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Do you ever see a SV fandom post that is just so freaking stupid, it makes your head want to explode? 

Well, unless most of you have been living in a cave, then of course you have.

My newest "exploding head" arguement has to be the one about how Clark is, somehow, in the wrong for pursuing Lois when Oliver wants her, since Oliver dated her first.  OMG, Really??!! 

Anyway, just to be safe, everything Kandor related goes under the cut, to be safe.  Including the screentime minutes.

Type your cut contents here.

Well, this is sort of a hard episode for me to review. 

But first, we do the numbers.

Running Time:  41m, 28s ("previously on": 53s)

Clark:  12m, 29s
Chloe:  7m, 40s
Oliver:  6m, 35s
Tess:  8m, 43s
Zod:  15m, 33s

Jor-El:  18m, 48s

Year to Date Totals:

Clark:  117m, 41s (ridiculously low!)
Chloe:  48m, 23s (even more ridiculously low)
Lois:  94m, 56s (6)
Oliver:  76m, 55s (6)
Tess:  37m, 52s (6)
Zod:  30m, 42s (4)


I did find this episode to be a tad dull, but I think a lot of that had to do with the characters that were central in this episode, Jor-El and Zod. 

On the Jor-El side, I have never liked how SV has used this character, and I find the constant rewrites and retcons when it comes to him to be infuriating.  Here, in this episode, I think my major issues had to do with the performance of Julian Sands, who seemed to be playing meek and mild Jor-El.  Which is a personality that fits into none of the other Jor-El descriptions we've had before, so lets chalk up another one.

I think Sands is a fine actor, and charismatic film presence.  But since I heard about his coming to SV, I thought he was wildly miscast.  And nothing in this episode changed my mind about that.  But in a way, I think Sands rather odd performance worked.  Because Jor-El, to me, came off as slightly cold and detached.  You could easily see this man as someone who would dedicate himself to Science!, and maybe find himself a bit disconnected to the people around him. 

On the flipside, this was the first big showcase for Callum Blue's Zod.  There's no doubt he's a good actor, and he seems to like chewing his scenery with a pinch of salt, and a nice chianti.  Now maybe its just me, but I have some trouble understanding what Blue is saying some of the time.  His accent is very heavy, and when he's raising his voice, he has a tendency to get....phelmy?  Is that the right word, or did I just make that up?

But, getting that out of the way, I did really like that this episode managed to come up with a plausible explanation for Zod and the Kandorians (sounds like a garage band).  I'm still not exactly clear how the purple orb was supposed to "control Clark", but thats probably one of those crazy details the writers would prefer we forget.

Chloe was a problem area for me in this episode.  There was just something about her scenes that made my eye twitch.  Maybe part of it was being stuck with idiotic dialogue like "you've had a thing for Lois since the 1930's".  Yes, I get the wink and the nod, but its still idiotic.  And has nothing to do with what we've seen on SV. 

But from her rather snide comment about the "I love Lois" show, to her calling Oliver before asking Clark if he wanted to work with him, to her odd interaction with Jor-El (did either of them act like what you'd expect someone to do in that situation?), to finding out that she's got cameras all over Clark's farm, and Whoops! Forgot to tell him.

And can we just focus on that last one for a second.  WTF?  Seriously, WTF Chloe?  Now look, if she was putting cameras in his house so she could watch him shower and masturbate, I'd be right there, cheering her on.  But thats obviously not what she was doing, much to my chagrin.  Somewhere along the line, she seems to have come under the delusional that she has the right to control and observe other peoples lives.  And its freaking creepy.  And Clark should be allowed to be bothered for more then 15 seconds.

One more Chloe note, I guess she has recruited Stuart, since she referred to getting intel from her LuthorCorp mole.

Oliver wasn't as annoying this week, but maybe his 6m, 35s screentime had something to do with it.  But I suspect why he didn't annoy me was that 1. he was so obviously coming on to Clark, but even more then that 2. Clark was finally acting the way I would've liked to see him act with Oliver all season long.  Clark was mildly annoyed, barely tolerant, and rather stoic with Oliver.  And I think thats the appropriate response to what went down last season.  Of course I think we're supposed to believe its over Lois, which is all kinds of wrong!  But I'm trying to ignore that.  I'm instead going to chalk it up to Clark just remembering how much Oliver pissed him off last season, and it works better for me.  Even Clark's response to Oliver saying he has his back (Ironic!  That line must be ironic)  seemed to lack any warmth at all, but rather seemed accepted as a matter of necessity. 

Did Oliver really make some comment about no one wearing the \S/ as well as Clark?  Because thats really, really gay!  That might be the gayest line we got all season. 

For the 2nd week in a row, I was absolutely in love with Tess.  Cassidy is just so amazing.  Every little smirk, or raise of the eyebrow is just pure genius.  I think she's my favorite actress thats ever appeared on this show. 

I really thought I was going to be bothered by the Clark and Tess scene, but I really didn't find myself having too big an issue.  Clark was clearly emotional, and so he was a bit more heavy-handed then he usually was.  But he also didn't hurt her, and that was obvious.  And frankly, its hard to put out when it seemed like Tess was really getting off on the whole thing.  I think Tess went and had a cigarette after Clark whoosed out of there.

Tess remains delightly enigmatic.  I think she really does think she believes she has a righteous cause, and I also do really believe that she is interested in protecting Clark.  But her methodology is so screwed up, and her morals all but non-existant. 

She's so much fun.  And Cassidy and Tom need to share more scenes together.

And her back-and-forth with Zod remains a treat to watch.  I know I may see this different from some, but I find their innuendo-laced encounters so NON-sexual, thats half the fun.  Because I don't believe either of these characters is remotely interested in a roll-in-the-hay with each other. 

In the end, the Clark/Jor-El meeting that I expected was a cheat.  Clark loses another parental figure, gets upset, and thats about it.  It hardly seemed worth doing the death scene at all.  Frankly, I think it might've been more interesting to avoid the face-to-face, and just let Jor-El leave Clark a note. 

