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Screentime Total Project: S3

And the next season is underway.  

This weekend, I managed to get the first 4 eps of S3 completed.  Ya know, Exile, Phoenix, Extinction and Slumber are all very good episodes.  Well, actually, for me, Exile is an amazing episode.  But my point was that S3 had a really solid opening 4.

I was very much surprised by the totals for Exile.  I always see it as a very Clark-intensive episode, and whats not concentrated on Clark is Lex-centric.  And after rewatching, I still feel that way.  However, Clark had slightly more then 18m of screentime, and Lex had just under 7m.   To give some perspective, out of the first 4 eps of S3, Exile has the least amount of Clark time.  Is it just me, or is that something of a shocker?

On the other hand, Clark's screentime in Slumber is insane.  Almost 34m.  And while I've always thought of that as a Clark-centric episode, I didn't realize it was that Clark-centric.  Very similar to S4's Devoted where Clark dominates the screentime, but it doesn't feel like that.

This project just constantly surprises me.

I know I previously ranted about how badly Martha Kent was used in S6.  Now as I'm keeping track of Pete's screentime in S3, I think I found someone who was treated much more unfairly.  17s of screentime in Exile, 34s of screentime in Slumber.  And in the latter, he only shows up in Clark's dream to be a nasty bitch.  Poor SJIII

So, wish me luck on the next phase of this unwiedly undertaking. :)


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
The season 3 opening *is* one of the strongest, if not *the* strongest, of the series.

Sometimes when I'm feeling blue, I'll sit down with the Season 3 set and only watch the first four.

I love them all, although Phoenix furthering my least favorite story arc of the series (the blood platelet cocktail subplot) I think is that opening's only weakness...

I loathed that storyline almost as much as the fake baby of season 6.


Jul. 7th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
I think Exile/Phoenix are generally acknowledged as being really good eps, but I think people forget Extinction/Slumber. Of the 4, I'd probably say Slumber was the weakest, if only because the plot was a bit silly. But Extinction is an especially strong episode thats largely overlooked. Clark is AWESOME in that episode. Very strong, and very, very smart. I'm not sure when they forgot how to write Clark as this smart, or why.
Jul. 7th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
I love those four episodes. I, too, would have said Exile was full of Clark screentime, but I guess it just seems that way because I was lusting after thinking about him the whole time. That episode, even more so than Red, was a real eye opener in showing me just how great of an actor Tom really is. Not only gifted, but a tremendous craftsman as well. MR was pretty amazing, too. I delighted in every moment of it!

The only clue I previously had to how much screentime Clark has in Slumber is the fact that I have about a gazillion screen caps of Clark from that episode saved on my hard drive. It doesn't hurt that he appeared in that episode, at various times, shirtless, wet, and in the glorious white tee, but still, I have a lot of caps. :)

Word to poor Pete. They even mention it during one of the commentaries, so obviously everyone noticed. Assuming it was his choice to leave when he did (was it?), I don't blame him. Pete wasn't portrayed as a very good friend, I must say, and I never completely trusted him with Clark's secret. I still wish they had brought him back to show how he had matured, and that he had developed a better understanding of Clark's situation. Then I wanted him to sweep Lana off her feet and take her away. They really did make the cutest couple in Hero, didn't they?

Thanks so much for continuing with this project! I love delving into your results, and reading all the wonderful discussion your statistics generate!

In other news, I hope you had a lovely holiday!
Jul. 8th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
Exile is just so well crafted, that it just does such a good job of making the most out of everyones screentime. Plus, aside from Clark's higher total, and Pete's ridiculously low total, the rest of the cast all comes very close to each other in screentime. In fact, the 2nd most screentime in the ep goes to Pa Kent. I always compare Exile to a mini-movie, because its so well put together. Acting, writing, directing, all top notch. And one of the alltime great guest stars, Rutger Hauer.

What I appreciated about Pete was that he brought a very real perspective. You're right, he wasn't always a good friend, and he was shakey as a secret keeper. But he felt very real, like a flawed human. Sometimes I think they made a mistake by not allowing Chloe any missteps at all as secret keeper.

But no doubt, Pete's return in Hero was horrible, and such a waste of an opportunity.

The holiday was good. I hope yours was as well.
Jul. 8th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
You make a good point about Pete. His reactions and feelings did seem real, and built a good case for the secret identity Clark would have to adopt later. Chloe did her own share of screwing up in those early years, too, but you're right, once she discovered Clark's secret, she became pretty much perfect. I love that Clark has had such a loyal friend in his life, that has been really meaningful, but I think it might have been interesting to see her crack under the pressure of keeping it all hidden, or succumb to an error in judgment, especially because AM would have acted the hell out of it.

My holiday was wonderful simply because I didn't have to go to work! :) It was very relaxing.
Jul. 8th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, Chloe pre-secret was a wonderful bundle of delightfully flawed character. Chloe post-secret has been a wonderful friend to Clark, but I think they lost sight of those wonderful, human flaws she had, and went a bit overboard on the "too-good-to-be-true" stuff. And let me tell you, watching the older eps, the contrast to how smart and self-sufficient Clark was shown to be before he was able to ask Chloe for so many answers is startling.

And no work is a big Yay!!!
Jul. 7th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
S3's season premiere was really good. But really? 18 mins? I always imagined it as more.

Wow ... 34 minutes. That's insane ... but so good.

I was surprised to see about Pete. No wonder SJ111 finally just left.

I am loving this project of yours!

Good luck on the rest of it!

