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Smallville's Top Ten Wasted Opportunities
Lex Vader
Okay, everyone wants me to review the finale, and by everyone I mean one guy. But the problems with it are more than obvious. I'll mention some of them here, but what I really want to do is examine the show as a whole and what I consider its biggest mistakes. So here are the top 10 wasted opportunities of Smallville:


#10 - The Justice League. This is lowest on the list because we did get some decent mileage out of this idea. But not enough. They really dropped the ball on this one in the end. I know the League has nothing to do with Clark's journey, but that's not an excuse once you introduce them into the show as flashy filler. Oliver Queen started the League offscreen and never really did anything with them. They were only seen a few times together, usually with someone missing. Even in those times, Green Arrow never acted like their leader. When Watchtower was introduced, we were all waiting for the League to finally show up and do something. But they were always mysteriously missing while Oliver was always mysteriously unoccupied. To boot, the finale threw in a reference to John Jones building a space station without even showing a piece of it. How the hell did he do this and why? Really, one shot of the League standing in front of a green screen window gazing at the Earth below wouldn't have been that expensive, and they could have done it with stand-ins like they're so fond of doing. Instead, the finale just completely ignores the entire team. I don't care what they were doing during the wedding. First of all, they should have been at the wedding. Secondly, they probably would have had some reaction to a giant planet showing up. It could have at least been referenced. And all that hoopla about Toyman's team going after the members? Clearly that was leftover from an early plan for the finale, but nobody remembered to write it out of the previous episode as well. After everything, the League was good for a lot of cameos, but should have been given a good sendoff at the very least.







#9 - Jor-El. He's at number nine because he wasn't really essential to the story even though they shoehorned him in there anyway. But let's face it, they did nothing with this character. He was all-powerful, faceless, and interfered with Clark's journey more than he helped it. In season two, he tried to force Clark to... actually, I have no idea. Clark freaked out and destroyed the ship, so we never really found out what Joe wanted. At the end of season three, he brainwashed Clark into being fully Kryptonian, although acting nothing like a Kryptonian, and seemingly for no reason. That was reverted, and Clark learned nothing from it. When Clark finally built the Fortress, Jor-El's role was that of the neglected homework of a football player whose grades don't matter anyway. Whatever he wanted to teach Clark had absolutely no relevance to Superman, and neither did his eventual trials. The trials of flying were meaningless, since flying has no requirements. When it was said Clark couldn't fly because of Lois, they followed it up by saying he COULD fly because of Lois. And then he flew without any connection to her at all. Jor-El gave Clark psychic powers to teach him to use his other powers creatively, and despite this making no sense, he never remembered the lesson afterwards. Julian Sands as the younger Jor-El was boring and his actions made little sense. His appearance as the clone had very little point to it, since he wouldn't have even known about his son. Jor-El's hologram appearance was wasted and should have occured in the finale, but even then it would still lack the presence of seeing Terence Stamp. He has the same haircut as Julian, he has white hair, and he wore a robe in Star Wars. He looks nothing like Zod anymore, and there's no good reason they couldn't go to his house and put a green sheet behind him. Involving another actor with a completely different voice and accent served nothing. Ultimately, he didn't need to be on the show, but using him poorly earns him a spot.







#8 - The Kents. Yeah, I know. They were really great when they were actually on the show. So how can I complain about them? Simple. They left the show. And with it, left a void in the show that was never filled. First Jonathan died. Okay, fine. That fits with other versions of the story. But it amounted to nothing. It didn't make Clark grow up, because he couldn't grow up until the last minute of the finale. It just made him mopey every so often. What good is that? Clark didn't learn anything from it. It took a time traveler to tell him it wasn't his fault. The most that came out of the death is that Clark developed a phobia for time travel. As for Martha, that was a bit of a train wreck. Sure, she acted sad just like Clark acted sad. But that doesn't accomplish much. She became a state senator and then a senator virtually overnight. It added nothing to the show and was ultimately a way to write her off of it. But that didn't mean they couldn't still write her character as doing things offscreen. She still could have been a presence in the show, bastardization of the intended character though she would have been. Instead, we get some nonsense about her being the Red Queen, boning Perry White for no stated reason, and opposing an unconstitutional bill that was somehow supported by Lois' dad. None of this ever inspired Clark. He just stayed where he was, now and then changing his clothes or job, until eventually misconstruing his mother's wedding present in probably the stupidest and most embarrassing way possible (also not resolved). At the end, they just left her character in this weird, awkward state. But that doesn't hold a candle to how they turned Jonathan into a magical ghost who not only gave evidence of an afterlife and single-handedly proved or disproved every major religion (depending on how you look at it) but also could pick up and hand costumes to people despite having no body. Amazing. The Kents weren't a complete waste, but they have to be on the list because they stopped being important. And that never should have happened in Superman's lifetime.