Also, why did Clark not know who killed Jor-El?  I mean, Duh!

I loved, loved, LOVED all the outdoor scenes in this one.  I missed location shoots, and I missed the Kent farm.

So, Shelby is like the worst watchdog ever, eh?

Whoever it is in the SV wardrobe department who thinks that all women wear shorter jackets over longers shirts all the damned time needs to pick up a fashion magazine.  So tired of that look.

However, whoever decided to put Tom Welling in that long-sleeved thermal, then later that tight black t-shirt, needs a big kiss.  Yummy!

I have to say, it was nice to have an episode where Clark's storyline took a different direction.  However, it was disappointing that, once again, he was not  on screen very much, and he definitely wasn't the central character.  At this point, I wonder in what episode he will be. 
 

Comments

( 71 comments — Leave a comment )
svfan01
Nov. 7th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)
I wonder how much say Tom has into screentime. While I see the need for an episode like this it should happen after 2-3 Clark centric episodes.

I guess we can feel lucky that Ollie didn't hog all the screentime this episode and was used more in a role he should have been since they introduced the character.
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
I'm really out of excuses for Clark's screentime, except that its due to Tom having more behind-the-scenes responsibilities. Otherwise, it makes no sense.

I thought Oliver was used correctly in this episode, for the most part. This is about the role he should play on the show, and how Clark should be with him at this point in the story.
beeg03
Nov. 7th, 2009 06:47 am (UTC)
Now maybe its just me, but I have some trouble understanding what Blue is saying some of the time. His accent is very heavy, and when he's raising his voice, he has a tendency to get....phelmy? Is that the right word, or did I just make that up?

I find it distracting because I'm looking to see if spit is flying out of his mouth onto the other actors. It reminds me of a "Friends" episode where Joey is learning to enunciate by spitting as he speaks creating a more passionate performance.
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Blue is very hard to understand, and yes, I do imagine he spits on his co-stars a lot. And that distracting to me.
jlvsclrk
Nov. 7th, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
Maybe it's "phlegmy" - and yes, I found Zod very distracting tonight. For me, its not the accent so much as the way he moves his mouth.

I really don't know if I should just blame Septien-Meyer or whether its also the director's fault but this episode was definitely very jerky. He seemed to blow hot and cold to me. I could kind of understand why he was wondering if the AI hid info about clone Jor-El for fear Clark would realize he's worse than he'd imagined, even though this specifically ignores Clark's realization at the end of Relic that Jor-El wasn't as bad as they thought in an episode that deliberately reminds us that Jor-El had visited Earth before. And then at the very end when he's talking to Ollie about everything Jor-El sacrificed for him, I'm going WTF????? Jor-El didn't sacrifice ANYTHING to send Clark to Earth, he just did the only thing he could in a dire situation.
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, "phlegmy", thats the word I was looking for. Thank you!

SV continues to rewrite Jor-El every 5 minutes, as needed by the plot, and continues to have Clark (and others) react to Jor-El differently, as needed by the plot. Its just confusing and annoying at this point.

Like you, I'm just not quite sure what Jor-El sacrificed for Clark. Its not like there was one seat on the life raft, and he gave it to Clark instead of taking it himself. He stayed behind because he wanted to.
brijeana
Nov. 7th, 2009 08:09 am (UTC)
Wow! I agree with so much that you say in your post. The episode was dull, Jor-el was too mild IMO though overall I agree that he did seem like a mad scientist. There was just something odd about the entire episode. I really don't see why Clark got so worked up about Jor-el. I mean... I understand it... but it just... there was SOMETHING WRONG. What makes it worse is that so many people loved it to bits so I'm wondering what's wrong with me. There were a lot of things I liked, but as many things that just... felt OFF.

Tess totally got off on Clark manhandling her. LOL!
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
On one hand, I do appreciate them explaining the Kandorians, OTH, it was sort of a dull exposition episode heavily featuring 2 characters I'm not sure we care that much about. I mean, I know for me, its really, really hard to get invested in Jor-El's....well, anything. Because its, easily, the most inconsistent character on SV.

And I think Tom was a bit confused, because I imagine it must be really hard as an actor to figure out what your character should be felling here.

I did love the Clark/Tess scene though. I do understand people not being happy with him being rough, but Tess just enjoyed it so much. Can someone please write me a fanfic? Please!!
tjw_jaypat
Nov. 7th, 2009 10:36 am (UTC)
If this is the alternative, I guess I prefer SV as the Lois and Clark show. Not being a comic book reader, I can´t get excited about all this allegedly epic Kandor, Zod, Jor-El stuff. As my only reason for watching is Tom, I am of course disappointed to see him in the B-Plot. Another 12 min episode? Valerie, your initial fear that this is an overall trend in S9 has now been confirmed beyond doubt. :(

I almost liked Ollie in this one, but I still don´t see his function. To provide a plane, he doesn´t need to be in the episode.

Chloe is clearly delusional: last season she clearly became infatuated with Davis, so much so that she tasered and abandoned her husband, now she wires the farm. All to protect Clark. What a lame excuse for being a control freak.

Krypton being a superior civlization? Give me a break. A war-ridden planet, an all powerful (undemocratic) council, closed trials without lawyers, death penalties etc.: that sounds more like a primitive dictatorship to me. A few technical gizmos like orbs and crystals don´t make a superior civilization: a progressive social order does.

Anyway, I can´t say I look forward to the rest of this season, which seems to turn Smallville into a Kryptonian war zone. All this is so beyond any mythological how-young-Clark-Kent-became-Superman story, that S&P`s continuing talk about lining up with mythos obviously is the stupidest excuse for coming up with arbitraty plotlines.
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
If this is the alternative, I guess I prefer SV as the Lois and Clark show.

Is there a Door # 3 to choose? LOL

Like you, I felt very lost in the whole Kandor/Zod/Jor-El storyline, and I just don't think thats a great place to put half your audience.

I do think we've seen enough of this low Clark screentime to consider it the way S9 is going to go. And I think thats going to really effect how much I'll love this season. Because honestly, I just don't watch this show for focus on other character, or 'ships. Other people do, and more power to them. But its not me.

