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Theme Change, and Smallville Musings

I decided to start off 2008 with a whole new look.  But its a real wait-and-see for me, since I'm not sure I'm going to like it.  I'll have to see how it fits me as I go along.  Though lets be totally honest here, the most important part is how my Tommy picspams are going to look on the new background ;)

Speaking of the fine Mr Welling, has everyone seen the recent quote from the actress Eva Green?  For those of you who don't know who she is, she was the latest Bond girl in Casino Royale, and she's currently in The Golden Compass.  This quote comes by way of a French poster named fortress80 who posted the information on the DTTW MB (which, for my money, is the coolest TW hub on the net).

"Last night (my time ) I watched on TV (TPS Star Station) an interview of Eva Green. Eva Green is a French actress now known for her international career with roles such as in "Casino Royale", the last James Bond movie.

In this interview, she talked about the fact that she had been approached for the JLA movie. According to Supermanhomepage, she even arrived in Sydney last week and auditioned for a role in Justice League of America.

The journalist asked her about her choice for the Superman role, her answer was (my translation): "Without any kind of hesitation I’ll tell Tom Welling, the guy from Smallville. Do you know him? He’s a great guy, a very good actor. I had an encounter with him in a restaurant this year in France. A very nice man. Do you know that he takes French lessons? He is the perfect Superman, he has everything: the stature, the charisma, the presence. I’d love to work with him!""

Is it just me, or does Eva sound like one smitten kitten?  

And now that brings me around to some Smallville musings, which will include spoilers (Be Warned!), and will include reactions and references to the Season 5 Official Companion book (written by Craig Bryne of K-Site) that I just received

Type your cut contents here.


I've always been pretty zen when it came to the Clana relationship, and the character of Lana Lang.  While never a favorite, I didn't always understand the virtiolic hatred of her either.    But with the last 2 seasons, and especially with whats happened this season, I just feel as though I've hit a wall.  I mean, SMACK! into this wall.  And I'm finding it difficult to rationalize, or compartmentalize, or ignore what goes on with Lana, and by extension Clana, anymore.  And its had the effect of almost completely killing my interest and enthusiasm in any other aspect of the series.  Because for real, if you simply DO NOT allow characters to evolve, and allow that evoluation to actually mean something...for it to have a cause and effect that leads to change and revelation...then all the guest stars, and razzle-dazzle, and supposed mythology doesn't really amount to much at all.  And I'm not sure that mythology is really best personified in bringing back Genevieve Teague in a flashback.  Were the folks at home clamouring for that one?

Some of this is compounded by the impression I get that a lot of this mythology stuff has very little to do with the character of Clark Kent directly.  He's a player, sure.  A cog in the big machine.  But is that really what the character of Clark Kent should be on this show?  Does this show work best as an ensemble?  Or should Clark Kent play a more dynamic role as star, and center?  I know I feel the latter, though I've seen good argument for the former.  

But anyway, back to the Lana/Clana stuff.  For those who haven't heard it, Kristin Kreuk gave an interview with the CW site just recently, and addressed the situation with Bizarro, and he and Lana being cozy with one another.  Apparently, going from her comments, Bizarro is just a super wonderful affectionate boyfriend with her, which is what she wants Clark to be.  According to KK (but not according to my impressions of what I've seen on screen), Clark and Lana do not have an openess, and he doesn't touch her much, and he's "stand-off ish".  Now, all of this rubbed me wrong for a number of reasons.  For one thing, I don't believe that Clark has been lacking as a boyfriend this season, and if there's been lack of affection and intimacy, hasn't it been a 2-way street?  Secondly, it seems to totally negate, or diminish, Clark's justifiable reasons for pulling back after the events of Wrath.  And the the third, and most troubling, it seems to very strongly echo the sentiments of S5, where Clark was retroactively blamed for Lana's lying and working with Lex on the spaceship because he didn't want to talk about it....even though that never actually occured on screen.  Are we setting the stage for another big blame dump onto Clark for any shortcomings the Clana relationship currently has?  Will Clark be denied his rightful feelings of hurt that Lana couldn't tell the difference between him and Bizarro?  Will Clark end this episode apologizing to Lana for somehow failing her, or wronging her, when he was the guy replaced by a doppelganger, and he was the one imprisoned in the FOS?  And IF something like this comes to pass, how damaging is it to Clark ultimately?

And all of my anxiety about this is heightened tenfold by the recent S5, Official Companion.  For the record, I think Craig Byrne has done a really good job of compiling the information and putting it together, and I thought the pictures chosen were particularly good.  The book feels a bit TW/Clark lite to me (not surprising since TW didn't choose to participate, and that seems to have created some resentment on the part of the author).  The book also feels very ED/Lois lite to me.  On the other hand, I do think the book contains a lot of good KK/Lana (who also didn't participate, but seems well covered), MR/Lex, AM/Chloe stuff.  And some good material from JG and AOT as well.  Overall, I recommend it, especially for completists like myself.