#7 - The Luthors. Everybody already knows the main problem here, which is that all these characters became idiots and died, leaving us with some dust in the barn and a clone who can't wipe his own butt. I'll briefly mention the waste that was all the side characters related to the Luthors. Sean Connery's son played one of Lionel's assistants. There was no point to him. Lex's brief and mostly fake wife disappeared and subsequently proved her role to be trivial at best. Lex's half-brother vanished without a point. Lex's mother was never fully developed, nor was his motherly housemaid or whoever she was. It's a bit pathetic when the best developed minor character of the family was Julian, who never even got out of his crib. And I'm not talking about that utterly useless clone of Julian, whatever his name was. Tess deserves a mention, because she was kind of hot. But we all know she was just a stand-in for both Luthors. Regrettably, her backstory was extremely cluttered, missing huge chunks of logic, had no consistency, and was made up as they went along. I couldn't begin to chart her life from bastardina to minion of Granny Goodness to lover of Oliver, sister-lover of Lex, sort of evil lady, victim/lover of Zod, and then sort of not-so evil lady. Actually, I think I just did. Where Lex is concerned, obviously none of it matters at all now. You can write your fan fiction that he somehow gets his memory back (probably via magic or magical technology), but who cares. The original crime was that they could never think of a reason for him to turn evil, or even gradually become more evil. Sometimes he'd be evil, and then he'd go back to normal again. Even after he ended his friendship with Clark, his motivations rarely made sense, even from an evil perspective. In the end, he murdered his father for no reason after stealing his necklace, then got buried under a bunch of ice. I'm not going to give much analysis to his stupid clones, but I will say they had some good opportunities to bring him back and chose to bastardize Superboy instead. Then, when he gave a convincing speech about how he can easily exist as Superman's enemy, they had to pander to the fans who wanted him to lose his memory too. In trying to please everyone all the time (in the finale, at least), they made each attempt entirely pointless. The memory wipe was pointless after the speech, and the speech was pointless when followed by the memory wipe. His whole character was pointless after that. I can't put the Luthors too high on the list, because they were usually the best part of the show. However, when they ended up essentially serving no purpose in the end, the chance to really justify their roles in the Superman mythology was ruined. And that sullied something that was once promising and great.







#6 - Lois Lane. There's only one reason I'm putting Lois on the list, and that's because they failed to give her an interesting story. She really didn't need to be on the show, because Lois Lane's character doesn't contribute any conflict. There never was much of a love triangle between Clark, Lois and Lana. And by the time Clark got around to having any feelings at all for Lois, he had already gone through all of his issues about responsibility and secrets and lies. The main problem here was that Lois was never planned for this show. When she showed up as a guest star in season four, she didn't have any purpose or arc. She was just there for eye candy and fanservice and to make dumb jokes about not liking journalism. After that, she was only on the show as a matter of course, to keep the status quo of pandering to fans. The crime here is that Lois needs as much of a backstory as Clark does when you have her on the show for that many years. We saw her, like Clark, not develop as a character but merely change overnight. She hated journalism, and then suddenly was interested in it. I don't recall anything prompting this. They reference General Lane, but they did nothing with him. They threw in Lucy as a trivial guest, but who the hell was she? Lois' mom wouldn't have even gotten a mention if not for a weird last minute Teri Hatcher cameo. All we ever learned about Lois is that she's a ditzy, fickle, shallow idiot who acted like a fratboy for the first few years and only acted like a person when she was drooling over some hot guy she'd fallen in love with. She never really was very impressive unless you're impressed by the boldness of Jackass stunts and other brainless ideas. Her only talent is writing, which we never got to see or hear. And as far as her relationship with Clark, the whole thing was essentially just smartassed. She acted like Clark's buddy who despite always hanging out with him, was never all that friendly or nice. The kind of role you'd expect Matthew Lillard to play. Also, in the future, she wears glasses for no reason. That's about it. Since Lois was, for all intents and purposes, a worthless, aimless human being when she was introduced, her entire run on the show should have explained, fleshed out and justified her character. Instead, she was a boob... with boobs. Certainly more interesting than Chloe or Pete, and an okay excuse for comic relief, but not much more than a flashy jukebox spouting stupid dialogue and one-liners. Lois earns a spot at number six because even though she didn't need to be on this show, she was present for seven years. While she was frequently amusing, she still deserved to be a truly great character with much more depth and substance.







#5 - Superpowers. Honestly, I don't know why Clark had any powers at all. He barely made interesting use of them. Nine times out of ten, he would defeat a villain by throwing them a few feet away and then standing in front of whatever was about to kill one of the side characters. He used x-ray vision and superhearing the most, but those aren't powers. They're just heightened senses. They can't actually accomplish anything. Clark's biggest obstacle in the show was pure ignorance. He wouldn't know where someone was, so he'd have Chloe figure it out for him. Then when he got to wherever someone had been taken, he'd look around or listen to find them. And it hardly made Smallville a detective show. It just gave Clark a reason to remain forever stupid. Because who needs intelligence when your abilities let you see and hear everything and your hacker friend does the rest? Speaking of which, Clark never once used his brain on this series. He never even had any curiosity about anything. After the first episode, where he was Googling world record breakers, he never showed a further interest in learning. And that genuinely is a crime. Clark could read every book in every library within an hour, but he never bothered to. Most of that is on Chloe's head, because she did all his work for him. But in reality, it's the fault of the writers. There have been countless shows based on detectives who use their extensive knowledge to solve crimes. John Doe was one of them, and it worked greatly. Of all the formulas Smallville could have ripped off, this one would have made the show an instant classic. Unfortunately, it all comes down to Chloe. And that's why she doesn't get her own spot on this list. Because, yes, she was a waste of a character, but she never had any potential in the first place. She simply shouldn't have been there at all. As for the other powers, heat vision came into play only so often, but the superbreath barely made an appearance. Superspeed was only used for transportation and bullet-time shots. Basically, the show just wasted the creative opportunity for coming up with unique and fun ways to use Superman's powers. So why have them at all? Why even make the show about Clark, except to force fans to watch? To be fair, of course Clark did actually use all of his powers. But not nearly enough. If the show had better characters, this wouldn't be as important. But when everything else is so dumb, we needed more action and eye candy.