Ollie's function in this episode was what Ollie's function should be. However, its generally not what he's used for, so I'm not sure how smooth his appearance seemed.

My issues with Chloe are twofold. On the one hand, there are her actions that I totally disagree with. On the other hand, there's this snide dismissiveness when she's talking to Clark that just rubs me wrong. Its like barely concealed contempt, almost.

Like you, besides having advanced technology, there's nothing at all to conclude that Kryptonians are a bunch of knobs, for the most part. Clark being the exception.

I think S&P, and others before them, forgot what this show was supposed to be about a long time ago. Clark's journey seems more, or less, a B plot thats no more, or less, important then all the other SV storylines.
huzzlewhat
Nov. 7th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
And can we just focus on that last one for a second. WTF? Seriously, WTF Chloe? Now look, if she was putting cameras in his house so she could watch him shower and masturbate, I'd be right there, cheering her on. But thats obviously not what she was doing, much to my chagrin. Somewhere along the line, she seems to have come under the delusional that she has the right to control and observe other peoples lives. And its freaking creepy. And Clark should be allowed to be bothered for more then 15 seconds.

I loved that Clark was so pissed off about it, and that he countered her argument that she did it to watch the farm while he was away by pointing out that he'd been back for weeks and the cameras were still running. Go, righteous Clark!

Of course I think we're supposed to believe its over Lois, which is all kinds of wrong! But I'm trying to ignore that. I'm instead going to chalk it up to Clark just remembering how much Oliver pissed him off last season, and it works better for me. Even Clark's response to Oliver saying he has his back (Ironic! That line must be ironic) seemed to lack any warmth at all, but rather seemed accepted as a matter of necessity.

I really liked Clark's response there, too. It was colder than we might have expected in previous seasons. Not "Thank you," or "I know you will," or "I have faith in you," or anything emotional like that. Just "Good. Because I'm going to need you..." Just as I liked that Clark supersped away when Chloe and Oliver were trying to convince him not to go after Tess. Clark relied on his own judgment there, and made the right decision, got the information he needed, and obviously was capable of controlling his temper and himself enough to deal with Tess.

Tess remains delightly enigmatic. I think she really does think she believes she has a righteous cause, and I also do really believe that she is interested in protecting Clark. But her methodology is so screwed up, and her morals all but non-existant.

Tess is a high point of the show for me. I love watching Tess scenes. Oh, lord, her smirk when Zod gave away his bit of information about Jor-El, and knowing he had it wrong about the Blur? Yay! And of course, her rage when it turned out she'd been tricked by him...

And her back-and-forth with Zod remains a treat to watch. I know I may see this different from some, but I find their innuendo-laced encounters so NON-sexual, thats half the fun. Because I don't believe either of these characters is remotely interested in a roll-in-the-hay with each other.

I see it the same way. From where I'm sitting, Tess may get off on their encounters, but she has no interest in getting off with him. And Zod, I think, still views her as an inferior. He stated straight out in "Savior" that if he'd been dealing with her he'd have gone for the emotional manipulation rather than brutality, so it's really hard not to see his seductive approach as exactly that kind of attempted manipulation.
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
I loved that Clark was pissed off too, but I want him not to drop it. I really want this brought up again. And I can't help but wonder if Chloe is going to tell him about the footage of Jor-El she saw at the end. If she doesn't, then I think we've got a HUGE problem here, and that may be one that Chlark doesn't come back from.

Clark was pitch perfect with Oliver this week. Its what he should've been all season. Because it really makes sense.

And Clark zipping out of the room while Chloe and Oliver tried to tell him what to do was MADE OF WIN! My sister and I both whooped at that.

Tess completely rocks. I love her so much. She's the first female on this show I've ever fangurl'ed.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Re: part I
Yes, yes, and more YES to everything you just said. Its just such a stupid arguement. And lets be honest, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with concern for Oliver, or thinking Clark should be a better friend to him. It completely has to do with just being mad that Clark likes Lois, and is pursuing her.

Heck, I didn't even have a big problem with Clark going to Lana the day of the wedding in Promise. I mean, the woman does have a say in all this, doesn't she? Whats with the caveman mentality?

Edited at 2009-11-08 02:23 am (UTC)
Re: part I - huzzlewhat - Nov. 7th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
I'm not sure if thats what Sands was going for, or if it just happened to work despite his slightly addled performance. But whatever, I came away feeling rather ambivalent towards Jor-El, and I think thats actually a good thing. He was remote, yet still caring. And you could easily see this character taking the entirely wrong approach with his human-raised son.

Sands may not look like he could ever have fathered Tom Welling, but he did look like he could be related to Uncle Science!, so there was that.

I had problems with even Chloe's first scene with Clark, about Lois. Mostly because she just comes off as snide, and barely contemptuous to me. There's very little warmth there.

And yes, I did flashback to her condemnation of Lana. In fact, I flashbacked to fandoms's condemnation of Lana. And now with what Chloe is doing? Shouldn't there be condemnation? And as with Chloe's actions last season, I'm really not sure what position the show is taking on her actions. Are we supposed to think this is OK? Because it wasn't OK when Lana did it to Lex.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
Re: part III
Ah, interesting interpretation of Clark's attitude towards Oliver. I like it! I was very annoyed that Chloe decided for Clark to involve Oliver.

He doesn't have time, in that moment, to have a Come to Jesus talk with Oliver about his love life.


Love that. *hugs* for that sentence.

I think I'm just going to have to accept that 1. people aren't going to apologize to Clark, no matter how much they owe him the apology, or 2. they will, and it will be the most insincere apology you've ever heard, i.e. Chloe.

I do give Oliver props for realizing, finally, that Clark's life is really fucking difficult and complicated.

It shouldn't have been "I'll always have your back." It should have been, "I'll never stab you in the back again." Which actually are two different statements.

Right, exactly! More *hugs* for another great sentence.

