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.