#4 - Fight Scenes. To me, this is a no-brainer. I guess the main reason for this void is that Smallville never had a fight choreographer. At least not one who ever left his trailer, sobered up, or spent much time awake. But is there any excuse? Buffy did it. They had fights all the time on that show. It's extremely cheap and effective production value. This problem affects the very concept of Smallville. If you're going to have Clark matched by Kryptonite-powered mutants, then it gives you an opportunity to have fight scenes on an equal footing. Against a normal human, yes, Clark would clean their clock in under a second. But against superteens, there's no question that there should have been a fight scene in every episode. And that means several blows, not throwing someone at a shelf. You'd think with all the fanservice in season ten, they would want to make up for this severe omission. And I'm pretty damn sure they actually promised to. But no, instead we get Clark pushing a planet. Yeah, that sounds more epic than a fight, but a good superfight would have been immeasureably more satisfying to any fan. Superman needed to present himself by showing everybody that you don't mess with Superman, not by displaying unfathomable Godlike power in an almost abstract way. The best way to differentiate Superman from Clark would have been to show him doing something he'd never done before. And Clark had rarely taken charge and kicked ass. He never saved a plane and pushed a planet either, but those are just special effects stunts, which is the way Clark ends every episode. This is high on the list because it's such an easy thing to deliver, and something that the show failed at time and time again.







#3 - Smallville. Yes, Smallville. I'm not giving a spot on the list to Metropolis, because like Chloe, it had no business being on the show. It could've been used better, but who cares. The show was called Smallville, and it was called that LONG before that was ever a nickname Lois gave to Clark. With the setting of the series, we had a decent opportunity to show Clark's life growing up. What was it like? Who lived there? What made it different than any other town? The answers, sadly, were valueless. The town was a bunch of corn and a bunch of homicidally insane mutants. That's it. Once or twice, they showed a festival or fair, but mostly it was devoid of life. In most other shows involving a high school, you get some sense of the relationships between the students, how they do in school, what the teachers are like, where everybody hangs out. All we got was the Talon, one of the more unlikely establishments in TV fiction. 99% of the time, we never saw Clark and his two-and-a-half friends outside of the school newspaper room. And there's only so much you can milk out of a dull room, a dull coffee shop, a dull loft, and the area between Lex's desk and his pool table. Most of the time, people just went to different locations to talk about things they could say anywhere. There's a glimmer of hope in the pilot, where we see Lana hanging out at the graveyard. But really, once you get out of the first season, we didn't see many locations. I should probably mention Whitney here, as he lent a little more diversity to the cast and represented the town as the only character who belonged there. But aside from seeing him at work in one episode, he didn't give much flavor to the place. And for some reason, he decided in the end that he belonged elsewhere doing more important things. I wonder why it took everyone else so long. As for other characters, Pete didn't go anywhere in the plot or as a character. He added nothing to Clark, despite a few stories of their youth. They never had much chemistry, and his affair with Chloe was a joke. The town sheriffs were all annoying, the parents of everyone but Clark and Lex might as well have been ghosts, and the school seemed like less than one hallway. Nothing was ever fleshed out or filled in, and I can't think of any reason why not. Maybe this entry seems trivial, but when the town could have felt as real as Eureka or Twin Peaks or Cicely, Alaska, it seems to me to be a glaring waste of possibilities. If you're going to name your show after a town, make the town earn it. What better metaphor for the unimportance of Smallville than the shift of location and the ease with which Clark left the place behind? Even then, no effort was made to show the contrast between the two places. No one ever reacted to it. It made the location of the show absolutely meaningless.







#2 - Lana Lang. The whole character was a missed chance. There's nothing wrong with the classic Lana Lang, and it probably would have done the show good to present a positive, wholesome character instead of the horrible stuck-up stereotype they went with. Some might say the red hair didn't mean anything, but the overall appearance was a complete package. Lana is supposed to be the nice redheaded small town American girl next door. She's the kind of person that would attract and inspire Clark Kent growing up. She's the kind of a girl - and this is important - that, while nice, contrasts Lois Lane in such a way as to make Lois even more appealing. That juxtaposition between the small town girl and the big city girl was completely ignored on this show, just like the comparison between Smallville and Metropolis. Instead, the only thing Clark liked about Lois was her boobs. What else was there? She was kind of an idiot, annoying, and rude. Lana, on the other hand, was absolutely perfect. She was a cheerleader who aspired for more than just popularity. She was the youngest business owner in America, probably in the world, in history. She knew martial arts, business, computers, art, and whatever else they needed any given week. They cast her as a dark-haired exotic girl. Sure, she acted like a small town girl at first. But eventually she married Lex Luthor, thwarted him, bested him, spied on everybody, traveled the world, and became one of the most powerful heroes in the universe, powered by a substance which could kill Clark. She never had any role except to be unattainable, but desired by everyone. She was barely Clark's girlfriend a couple of times, and the relationship even then was paper-thin. She had no character arc, just a series of ridiculous transformations. In the end, they don't even mention what happens to her. And even though she could never be with Superman, it didn't seem very tragic on her part, unlike in some other versions of the story. On the whole, just crap, but being a worthless character altogether means there's still one spot left for a greater disappointment.