But anyway, back to the book.  The way that the showrunners/writers talk about Lana, and see Lana, is frankly jaw dropping.  I don't believe they hold that character responsible for anything she does.  They honestly and truly do see her as a "tragic figure" and "victim".  In fact, here's a quote from Gough "She is what happens when Superman makes bad decisions and Lex's basest instincts come to the fore.  she really is the receptacle of all of those bad decisions made by this future super hero and super villian.  She's always been a tragic figure in the comics, but we've probably taken it to a new level".  Now, honestly folks, do you see any expectation there of Lana being responsible for her own actions, or her own decisions?  In fact, do you see any realization of Lana as anything more then object/love interest/victim?  Gough also acknowledges the strong anti-Lana sentiment seen on the internet, and his conclusion from that is "I think in many ways it's because she's the most normal, and she doesn't necessarily fit into something".  OK, What??!!  Does Lana strike anyone as being the "most normal" of the SV characters?  And if the character "doesn't fit", might that be considered a clue?

And the reason that this is all so distressing to me is that this all comes back to Clark (and Lex too).  Because this is their concept of Lana Lang, and because they refuse to allow the character agency for her own actions, and because they insist on elevating her importance without actually creating a fully realized character for her, the impact her character has on the most important character(s) of the show because overwhelmingly negative and detrimental.  And I'm not sure how that can ever change?  And as we find ourselves in a shortened S7, heading into a probable final season, with confirmation that Clark and Lana will still be dragging around this dysfunctional corpse of a relationship, I'm not sure how to get excited about whats coming.  

Also, one of the reasons I've always been so anti-Lexana is perfectly articulated in the book.  Per the showrunners/writers, its as if Lana has replaced Clark as the major motivater and catalyst for Lex.  And inserting a third party into that dynamic, and again, elevating her importance to such a degree, has a negative impact on all that the Clex relationship was supposed to be.  In fact, here's a quote from writer Holly Harald "If there's one thing that could save Lex from going completely dark, it's Lana Lang..."  Not Clark Kent folks, its Lana!  I don't even know where to go with something like that.  There are also multiple references in the book of Lex being in love with Lana all along, which has its own set of problems.  

Perhaps this has all turned into an incoherent ramble.  In which case, feel free to just say "Nice new layout, and Eva Green rocks!" LOL  But I suppose I'm trying to discover where other people are finding their well of enthusiasm or optimism.  

Though I should put a big fat disclaimer out there, and also say that if you don't really watch the show for Clark, and are more invested in characters like Chloe, or Lex, or Kara, or Lois, then its probably far easier to compartmentalize the Clark, and by extension, Lana stuff.  Ah, the great curse of being invested heavily in Clark's storyline LOL


Comments

( 54 comments — Leave a comment )
ellyfanfic
Dec. 31st, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
"She is what happens when Superman makes bad decisions and Lex's basest instincts come to the fore. she really is the receptacle of all of those bad decisions made by this future super hero and super villian. She's always been a tragic figure in the comics, but we've probably taken it to a new level"

I guess I'd have to see context for this one. To me, this reads like he's saying Clark's obsession with Lana is a bad thing for the future Superman and leads to problems, which I would agree with in the context of the show. But you're obviously not taking it this way, so I assume there is other context I'm missing.
jeannev
Dec. 31st, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
Well, there's 2 things at play here. In the context of the entire book, there is nothing at all that indicates a mindset of Lana being bad for Clark, Lana being at fault for anything, or Lana being in any way flawed. I kid you not.

The quote you are referring to is taken from a paragraph where Al Gough is talking about Lana is the most maligned character on the internet, and quote about her being too normal, and not fitting in is also taken from the same paragraph.

To the best of my recollection of the book, there is no addressing of what Lana's effect is on Clark, deterimental or otherwise. There is only discussion of how Clark, and Lex, effect Lana, and how Lana effects Lex.

But here's another Al Gough quote for you (taken from a paragraph where's he is discussing why Lana got involved with Lex) "But, this is the thing: clark will always love Lana, and Lana will always love Clark."

It certainly does make it seem as though little else matters in the grand scheme of things.

Edited at 2007-12-31 09:02 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ellyfanfic - Dec. 31st, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Jan. 1st, 2008 03:37 am (UTC) - Expand
mahaliem
Dec. 31st, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
*zips past spoilers*

Thank you so much for posting that snippet of an interview. She does sound smitten.
jeannev
Dec. 31st, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, she certainly does. LOL Its adorable.
canadabear
Dec. 31st, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
I haven't been able to read the book yet (no stores up here seem to carry them, so I'll have to wait until I can put in an order with Amazon), but I can't say I'm surprised with those views of Lana. I think having been able to take the show, from S1-S5 anyway, in as a whole entity makes it really clear that Lana most definitely is just as important to TPTB as Clark and Lex are, and always has been. So I'm prepared for her to always be, so long as KK remains on the show. It's definitely tiring, and I also think Clana will still be together come the shortened end of this season, but it's about what I expected, so I've already resigned myself to it. After all, if Lana isn't with Clark or Lex, we can only have more French witch plots to look forward to.

As for the possible Bizarro stuff coming up, while I can see things happening to put Clark in the wrong, so to speak, I'm just going to have to wait and see how they play it out. Spoilers say we're getting a Clark who is not happy with the Bizana closeness, and KK's comments really only indicate how she views Lana's take on things. Whether she was speaking about something that will actually be articulated in Persona or not is hard to say, and could - I hope - have just been her talking in terms of her motivations for playing the scenes the way she did.
jeannev
Dec. 31st, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm hoping somehow the Persona situation surprises me, and TPTB try a different road.

