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I worship at the television altar
Smallville: Death of a Shipper
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ellyfanfic From: ellyfanfic Date: January 20th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
"...I finally figured out that this show isn't about Clark's love life, or at least it shouldn't be."

Ah, but to a great degree, it IS. Clark's love life is a lot of what we're being shown on screen, and it's related to his destiny. Therefore it is impossible for me to watch the show without some shippiness. The way I see it, I'm being shown that Lana is holding Clark back, so there's no possible way I can root for that ship. And yet the question of who he'll wind up with is a big one, to me, because romance has been an integral part of the show since the beginning. Who is part of his destiny? Who will stand by his side when he reaches his destiny? To me, these are not insignificant questions.

"Sure, I still want Superman to find true love, someone who can love the man as well as the hero. But I'm more concerned with Clark finding his destiny than a girlfriend at the moment."

To me, the two seem tied together. Chloe supports him and works with him and accepts him for who he is. Chloe is his Lois. Lana, OTOH, is the girl he needs to grow out of in a big way. His destiny is tied into his love life.

"No longer do I need to curse the slightest hint of affection between Clark and Lana, or worry if Lois appears to have a future at the Daily Planet, thereby undermining the Chlois theory."

For me, Chlois isn't all a shipper issue. The problem is that I don't see EDLois as The Reporter-- that's Chloe's role, and has been since day one. I don't appreciate seeing what ought to be her future given to EDLois. Sure, some of that has to do with Chlark, but more of it has to do with who Chloe is and always has been on the show. She's the show's Lois, to me. And I *do* curse the affection between Clark and Lana, because she's holding him back from his destiny. The end of "Action" made that quite clear.

"Evidently, being invested in a particular pairing compels some people to disparage any other female character who might be considered competition."

Maybe, but perhaps you're confusing the cause-and-effect here, at least in some cases. I don't like Lana-- I think she's bad for Clark. I don't like EDLois-- I think she's rude to Clark, horribly ungrateful after everything he and his family have done for her, and this season, a Grade-A skank. Do I disparage them because they're "competition" for Chloe, or simply because I see Chloe as the only good, solid, likeable female character on the show? I believe it's the latter. My disparagement of Lana and EDLois has more to do with the unfortunate way the writers tend to show women on this show (incompetent, foolish, and defined only by their current love interest), and with the fact that Chloe is the ONLY woman they've written halfway decently.

Again, JMHO. But the point is, I don't look for excuses to diss Lana and EDLois because I ship Chlark-- I ship Chlark BECAUSE I don't like Lana and EDLois.

"Are you a shipper? Why or why not?"

The only two Clark relationships I find really interesting on the show are Clex and Chlark. They're the only two relationships I can write about, because they're the only relationships I can find a real basis for on the show. And I'll agree with hils that early Clex was ten times more interesting than Clark's relationship with ANY girl on the show at that point. I wish they'd done more with it (even if only friendship), though it's too late at this point, I'm afraid.

In short, the show is not all about shipping, but to me, shipping is certainly part of the show, and intended to be part of the show. And I will continue to root for Chloe and Clark as long as she's a character on the show, because I believe she's the one who is helping him on his journey toward his destiny.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 20th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Elly, I really appreciate your comments! This is exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping to have. This post has been swirling around in my head for more than a month now, but I hesitated to actually post it because I was worried my inability to express myself articulately would lead to misunderstandings. I guess we'll see about that. :) Obviously everything I say only applies to me, and not what I think is right for anyone else.

I agree that Clark's love life has been a big part of the show, but only in fits and starts. He has never had a real relationship, IMO. A teenage obsession, yes, a drug-induced quickie marriage, yes, a dysfunctional sexless sham of a relationship, yes, but nothing lasting or real. And certainly nothing approaching the amazing relationships you write about in your fic. I feel like much of the show has been a huge tease in the romance department, with no follow through. After 6+ seasons, I think that's all we're ever going to get, and I'm just not going to play anymore.

I do think it's significant who stands by Clark's side, and who contributes to his journey, and I'll always believe that in the Smallville universe, that's Chloe, first and foremost. But I'm willing to believe she could be standing there in friendship rather than romantic love, because that's what the show seems to be telling me. I honestly don't think AlMiles will ever make Chlark a couple on the show, and I'm just trying to accept that, rather than rail against it and become bitter, which is where I feel like I was headed. If I get a happy surprise, and I'm wrong, that's great. But in the meantime I'm cool anyway. laurelnola's Chlollie fic is convincing me I just need to see Chloe have a happy ending, even if it's not with Clark.

Of course I agree that Lana holds him back, but I also think that's just a big stall because they're trying to keep the show going and continue to make money from it. I think they're scared to death to let Clark step away from Lana, because doing so would send him hurtling towards his destiny and the end of the show. I also think they're idiots, but as long as that's their motivation, no storyline will break him free.

And I do believe there is a leg of his journey that he must make alone. Whether it's training in the Fortress, or traveling the world, or going to college, at some point Clark has to find a way to look inside, examine what he's made of, and willfully and voluntarily take the step from man to Superman, and I don't think he can get there by someone else giving him a push.

I'm willing to believe Chloe's future at the Planet isn't mutually exclusive of Lois's, but I'm letting go of a lot of things here. I do want justice done by Chloe, but as I already said, I don't see Chlois as the only happy ending anymore. I'm dismayed at Lois's characterization on the show as it compares to who I want the iconic Lois Lane to be, but there could be a long road ahead, and I don't think she's irredeemable just yet. She does have some qualities I embrace.

I really hope you didn't think I was referring to you when I talked about the wank. I honestly have no problem with character bashing that's rooted in characterization; in fact, I do it all the time. I'm talking about the fangirls who have said in the past, for example, that Chloe's fat, or that Lois looks old, hurling childish insults just because they want Clark to like someone else. Who then proceed to troll and spam other people's journals, and make fun of the actresses the way they do the characters.

I'll still look forward to each new Chlark fic, and enjoy the stories where they end up together, forever. But I feel pretty much the same about Chlollie fics too. The main thing I will never do again is allow my investment in a particular pairing dictate my enjoyment of Smallville. For me to continue to have positive feelings about the show that has been an all-consuming passion of mine for a long time now, I need to let all of that go, and just try to enjoy the ride. But that's just me.
ellyfanfic From: ellyfanfic Date: January 20th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I really hope you didn't think I was referring to you when I talked about the wank. I honestly have no problem with character bashing that's rooted in characterization; in fact, I do it all the time."

Oh, of course I didn't think you were referring to me. I was just using myself as an example. But I do think plenty of us bash characters based on what we see on the show, and not just because we're rooting for someone else.

"I'm talking about the fangirls who have said in the past, for example, ... that Lois looks old..."

*Bites tongue very hard*

"Who then proceed to troll and spam other people's journals, and make fun of the actresses the way they do the characters."

Oh, yeah, for sure, there is some of that out there. But those people seem to me to be either very young teenagers, or simply unbalanced. I'd like to think *most* of us can tell the difference between the characters and actors *looks askance at KrisTom shippers*.

"Obviously everything I say only applies to me, and not what I think is right for anyone else."

Sure, I understand that. For me, the Chlark ship is wrapped up in my personal vision of Smallville so tightly that I can't really watch the show without it. But I do realize not everyone sees the show that way. And that's okay. I'm glad you've found a way to keep watching the show in a positive way!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 20th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
"*Bites tongue very hard*"

LOL! I'm remembering some of Omar's recaps right now...
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