I agree that Tess' belief system is so messed up. It just makes her a huge danger. I think I like the Clark/Tess scene precisely because he does have his guard up around her, and he's rather obvious about it. Thats a new dynamic for Clark, I think. And it helps that I think Tom and Cassidy have really cracking chemistry.
(Deleted comment)
goodvibe
Nov. 7th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
And here I thought this ep would maybe finally give Clark another ST high. ::sighs:: OTOH I have to admit, we did need the Kandor / Zod storyline fleshed out more, so. I don't know. Should we just give up on Clark getting the most ST now?

//I think Sands is a fine actor, and charismatic film presence. But since I heard about his coming to SV, I thought he was wildly miscast.//

::nods:: To be honest, even though I ended up enjoying a fair bit of this storyline here, Sands looking so completely the opposite of Clatk just really kept taking me out of the story. It was distracting.

//I did really like that this episode managed to come up with a plausible explanation for Zod and the Kandorians//

I know, I was pleasantly surprised by this too. Plus, I feel like it gives Zod a take offpoint from here on out as well, and that, coupled with Clark' resolve at the end could make things more interesting now as this storyline progresses.

//Chloe was a problem area for me in this episode.//

She was, for me too. I was mostly annoyed by her yet again attempting to lecture Clark and angered by her conveniently neglecting to tell him about the spyage, but now that you mention it, yeah, her whole line about preempting the I love Lois show wasn't in the best of taste either.

//Did Oliver really make some comment about no one wearing the \S/ as well as Clark? Because thats really, really gay! That might be the gayest line we got all season.//

Heh. And the look of adoration on JH' face while delivering said line? Even more perfect.

//but I really didn't find myself having too big an issue. Clark was clearly emotional, and so he was a bit more heavy-handed then he usually was. But he also didn't hurt her, and that was obvious.//

Oh, I didn't find a thing wrong with this scene. It's exactly how I would've expected Clark to go about it, had it been anyone else too. Look at what he was dealing with. And Tess' reaction was amusing to say the least, heh.

//I loved, loved, LOVED all the outdoor scenes in this one. I missed location shoots, and I missed the Kent farm.//

Me too. All through S6 and S7 I remember thinking, "ugh, let's just be done with the farm already" and now I relish every sunny, Kent farm scene we get.
jeannev
Nov. 7th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
I had a feeling that we were in for another low screentime for Clark. And I just see this continuing with the eps to come. Its so disppointing to me. I'm really blindsided by it. I didn't expect this at all.

It didn't help that Sands really looks like he could have fathered Justin, but looks nothing even remotely like Tom. I love Sands, but I think they could've done a better casting job here. I think there are other actors out there that could've fit the bill.

I really don't want to see Clark making a habit of being agressive around Tess, or anyone for that matter. But I think the context with important, as was the fact that Tess wasn't hurt at all. Then there's the fact that she rathered liked it. It all adds up to a workable scene for me.

The budget is clearly being managed better this season, and it shows.
theninthdoctor
Nov. 7th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
I think my favorite part of the episode is that we got to see the farm again. Ultimately, I'm not sure what I thought of the episode itself - it seemed to focus too much on the older group, and... didn't really feel like a "CW show" at all. Which would be okay if SV was always presented as this uber serious adult show but this just isn't.
theninthdoctor
Nov. 7th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
Another random point: Why did Julian Sands' Jor-El say "Krypt-on" yet Lion-El said "Krypt-in," as said in the movies by Marlon Brando? Would've liked more consistency there, too.
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tasabian
Nov. 7th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
Wow, for an ep. with low Clark screen-time, I really enjoyed this one!

Now maybe its just me, but I have some trouble understanding what Blue is saying some of the time. His accent is very heavy, and when he's raising his voice, he has a tendency to get....phelmy? Is that the right word, or did I just make that up?
Heh! My theory is that CB has decided to make Zod his own personal homage to Michael Caine & therefore is talking like MC x 100. The mumble-shouting is kinda working for me because I love when the guest actors go over the top. I can't wait for Zod to start spraying his actorly saliva all over Clark.

My newest "exploding head" arguement has to be the one about how Clark is, somehow, in the wrong for pursuing Lois when Oliver wants her, since Oliver dated her first. OMG, Really??!!
Hey, Oliver ditched Lois & then hooked up with lots of ladies subsequently! He has no claim.

There was just something about her scenes that made my eye twitch. Maybe part of it was being stuck with idiotic dialogue like "you've had a thing for Lois since the 1930's". Yes, I get the wink and the nod, but its still idiotic. And has nothing to do with what we've seen on SV.
That first Chlark scene was weird. We know in SV continuity that a few months ago, Clark was still crazy-in-love with Lana. Also when Chloe says Lois runs away from intimacy? No, she doesn't! In S6, Lois & Ollie went from talking to flirting to dating in a mature manner. Lois also didn't run away from Grant. (It's Lana who tends to flee intimacy, ie "Fragile", leaving Jason in Paris is S4.)

Somewhere along the line, she seems to have come under the delusional that she has the right to control and observe other peoples lives. And its freaking creepy. And Clark should be allowed to be bothered for more then 15 seconds.
I thought that was very funny because Chloe is so matter of fact about it. "Yes, I'm watching you." And Clark is "well, okay then!" See, Lex should have been more upfront about his cameras in "Mortal." "It's for your own good, Clark, and my sexual release!"

But I suspect why he didn't annoy me was that 1. he was so obviously coming on to Clark, but even more then that 2. Clark was finally acting the way I would've liked to see him act with Oliver all season long. Clark was mildly annoyed, barely tolerant, and rather stoic with Oliver. And I think thats the appropriate response to what went down last season. Of course I think we're supposed to believe its over Lois, which is all kinds of wrong! But I'm trying to ignore that. I'm instead going to chalk it up to Clark just remembering how much Oliver pissed him off last season, and it works better for me.
Oliver seemed to be begging for Clark's attention throughout this episode - very similar to his neediness in "Bride" which Jeannot Szwarc also directed. I loved how Clark was haughty with him - go,baby!