#1 - Clark Kent. This was predictable, but necessary. Clark just sucked on this show. He was a pleasant person, but that's not shockingly rare in real life, despite what the news media would have us believe. One of his biggest problems was having no defining characteristics whatsoever. He didn't collect rocks; that was just something Impulse mistook his secret Kryptonite for. He didn't like astronomy; his telescope was just an excuse to spy on Lana getting naked. We know that on red K, he would gladly buy a big screen TV and an Xbox, and yet he showed no interest in these or any other distractions whenever he was "inhibited." Sure, he played a little bit of basketball and football, but he never really showed any passion for sports beyond the adolescent glory associated with them. He certainly never convinced me that he cared at all about journalism. Hell, he never even convinced me of his interest in Lois. Even with Lana, his attraction was animal at best. Sure, Lana was perfect in every way, but the desire was superficial. At least with Alicia the teleporter, Clark felt a connection because she had to live with keeping her powers secret. With Lois, the romance had even less basis. If Clark had ever stated that he liked Lois Lane's brash nature or the way she'd take whatever she wanted no matter who had to die, then that would be one thing. But the simple fact is that he never once said what he liked about her until she read his wedding vows. Frankly, I don't remember what they were. They should have repeated it more times. As for Clark's development as a character, the show never explored much more than basic teenage angst. They could have gone much further with the many emotions that made Clark tick. He really just stayed the same since day one, only trading in his teenage awkwardness for mid-twenties brooding. He always saved people. He always struggled with responsibility. But his conflicts were mainly internal, and uninteresting at that. He went to school and showed no interest in it except for football, and only because he wasn't allowed to play. He attended college and dropped out. He suddenly went to work at the Daily Planet, but showed no aptitude or even much outward intent to exploit the job for the purposes of stopping crime. In fact, he never showed much interest in crimefighting either. He always talked about destiny, but never did anything about it until the entire world was in immediate (but vague) danger. Even when Darkseid was at large, Clark was more concerned with getting married to a girl he had barely dated. In the end, I didn't take much away from his character. He was hunky, he brooded, he saved people (usually the same ones over and over again), and eventually turned into a cartoon, flew away, and turned into even more of a cartoon before settling down on a comic book page where he could happily remain unmoving and uncaring for seven years. There may have been slightly more insight into Clark Kent here than in other filmed versions, but stretched across ten years it didn't end up being any more effective than the few lines we got in the movies. It's ironic that the movie version of Clark spent twelve years doing no more than listening to books on tape, and yet this version wasted more time in ten years than all other versions combined. That doesn't feel very super to me.







Honorable mention has to go to... everything else. I'm not including the Superman stuff, because all we ever expected or deserved was the shirt rip, and we got that exactly as we'd always imagined. No one expected the show to go on this long, so no one expected to see Tom in a full suit before they started teasing it. Everything else though, can obviously be called a missed opportunity where it failed to meet expectations. That includes basically every character who ever appeared on the show on loan from the comics. My top pick would easily be Brainiac, because he was freaking terrible. He was boring. He did nothing. He had immense power, but prefered to manipulate people at a laborious pace. Waste of time. All the heroes and villains were very pale imitations of the classic characters, watered down and squandered. Even Metallo was a pretty weak interpretation, human to a fault, two-dimensional, and little more of a menace than any of the teen freaks who possessed superstrength. I'll even include the stupid witchy-poo season, because if the girls had gotten their eyes turned black and gone all out with some serious magic, that would have been a fun and worthy conflict for the future Man of Steel. But playing it either for comedy or bad soap opera melodrama utterly ruined it. The heroes suffered too, with characters like Supergirl and Green Arrow being potentially very promising, but being wasted, unused, or just stretched too thin and without a clear role. And of course, that ho-hum excuse for a superdog, Shelby. Stuck with a painfully common and borderline catatonic housepet for years because they couldn't get a white dog for one episode. What a shame. When all is said and done, though, the show's biggest fault was that the lemur wasn't in every episode. I call him Jeremiah Furffleshnuggins, Esquire. We'll miss you, Jerry! You should have been the star of the show!

Up, Up, and Away... or something.
 
NeoRanger
So... the show's top-ten wasted opportunities are pretty much everything pivotal to a show about Superman? Not that I disagree, mind you, I just find it funny.
 
Zod Lombard

>Lex Vader wrote:


Okay, everyone wants me to review the finale, and by everyone I mean one guy.


Thanks for the shout-out, Lex! And thanks for sharing that Top 10 list with us all. Unlike the show, your reviews will be missed.
Superman vs. Darkseid
http://www.youtub...zFsxSH8fUA
 
AKalel
Now that is alot of read and to be honest I thought you were going to give short points not lengthly ones. This being said here are 6 things i think could of made for interesting stories if they were progressed.

In no particular order.

1) Morgan Edge way back in the early years they introduced this character and make it appear that he died. Now for anyone who is not familar the comics Edge had ties to Darkseid and all that stuff and it would of made for some interesting story about non run of the mill crimes occuring by out of world help.

2) Titan I like the idea of a brutish Phantom Zone serial killer but they did not have to get rid of him this quick heck they did not haveto get rid of all of them so quick. I think it could of been cool if a season or 2 somehow Clark discovers he has not defeated all the Zoners. Heck Titan could of on Earth been like a Doomsday.

3) Life on Krypton. Now I am not talking about a entire season but it would of been neat if there were a few more episodes dealing with Krypton that did not show the violent past it had.

4) Now I am not sure if I got the number right but Level 33.1. I think it would of been neat to see more of these someday villians with thought that maybe one day they could be part of Supermans rogues gallery.

