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Heh, how is this for fast?  I think I'm going to get so proficient at this, that I'll have the totals 5 minutes before the episode is over.  But actually, I was very curious about the totals for this one, because I had a hunch that Clark was about to go 2-for-6, and so he did.

Type your cut contents here

Crossfire, Running Time:  41m, 25s

Clark:  16m, 37s
Chloe:  4m, 55s
Lois:  18m, 43s  (and she goes 3-for6)
Oliver:  14m, 13s
Tess:  5m, 42s
Zod:  4m, 30s

Mia: 10m, 13s
Cat:  1m, 28s

Year To Date:

Clark:  105m, 12s
Chloe:  40m, 43s
Lois:  94m, 56s
Oliver:  70m, 20s (5)
Tess:  29m, 9s (5)
Zod:  15m, 9s (3)


Ya know, Clark stuff is always my favorite part of an episode.  Well, 9.5 times out of 10 it is.  So, its rare indeed when I can't say that Clark scenes are my favorite ones from an episode.  But with this episode, I actually think I'd rank the different storylines like so:  1. Tess/Zod, 2. Chloe/Stuart, 3. Clark/Lois & Clark/Chloe,  and the Lollie, and Oliver/Mia scenes bringing up the rear.  

I understand that Clois is a big plotline for Clark this season, but here, it was just dominating his entire screentime, and I'm not really on board with that.  Sorry, I'm sure its a Squee-fest out there for some (and much hair-pulling and teeth grinding for others).  But for me, I just never think Clark is really served as a character as well as he can be when his entire existence in an episode seems to be shipper-centric.

One is often jumped on if they dare to question whether this show is becoming another version of "Lois and Clark".  But thats pretty much what this episode was, save for the Tess/Zod/Chloe/Stuart stuff.  Lois has had more on screen time then Clark 4 out of 6 episodes.  Lets be honest here, if it was ANY other character then Lois, there would be a huge outcry about this.  

But I have come to the point where I'm asking myself, "OK Tom, whats the deal?"  Because I'm sensing something might be afoot here.  Does him having more responsibility behind the cameras mean less time in front of it?  I suspect so, and I can't say that sits particularly well with me.  See, I've never felt like SV worked best as a true ensemble show.  I've always thought it should be Clark-centered first, with a strong supporting cast.  I'm getting a different vibe at the moment.

Tess and Zod may not have had a lot of screentime, but Damn!, they made the most of it.  Sure, they probably both go a bit overboard on the arched-eyebrows of villiany, and the scenery chewing, but they are so much fun.  

Personally, I really enjoyed the hack-off between Chloe and Stuart.  I suspect we've found Chloe's potential love interest.  I think he's cute, but truth be told, I think the last thing Chloe needs is a romance.  I'm really opposed to a Chloe/Oliver pairing, so I'll take this Stuart guy over Oliver for Chloe any day.  And after this ep, I can't even imagine why anyone would still want Oliver for Chloe.  After all that mooning over Lois?  I'm not even Chloe's biggest fan, and I'm all "Hell No!"

Besides, I still think Oliver is a dick.  I mean, the guy knew something was brewing between Clark and Lois, and that didn't impact his actions here at all.  In sharp contrast, Clark was very much concerned for Oliver before considering his next move.  

For about the hundredth time, I wish Clark had better friends in his life.  Though no complaints about Chloe this week.  Still, I can't say I'm feeling the Chlark friendship vibe much anymore.  I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it seems to be coming from AM.  Some kind of change there.

I did appreciate that they threw in some lines about Clark looking for the Kandorians.  I wish that wasn't happening in Offscreensville, but at least it establishes that his priorities are in the right place at the moment.

I so didn't care about Oliver and his new sidekick.  Not interested, and the actresses front teeth bothered me.

ED's hair looked much better this week.  Yay!

I'd be OK with Cat coming back.

And, my thoughts about the Big Kiss!  Well, I was underwhelmed, and thats a bummer, because I really didn't want to be.  I thought the director choose a really odd angle.  It just wasn't was I was hoping for with a first real Clois kiss.  I'm hoping that kisses to come are more impressive.

I think Cassiday is so stunning, but they don't dress her right for her body, and it makes me nuts.