Edited at 2009-11-07 07:22 pm (UTC)
jeannev
Nov. 8th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
I actually read this very funny review by Jade at K-Site, and she was talking about the Zod scenes, and how he says everything intensely, and he probably would order a sandwich intensely. That cracked me up.

I do appreciate the effort and verve that Blue is putting into Zod. But I do wonder if the performance isn't a little affected because he seems to always be aiming for over-the-top. And over-the-top makes for a fun guest star, but might end up being a tiresome regular.

Hey, Oliver ditched Lois & then hooked up with lots of ladies subsequently! He has no claim.

Apparently that doesn't matter. Nor does it matter that he seemed barely able to remember Lois' name last season, and was all up in Tess' stuff. Nope, not relevant! Clark should just stay away from Lois because Oliver has decided he wants her, and if he doesn't, he's a Bad Person! What a moronic arguement.

Also when Chloe says Lois runs away from intimacy? No, she doesn't!

YES! That too. I meant to mention that. Its like the writers just pulled something out of their ass.
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serenography
Nov. 7th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Part the One
Screen times AND a wonderful review. Awesome. :)

Your entry that is, notsomuch the final totals or episode. I was very split in my feelings for this episode.

I'm totally with you on a lot of this, not all, but most.


My newest "exploding head" arguement has to be the one about how Clark is, somehow, in the wrong for pursuing Lois when Oliver wants her, since Oliver dated her first. OMG, Really??!!

I think LaT made the best points about this above. The cracky perspectives we see sometimes in this fandom never fail to amaze me - and not in a good way.


Here, in this episode, I think my major issues had to do with the performance of Julian Sands, who seemed to be playing meek and mild Jor-El.

Right. I expected *more* from Jor-El, and he ended up being rather dull. I know brilliant scientists can be categorized as all work and no play, but I really wanted a bit more THERE there, and what I got instead was a Jor-El being on the receiving end of far too much dialog. First from Chloe, then Tess, then Zod, I feel like the guy actually said very little. Then when we finally get him to the person I actually WANTED to see him talk to, Clark, he sputtered out one line and died! So.. that was Jor-El, huh? I'll stick with my Relic incarnation, thankyou.

I should qualify - Relic is one of my very favorite SV episodes. I don't want it touched by any retconning of convenience. So, out of the gate, I had HUGE issues with Julian Sands being cast as Jor-El. Using a slightly aged Tom might have been difficult (and given him too much screen time /snerk), but I still think they could have done better physically. Not knocking Julian Sands as an actor, I think he actually did fine with what he was given.

I did like his Jor-El's Relic reference and the comment about having many fond memories there. I like to think that much of that was about Louise, but certainly he'd developed a strong bond with Hiram Kent as well. And thanks to Big Brother Chloe, we see that he had another reason for coming back to the farm on top of all his fond memories - another disc of memories that he'd hidden there?


There's no doubt he's a good actor, and he seems to like chewing his scenery with a pinch of salt, and a nice chianti. Now maybe its just me, but I have some trouble understanding what Blue is saying some of the time. His accent is very heavy, and when he's raising his voice, he has a tendency to get....phelmy? Is that the right word, or did I just make that up?

LOL! Phlegmy, but I think that implies more mucus-y. Hee! But I agree, there were a few times that I found him hard to understand as well. I actually love his portrayal of Zod so far. It's kind of dangerous and crazy, and works for me as a younger Zod would be. The "crazy" element always takes a villain to a higher level for me, and throw in his supposed military brilliance and he's a perfect Zod.


I'm still not exactly clear how the purple orb was supposed to "control Clark", but thats probably one of those crazy details the writers would prefer we forget.

I was trying to figure this one out too. Jor-El did tell Zod that he interfered with the orb so that the clones wouldn't be super-powered by the yellow sun. But the AI Jor-El had said in the past that the orb was the object that could control Clark. I tried to fanwank how these could align, but it just doesn't make sense. When Jor-El launched the Orb, it was well before he knew he'd be sending Kal-El to earth. So his later recordings for Clark wouldn't have proclaimed the orb as something that could control him. Right? AUGH! *hand waves with both hands*


Chloe was a problem area for me in this episode.


How much time do you have? ;)


Maybe part of it was being stuck with idiotic dialogue like "you've had a thing for Lois since the 1930's". Yes, I get the wink and the nod, but its still idiotic. And has nothing to do with what we've seen on SV.

Thank you. It totally busted through the 4th wall for me. I mean, it wasn't that big a deal, I guess, but it did make me stop and o_O. I still don't see the point of it. Are you feeling a breeze yet from my handwaves? ;)

miss_tress
Nov. 7th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Part the One
But the AI Jor-El had said in the past that the orb was the object that could control Clark.

Maybe we're looking at "control" wrong. Maybe humans could control Clark by holding his fellow Kryptonians hostage. "Do as we say or we'll smush the orb and everyone from your planet in it!"
Re: Part the One - jeannev - Nov. 8th, 2009 02:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Eureka! - jeannev - Nov. 9th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Eureka! - serenography - Nov. 9th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC) - Expand
serenography
Nov. 7th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Part the Two
But from her rather snide comment about the "I love Lois" show, to her calling Oliver before asking Clark if he wanted to work with him, to her odd interaction with Jor-El (did either of them act like what you'd expect someone to do in that situation?), to finding out that she's got cameras all over Clark's farm, and Whoops! Forgot to tell him.

Well, from a Lana-fan perspective, the snide comments are nothing new, they just seem to bother more people these days. Few of Chloe's present behaviors are surprising to me actually, they're just going to an extreme that I didn't think I'd ever see.


Now look, if she was putting cameras in his house so she could watch him shower and masturbate,

Hee! There is that...*brain wanders off*
But seriously, creeepy. I know there are going to be comparisons made to Lana's spying on Lex, but I think we were fairly clearly shown that Lana was crossing all kinds of lines in those vengeance-ruled days. I don't feel like they've given us any clear enough explanations/excuses for Chloe's actions. In my mind, she's just finally embracing a not so nice sense of entitlement that's always been there, but I would imagine that for big Chloe fans, these are rough times indeed. Actually, the first comparison I thought of was Lex spying on Lana's bedroom in the mansion. Again, creeeepy, but totally in character and not surprising.