5) Heroes. Okay I like the fact they had DC Heroes seen but I want to back track not so many of them and rather then seeing so many how about cut back on those seen but have more mentioned if you cannot mention them by name it could be as simple as having a headline on a newspaper or someone saying did you hear that freak in Gotham took out some clown.

and 6

The disappearence of Lex Luthor. At the end of Season 8 Lex disappears now I think it would of been cool if every few episodes we heard about some shady stuff going on but not realy knowing who is responsibvle or why they were doing what they were doing. Perhaps it could go as far as these were some of Lex's 33.1 baddies maybe traing, getting used to abilities or maybe doing something that maybe will be uncovered in a future episode like a completion of a battlesuit for Lex or something else.
 
Michael Corleone
Here are my thoughts about this, take them or leave them, but know that they are given in the spirit of fun debate...


#10 - The Justice League. This is lowest on the list because we did get some decent mileage out of this idea. But not enough.


A theme I see repeated throughout the review. Well, such-and-such DID happen, but not enough to my liking, or not in the exact way to my liking, etc.

They really dropped the ball on this one in the end. I know the League has nothing to do with Clark's journey, but that's not an excuse once you introduce them into the show as flashy filler.


Since Smallville is an original telling of Clark's journey to become Superman, then in this story the League DID have something to do with Clark's journey, and thus are not filler.

I'm sure Richard Donner had his critics who said, when they saw teen Clark grab a green, glowing crystal in his barn and then take off to the North Pole to make the Fortress of Solitude and then stay there for 12 years before becoming Superman, "This had nothing to do with the journey of Clark becoming Superman that I read in the comics of the 50's and 60's, and so it's just filler!" But that doesn't make them correct, because Donner's Superman: The Movie was an original story of an already established comic myth that had an established canon. Same with Byrne, or even the latest Earth-One story that came out in the comics. If they can do it, then so can Smallville.

In fact, if Smallville had stuck 100%, or even 75%, to what had already been established in previous canons, it wouldn't have lasted one season and a lot of fan-boys would have been saying, "The story's not original! We hate it!"


Oliver Queen started the League offscreen and never really did anything with them. They were only seen a few times together, usually with someone missing.


This is because when you tell a story on TV, you have to take into account things like the actors' availability and financial negotiations that affect your budget, especially when said actors are not a part of the main contracted cast (as was the case with Justin Hartley at the time and remained the case for the rest of the Justice League. When you're writing a novel or short story, or even a comic, you don't have to worry about such things.

Even in those times, Green Arrow never acted like their leader.


In Season 6's "Justice," I sure did get the leader vibe from him. But that's just me...

And eventually, Clark took over the leader role, which was good character progression in the story, and followed previously established canon of Superman being the League's leader, and thus fits into Clark's journey nicely.


When Watchtower was introduced, we were all waiting for the League to finally show up and do something. But they were always mysteriously missing while Oliver was always mysteriously unoccupied. To boot, the finale threw in a reference to John Jones building a space station without even showing a piece of it. How the hell did he do this and why?


See what I wrote above about budget and actor availability, something which I'm sure you (understandably) don't like but nevertheless is reality when you're making a TV show, as opposed to writing your own comic or story.

As to how he did it, the show already established that he can be in space with no problem, and that he has huge amounts of strength. So I can easily see how he could build a space station in space. As to why, I can see why Earth's super-powered heroes would want to have an eye and a headquarters base in space when: a) There had been several threats that had come from space and/or other galaxial dimensions over the past 10 years (2 meteor showers, Phantom Zone villians, Zod, Darkseid), and Cool The VRA had earlier in the season been on the hunt for superheroes, and had even been able to find them in a secret hide-out at Hawkman's funeral.


Really, one shot of the League standing in front of a green screen window gazing at the Earth below wouldn't have been that expensive, and they could have done it with stand-ins like they're so fond of doing.


It would have cost money for either the actual actors, or for stand-ins, and it would have cost money to make the CGI Space Watchtower, and it would have taken a lot more than one second. (Think about it. If it was only one second, how many fan-boys would be screaming, "Why couldn't you give us more???!!!"Wink Personally, I'm glad they went the way they did with Apokolips's special effects and Clark's flying.

Instead, the finale just completely ignores the entire team. I don't care what they were doing during the wedding. First of all, they should have been at the wedding.


Nope, it was established that they were out patrolling, which also follows comic canon in that other superheroes were doing that during Superman's wedding to Lois Lane and their following honeymoon. So they had a legitimate reason for not being there.

Secondly, they probably would have had some reaction to a giant planet showing up. It could have at least been referenced.


I'm sure they did have a reaction, but the finale (rightfully so) focused on Clark and his reaction because the story was ultimately about him, with them being secondary characters. If they had taken time to show the League vainly trying to do something about Apokolips, I'm sure some of the fanboys would have been saying, "Nooo!!! This is a show about SUPERMAN, not the JLA!!!"

As for the reference, they actually did state at least twice that the JLA was out patrolling. Therefore, in my opinion, there's no need for them to then state that the team had some sort of adverse reaction. They expect us to use our brains and figure that out on our own, which to me is refreshing. I like TV shows that assume that their viewers are a) familiar enough with comic characters to Cool use their heads to figure out that those comic characters are acting in character during a crisis offscreen.


And all that hoopla about Toyman's team going after the members? Clearly that was leftover from an early plan for the finale, but nobody remembered to write it out of the previous episode as well.


Possibly, but another likelihood is what the producers are on record as saying, that they wanted to establish that this was not only the end (of Clark's journey to become Superman), but also the beginning (of Superman's journey as a super-hero fighting super-villians.)


