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Another interview with Darren Swimmer - I worship at the television altar
Another interview with Darren Swimmer
There's another interview with Darren Swimmer about Smallville's S8 out, this time with TV Guide. You can read it HERE. It's spoilery, so don't click if you don't want to know. And this may be an unpopular opinion, but I'm beginning to love this guy.

Darren Swimmer is officially my new favorite Smallville producer. Not for the spoilers he revealed, but for how he did it. They asked questions, and he answered them! He was direct, to the point, and up front. Hallelujah! Dare I believe that we no longer have show runners who live to string us along, to keep every fan faction hoping and wishing and praying for the outcome they hold dear?

TVGuide.com: Fans are thrilled that Allison Mack (Chloe) is back this season. With Lana no longer a regular character on the canvas, might the door open for a Clark/Chloe romance?

Darren Swimmer: Jimmy has asked Chloe to marry him. We'll find out the answer to that question early on in the season. Chloe's love for Clark will never go away, but [those two] as a couple this year is pretty unlikely. All the "Chlark" fans out there will have to keep waiting.

Me: Okay, he's hinting at S9 again, which boggles my mind, but he just said, quite clearly, no Chlark in S8. I'm shocked that he's that straightforward, but I find it infinitely refreshing!

TVG: Chloe has struck such a chord with viewers that there's even fan fiction out there that has Lois dying and Chloe taking her cousin's name so that she would wind up becoming the woman in Clark's life.

DS: Yes. There is that theory that Chloe is Lois, but she is not Lois. Lois is Lois, as crazy as that may seem. We hear the fans and we understand where that comes from. But unfortunately, it's not the way that the show is going.

Me: OMG, he just said, flat out, no Chlois! I'm stunned. But I'm overjoyed at his honesty. No coy teasing, no confusing, incomprehensible answers fraught with possible double meanings, no blatant prevarication. Darren Swimmer is no Al Gough, and I think I love him for it. The stark truth in these quotes may be bitterly disappointing for some fans to read, but I think it shows he respects us. What a relief.

TVG: Are you influenced by fan response on the Internet?

DS: We definitely hear what the fans say and we can't help but be influenced by it, but I don't think that we're guided by it in the sense that we let it dictate anything, obviously. I don't think that fans would necessarily want that either. But we read it and we're in touch with what the fans are saying.

Me: Again, I'm encouraged by what sounds like an honest answer. He doesn't pretend we're a bunch of obsessed crazies who don't matter, but he doesn't pander to us either.

DS: It's the year of "double identity." That's the theme. Clark's starting to understand he's got to have a double identity or he's not going to be able to move on with what his destiny is.

DS: I think we're moving away from the Kryptonian story. Last year we focused a lot on that and aspects of Clark's past. Clark can't escape his Kryptonian roots and that's definitely going to come back and haunt him this season, but this year will be more about moving forward with his destiny as becoming Superman in a way that we've never done before.

Me: Yay!! Now I'm excited about the spoilers themselves! That's the second time that DS has specifically stated in an interview that Clark moving toward his destiny is a focus of S8. \o/ I'm still wary, this is Smallville, after all. But I'm hopeful, and I want to believe, I really do.

Now, to me, the answers I've quoted above seem to state unequivocally, no Chlark, no Chlois. But there are others who see it all differently: When DS says no Chlark "this year," he means this calendar year, not this season. When he talks about "double identities," he's talking about Chlois. When he says Chloe "is not Lois," he's lying, in an attempt to make the Chlois twist more of a surprise when it does, inevitably, happen. I think they're wrong, but only time will tell.

And since we're already being spoilery, who else is totally over the moon at the prospect of scruffy Clark in the first episode of S8? *swoons* I think it's pretty cool that, after seven seasons, they can still give us something we've never seen before on this show, and I hope we finally get to see exactly how Clark "shaves," but mostly I'm just thrilled at the thought of seeing an unshaven Tom Welling on my television screen! :) So how about a mini picspam of sexy, scruffy Tom? Here he is, with everything from the slightest shadow on his jaw to a full beard. Enjoy!

Pics courtesy of jeannev, eeyore1017, Celebutopia, DTTW, various posters in the TW thread at TWoP, and others I've forgotten (sorry!), with my thanks.

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bananabehr From: bananabehr Date: July 22nd, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it wrong that I skipped the article and went straight for the pretty pretty picspam?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 22nd, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, considering that you don't even watch Smallville, I would have to say no. LOL! Thanks for stopping by! :D
jeannev From: jeannev Date: July 22nd, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay!! for the pretty picture spam.