I am loving Allison's hair this season.  The soft waves are very flattering.

And last, but certainly not least, Tom Welling is just stupid beautiful.  I didn't even realize it was possible for him to get better looking, and yet he did.  Thats sick!  The blind date scene, at the sidewalk cafe....I couldn't even concentrate, he was so breathtaking.

Its certainly easy to overlook SV's shortcomings when they have a leading man that looks like that.

Oh, I did love the teaser scene between Clark and Lois.  And if anyone wasn't sure if Tom could pull off the lead in a romantic comedy, I doubt there are a lot of naysayers now.  He's so damned good at the funny stuff, and he's wonderfully subtle.  

I'm just not sure SV works as a romantic comedy. .

Comments

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jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, it was a very odd angle to film the kiss. The stills actually gave a better angle. And I would've liked to see them holding each other, like we saw in the stills.

I have to ask, where are you seeing people specifically complain because its Lois getting all this screentime? I mean, TWoP is a given, but...Hello, Crazy Town! On K-Site, Lois is the Queen of all, and pity the poor fool that isn't down with that. At TWU, any character that gets more screentime then Clark is probably going to get the stink-eye, but its a Tom board, so thats understandable.

I don't know, I just don't see Lois getting much heat out there these days. But admittedly, there might be more boards out there I don't know about, and don't visit.

All I can say is that I've been doing the screentime for 3 years now, and its only this season where, somehow, the numbers are now suddenly irrelevant and not indicative of how the characters are used. Its a bit of a head scratcher for me, because that never seemed to be the case when Lana was getting big numbers in S6, or Chloe was living large in S8.
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svfan01
Oct. 31st, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
While I get what your saying about Lois getting alot of screentime, I actually think Oliver is hoging way to much screentime. The past 3 epsiodes have been pretty Ollie centric. At least in the case of Lois her storyline somehow includes Clark, where as Ollie gets loads of screentime for his own arc
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)
The Oliver stuff is off-the-hook for me. WTF? When I saw the stills, and saw that he was going to be in Kandor, my heart sank. He's, like, everywhere!
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jlvsclrk
Oct. 31st, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
That's so messed up about the screentimes but I don't know whether to blame Tom or thank him. It's lower but it's better, and I think given the writing staff that's the best trade off we could hope for. So many of Lois's extra minutes relate to triangling nonsense which is the easist type of dialogue to write methinks. At least next week looks like we'll finally get into a truly Clark driven storyline.

I'd rate the Clois, Tessod and Cluart roughly equal and all very enjoyable. The Lollie bits were well back and the Mia stuff barely even registered beyond the need to have some sort of villain to provide a climax.
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)
I think, for me, I don't think quality and quantity should be a trade-off when it comes to Clark Kent. I've thought a lot about this since the beginning of the year, and I'm still not quite grasping why anyone should be happy with less then both. I mean, he had both in earlier seasons, so why not now?

I'm hoping next week in Clark driven. It should be. *fingers crossed*

I think my biggest complaint with the Lollie stuff is that it should've played out last season. I'm not really buying it this year when last year, Oliver barely seemed to remember Lois' name.
legendarytobes
Oct. 31st, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
I know we're opposite sides of the fence on most things, but it's actually 4/6 where Clark's second in screentime. Lois has more in Savior (1), Metallo (2), Roulette (5), and now in Crossfire (6).
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
I stand corrected.
ETA: Well, I actually don't, since what I really meant by the 3-for-6 was that she was the top screentime for that ep. In Roulette, that went to Oliver.

Edited at 2009-10-31 04:46 pm (UTC)
mahaliem
Oct. 31st, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
I loved Tess and Zod!

I feared for Tess when that Kandorian was going to start questioning her. Later though, I was so thrilled. Way to go, Tess!
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
I really loved Tess and Zod too. And I wasn't expecting to like it this much. But they are really good together, and there's nothing remotely sentimental about it, which makes it even more fun.

I would've loved to have seen how Tess took out that Kandorian. She's bad ass.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 31st, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
I'd like to know if that screentime included the parts where Clark was basically watching Lois and Oliver's date. There seemed to be a lot of time where Clark was kind of there but not doing or saying much.