After everything, the League was good for a lot of cameos, but should have been given a good sendoff at the very least.


In a perfect world where all of the above, legitimate factors that I just pointed out were non-existant, I would agree with you. But since the above was an actual reality in the making of the show, I am satisfied. Besides, you can't please everybody. Give them a decent send-off and some fans would have been upset because it took time away from Clark's story.


#9 - Jor-El. He's at number nine because he wasn't really essential to the story even though they shoehorned him in there anyway.


I disagree. His character brought a lot of conflict, tension, and drama over the years. Plus, since it was an ORIGINAL origin story, I thought it was kind of cool that they basically combined Jor-El with the Eradicator to make a basically new character in Clark's youth that acted in a way never before seen. 'Cause let's face it, Marlon Brando spouting Christ-like imagery and similies about Clark Smallville Jor-El ain't....

But let's face it, they did nothing with this character. He was all-powerful, faceless, and interfered with Clark's journey more than he helped it.


That made him both original and also a bringer of conflict to the story, which I would think you would be happy with.

In season two, he tried to force Clark to... actually, I have no idea. Clark freaked out and destroyed the ship, so we never really found out what Joe wanted.


He tried to make Clark "embrace his Kryptonian heritage/destiny." Clark, being a teenager, naturally freaked out and destroyed the ship, thus supplying more conflict and drama to the show. Plus, future seasons would show that this was part of Clark's trials. A "trial," by definition, naturally comes across as something one either doesn't want to do and/or finds threatening in some way. So, in the end, we see that Jor-El was testing Clark, and also teaching him via allowing him to fail the test and, over time, learn from his mistakes.

At the end of season three, he brainwashed Clark into being fully Kryptonian, although acting nothing like a Kryptonian, and seemingly for no reason. That was reverted, and Clark learned nothing from it.


I think he came away learning the value of his humanity that came about from his human upbringing. As for acting nothing like a Kryptonian, remember that the show is an ORIGINAL origin story, and so therefore has the right to re-define what "acting like a Kryptonian" means, just as Donner did and Byrne did as well.

When Clark finally built the Fortress, Jor-El's role was that of the neglected homework of a football player whose grades don't matter anyway. Whatever he wanted to teach Clark had absolutely no relevance to Superman, and neither did his eventual trials.


Um, yes they did. Smile In the very first Fortress episode alone, we see Jor-El showing Clark Donner footage of the destruction of Krypton, for example. Later trials would teach him things that make Superman the hero he is...like the importance of having his powers and how to think a way to win in a conflict when he DIDN'T have his powers (learned in the episodes when his powers were taken away by Jor-El), and the fact that he can't save everyone now matter how hard he tries and that rash decisions have consequences (learned when Jor-El turned back time when Clark asked him to save Lana and Clark lost his dad as a result.)

The trials of flying were meaningless, since flying has no requirements. When it was said Clark couldn't fly because of Lois, they followed it up by saying he COULD fly because of Lois. And then he flew without any connection to her at all.


Again, "an ORIGINAL origin story, Smallville was," as Yoda would say. Heat vision had a requirement, after all. (An original and humorous requirement too...Clark going through puberty.) Super-breath had a requirement (Clark catching a cold-like virus in the Phantom Zone (also original). Super-hearing had a requirement (Clark losing his sight due to a Kryptonite "flash-bang" of sorts, also original).

So why not flying? The second episode had Clark floating while dreaming about the girl he was in love with, so it was established from the get-go that love would have something to do with it. Also, notice that Lana in the dream then accused him, "It's all your fault," causing him to lose his confidence before then immediately crashing back down to earth as he woke up. With that in mind, the fourth season established that Clark needed to have very strong confidence that his Kryptonian side (which was prominent at the time) had in order to fly. Add to that Season 10's "Supergirl," where we see Clark begin to fly due to having confidence before, like Peter walking on the water to Jesus, losing said confidence and crashing to earth. Add to that "Homecoming," where we see Clark floating without realizing he was doing it during the most romantic moment he had as of yet with the true love of his life (very similar to the second ep of season 1 when he was dreaming of Lana, again.) And finally, add "Finale" to the mix, where he gets ultimate confidence again in his fight with Darkseid and thus conquers flying. It was a nice progression, when you look back at the whole picture.

Jor-El gave Clark psychic powers to teach him to use his other powers creatively, and despite this making no sense, he never remembered the lesson afterwards.


How do you know? Looking back at the series as a whole, he definitely learned from other things he had gone through, so why not this?

Julian Sands as the younger Jor-El was boring and his actions made little sense. His appearance as the clone had very little point to it, since he wouldn't have even known about his son.


Again, all of this were plot-lines that ORIGINATED in the writer's heads, rather than them simply re-hashing what (little) had been already established about Clark's Smallville years. And so what if he would not have known about his son? Marty McFly got to meet his mom when she was a teenager and she ended up getting the hots for him, and that film is lauded as a classic! Smile

Jor-El's hologram appearance was wasted and should have occured in the finale


Um, it actually went a long way towards explaining a lot about why Eradicator Jor-El was the way he was. So it wasn't wasted. And if it had occurred in the finale rather than earlier in the already-established last season, then the complaint from the fan-boys would have been, "They're trying to cram too much into the last episode. Good writers would have done this episodes ago!!!"

but even then it would still lack the presence of seeing Terence Stamp. He has the same haircut as Julian, he has white hair, and he wore a robe in Star Wars. He looks nothing like Zod anymore, and there's no good reason they couldn't go to his house and put a green sheet behind him. Involving another actor with a completely different voice and accent served nothing.