And I actually agree with you, in that I was somewhat resigned to Lana's importance overall. But I think in the last 2 years, its really become borderline moronic in how they use her, and how they allow her to effect Clark. I guess I thought that, somewhere along the way, they would actually allow some growth or evolution. Maybe they thought her finding out the secret was doing that, but they seem to be falling back into old and familiar patterns instead of really allowing true growth for the characters. And its so damned frustrating.

Just what is their fascination?
(no subject) - canadabear - Dec. 31st, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Jan. 1st, 2008 03:39 am (UTC) - Expand
myownghost
Dec. 31st, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
>the impact her character has on the most important character(s) of the show because overwhelmingly negative and detrimental.

oh, i see it that way, completely. it's almost incomprehensible to me that goughlar still think she's perfect. she's done horrible things!

i no longer have a well of enthusiasm about the show at all, and that's a big disappointment to me. if it weren't for fanon, i'd be long gone. i don't like the way they've developed clark, hampered as he is by this "dysfunctional corpse of a relationship." and like you, i'm dismayed that anyone should think it's lana who might save lex. no!

oh well. this is an interesting post, and i thank you for articulating your thoughts so well. i agree all down the line.

also, nice squid. :)
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 03:40 am (UTC)
Cool, a thumbs-up for the squid. At first, I thought "Squid? Really?", but then the colors were so pretty...

And I'm glad you thought I articulated this with some measure of clarity. Once I start rambling, I can never be sure.
danceswithgary
Dec. 31st, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
I think your new background will look lovely with the picspams. I have to tell you your header always makes take a second look - as a fellow Valerie. :-D
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
Yay! Valerie's rule! Tommy will look so pretty against the blue.
tasabian
Dec. 31st, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
Calling a character a "receptacle" is just awful! Poor KK - she seems quite the cool chick herself so it must be hard to be perpetually cast as either the object or the victim of the show. And it's a real head-scratcher that Lana a) can't recognize her own boyfriend and b) ends up preferring his murderous double, yet still is written as the wronged party!

Yay for Eva! I hope Tom read that and had a little smile!
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
I love the idea that this sexy, beautiful French actress is thinking "I gotta work with him". I keep hoping all this positive mojo is going to mean something for his post-Smallville career.

The vision that the TPTB have of Lana is just mind boggling. I don't understand it at all. Its like blindless obsession, and they don't care what or who falls in her wake.
dawnybee
Dec. 31st, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
I love your new theme.

"She is what happens when Superman makes bad decisions and Lex's basest instincts come to the fore. she really is the receptacle of all of those bad decisions made by this future super hero and super villian. She's always been a tragic figure in the comics, but we've probably taken it to a new level".

Bad Al! Bad Al!! I like Al and Miles, but this is just stupid talk. To me when you’re a tragic figure, it implies that tragedy befalls you, not that you walk into a situation and are complicit in it such as Lana has been of late.

Also, in the comics, I never viewed Lana as a tragic character. The only thing that could be considered tragic is that she still carried a torch for Clark while he has moved on to Lois, but really that is still not tragic IMO.

I don’t know why they love the idea of Lana as Penelope, always needing to be rescued. Did they not see “Gemini”? She’s as calculating as Lex. She stood there and told Clark, “I’m done with this obsession. You’re right, let’s move on.” And BAM! ‘Oh, you need to see where I’m keeping one of Lex’s project? Follow me.”

They write for the character and are still in the dark about her motivations.

"I think in many ways it's because she's the most normal, and she doesn't necessarily fit into something". OK, What??!! Does Lana strike anyone as being the "most normal" of the SV characters? And if the character "doesn't fit", might that be considered a clue?

Yes, if Lana doesn’t fit after all these years and they’re still trying to plug her into something where she will make that monumental resonance in Clark’s life like they’ve been saying she does since the start of the show, then that’s a problem on their end. I do think though, for me, this season she has finally found a purpose: being conniving.

Per the showrunners/writers, its as if Lana has replaced Clark as the major motivater and catalyst for Lex. And inserting a third party into that dynamic, and again, elevating her importance to such a degree, has a negative impact on all that the Clex relationship was supposed to be. In fact, here's a quote from writer Holly Harald "If there's one thing that could save Lex from going completely dark, it's Lana Lang..." Not Clark Kent folks, its Lana! I don't even know where to go with something like that. There are also multiple references in the book of Lex being in love with Lana all along, which has its own set of problems.

But I suppose I'm trying to discover where other people are finding their well of enthusiasm or optimism.


I guess for me where I find my enthusiasm and optimism is a healthy dose of denial. I reject everything the writers/producers are saying about how Lana fits into the equation. I know they know what their intentions are, but I see it differently and I just go by what I take from it. For me it isn’t really that much of a stretch because what they write and what is shown is way different than what’s going through their minds. Because if the writers honestly view Lana as a victim who was led down the garden path against her will, then it looks like there is also a healthy dose of denial on their parts as well.

Thankfully it’s written/acted in such a way that it’s open to viewer revision at least for me. But in reflecting on all of this, I think I’m more into the show for the ride, not any particular character. But I still get pissy over the characterization of Clark and I’m especially worried about this truncated season and what will become of the Lex and Lana storylines should SV get an eighth season.

Because for real, if you simply DO NOT allow characters to evolve, and allow that evoluation to actually mean something...for it to have a cause and effect that leads to change and revelation...then all the guest stars, and razzle-dazzle, and supposed mythology doesn't really amount to much at all.

ITA.