The screentime for Clark has been low this year but I think we all saw this coming. More characters appearing in more episodes means that Clark better interact with all of the characters or else he's going to have a tough time being the leader every week. He never interacts with Zod and Tess. Chloe isn't even on the show much these days so if Clark has a scene with her, it's usually pretty short. Oliver and Clark haven't interacted much this year either. So then it really just comes down to Lois. She's beating out Clark in the screentime because of her interactions with Oliver.

I don't know...this episode just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I appreciate the fact that Clark got to save Oliver and Lois at the end of the episode, but it's almost getting to the point where Clark is shoehorned into a position where he gets the save. He's not a part of the storyline. Back in the day, he would've had interaction with a character like Mia. Now, TPTB almost have Clark thrown in a corner somewhere and they take him out just to get the quick save and be on his way.

-M
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
The screentime DOES include the scenes of Clark watching the date, just as Lois' screentime included her watching Clark's date. When I do the numbers, its all about whether someone is in the scene, or not. Thats the determining factor. And if someone is connected to the scene by watching it from a remote, or by listening in on it, then it counts.

I'm hoping that Clark's scenes start to vary a bit more when he gets more involved in the Zod part of the story. I think you're breakdown of the scenes is pretty accurate so far.

You make a good point...about how, in the good ol' days, if a young character came on SV, and needed someone to help them out and put them on the right path, that fell to Clark. Now, its Oliver, last season, it was Chloe. Thats disappointing.

I'm actually having a really hard time articulating a lot of my feelings about this season. I love the more proactive, mature Clark. He's awesome. But something just doesn't feel right to me. And I can't quite explain it.
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(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, this episode is MILES better then the last 2 weeks. MILES! I think I preferred Rabid to this though.

I think what I liked about the Chloe/Stuart scenes is that they seemed like our old Chloe again. She had a spark there, and it was nice to see.

Aside from the fact that JH is hot, I'm not sure I get the Chloe/Oliver stuff either. But thats OK. People are entitled to like what they like. Heck, I LOVE Clark and Tess, and I'm sure that leaves a lot of people scratching their heads, :)

And I have absolutely no objections to the set up of the kiss. OK, maybe not entirely true. I'm not sure 2 co-workers kissing passionately in the middle of the office is a really good idea. It makes for a romantic scene, but realisticaly speaking, its not a wise move.

But, the set-up was fine. The kiss? Not what I was hoping for.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jeannev - Nov. 1st, 2009 12:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Oct. 31st, 2009 07:12 am (UTC)
By looking at the screentimes, it is clear that the first 6 episodes are about Lois and Oliver than anything else, even Clark and Lois. It's mainly about Lois' feelings about Clark, Blur, and Oliver. Part of the reason that the first 6 episodes focused on her was because she was noticeably absent in the second half of the 8th season and they had to make it up to her. Regardless, the season was off to a wrong start with episodes that are not Clark-centric. The first half seemed to be an equivalent of the usual second half of a season where it became weak. This season has broke the pattern here.

Crossfire is this season's equivalent of Committed. Lois will not be in Kandor, which was why she had the most screentime. The same thing happened last season with Committed where she got the most screentime and didn't appear in Prey. The same thing will happen with Crossfire and Kandor.

jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think I would agree that Lois and Oliver have been driving the first 6. And maybe thats something they wanted to get established, because the story is going somewhere else as the season evolves. I can see that. I won't lose my shit until we are past mid-season, and its still the same. Patience isn't my long suit, but I'm OK for now.

I think I liked Committed a bit better then Crossfire. More proactive, heroic Clark in that one. And he was written really smart. Here, he was written like a romantic comedy lead, with a heroic scene thrown in. So, I preferred S7's C a bit more.

I'm looking forward to Kandor because I'm looking forward to Clark's story not being so much about Lois for one ep. Its not that I don't like Lois, or anything of that nature. Its just, as I said, I don't like when Clark's storyline gets such a singular focus, and I'm really wanting Clark to get more involved with the Kandorians.
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carolandtom
Oct. 31st, 2009 09:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for the totals, disappointing as they are. lol

I just... what can I say. A Superman show that has Clark/Superman as a mere part of a ensemble can't work for me. EVER! A Superman show that gives the character of Oliver Queen 28 minutes of screen time in one episode and make him interact with yet another DC character in the next one while Clark just serves the romantic comedy... It's all so very wrong!