Clark was mildly annoyed, barely tolerant, and rather stoic with Oliver.

We do differ when it comes to Oliver, 'cause I love the guy, big hairy line-crossing warts and all. I like how he is a contrast to Clark in the hero department. I still think Clark is the standard that Ollie strives for, but knows he will always fall short of. Although, I very much agree with you about the focus on Oliver being just about perfect in this episode. I loved his scenes with Clark, mainly because I love Clark having a "guy" friend to open up to again. I haven't felt the best friend vibe from Chloe for a long time, if ever, and with Lana and Lois, the vibe is more intimate. So for me, Oliver is nice sounding board for Clark, and seeing him offer his unquestioning (finally) support to have Clark's back made me very happy. The flirting had me HOOTING with laughter. SO GAY, and so wonderfully entertaining.


Cassidy is just so amazing. Every little smirk, or raise of the eyebrow is just pure genius.

I am also on the Cassidy/Tess bandwagon. I love watching her interact with.. everyone! And how much did I love that she didn't fall instantly into Zod's arms? I would have been so disappointed if they went there. I like the REAL palpable tension between them, because it's based on danger and betrayal, and not sex for once! Credit to whoever made that decision.



I really thought I was going to be bothered by the Clark and Tess scene, but I really didn't find myself having too big an issue.


Here again we are going to differ. I HATED THAT SCENE SO MUCH. It just was all kinds of wrong in terms of how I think Clark would/should react in that situation. Grabbing a woman and dangling her by her throat, when she was clearly not physically threatening him in any way was a loss of control that I hated seeing in Clark. He's done that before, and I've always understood the motivations and could justify it, but at this point, I expect a Clark who has learned more control. That particular situation didn't warrant that extreme aggressive behavior, IMO. Even if Tess did like it. :D


Whoever it is in the SV wardrobe department who thinks that all women wear shorter jackets over longers shirts all the damned time needs to pick up a fashion magazine.


It's getting ridiculous how overdone that look is on this show. I wonder if the actors themselves have a say in what they want to wear?

Couldn't agree more about the Kent farm scenes. I hope they never stop using that set. It's an important touchstone to the series that shouldn't be forgotten.

I realize that I posted pretty much all the thoughts I wanted to make about this episode here. I hope you don't mind my piggy-backing but I'll probably just link to your entry for my comments on this ep. I love all the quality discussion here anyway.


Edited at 2009-11-07 08:36 pm (UTC)
jeannev
Nov. 8th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: Part the Two
I know there are going to be comparisons made to Lana's spying on Lex, but I think we were fairly clearly shown that Lana was crossing all kinds of lines in those vengeance-ruled days.

Yes, exactly, and I want that same level of "wrong" aimed at Chloe for this. I don't want it handwaved away because it might turn out to be useful. I want another line from Clark about it, and I want to hear confirmation that the cameras are gone, and she's no longer watching.

Here again we are going to differ.

Thats OK. I still like you. :)

I will say this....I certainly hope we don't see anymore scenes like this one, anytime soon.

And feel free to piggyback anytime you like. I love the comments.
(Anonymous)
Nov. 7th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
We now have three episodes that are not Clark-centric and this is becoming a problem.

If Clark and Oliver are not seeing eye-to-eye on certain things, I'd prefer that it's not over Lois and more on saving the world. If it's over Lois, then it's clear that Lois is getting too much emphasis.

Since when did Lois bail out on intimacy? She didn't do so with Aquaman and Green Arrow.
jeannev
Nov. 8th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Looking back at the 7 eps we've seen so far, I really think it would be hard to identify any of them as really Clark-centric. I mean, of course, some are more Clark-centric then others, but I just haven't had that feeling with any of them particularly where you really feel like Clark is in the central, POV character. Its been a big disappointment for me, especially when I look ahead at the spoilers, and see a whole lot more of the same coming.

Lois has never bailed out on intimacy on the show. That is something they pulled out of their ass to explain why she wasn't in this episode.

Edited at 2009-11-08 02:46 am (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Nov. 8th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Nov. 7th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
While I did appreciate that this episode focused more on the mythology of Smallville than shipper stuff, I feel like this is stuff we should've seen years ago, before all of the retcons of the recent seasons. I can also say that it's great to see outdoor scenes on location. While the writing on this show is not as good as it was in the earlier seasons, watching this show is more tolerable when we get bright scenes that really help to "sell" the world of Smallville and Metropolis better than last season did. I still worry about the second half of the season looking cheap again, but maybe the budget actually increased this year.

I really don't understand why Clark didn't go to the fortress and ask Jor-El about this earlier version of him appearing on earth. It's really quite laughable that nobody seems to know why Jor-El arrived and who killed him, yet the idea of going to the fortress is never brought up. This episode loses major points in my book just for that. I have to admit that I didn't like the Clark/Tess scene. Grabbing her by the throat and lifting her up is kind of a brutal move by Clark. He didn't even do that to Lex and I really didn't think that Tess did anything as outrageous to deserve something like that. This idea that Clark is so attached to Jor-El is kind of hard to believe as well. Who cares if he dies when he still lives on in the fortress? Fortress Jor-El is a dick anyway so that last scene when Clark was crying just didn't resonate with me. I refuse to even go into the stuff that Chloe is doing. It's clear that the characters around Clark are going to be doing questionable things and get away with it so it's kind of pointless for me to get upset about it when TPTB obviously feel that these other characters are the bomb. Chloe does seem to be following in Lana's footsteps, though, and I think that she has actually gone above and beyond what Lana has done in the past.

Finally, with all of the positives of this season, and there are a few with the increased budget and storylines that aren't being pushed to the side, the fact that another series regular in Zod and a guest star in Jor-El had more screentime than Clark really has to tell you something. Clark is not the main character on this show anymore. Plain and simple. Each week, it's another character who gets to be the "star" because apparently TW is busy doing other things. I really think that it would be best to change the name of the show and move Clark into a position where he is Superman and go from there because holding Clark back from finally taking that last step while TPTB continue to push other characters into the spotlight really doesn't do any favors for Clark's character.