And I'm not sure that mythology is really best personified in bringing back Genevieve Teague in a flashback. Were the folks at home clamouring for that one

LOL! Not only that, but an origins flashback for Genevieve, Lionel and Ollie folks, right? Because we all know that that’s going to further Clark storyline.
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Yes, if Lana doesn’t fit after all these years and they’re still trying to plug her into something where she will make that monumental resonance in Clark’s life like they’ve been saying she does since the start of the show, then that’s a problem on their end. I do think though, for me, this season she has finally found a purpose: being conniving.

Right, I agree, but they absolutely will not allow Lana to own that. Instead, its going to be Lex that pushed her to that, then Clark who wasn't open enough for her to share her pain. And what Lana did is going to swept away with the tide. She should've developed a direction by this point. A course that doesn't evaporate after a couple of episodes. But they lack the will and commitment to do it. And then its compounded by the fact that they also lack the will and commitment to let Lana go as a character. Its nuts!

LOL! Not only that, but an origins flashback for Genevieve, Lionel and Ollie folks, right? Because we all know that that’s going to further Clark storyline.

Exactly! This is the type of storyline that is great for a show like Heroes, with multiple characters and no "star". But on Smallville? Its just another storyline that makes character a mere player on the board, as opposed to a star and main character.

pep_singer
Dec. 31st, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
*Sigh*
Lana has to be the most passive character ever created. She is ultimately never responsible for anything she does even if it's her own choice/fault.

And if this show is supposed to be about filling iconic destinies, well, Lana's was finished around the time of "Hypnotic". Lana Lang in the comics, from what I know, really isn't anything more than Clark's SV girlfriend. Keeping her around in s6 and now s7 is pointless. Plotlines involving her are inorganic because her presence on this show isn't natural to the show any longer. And you know what? You could say, "well, this isn't the comics, and this is AlMiles interpretation of the character to give her more importance to the mythos". But to that I say it doesn't give them the right to sacrifice other characters' stories for her.

And the funny thing about Lexana is I quite liked the idea of it in s3 because it did feel natural. Clark and Lex weren't on the best of terms in the 2nd half of the season, and Lana and Clark were estranged. I thought it made sense for Lana to start to confide in Lex, and they did have some nice scenes together towards the end of the season. But in the end of season five and all of season six? It felt wrong to me because the start of it was tainted by Lex hiring a HypnoHo to break Clark and Lana up, and it just became worse from there.

And all of this is meant as no disrespect to KK because I do like her; I just don't like her character.

Now as for my enthusiasm and optimism? I always hope for good things because I want to enjoy the show, but right now, I have major fatigue. I know others were like "WHAT??? The show doesn't come back until January 31?!?!" But for me, it's a nice break. I'm hoping to somehow rejuvinate my love for this show. I will admit I'm looking forward to Pete coming back in "Hero" and the episode "Traveler". I honestly could not give 2 shits about the Teagues.
pep_singer
Dec. 31st, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
Lana as a tragic figure
Also, to touch a bit on AlMiles's view of Lana as a tragic figure, well, it's just not possible. Not according to how they see her. From what I learned in English and from a website, one of the requirements for a tragedy is this:

"The fall is caused in part by some error or frailty in the protagonist and not by a vice or depravity (Chapter 13). The Greek term for error or frailty is hamartia, which is sometimes translated as "tragic flaw." The idea of hamartia is that any human being might make mistakes, regardless of social station. We, as an audience of normally imperfect human beings, can thus identify with the hero or heroine, and sympathize with his or her predicament. If the disaster were brought about by evil or viciousness, instead of feeling pity we would be happy to see a villain destroyed. On the other hand, if the protagonist were a pure soul, without fault, then we would be indignant at the fall of an innocent person, but would be unable to involve ourselves completely with the character. Thus, the tragic hero is a character the audience easily identifies with: neither evil nor saintly but somewhere in between, possessing virtues and faults, a character who makes crucial mistakes that begin the process of the tragic fall."

In other words, there's no way that Lana can be seen as a tragic figure because she's *not allowed to have faults which ultimately help cause her downfall*.
One more thing... - pep_singer - Jan. 1st, 2008 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: One more thing... - jeannev - Jan. 1st, 2008 03:52 am (UTC) - Expand
hoperoy
Jan. 1st, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
Someone just needs to smack Gough... and everyone else who contributed to this view. Every guy that Lana is with ends up either dead or worse than when he started out. And this makes her the good girl? Where can they possibly get that? She makes characters regress, and at this point, I think that's what's going to end up killing the show. Without character progression, things go downhill fast, hence the last two or three seasons.
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 03:53 am (UTC)
If we are taking volunteers to smack Gough, let the line form behind me! LOL
tariel22
Jan. 1st, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
I feel like Lana as a character has been responsible for everything that's wrong with this show. There have been so many times that I've seen what looks like the beginning of a storyline about which I can truly get excited, only to have the Clana/Lexana stop it dead in its tracks. I can't imagine that KK likes her character any better than the fans do. I so wish she had forced the writers' hands by leaving the show, but no doubt they would have just invented a replacement character with all the same characteristics.

I think this show regularly perpetrates character assassination against Clark, and it's usually because of something to do with Lana. Pursuing another man's wife who is (supposedly) pregnant with his child? Almost killing Lionel in anger? My Superman would never do these things. It's disheartening in the extreme.