Yes, it would have been awesome to see Terence Stamp, but, again, there are things that happen when you write a TV show that don't happen when you write comics or novels. Stamp might have been unavailable, he might have asked for too much money, or a number of other factors could have played out as to why he didn't make an actual appearance.

Ultimately, he didn't need to be on the show, but using him poorly earns him a spot.


Since the show's whole point was to tell an ORIGINAL origin story, I'm glad he was on the show and I don't think he was used poorly. But to each his own...

#8 - The Kents. Yeah, I know. They were really great when they were actually on the show. So how can I complain about them? Simple. They left the show.


Oh, PUUHHHLLLLEEEAAASSSSEEE!!! Smile You're really reaching with this one, bro...

And with it, left a void in the show that was never filled.


On the contrary, they're leaving helped Clark become an independent man, just like in real life when children leave their father and mother, either through death or by moving on.

First Jonathan died. Okay, fine. That fits with other versions of the story.


I respect that with you going along with already established canon from other stories is important, but to me one of the things that made Smallville so fun, the recent Earth-One story so interesting, and way back when I was a kid John Byrne's remake so interesting, was that each of these canons had their own take, their own original plot-lines, etc. That's a big reason why Smallville lasted and why it has such a big following.


But it amounted to nothing. It didn't make Clark grow up, because he couldn't grow up until the last minute of the finale. It just made him mopey every so often. What good is that? Clark didn't learn anything from it.


Oh, it amounted to a lot of things. First, Clark grew in many ways and in various degrees all throughout the series, especially in the years after his dad's death. His growth culminated in the finale, around the time he was 24. (Which to me is also very real-to-life, because let's face it: A lot of 18 to 24 year olds still have maturing to do in real life. I know I did. So I think it's realistic that Clark's journey of growth to ten years. So did mine and a lot of other people's also.)

Secondly, of COURSE it "made him mopey," dude. My wife lost her dad suddenly to a massive heart attack. He was around Jonathan Kent's age, and she was in her early 20's. Trust me, I was there and have been there since. For a lot of people, the sudden loss of a beloved parent at a relatively young age (for both them and you) is a very hard thing to get over, taking years (and even then, you never truly get over it.) The show was real to life there, also.

Thirdly, Clark did learn from it. He learned a lesson that Superman will probably always keep in mind the numerous times in his career Lex Luthor or some other villian presents him with a "Spiderman 1 save your loved one or save the busload of screaming kids" dilemma. The lesson that every decision has consequences, so think things through before making your decision as best you can. Clark didn't do that in the 100th episode, but you better believe he remembered to do it later. In fact, later seasons show that.

It took a time traveler to tell him it wasn't his fault.


Others tried to tell him, to no avail. Again, real-to-life when you blame yourself for something like a loved one's death. Sending a re-programmed Legion Brainiac from the future to in turn show him his past, present, and future in order to teach him lessons he needed to fully grasp was, again, an awesome idea that took elements from classics like "A Christmas Carol" and blended them with the shows super-hero/sci-fi genre.

(And before you jump on them for borrowing from "A Christmas Carol," remember that very few stories these days are 100% original. Loeb told a Batman story that had Christmas Carol themes to it that is lauded as an awesome story by many. Superman himself is not the first "strange visitor from another planet" story, nor is he the first "being with awesome, unworldly powers" story either.)

The most that came out of the death is that Clark developed a phobia for time travel.


Um, what? I'll just assume this is just more snarky attempts at humor... Smile

As for Martha, that was a bit of a train wreck. Sure, she acted sad just like Clark acted sad. But that doesn't accomplish much.


Nah, she's just in mourning for the loss of her mate, her husband, her best friend, her companion. Who has time for that? There are so many more important things to be doing. (That's my attempt at snarky humor.) Smile

She became a state senator and then a senator virtually overnight. It added nothing to the show and was ultimately a way to write her off of it.


In the 2000 election, a Missouri Democratic candidate named Carnahan (if memory serves) won the election over opponent John Ashcroft as his state's senator, and then died before taking office. His widow took his seat (literally overnight) and served out his term (and I believe another one, but I might be wrong about that.) Anyway, this shows that Martha Kent's new career as a Senator isn't so far-fetched, especially with Lionel Luthor's money behind it. And it was a way to write her off, an original way.

But that didn't mean they couldn't still write her character as doing things offscreen. She still could have been a presence in the show, bastardization of the intended character though she would have been. Instead, we get some nonsense about her being the Red Queen, boning Perry White for no stated reason, and opposing an unconstitutional bill that was somehow supported by Lois' dad.


Um, what you just cited? That's her character being written as doing things offscreen. That, and the fact that several times we see Clark on the phone with her, or other characters mentioning her, etc.

None of this ever inspired Clark.


He said on the show that he is proud of his mother for going to DC and making a difference. That sounds like him being inspired to me. When he found out she was the Red Queen and later when she was opposing the VRA bill, and thus was doing her part (even though it put her in danger) to both protect him and other heroes, that also sounds inspiring to me, especially when you throw into the equation that she's his mother.

He just stayed where he was, now and then changing his clothes or job, until eventually misconstruing his mother's wedding present in probably the stupidest and most embarrassing way possible (also not resolved).