If this is going to be SV from now on, I really wish Tom hadn't re-signed and I wish he were not a co-exec.producer. I adore Tom but Clark is my priority in SV. As far as I know, he's still the main character, right? And as far as I know, this could very well be the last season: not really the best of moments for Lois and Oliver Queen to be getting the focus. Give them their own show, if the producers like them so much, and let Clark have the storylines Superman deserves! This is not, or shouldn't ever be, the Oliver Queen show, or the Lois and Clark show! SV needs to get back on track urgently in order to keep its identity and to fulfill its primary goal: the re-telling of Clark Kent's journey to becoming Superman.

Needless to say, I agree with your peeve and all your concerns.
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
I also don't think SV is at its strongest when its written as an ensemble. Mostly because I think Clark just isn't a character that can be written as he should when he's just one of the gang. I don't know if that makes sense.

I'm also really, really resentful of how Oliver seems to be the focus of so many of these DC guest stars. Even though Clark interacted with Toyman, he was all about Oliver (would it have been such a problem to have Clark remember how what Toyman did effected him personally?). Roulette didn't even interact with Clark. I'd doubt Mia ever does either. This all started in Justice, when the returning heroes all started revolving around Oliver, not Clark.

This particular ep looked like it could've stepped right off the pages of the old L&C show. Except for the other stories. I can see how thats entertaining and fun, I'm just not sure its a good thing for this show. Maybe its OK once in a while.
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goodvibe
Oct. 31st, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
The ST totals are extremely disappointing. No way ever in hell should it be acceptable for Clark to be upstaged so many times already. I'm actually looking forward to the fours Lois-less eps now, if for nothing else than to hopefully get Clark' ST back on top. And I say this as someone who genuinely likes Lois. So frustrating.

As for the ep itself, I think I enjoyed it a bit more than you, but there are points we are agreeing on, and again eerily so, heh. Because I had very similar reservations to the kiss. It had so much great potential, whatwith the way it looked in the stills, and then - ::fizzle:: I couldn't put my finger on what it was that let me down about it in my own review. I kept postualating between whether it needed to be longer maybe or the camera angle, or something. And now that you say it, yes, it was an incredibly awkward angle to shoot from.

I also think that if one were to look at it purely as a romantic comedy premise, it worked. But yes, you have a valid point that is this ultimately the best fit or not for the show.

I liked most of the Clois scenes. The Tessod scenes were the highlight for me too, and Chloe/Stuart were a pleasant surprise. But I was let down by a couple of facets of the Clois stuff, Oliver/Mia and Oliver/Lois. Notice a theme there? ;-)
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
This episode had the same thing that Savior did...a huge chunk of time in the middle without any Clark.

I'm looking forward to the 4 Lois-less eps too, but not because I have anything at all against Lois. But because they have Clark just too wrapped up in all things Lois, and I just need to see a little of his focus elsewhere. I think that can still be achieved if she's in an ep, they just haven't done much of that so far this season. So, this might be our only hope.

I might sound overly critical (don't I usually?), but I really didn't dislike this episode. I was just a bit in the middle with it. Now, my sister? She didn't like it AT ALL! But me? I saw a lot of decent stuff in it. Maybe I just think there needs to be someone that drives in the middle lane. Not so much with the squeeing, and no so much with the hating. I am Switzerland.