How do I deal? I fanwank, my dear, I fanwank. Lex is just pretending to love Lana, actually he's just playing her. *nods* Clark is just humoring Lana to throw her off base and defuse her villainy. What? I didn't say it was easy! :)

Why in the world do Clark and Lex have to be in love with anyone anyway? I think the fan reaction to Justice proved that a show that actually focused on the development of Superman, and how he finds the path to his destiny, would find a significant audience. I'm a lot more interested in Clark's relationship with Lex than with any other character, and that includes Lana, Lois, or even Chloe. I adore the Chlark friendship, but the only reason I've rooted for a romance there in the past is because I like the character of Chloe so much, and there's been chemistry on screen to support it. I love the occasional Chlark kiss they've had on the show, but if I'm being completely honest here, watching Clark really go for it with Chloe probably wouldn't work for me. Allison doesn't seem particularly comfortable with the make-out scenes, and the Chlark romance angle seems to work better when it's played for the awkward humor.

The saving grace for me is TW, and MR. I strongly believe they have the correct vision of what this show should be, and do everything in their power as actors to counteract the boneheaded writing. These two wonderful men can say more with a glance and a touch than a whole page of dialogue, and I cling to what I see on the screen. Maybe it's all in my head, but I swear I see undercurrents and nuances that tell another story.

I, like you, am all about the Welling. If Smallville ended tomorrow, and Tom went on to make movies, I would close the book on this crazy show and probably have a party to boot! But if this is where he is, it's where I am. I will wank, ignore, deny, and anything else it takes to convince myself to keep on watching. I love the guy, it's just that simple.

In other news, the other thing I read in the guide that drove me crazy was the writers' delight in Lois's boy-crazy attitude toward men with special abilities. Yeah, let's make the love of Superman's life a superhero groupie! Good plan! Sheesh.

I like the new layout. The colors are gorgeous. I'm using my blue Clark icon to match! :)

Which reminds me, I just have to ask you, do you make your own icons? Because yours capture the perfection that is Tom Welling like no others! I am constantly finding myself momentarily stunned by the images that accompany your posts!
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I'd agree that everything wrong with the show is Lana's fault. But I'd certainly agree that her influence upon Clark has been overwhelmingly detrimental, and Clark is usually at his worst when Lana is involved. And call me crazy, but isn't that what should be important, and should be corrected?

Hey, I'm all for a good fanwank, and I certainly believe that TW and MR, and all the actors, are the shows saving grace for the most part.

And yeah, TPTB concepts of Lois can also be seriously lacking. The delight they take in Lois having romantic misadventures seems very misplaced.

And yes, I do make my own icons. I'm completely blown away at your compliment. Thank you so much! Maybe its just my great Tommy love that shines through with them.
(no subject) - tariel22 - Jan. 1st, 2008 08:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Jan. 1st, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
redteekal
Jan. 1st, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting about the S5 Book I am about to order it (along with 3 which I'm still missing!) and for the heads up about the TW/Clark lightness...mentally prepared now and will not be disappointed!
I'm in agreeance with all you said about the Lana character. I wonder quite frequently if TPTB are unable to see the woods for the trees because of the anti-Clana sentiment that has been out there for so long and so vocally that they now just assume that it doesn't matter what they do with her character there is always going to be this backlash and vitriol against her because fans simply dislike her being with Clark. In other words commentaries and essays such as yours that actually quite logically and credibly (because it's backed up with evidence) point out the flaws and inconsistencies not with the character herself but with the way she is written, her motivations and impact on those characters around her are simply not ever registering on their radar because they've swept you and others like you under the rug with the anti-Clana fanatics. This is wrong - I don't think you can classify the commentary above as even anti-Clana primarily. It is simply anti-Lana's characterisation as it is right now and has been for the last two seasons at least, due to the flagrant inconsistencies in her behaviour and how she is perceived by the characters closest to her. Lexana seemed very bizarre to me but not because I found it difficult to see that Lana would accept Lex but because it did very little in terms of progressing the relationship between Lex and Clark in terms of the eventual outcome of them being arch enemies on the world stage. It was all very smallworld and had more to do with a battle of male egos than anything else. The whole Lexana thing seemed more geared towards trying to make Lana less two dimensional. That's definitely something I've missed this season, is the development of the Lex Clark relationship progressing towards the mythology. I loved Nemesis for that very reason. But there needs to me more done there.
I rewatch the old seasons and find that's what keeps me coming back for more even when I see scenes in Season 7 that make me cringe. I want to see how they get to that final episode. That and the fact that Tom Welling still gets the most screen time keeps me watching.
Thanks for your post, it was an interesting read.
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
Hey, thanks for reading it. Its always nice to think you've caused someone to consider something.

And really, this wasn't meant as anti-Lana, or anti-Clana. Its not about that at all. Its about being PRO-Clark, or PRO-Lex. Heck, even PRO-Lana, because you would like a characterization for her thats something beyond victim and dress-up love interest/doll.
(no subject) - redteekal - Jan. 1st, 2008 05:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Jan. 1st, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
twdiva
Jan. 1st, 2008 08:39 am (UTC)
I wonder sometimes...
I remember Dave Fury (or was it David), who was one of the writers/producers of Buffy, made some comments during season 6 that pissed off a lot of Spike fans... something about comparing fans of the Spike character and his relationship with Buffy to women who write marriage proposals to serial killers in prison. But a couple of years or so later, he reportedly said that after watching some of the episodes he could better understand where those fans were coming from.