I do sort of agree with you on Swimmer's directness. I think when this guy calls a duck a duck, thats because its a duck. But I'm still not overly pleased with his Clark answers, because we've heard these vague, ambigious statements before and it didn't seem to lead anywhere. I'm not asking him to give me the details, but just stating that Clark is going to move towards his destiny, with ZERO specifics, seems far too familiar to me, and really tells us absolutely nothing. Speaking about the double indentities is a good start, but Clark adopting a double identity is really too important to be lumped in with Jimmy and Chloe.

I was very disappointed that this 3 part interview led off with so much Chloe focus. Not that I'm begruding Chloe questions, just that I don't believe they should've been the lead off. That position should ALWAYS be Clark. Can you imagine the outrage if he had led off with all these questions about Lois or Lana?

Ah well, we shall see. I really want a good Clark season, with lots of focus on him, but I'm just not getting that vibe...again. :(
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: July 22nd, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
//That position should ALWAYS be Clark. Can you imagine the outrage if he had led off with all these questions about Lois or Lana?//

Exactly, and honestly, the bitching that would have ensued---ITA.
katysam From: katysam Date: July 22nd, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's 2:26am in the morning. I have to work tomorrow.
I shouldn't be looking at pretty pictures of Tom Welling.
I'm only up to episode 3x04 of Smallville.
I shouldn't be reading spoilers for Season 8!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 22nd, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's never a wrong time to look at pretty pictures of Tom Welling. :D

So you're still watching? Yay! You'll have to tell me what you think sometime. How did you like Exile and Phoenix? Those are two of my very favorite episodes of Smallville. And 3x05, Perry, is another one. S3 is great, IMO.
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: July 22nd, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
First off yum to the piscspam. Here's hoping we get some scruffy Tom. Any way I really did like what Darren Swimmer had to say as well. As much whining as we all sometimes do about the writers. I've always liked that they don't pander to the audience and here he said that but in such a respectful manner. You really can't make everyone happy all the time. I'm still not over Kripke apologizing over Bella , who I loved as a character. Any way as always love the post and the picspam.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 22nd, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you enjoyed the pics! I'm really hoping we get some episode stills with the scruff, and I can't wait to see the screen caps.

I get that some people are unhappy with the spoilers, and others just don't trust anyone connected with Smallville enough to even listen to what he has to say, but so far I like the way he interviews. He seems to be trying to be honest, and as forthcoming as he can be, and I appreciate that so much.

It remains to be seen if he's all talk and no action, but I'm hopeful that this season really will be about Clark and his journey. As Clark said to Chloe in Bound, I gotta believe somebody. :)
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: July 22nd, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Such gorgeous pics! :-) I especially love the ones of him at the CW Upfronts, was it? In any case, they're all rather drool worthy!

Between this and the other recent interview of DS', I too appreciate his attempts at trying to sell the season and just generally be less long-winded than Al or Miles were. However, I can't say I'm overtly enthused about the content of this particular interview.

As far as I'm concerned, this "no Chlark", and "Lois is Lois" stuff has been categorically said by several of TPTB including Al and Miles, in the past as well. (FTR, I've always been inclined to believe them on this, for all their BS on some other matters, aside, heh) So, in that respect, I dont find what DS is saying to be quite so revolutionary.

And I'm afraid I can't also say I appreciated too much the use of "unfortunately" in his response, to the Chlois question. That smacked of pandering, to me, actually - in an attempt to keep one fanbase happy, it's apparently OK to slight another. Moreover, the "not likely to happen this year" also smacked of fan pandering to me, because it appears pretty damned certain at this point to anyone with half a brain that there will be no next year.

I can appreciate the attempt at directness, but I'm afraid pandering is something we might have to get used to from the new PTB as well. Especially since - and this is where my real disenchantment with the interview comes in - their responses to the Clark questions were just---so---meh. Typical. Nothing I haven't heard before - no real signs of enthusiasm there for their ::central:: character.

Then again, not sure if I can even blame poor DS with this entirely - the interviewer, after all, appears to be on some kind of Chloe crack. How in the world does an interview about SV (no matter in how many parts) ::not:: start off with a focus on CLARK? I.just.don't.get.it.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 22nd, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Those are from the CW Upfronts, and I don't think he's ever looked hotter. I'm really hoping we get a similar look on the show. And since he's supposed to be found on a fishing boat, I'm already imagining the clothes he might be wearing! And will his hair be longer, too? Obviously I've spent way too much time thinking about this!

I do remember hearing no Chlark/no Chlois before, but not so bluntly, and not without confusing and contradictory statements to follow. And like you, I believed them then anyway. I just like the tone of open disclosure DS seems to be setting. I will admit I'm majorly giving him the benefit of the doubt.