There were several times with this ep where I kept thinking that if I were a Hollywood producer making a romantic comedy, I would be calling Tom's agent, ASAP! He'd be wonderful.
la_belle_isa
Oct. 31st, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty much on the same page regarding the Clark scenes. (I haven't watched the other scenes yet). SV is not a romantic comedy, but Clark's arc is. He has his romantic arc (and only that) and as M pointed out, he's doing a mandatory heroic quick save here and there. I was a bit disappointed with his scenes and the kiss too, I don't know, it's like I barely recognize the characters anymore. Like Clark's supposed jealousy. I remember a time when Clark's jealousy was kind of funny, but now it's so heavy handed ("do I detect a hint of jealousy?") that it's not funny anymmore. I feel the show lost its heart and soul, but that may be just me projecting my disappointment. It all feels manufactured to me and I don't feel a single thing watching that stuff. And I have nothing against Lois.
Anyway, I don't know what to think of Tom's decision either, I'm wondering if Jensen's comment that Tom does great but SV is now a business, doesn't have some truth to it. And I love Tom. I would love to hear his pov on this. I would like someone from the show acknowledge once and for all that it's now an ensemble show and not about Clark anymore. Of course, they won't have the balls to admit it in fear of hurting the ratings, but let's face it: that's exactly what it is now. It's not the fact that Clark has a measly 11 minutes more than Lois that the show is about his journey.
I was wondering if it happened in the past that another character was as close to Clark in terms of ST as Lois is now?
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
There were quite a few lines in this episode which I could appreciate for being banter-y, and for Tom being Hot Like Fire!, and for being rom-com material. I just couldn't always reconcile this being our CK. I know they are going for a more mature, more self-assured Clark, and I'm all for that. But sometimes, it just seemed like a whole different guy.

I do get a little sense of "This is where we want the show to be now, so just forget some of the stuff that came before, and don't think about it too much".

I'll do some research, and do a comparison with the numbers. I don't think we've ever had this particular situation before, but Clark did actually have less screentime in S6 after 5 then he does in S9.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Oct. 31st, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
I think, for me, I just don't feel like Clark is driving the eps. And I'm not always sure how to put that into words, or explain it fully. But he just doesn't feel as much there as I think he should feel. I know thats not exactly articulate, but I don't know how else to put it. There was a poster on K-site who really articulated it so well. I wish I could repost what she wrote (but I can't, since thats rude).

whether Tom's position as a co-exec is a factor or not, I do think its a consideration that too much focus on Clark would propel the storyline forward faster then they want. So, they focus on others so he can stay in the background a bit more.

I'm looking forward to Cless next week, though it doesn't look very friendly. I'm interested to see where Tess is coming from in regards to Clark.

Tom is Hot Like Fire! Scorching.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Nov. 1st, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
I do think this episode had Erica looking her prettiest this season. I very much liked the shade of blue she was wearing in the date scene, and her suit at the end was incredible. I mostly hate the wardrobe for the ladies on this show, so its nice to be able to give some credit once in a while.

Allison always looks better to me with waves or curl in her hair. The severe straight hair just isn't as flattering.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 31st, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
I don't see Lois being the focus in the second half of the season because that will belong to Clark, Chloe, Tess, and Zod with the latter three having little screentime while Lois and Oliver are emphasized in the first half. Since Pandora will show Lois' visions of the future, then Lois will have served her purpose and it will be up to Clark, Chloe, Oliver, and the other heroes to stop Zod and Tess from realizing their world domination plans. If the theme is supposed to be Clark's Darkest Hour, then the writers have went about it the wrong way.
jeannev
Nov. 1st, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
Now, I could be wrong, but I do think Lois will remain pretty prominent throughout the season. Maybe not to the extent as she's been so far. But I don't think she'll be fading into the background anytime soon.

But, I do think we should be seeing the Zod storyline rev up a bit more after the next few eps. I know Callum Blue was signed for 16 eps, and he's already missed 3 eps of his 6.
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gildinwen
Oct. 31st, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
I think that this is going to be the calm before the storm in terms of Clark's screen time. If this season is indeed about Clark embracing his kryptonian side then I'm guessing that the second half of the season WILL be Clark heavy....with an eye to making the finale one (if we don't get a season 10 that is ) shows Clark putting on the red-blue and taking to the skies.

And if they do get a season 10 then I don't know, but I'm hoping that that's what going on here otherwise Clark's screen time makes no sence
jeannev
Nov. 1st, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
Well, I'm still hopeful that Clark's screentime will pick up, and he'll become more of a driver of the show overall. Looking ahead at the spoilers though, I'm a little unsure. Another upcoming Oliver ep, some very Lois-heavy eps ahead, and Tom's directing gig likely to have an impact of his screen presence in part 1 of JSA eps. So, I'm a little worried, but still hopeful.

If they don't get a S10, I just hope hey know as early as possible.
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