So I wonder if Al and Miles actually watch Smallville episodes on a regular basis. And if they don't and if someone sat them down and made them watch a marathon of Smallville episodes, would they see what we see when it comes to the Lana character and the Clana relationship or continue to bury their heads in the sand?

Or is this whole Lana-is-really-a-victim thing and such somehow a ruse or a big joke they're playing on the fans, and we'll finally be let in on the punchline during the last episode(s) of the show? Because I really find it hard to believe that someone could be that clueless about a character and the way she affects others, when she and it are being written and portrayed completely contrary to what they claim.

I don't like thinking of people as that mentally deficient.

I love the new layout, but I think everything and everyone looks better with blue (my favorite color) anyway :-)
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
Re: I wonder sometimes...
You raise some good points. But I don't know. I have to admit, there's a real willful blindness when it comes to AlMiles. And they just seem enthralled with KK/Lana to such a fanatical degree. And I don't get it. She's a lovely girl, no doubt. But so are Erica and Allison, and now, Laura. And hell, no one on the show is prettier then Tom.

I get frustrated as hell reading interviews with AlMiles because it seems to me that no one ever asks them the question that really should be asked.

And I'm really liking the new layout too. I think this one is going to stick for a while.
seacrystal
Jan. 1st, 2008 10:52 am (UTC)
Is it just me, or does Eva sound like one smitten kitten?

She certainly does. :D But my favourite quote about TW of all time would have to be that one by James Marsters. "You want to go and crush on him, go ahead!" lol

He's a player, sure. A cog in the big machine. But is that really what the character of Clark Kent should be on this show? Does this show work best as an ensemble?

I'm very iffy with the whole Justice&Doom stuff as well, but maybe it's just better to wait and see first. This show can still pull off quite a good balance sometimes, we were doubtful with Kara's coming to the show last time but it looks like Clark is just much on the centre of the stage as Kara herself.

"She is what happens when Superman makes bad decisions and Lex's basest instincts come to the fore. she really is the receptacle of all of those bad decisions made by this future super hero and super villian. She's always been a tragic figure in the comics, but we've probably taken it to a new level".

These kind of statements really don't surprise me anymore. Greg Beeman way back in S2 had flat out said how Lana's character is supposed to be simply viewed as a "princess" and an "object of desire", nothing more. Of course she can't think for her own or gets called on her BS, because she's just an object. I quote:

"She was the object of his (Clark's) desire, and she motivated him. As a dramatic instrument, he needed to have something that made him want to move forward, and so Lana was that. She was in fact sort of an object."

"Then there's the good son striving to be a hero, full of self-doubt, and you just put those kind of character traits on people, and then there was the beautiful object of the hero's desire."

"So, Kristin, because I think she was always designed to be the princess, you know, the object of desire, I think the idea was to put her in very innocent colors, and she would be the innocent one."

Of course it's mind-boggling, but the entire writing team and producers just don't find anything wrong with this. Heck Al actually found the Lanarama comic to be genuinely hilarious, when I had been hoping all this while that he'd read that and it would knock some sense into his head.

"If there's one thing that could save Lex from going completely dark, it's Lana Lang..."

And this is why I've always felt like the none of the writers or producers actually love Clark and Lex as individuals, as characters to be respected in their own right. They love all the other characters, gushed about them and talked about the things they like about them and their personality traits that I completely agree with. And yet when it comes to Clark, Lex and Lana, it's usually just about triangles, triangles and more triangles.

Maybe the only exception is SDK, he had actually said that he loved writing for Clark, although it doesn't mean I have to agree with him all the time (Prototype comes to mind, what the hell was he trying to do wanting to kiss Lana with her husband outside the door). I still shudder when I remember that interview where he talked about how he actually had to yell in the writers' room about how Clark shouldn't deliberately kill Titan in Combat.
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
LOL, I remember that Marsters quote. Marsters was a very big Tom fan. He also said that Tom was very smart and "dirtier" then you would think. *THUD*

I think, for me, I was clear about what Lana's original role on the show was. And I was OK with it. Clark's obsessive puppy love for her was understandable in the earlier seasons. Even endearing sometimes. And Lana being the "princess" made sense in context of the show. But that was then, this is now, and I really think thats what AlMiles and crew don't seem to be able to grasp. You don't have Clana break up a ton of times, and expect Clark to feel the same. You don't have Lana screw and marry Lex, and expect Clark to feel the same. You don't have Lana leave Lex to die, fake her own death, lie, embezzle, kidnap, stalk, and expect Clark to feel the same. Its just retarded writing at this point, and it makes Clark look mentally challenged. And I HATE saying that, since no one hated the BDA crap more then me.

I also agree with you that TPTB don't love Clark and Lex. Clark especially, I think. You just never feel that level of commitment or respect for a character like this coming from them.

I've gone back and forth quite a bit with my feelings over SDK. But I do have to admit, I'm sorry he's gone.
gildinwen
Jan. 1st, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
This is the comment that really got to me "If there's one thing that could save Lex from going completely dark, it's Lana Lang..."............BWAH!HAHAHAHA!!..........Oh...she's being serious....Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!? Lana Lang can save Lex??? funny and I always thought it was Clark...you know that's why he KEEPS trying to save him in the future?? Because he WANTS to??? What the hell are they going to do to THAT storyline huh?? Make it LANA who makes sure Clark never gives up on Lex? I will call bullshit if that ever happens because no way in hell, what we've seen on this show could that be possible. Damnit. They gave culpablity for ONE FREAKIN' EPISODE and now it looks like they are about to wipe all of that out by the of the show.
'cuse me while I drink myself into a coma...........
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
Going by their comments, Clark definitely ranks much lower in Lex's life then Lana does. And I just don't understand that at all. Instead of a show about how Clark and Lex push each other to their final destinies due to their influences on each other, its apparently a show about how Lana Lang influenced both men to be who they are. That about sums it up.