Edited at 2008-07-07 11:44 pm (UTC)
Jul. 8th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
I know, I thought he'd be easily over 25m. Talk about making the most of your screentime...

I almost cringe thinking about keeping the screentime for Pete. Aside from Velocity, I know its going to be pathetic, and I feel really bad for the actor.
Jul. 8th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
I think "Slumber" is under-rated too - I love the first half especially, and the writer is clearly having some cheeky Freudian fun in the scene where Lex breaks his "sword" on Clark.
Jul. 8th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)
I think Slumber gets dismissed due to its high Clana content (which works very well in the ep in my opinion). But really, its actually a really subtle glimpse into Clark's head, his hopes, fears and desires. Even in his own head, Clark feels pressure to save someone, fears Lex's reaction, and has Pete bitch him out for missing a test. Leave it to Clark to berate himself in his dreams. LOL
Jul. 8th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
Good luck! S3 is one of my favourite seasons, so it'll be really fun to see the numbers you come up with! :D

You know, acampbell has been capping the latter part of S6 recently (poor thing), and in light of those crappy episodes, just the thought of these episodes is so pleasant. It's been a long time since I saw many of the old episodes, but to have pleasant memories of them is definitely something in it's favour, and something I can't say for any S6 episode. :/
Jul. 8th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
I have to tell you, working backwarks with this project, I've been AMAZED at how light the show used to be. It used to have so much more life and joy and emotions. I understand that its hard for a show to avoid getting tired after so many eps, but its as if they sucked the joy right out of this show, and all its characters. And none moreso then Clark. He used to be such a bright character, with a sparkle in his eye and gigantic smile. Our Clark now is such a sad person, who looks positively beaten down by his life and his experiances (which, BTW, I can't blame him for AT ALL).

Even Exile/Phoenix which had a lot of Metropolis darkness in it still had a pretty clear contrast with the light.

I don't think I'll ever completely understand the path TPTB took with the show, or why.

Finished Perry and Relic last night. The former is just an excellent episode, from start to finish. The latter is one of my alltime favorite cheeseballs of an episode.
Jul. 9th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
ITA. How can you watch a show with a perpetually depressed lead and not feel depressed yourself? I know TPTB were trying to go with the whole "tortured soul" angle, but really. Even vampires with souls had fun from time to time. Is it so hard to ask that they write a cheerful story for a SUPERHERO once in a while? Stupid, stupid. I think making the show so tragic and depressing was one of the biggest mistakes TPTB made with SV. That's why S6 sticks out like a sore thumb for me - so much about that season is depressing. I think the show stopped being happy somewhere around S4.

Ooh, "Perry" is one of my all-time favourites. I'd love it if they could bring Michael McKean back for an episode, but even without that, I think they did a wonderful job setting up the DP/Perry angle for the future. I'm a little apprehensive that all that may get shot to hell in the upcoming season, but I guess we just have to keep our fingers crossed and see what'll happen.

OMG, "Relic" is pure eye-candy. Seriously, the slicked-back hair, the bicep-revealing shirts ... sigh. Plot? What plot?
Jul. 8th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
I love season three! I love that you're doing this because I do think the results have been interesting.
Jul. 8th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Well, its proven one thing for sure (and I don't think the totals from S1-S3 will change this)...Clark's screentime has most definitely decreased dramatically. So, its a bit of vindication for those of us who have felt the show has lost focus on its main character, and spent far too much time trying to accomodate the other characters.
Jul. 8th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
Oh definitely. I may be in the minority but I do think that the reason I hated season six soooooooo much was because of the Green Arrow focus. Even the DVD has all that focus on the character and that's saying a lot b/c Green Arrow is one of my favorite comic book characters but on SV I resented his presence. I can honestly say that for me once he was gone in the second half of the season I could not enjoy it more. All I really hope is that the show builds on the momentum brought from this last season in regards to Clark. I'm very tired of the episodes having Clark has a supporting character. Sorry about the rant. eeek.
Jul. 8th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
GreenArrowVille was definitely a problem. That was a complete loss of focus by TPTB. They were so enamoured of their shiney new toy, they forgot all about Clark.

But it wasn't just that. The Clexana triangle had Lana as its focal point, which marginalized Clark. Clark didn't seem to be able to do much without Chloe's help, which again marginalized Clark. And the whole Phantom storyline was treated as a B story. S6 was something of a mess, though I'd say the same about S7.

When you go back and watch the early seasons, there is such a strong contrast. Clark is the focus, the show spins in a tight, neat orbit around him. Lex is used in an interesting and significant way (though Lex's screentime is never comparable to Clark's). Guest stars were used so effectively to enhance Clark and Lex's storylines.

I don't know, they used to have it together, and then I'm not sure what happened.
Jul. 8th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
Ugh the Clexana triangle. God what a waste. I know I still cannot believe that the Phantom story line was so hyped up for it be relegated to offscreenville. There was so much opportunity for great story telling. IMO I think it's that they've had so many different writers. They've also lost a lot of their main writers who actually got Clark. For me the thing that I've found most interesting about your screentime project besides the fact that it showcases how Clark's screen time has diminished it also shows how in earlier seasons even when Clark wasn't on screen the episode was ultimately about Clark. Even the Lex-centric episodes were about Clark. It's very telling. I would have thought that maybe the diminishing number of viewers would have been a wake up call but maybe not. I love SV and will continue watching for sure but sometimes it hurts to watch a show that has so much promise but doesn't live up to it.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )



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