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Smallville: Death of a Shipper - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville: Death of a Shipper
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h2osprincess From: h2osprincess Date: January 20th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting discussion! I don't usually tie my enjoyment of a show to a single pairing, but I do think relationships are the heart of any good story.

While I love intelligent plotlines and clever twists, what gives a story depth and really allows me to suspend my disbelief are the relationships, every time. Like in life, meaningful relationships shouldn't be the only point and often serve larger purposes, but everything else means a lot less without them.

My first real "ship" was John/Aeryn on Farscape. They were believable, messed up characters with some unique challenges to overcome while serving the larger story. The writers themselves were closet romantics, and it was sweet that as much as their relationship served the story, the story served their relationship, too.

Farscape is still one of my favorite examples of synergy between intelligent writing and an insanely talented and dedicated cast and crew, all of whom respected their audience. They took risks with their craft, which is unfortunately rare these days.

Smallville is confused, in my opinion. Its producers seem to be trying to make the ships serve the (sometimes canonical, sometimes not) story one minute, then trying to make the story serve the ships the next, and they’re swinging so far in each direction that they screw up both.

The only character they haven’t managed to completely deconstruct is their one original, Chloe, so it’s kind of natural to ship her with those she’s close to. I have to agree with you that I’m more invested in Chloe getting a happy ending than it necessarily being Chlark.

I would, however, like to see their relationship serve his growth more by one day exploring the potential for romance openly (not one date, a single kiss, or hinted jealousy, but actually laying all the cards on the table). Whether it got off the ground or not, it would inevitably teach Clark far more than seven years of pining for Lana has.

With the hit-and-miss writing we've seen to date, I'm not all Pollyanna that I'll actually see it. Seven years in, and they still don't seem to know which destination is the priority.

Edited at 2008-01-21 05:23 am (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 21st, 2008 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
OMG, I can't believe I didn't include John and Aeryn on my ship list! LOL! They're my model for all other ships, because of the honesty of the emotion that passed between them. I love how you say, "as much as their relationship served the story, the story served their relationship, too." That's so true. Their relationship was never a plot device, it was always the heart of their story.

"Smallville is confused, in my opinion. Its producers seem to be trying to make the ships serve the (sometimes canonical, sometimes not) story one minute, then trying to make the story serve the ships the next, and they’re swinging so far in each direction that they screw up both."

That's a great insight. And the end result is often a inconsistent mess. I do often see Chloe as this shining gem in the midst of the confusion, both because her character, as you say, has been subjected to fewer machinations by the writers, and because AM's portrayal of her is consistently strong. I feel like they should glory in Chloe; they created her, and she's awesome! But maybe because she's an original, and not tied to Superman canonically, they seem afraid to take that final step towards a Chlark romance. My frustration with their seemingly inexplicable hesitation was driving me crazy, and that's ultimately why I had to let it go.

In spite of my frustrations with Smallville, it remains my favorite show, and I miss not having new episodes as the writers' strike continues. I'm just glad I was able to find a way to watch the show in complete happiness again. I even went back and watched all of the S7 episodes again, and I like them all better with my new viewpoint. In my mind, that has to be a good thing.

Thanks so much for commenting. I really enjoyed your insights about the show!
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