-M
jeannev
Nov. 8th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
I guess one thing I would question with this ep is if we really needed to spend so much time on the Kryptonian backstory? It did need explaning, but could it have been achieved with a bit less screentime, and balanced out more with Clark's storyline? I think that would've made this episode a bit more riveting.

I also wonder where they are getting the money to pay for this show now, since it looks 10x better then it did last season. Maybe losing Slavkin/Swimmer really opened up the budget?

I'm not sure that Clark really had time to go to the FOS and ask AI Jor-El, since he was pretty much doing stuff from the time they got confirmation that Jor-El was on Earth. And then again, who can trust what crazy AI Jor-El is going to do, and maybe Clark didn't want to get frozen in the FOS again. LOL

Yeah, I also think its becoming clear that the people around Clark, his "friends", can apparently do whatever they want, and get away with it. Its more then a bit aggravating.

5-out-7 eps, Clark isn't on screen the most. This has never happened before, in any season. I think they have decided that this show is an ensemble cast, and Clark is just part of the ensemble. The show doesn't work quite as well for me with that design.
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shopgirl318
Nov. 8th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
I thought the episode was pretty decent. I think it was necessary for the plot they are going with and I think it was one of those move along the storyline, but I would have preferred Clark/Zor-el talking instead of Chloe. Someone said in one review maybe it is apart of his contract, since he is producing the show now? I liked the parallels between Clark/Lex/Zod/Zor-El it was very well done. We see why he possesed Lex in season 6.
jeannev
Nov. 8th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
It was decent. It was definitely decent. But it was also, sort of, weird. Like I said, a hard ep to review.

I hope its not part of his contract. I really hope its not. :(
(Anonymous)
Nov. 8th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
Here's another parallel not many people noticed - when Jor-El refused to bring back Zod's son, it was similar to how Clark refused to bring back Henry James Olsen for Chloe.
jeannev
Nov. 8th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
I did notice that. But I also thought of Jor-El offering Clark the chance to reverse time in Reckoning, and wondered why he did that at all since he already knew doing such things was wrong.
canadabear
Nov. 8th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
I think my major issues had to do with the performance of Julian Sands, who seemed to be playing meek and mild Jor-El. Which is a personality that fits into none of the other Jor-El descriptions we've had before, so lets chalk up another one.

Well, Zor-El did refer to him as a "feeble minded pacifist"...
jeannev
Nov. 8th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Thats true, he did. Though I'm not sure that I got that impression off Sands' Jor-El either. But its hard to use nutty Zor-El has any kind of barometer. LOL
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Nov. 9th, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
Its especially a troublesome look on ED because she has a long torso, and that look just elongates her.

I think, for me, Kandor is just one of those eps that is fine, and necessary for the storyline, but I really can't imagine myself watching it over and over again.
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sunflowercyn10
Nov. 10th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Great review Valerie and thanks for taking the time to do the minutes again.

I wanted a bigger Jor-El / Clark scene too!!! Damn it! I was so looking forward to it and then Jor-El had more time with everyone else. So tragic for Clark and us. Sands played Jor-El IMO exactly how I thought he would and how you describe. I thought he did well in terms of playing a believable scientist but I still think he was mis-cast and I couldn't really believe when I saw Clark holding him dying in his arms that he was his father. *shrugs* I don't usually like to reference the SV movies from the 70's when it comes to SV but I guess for me the Donner Cut of Superman 2 with Brando and Kal-El having this defying scene where they debate being a hero, sacrifice and love. I guess Brando alone is huge shoes to fill but I've never been happy at how the AI Jor-El treated Clark and this would have been a great opportunity to give Clark his own insight into the man and why the AI has been such an
authoritarian ass. Glad we got to hear more about who the Kandorians are and why they are on Earth.

Luv'd Tess again too...bonus when she's in scenes with Callum Blue who I this is incredible as Zod. His accent? I like how you put it. I think he has a "midlands" accent (middle of England) the same as Richard Armitage but he
really should work on being a little clearer. My mom used to say "take the marbles out before you talk" to her
English friends. :) Back to Zod, I feel bad for him losing his son and wife tragically but somehow even though he was friends with Jor-El before that deep down he has always had the potential for being very cruel.

Chloe bugging the farm! So not surprised since she was doing that to Ollie but still creepy and controlling. Grr.

Re: The Clark/Chloe scene? On one hand she is so snitty snarky with him but on the other she seems happy that he is finally pursuing Lois. I guess the reason why she's been so snitty with Clark is because she's been watching
him via watchtower and knows when he doesn't "jump" right away when she calls just like she learned in Hex. I enjoyed Chloe better in Crossfire during her hack-off but her scenes with Jor-El? I was pretty disapointed that she spent more quality time with Jor-El then he did and the whole conversation between them seemed....I dunno weird.

My fav scene was the end with Zod watching Clark as Clark declares that he won't be able to honour JorEl's dying wish. Yes!

I thought Tom did an amazing job again but wished he was in more scenes. He did a good job articulating his frustration dealing with the AI Jor-El and his natural misgivings of getting to meet the real one 'cause if he had such a big heart like Raya, Kara, and Lara said, why would his AI be so opposite? I just wished the scenes were with Jor-El and not Ollie....

I also liked the interaction between Clark and Oliver. Oliver is trying to repair the friendship but finally Clark is not letting him off the
hook so easily. I like that Clark is mystified at what is happening re: Lois, that he ended up kissing her and that
it was great but she's gone. I liked that they referenced why Lois was MIA....running scared from intimacy but I also wonder if its more then that. Did the kiss trigger some flashes?

jeannev
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I'm a big Brando fan, since he was kind of hammy by the time he was in Superman. But I don't know, I guess I just expected a Jor-El that was really impressive. And while Sands is a fine actor, and looked great, he just wasn't all that impressive. And while it fit the story, it was also sort of disappointing.