I interpreted his "unfortunately" a different way. I thought he meant, unfortunately for them, acknowledging that no Chlois might be a deal breaker for some fans. I felt like he was saying, too bad for you, but here's the deal, and it's not going to change. So I didn't see it as pandering at all.

His talk of a possible S9, and ruling out a Chlark romance for this year specifically, saying Chlarkers need to keep waiting, really confuses me. WTF? If they continue to stall Clark because they're hoping for another season, all hope is lost. So, yeah, even I have my reservations about this interview.

I do think DS shows more enthusiasm for Clark than Al ever did, but that's not saying much. I really want to believe this change will be for the better. I'll continue be hopeful, at least until the show proves me wrong. :)
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: July 22nd, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I won't comment on those spoilers. The times when I believed this show was about Clark Kent are long gone. I don't intend to rain on your parade but I don't trust those guys. They haven't proved me wrong so far.

As for the picspam... thanks for brightening up my day.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 22nd, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you enjoyed scruffy Tom!

I know your words are wise, but this show continues to own me, and I have to put the best spin on things I can. :) Maybe if I could see Tom anywhere else, I wouldn't feel that way. I'm so curious as to what his plans are once Smallville is over.
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: July 22nd, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just stopping by to say "Hey".



PS Your boy scruffy and in a turtleneck sweater? Yum!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 22nd, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey! *hugs back* I'm sorry I haven't been around. It's super intense time at work again (I'm on my lunch hour at the moment). I was going to try to catch up last night, but then I read this interview and decided I just had to make this post/picspam instead. *facepalm*

I did finally finish S1 of Bones, and of course, I'm so totally into the show now! It just got better and better as the season went on. I can't decide if I should start S2 or begin reading Twilight next, but I'm such a TV girl, I suspect I will choose more Bones. :)

I'm kind of spoiled for what happens with Zack in S3. I don't know exactly what happens, but I know it's bad, and I hate knowing, because I think about it all the time while I'm watching. But that's what I get for watching this show so long after everyone else has. :(

I love Tom in that sweater. Those pics are from The Fog. Most people hated that movie, and one of the reasons (besides the fact that it was just bad, although I thought Tom was great in it) was that they purposely went for a PG-13 rating instead of an R, which makes it way too tame for its genre. And that's actually one of the things I like about it, because I get way too scared watching horror movies. So I can watch the pretty without worrying about any of the scary parts. :)

Let our Rosenbaums dance the dance of joy together!
trystan830 From: trystan830 Date: July 22nd, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
oooh Tom is pretty!!

i did read some of your post and the Q&A.... when you have honest answers, no one can accuse you of some wacky stuff...*cough*EricKripke*cough*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 22nd, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tom is pretty! :D

Yeah, it also helps if you refrain from the scathing sarcasm. *cough*CMM*cough*

Is it still a spoiler than Dean is coming back in S4? :) See? I can do sarcasm, too!
yamair From: yamair Date: July 22nd, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Those b&w pics of Tom are amazing. I'm normally a Rosenbaum girl, but wow.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 23rd, 2008 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Aren't they great? I like them because they're so different, and because he looks like he was enjoying himself. They remind me that they really don't take advantage of how attractive he is on the show. The boy can be so hot!

And I'm a bit of a Rosenbaum girl myself. :)
stoodupforlove From: stoodupforlove Date: July 23rd, 2008 02:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Before I even read the interview, I must know--where did that pic in your icon come from? I've never seen that. Of course I said that once before and it turned out I HAD seen the pic, but this time I'm positive. *nods*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 23rd, 2008 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't make the icon (the awesome TW1977 at KryptonSite did), but I think the pic she used might have been this one:

It's flipped, and she did some gorgeous coloring, but it looks the same to me.
la_belle_isa From: la_belle_isa Date: July 23rd, 2008 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for TW pics! I really don't blame TW for not showing at the Comic con or not doing interviews. After all, why should he be the one justifying the way his character is written when the writers themselves can't be bothered to talk about it? I'm sure he would be asked all kind of embarrassing questions and he really doesn't need the aggravation, IMO of course.

It's a good interview about Chloe and I'm OK that the focus was on her for once but I'm sorry to say that I don't share your optimism about Clark. Yes, he will be at the DP (but so is Jimmy and it's not a big deal!) but I don't have the feeling yet that they will focus the season around him, based on the little nuggets of info they peppered here and there.

And I'm just speculating but I believe TV Guide and the showrunners prepare the questions together.