And HAPPY NEW YEAR!! to you too.
gildinwen
Jan. 1st, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
oh and before I forget...........or you know, end up passed out on the floor
Love the new layout!!!
Yes Eva Green seems a wee bit smitten
HAPPY NEW YEAR SWEETIE!!!!!!!!!!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 1st, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
You have perfectly expressed the frustration and disappointment I have been feeling for so long regarding the character of Lana and her effect on Clark. It's not about hating Lana. It's all about respecting Clark and honoring his character. And if Clana were true soulmates there is no way that Lana would not recognize that Bizarro is not the real Clark. For them to expect us to accept this because she only wants to be loved and accepted by Clark is ridiculous. The writers/showrunners are the real victomizers of Lana.
Also wanted to say I always enjoy reading your journal and love your pictorials.
jeannev
Jan. 1st, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad that people can read this and see it wasn't meant as a "I Hate Lana" rant. Its really about how the character is used on the show, and how that impacts Clark.

And thanks for the kind words about my lj. I still feel like such a novice at this.
huzzlewhat
Jan. 2nd, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
See, this is why I rarely read interviews with show creators — for any show. Because frankly, the story they say they're telling doesn't match up with what I'm seeing onscreen. The bit about Lana being the only thing that can prevent Lex from going dark... please. Lex was already past the point of saving when he and Lana became romantically involved, and there's been nothing onscreen to indicate that she could possibly "save" him — not when he never even made the attempts to be good that he made when Clark was in his corner. When he was with Lana, it was all about hiding his wrongdoings, not about not doing wrong.

I'm a big believer in viewer interpretation, and while I can often be amused by what story the writers think they're telling, I don't feel bound by it, because the story undergoes a transformation in the acting and filming of it. What we see onscreen is a Lana who has never been as good as those who idolize her — Clark especially — think she is, and who is actually saying that, and who is actually frustrated by that idolization. That frees me up to appreciate her for her own flaws and wrong behavior. And what I saw onscreen was the conflict between Clark and Lex carried out through Lana as a proxy — Lex was still all about Clark even as he was preparing to get married, and Lana immediately jumped to the conclusion that when Bizarro!Clark was talking about feelings that don't go away, he was talking about Lex.

I don't let myself worry about how I'm supposed to be reacting... the story needs to stand or fail on its own, and when I view what appears onscreen on its own merits, separate from Miles&Millar's analysis, it stands up just fine for me.
jeannev
Jan. 2nd, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
I would agree with you about it standing up just fine on its own if they didn't have Clark continue on this blind path with Lana. Its hard not to allow what TPTB say about intent effect whats on screen when Clark is the very personification of that intent. And he's really the worry here. I just think, for me, the story can't be standing up just fine when its not doing right by Clark.

I seem to view the show in 2 ways...what TPTB are going for, and my own fanwank. And unfortunately, sometimes the intent becomes so obvious and odious, it ruins my fanwank. Because frankly, its harder and harder to fanwank Lana, and Clana, anymore. If they allowed her to be flawed, and own those flaws, and allowed the most important characters (CLARK!) on the show to view her with flaws, it would all be cool. Instead, they do crap like Clark telling her that she's not so far gone because of what she did for his mother. She made tea. Oh yeah, that totally wipes away the lying and stealing and kidnapping and attempted murder. And lets not forget the complete lack of respect she showed for Clark, the supposed love of her life. And Clark should be having a much stronger reaction to all this. Not allowing him that, and all to prop up the character of Lana, is nothing less then character destroying for him. Just hitting "reset" isn't satisfying on any level. Lana should not be propped and pimped and absolved at Clark's expense. No one should be.

As for the influence of Clark and Lana upon Lex, I think its easy to fanwank. Thank God. But it sure doesn't change how I feel about their intent, and how I feel about them thinking that was good storytelling.

Edited at 2008-01-02 07:21 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - huzzlewhat - Jan. 3rd, 2008 02:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Jan. 3rd, 2008 02:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - huzzlewhat - Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Part 1 - jeannev - Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 2 - jeannev - Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:34 am (UTC) - Expand
carolandtom
Jan. 4th, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
Sadly I not longer have the drive to discuss SV. The show as such has lost every appeal it once had. I watch it for Clark but I'm hugely frustrated and disappointed about what they are doing to his character. If Tom left I wouldn't watch SV anymore.

Every new spoiler depresses and annoys me; I dislike most of the new storylines; I've given up hope of ever seeing what the show set out to tell. I would regret it being cancelled just because I wouldn't have my weekly Tom dose. I've come to the point where I derive no satisfaction from SV other than watching Tom, but I love Clark and not even Tom can make me get over my bitterness and frustration.

I haven't re-watched any season 7 episode and I re-watched just a few from season 6. For someone who knows many old episodes by heart that's an indication of my absolute disappointment.

I regret what could have been and will never be. I resent AG/MM and the rest of the writers. I'll never forgive the disservice they are doing to the wonderful Superman character.