I think I found the right word to describe how Chloe comes off towards Clark to me....tolerant. She seems to tolerate him. And it just rubs me all kinds of wrong. To be fair, Clark doesn't come off as that interested in Chloe either. But I don't get that tolerant attitude from him towards her.

I do hope that the Clark/Zod delivers in all the ways Clark/Doomsday didn't. The set-up is better, so I'm hoping.

I think Clark's reaction to Oliver in this ep were pitch perfect. Now see, towards Oliver, Clark seems tolerant. I don't know if I'm making sense.

Maybe the kiss triggered some flashes. They've sort of neglected that angle for a few eps now. I think they came up with a plausible explantion for why Lois was gone, but maybe didn't explain it with dialogue as well as they could've.
(no subject) - sunflowercyn10 - Nov. 11th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC) - Expand
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tariel22
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
My newest "exploding head" arguement has to be the one about how Clark is, somehow, in the wrong for pursuing Lois when Oliver wants her, since Oliver dated her first. OMG, Really??!!

Even ignoring the fact that Oliver and Lois broke up THREE years ago, and that Lois is a woman with choices of her own, I have never bought into any of that you-can't-date-my-ex crap. If two people are meant to be together, they should be together. Only they can decide if the happiness they will find is worth the price of possibly pissing off the friend/sister/cousin one of them dated before, but there is nothing morally or ethically wrong with pursuing that happiness. Sheesh. And the argument is especially specious because those making it couldn't care less about Oliver and hate Lois. They only like it because it enables their OTHER agenda.

I would also add to the crackpot theory list the one that says Clark is obligated to fall in love with Chloe because she deserves it after all she's done for him, and the one that says Lois shouldn't go after Clark because she knows Chloe is in love with him. And how about the one that says the Blur should be arrested for vandalism and arson? Or the one that says that Clark must be the Eradicator, because he's being so MEAN to Chloe? Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion, I'm just saying I don't happen to agree.
jeannev
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
Well, lets put one thing out there first....on TV, doesn't every show have someone dating someone elses ex? Pretty much. So, even if that does apply in the real world (and I don't think it should), its definitely not for TV land.

So, I'm wondering, if Chloe got together with Clark, at any time, would she have needed Lana's blessing and permission? Of course not. Hypocrites!

Oh, the "Clark is a Clone" theory is HEE-larious! I mean, it takes crazy train to whole new station. I think what I really want to ask these people is have any of their crazy theories come true? Any of them? Even slightly? At some point, wouldn't you think that one would get the hint that maybe the show isn't really that tricky?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion of whats happening on the show. Making up crazy conspiracy theories because you aren't getting your way is just really strange to me. Again, I ask, have any of them every come to pass?

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tariel22
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
The numbers are about what I expected, and I think the trend with Tom's minutes is undeniable. I guess a season with less Tom is better than no Tom, but I still think it sucks. Thanks so much for providing the empirical quantification of what we're seeing. As always, the numbers fascinate me.

I loved a lot of the nuance Tom gave to Clark in this episode, especially the looks he kept shooting Oliver on the porch at the farm that seemed to say, "Dude! Seriously?" When Oliver said that line about no one wearing the shield like Clark, and Justin delivered it with that shy little smitten smile, I just about died! And yes, that line about having Clark's back was dripping with irony. I don't think the writers got it, but I think Tom did.

Zod is over the top, but boy do I enjoy every minute of it. I just love so much that CB is playing Zod as unapologetically villainous. It is a breath of fresh air on this show. And Tess and Zod together are positively delicious. This show is so lucky to have CF, she is a treasure and a jewel. Whoever casts this show is a genius.

Tom looked AMAZING in Kandor, especially in that desert scene, and on the porch with Oliver. I just go back and watch the Clark scenes over and over and over. I really, really wish there were more of them. :(
jeannev
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
I guess a season with less Tom is better than no Tom, but I still think it sucks. Thanks so much for providing the empirical quantification of what we're seeing. As always, the numbers fascinate me.


I think it sucks too, and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't effecting my enjoyment of the show overall. I can appreciate a lot of the things SV is currently doing right, and I can appreciate a lot of the writing for Clark. But knowing that this show just really as much Clark-centric just bums me out.

And you're welcome for the numbers. I think they represent the cold, hard facts.

"Dude! Seriously?"

LMAO. Exactly! Funny stuff.

I loved how Tom looked in the desert scene. I love the new outfits, and that new jacket is a keeper. And his hair is longer, and so damned sexy!
(no subject) - tariel22 - Nov. 11th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC) - Expand
agentobrian
Nov. 11th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
I must be one of the few people that has no trouble understanding Zod when he speaks, because his words are always clear to me. But I can understand why a lot of fans can't.

Average screentime:

Clark- 16m, 51s
Chloe- 6m, 55s
Lois- 15m, 49s
Oliver- 12m, 49s
Tess- 6m, 19s
Zod- 7m, 40s

One of the things I liked about last season is that each character averaged a decent amount of screentime. Clark did have more screentime than the previous 3 seasons, but none of the other characters were being shortchanged. It was the first season that every character had at least 9 minutes of time.

Clark should average at least 7 minutes higher than any other character (even my Chloe). The fact that right now he's only a minute ahead of Lois and only 4 ahead of Oliver bothers me. I hope as we go through the season that much of the screentime going to Lois and Oliver right now is given to Chloe, Tess, and Zod. If this is Allison's last season, I think it's crap that Chloe is being sidelined the way she is.
jeannev
Nov. 11th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
I really don't know what the deal is with Chloe's screentime. I'm baffled. I'm not sure if they are just having problems figuring out how to use her now that her relationship with Clark is not as chummy as it used to be.

The writing for her is just...not good. At least not for me.

I personally think Clark should be averaging closer to 18m. And I think other characters should be averaging in the 10-12m range, but not much more then that. At least thats how I think the show should be structured.

As always, thanks for compiling the averages. I love the additional perspective.
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