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 23rd, 2008 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't blame TW for steering clear of the interviews, either, especially if he isn't entirely happy with the way Clark has been portrayed on the show. I just like to indulge in daydreams because I would be so happy to hear his thoughts on the subject. Or any subject, for that matter! He used to give such great interviews, and I miss that.

I agree that they haven't said anything specific to encourage confidence in a Clark-centric S8. But I haven't heard any spoilers that have specifically dismayed me either. Maybe by the second episode I'll be cursing to the heavens, but I don't want to anticipate disappointment prematurely. I'll just be over here in my (perhaps delusional) happy place until the season starts. :)

You're probably right about the questions. There's no such thing as pure journalism in the entertainment industry, I don't think. Now I'm curious as to why their top priority would be to send such a strong message to Chlarkers and Chloisers. It'll be interesting to see Part 2.
stoodupforlove From: stoodupforlove Date: July 23rd, 2008 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I have now read the interview.

but he doesn't pander to us either.

Oh, but if he did! Imagine the Clex! lol

I'm relieved to hear there won't be any Chlark going on. It's definitely time Clark started on his destiny, and Chloe just doesn't have any part in it. Lois and Superman are where he's headed, and anything that puts him closer to that future is what I want to see. This interview does give me hope for that. Thanks for posting this.

And the pics. Every time I see a picspam of Tom, I wonder...how is it possible for one man to be so beautiful in so many ways? Truly, he takes my breath away. These were a lovely treat.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 23rd, 2008 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
The thing I love about Chloe is that she's an original, and has no iconic destiny to hold her back. Even before ED joined the cast, I was never really a fan of Chlois, because I want to see Chloe stay a unique character on the show, not morph into someone else. And because Chloe can be anything, I certainly think she could have a role to play in Clark's future.

I enjoy Clark's relationship with Chloe, but I'm not invested in any romance between them. Similarly, I like Lois, but I don't really think it's appropriate for Lois and Clark to go beyond flirting and cute banter on Smallville. In fact, I would probably be happiest if Clark remained romance free in S8, and just focused on his destiny. I think many of the best episodes of Smallville have been the ones that are unencumbered by romantic entanglements.

On the other hand, I love pretty much all the Clark kisses we've ever had on the show. LOL! I'm shallow, and a hypocrite. :D

I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. I am constantly amazed at how different he can look. As you say, though, he's always gorgeous!
duskwillow From: duskwillow Date: July 23rd, 2008 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Yum great pictures.

I also love Swimmer for now. I like his bluntness, it's refreshing.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 23rd, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you liked them!

And yes, exactly. I so appreciate how straightforward he seems. Plus, except for the Chimmy stuff, every spoiler he's given us so far has made me excited for S8. I can't wait to see Oliver back on the show, and Clark working at the DP. At the very least, there's no way he can show up for work in that stupid red jacket, right? :)
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: July 23rd, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I won't lie - I'm a bit disappointed at the "no Chlark FOR SURE" part, but hey. At least the guy's not being coy with us. I can even live with no romantic Chlark for the rest of the series (though I'd be over the moon if it ever happened), as long as Chimmy doesn't get bumped up to super-romance. I'm most worried about that, really.

I'm quite surprised at the focus Chloe's getting in this interview, though. I thought TVGuide would try and make the questions as all-rounded as possible. Oh, well.

As for scruffy Clark, I may be one of the very, very, very few people who doesn't like TW with a beard. Stubble is fine - he looks quite sexy in those first few pictures - but full-on beard, like the last few? Um, I'll have to pass. :P
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 23rd, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, you know I hate the Chimmy. Ugh.

It's a two-part interview, so I guess they led with all the Chloe questions. But I was surprised, too. I don't know if that was TVG's choice, or the show's, or if maybe AM took the next step and hired a publicist! :)

Hmmm, I don't think I can imagine anything TW could do to his appearance that would make me pass! LOL! I'm not crazy about the overgrown beard in those baseball pics, but I love the way he looks in those pics from the CW Upfronts. I keep imagining that he'll look like he did in The Fog for that first episode of Smallville, since they're supposed to find him on a fishing boat. I want another fisherman knit sweater!
acampbell From: acampbell Date: July 24th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, you're right! We had completely different reactions. I'm just a lot grumpier than you are, I guess.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: July 24th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL! You're so funny. Come on, you know I'm the Pollyanna of Smallville. :)

Besides, my needs are so simple. Tom. And that's pretty much it. You're always worrying about storytelling, and continuity, and characterization! ;)

Sorry, if I don't laugh, I'll cry. Especially after having had almost all of S7 play in the background as I worked 14 hours last Saturday. Taken all at once like that, it made me a little crazy.

But I still think S8 has definite possibilities.
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