Thankfully Clark Kent/Superman was here before them and will outlive them all.



Edited at 2008-01-04 11:47 am (UTC)
jeannev
Jan. 4th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
Wow Carol, just one big WORD to that post. I'm not there quite yet, but I don't feel I'm that far away either. For me, if they aren't doing the Clark character right, then the show fails. I don't care what else it has going on. And right now? They aren't doing Clark right.
goodvibe
Jan. 6th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
Firstly, I have to agree with Carol to a certain extent, that I just don't have even half as much vigour as I used to, for this show anymore. I watch it, because, hey. TW and Clark, and I'll stick with it to the end, but there's no sense of any kind of anticpation anymore. The show still has the capability of producing some standout ::moments:: be it character moments, or plot points, or whatever. And there have been certain things I've absolutely loved about seasons 5, 6 and even 7. But on the whole? The sense of "omg, where will this lead?" was lost somewhere around the back half of season 5. Because I can almost predict now, where and how the series will culminate, given what we know of the showrunners and their priorities.

Also, ya, I caved and read your two spoilery posts, Val. ::hangs head:: Still haven't read any other spoilers whatsoever though, so. Ya, but this Bizaro and Lana business is---well, I hate to say it, but I guess I saw it coming. I had this feeling of dread as the credits rolled in the last ep, because I could almost anticipate Biz not only falling in love wth Lana, and vice versa, but Clark actually being made to look the guilty party in the whole mess. Because, as always, Clark ::must:: be put in these impossible positions where he can virtualy do no right. And of course Lana ::must:: remain blameless, no matter what. That is obviously the foremost writing rule of the show. I love KK, but she has to be towing the party line here, so to speak, when making these observations, surely.

Like yourself Val, I've tried, especially in the last couple seasons to be more open minded about Lana and Clana. And I think I do occassionally manage to appreciae, or sometimes defend certan aspects of both elements. But reading Gough's quote from the official mag, it just really doesn't help matters. Lana is ::so completely:: THE FOCUS of this show, it's not even funny. Nor could it be any more apparent. They're not even trying to hide it. And IMO, it does come across both in intent and execution. Perhaps execution slightly lesser so than intent because there are all these other factors working there, but still. Equally frustrating.

And I loathe Lexana, so I'm right there with you on Holly Harold's quote. But then, I expected no better from HH. ::points to HH's eps and rolls eyes::

Also dissapointed to see that this latest book is so TW/Clark lite. And even ED/Lois lite. Again though, I'm not surprised.

And that's the worst part, about this whole thing. Al of it. That it's all so predictable. We expect this nonsensical rubbish from the show and its writers and creators now. I've honestly become desensitized to a really large degree. But every now and then, reading statements of this nature, it really does hurt, as a Clark fan.
jeannev
Jan. 9th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
As usual, you and me? *like this*

I'm glad I'm not the only one that got that terrible feeling of foreboding with the Bizarro/Lana stuff. Its so utterly predictable. If SV does something different? Awesome! Finally! Hallelujah! But it just really feels like the same-ol', same-ol' here. The writing seems to be on the wall.

Sometimes I have to chide myself for complaining about the Lana focus, because its not really as though the show hid their fixation on her. She figured prominently in all the early promo shots and commercials. She was, until this season, 2nd billed. Even before MR, inexplicably. So, Buyer Beware, ya know? But the wrongness of it still gets to me. And the absolute stubborness in not allowing the show to grow up, and out of the Lana Lang fixation is just maddening. Hitting the constant reset with her got old 3 seasons ago.

Maybe the S6 book will have more TW/Clark and ED/Lois stuff. I hope so. I felt they didn't quite get their due in the S5 companion.
kpjmm
Jan. 10th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
I'm glad you wrote this, because I still don't know if I want to buy the book. With books like this, I like to browse it and then decide if I want to buy it. I hate just buying it from Amazon.

I started watching Smallville during Season 6 and I still don't get what the appeal of Clana ever was. In fact, Clana was what kept me away from the show in the first place. I plunged into the show, because of Michael Rosenbaum.

Don't get me started on my thoughts on the anti-Lois/Erica Durance bent of Craig and the Kryptonsite. I like Craig, but I really don't get why he's so biased against her. Did he interview ED in the book?

I am really looking to buy the Season 6 book, because Craig did a 3 or 4 page interview with Michael and I think that Michael usually gives great interviews.

How was the Forward done by John?

Any pics that even maniac fans haven't seen?
jeannev
Jan. 10th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
The S5 Companion
I hope it doesn't seem like I'm talking down the S5 companion. I'm really not. It just wasn't my favorite. But since I have to complete the set, I would order it regardless.

I do understand that Clana has fans, and that not everyone is going to like or dislike the same things as me. But I also you have to go where your show is leading you, and it definitely isn't leading goughlar to Clana being redone over and over again.

I don't personally know Craig, but I guess he has his bias like all of us. I've been critical of some of the comments he's made about TW, and also ED. But he's entitled to his opinion. I do think he tries to keep his site even-handed for the most part. ED is interviewed in the book, but I just didn't feel like there was a lot of her in there. I can't even think of anything she said.

The Glover forward was great. He's an eloquent guy. :)

I'm sure maniac fans have seen all the pics, but I thought they were well chosen. There's a lovely still of Michael in the book where he's wearing the white suit he wore down to Honduras to find Fine. He looks great.
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