't diminish the relationship if they have their individual achievements as well.

Exactly! Where is Lois's fire, her ambition? I think her fierce independence is a big part of why Clark loves her. And I KNOW the legendary Lois Lane doesn't want to spend her life with a superhero who needs a boost up every time he takes to the skies. Comics Clark and Lois never have enough time together, they're both off saving the world, each in their own way. That's what makes the moments they do steal in each other's arms so sweet.

Why can't we have the Clark we saw in Salvation all the time? Why does the show always need to take him down a peg?

Clark was magnificent in Salvation. How glorious would it have been to have an entire season of that guy? I'm hoping Beeman's return means we'll see him again in the finale, but I want him now. I read a recent quote from Brian Peterson where he said Clark's insecurity would be gone in the second half. Starting when? Clark was hopeless in Beacon, so all of Lois's pep talks in Collateral obviously didn't stick. Did the fan videos for the Blur finally do the trick, or will Lois have to go to bat for her man again next week?

Your enthusiasm for Booster Gold is winning me over - will be cool to see Tom use his comic flair as director.

That's what I'm hoping for. I still think we were robbed when Tom was unable to direct Hex. I'm so glad he's directing a second episode. He was saddled with a weak script and wooden guest stars for Patriot.
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