He stayed in Smallville for exactly one year after she left, but even then he was traveling all over the world a good portion of that time, and to Metropolis with regularity, trying to protect humanity from a villian controlling him in the Veritas plotline. In the year before she left, he was traveling all over the world trying to find Phantom Zone villians, again to protect people. Exactly one year after she left, he started saving people on a regular basis in Metropolis primarily for about two years, and then adding the rest of the world on a regular basis in Season 10. That's not exactly staying only in Smallville only occasionally changing his clothes or his job.

Yes, he misconstrued his mother's reasons for selling him the farm, but who among us hasn't misunderstood a mother's intentions before? And as for it being resolved, it was if you pause a moment from the snark and remember what those pesky writers actually established when Clark was in the future back in "Homecoming," when Lois 7 years in the future told him to go back to the farm where he keeps his Kryptonian octagons and Phantom Zone thingies, thus implying that he DID in fact decide to keep the farm.

At the end, they just left her character in this weird, awkward state.


How? It was already established that she was a senator and a powerful behind-the-scenes kind of character as the Red Queen. In the finale, there's no indication that any of that changed. (At one point she is acting like a senator talking to a chief of staff, if I remember correctly.) In the finale, she's still all that, but she's also a mother coming home to attend her son's wedding and to, in a way that mothers will still do even to 24-year-old sons when they think they're making a mistake, chide him a bit. How is that her being left in a weird place?

But that doesn't hold a candle to how they turned Jonathan into a magical ghost who not only gave evidence of an afterlife and single-handedly proved or disproved every major religion (depending on how you look at it) but also could pick up and hand costumes to people despite having no body. Amazing.


How dare they???!!! They're right up there in writer villainy with George Lucas making Qui-gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Yoda magical ghosts after their deaths as well!! And we all know how that turned out. Star Wars is one of the most unpopular stories of all time, due to how unrealistic and lazy the writing was...

And let's not forget back when Superman died at Doomsday's hand and then was resurrected (again, lazy writing if you ask me...once a comic book character is dead, they should stay dead, based on what I take you to be saying about what Smallville has done), right before his resurrection Jonathan Kent suffered a heart attack and his soul apparently "went into the afterlife" and actually rescued his son Clark from being taken into some sort of demonic alien purgatory by (gasp!) actually picking up some sort of weapon and hitting a demon with it (!!!!!), thus opening the door for his son Superman to "come back." What lazy writers DC had back in the 90's!! No wonder sales plummeted as a result of this terrible plot...(oh, wait)


The Kents weren't a complete waste, but they have to be on the list because they stopped being important. And that never should have happened in Superman's lifetime.


Again, you really have to be reaching to come to this conclusion, my friend. But to each their own...


#7 - The Luthors. Everybody already knows the main problem here, which is that all these characters became idiots and died, leaving us with some dust in the barn and a clone who can't wipe his own butt.


Um, in actuality here's what really happened. Season 4's "Blank" set the precedent of what happens when one loses all their memories in the Smallville story/universe. Clark lost all his memories, but he didn't lose the ability to talk, reason, wipe his butt, eat, etc. He also maintained some of his basic personality, shown when he again got a crush on Lana when he saw her for the first time after he lost his memories. He also instinctively trusted Chloe as well, something he had done before.

So, in keeping with the precedence set in the past, Lex Luthor losing all his memories would mean that he could still talk, reason, eat, go to the bathroom like an adult, and he would also keep his basic personality traits. Thus, he would still be evil, psychotic, and jealous of Superman once he sees him and what he can do for the first time after losing said memories.

I'll briefly mention the waste that was all the side characters related to the Luthors. Sean Connery's son played one of Lionel's assistants.


Really? Which ep was this? (By the way, I read that Lost's Evangeline Lilly was on early eps of Smallville twice. Anyone remember seeing her?)

Lex's brief and mostly fake wife disappeared and subsequently proved her role to be trivial at best.


If memory serves, she got sucked out of a plane in the middle of trying to kill Lex and died. And since her storyline resulted in a) one of the major plotlines between Lex and his dad in Season 3...i.e., Lex being turned crazy supposedly as a result of his time on the island as was Lionel's excuse, and Cool her having access to Clark's blood back in Season 2 resulted eventually in the creation of Connor Kent in Season 10, then I would say her role wasn't exactly trivial at best.

Lex's half-brother vanished without a point.


Likely due to not being able to get the actor back. Again, a realistic situation that happens in the making of a lot of TV shows. (But I would have liked to have hashed that story out further, I'll give you that...)

Lex's mother was never fully developed, nor was his motherly housemaid or whoever she was.


His mother showed up in pretty dramatic ways in at least 2 eps (Memoria and Lexmas), and maybe 3 (I seem to recall a Season 7 ep, but I might be wrong.) In each occurrence she played a huge role in trying to either protect Lex or keep him on the right path.

The mother housewife was a psychotic who, in a suspense-filled ep, nearly killed Lex and as a result made him hate his father even more when Lionel refused to meet her demands when she threatened to kill Lex. So her character played an important role in the overall Lex/Lionel relationship.

It's a bit pathetic when the best developed minor character of the family was Julian, who never even got out of his crib.


I did love the Julian plot-line and thought it very original, but I think your snark goes a bit far when comparing a baby who just lay there to the above characters.

And I'm not talking about that utterly useless clone of Julian, whatever his name was.


The clone showed Lex's progress at the time in his work on cloning, which was a very important plot-line of Seasons 6-8 and 10.

Tess deserves a mention, because she was kind of hot. But we all know she was just a stand-in for both Luthors. Regrettably, her backstory was extremely cluttered, missing huge chunks of logic, had no consistency, and was made up as they went along. I couldn't begin to chart her life from bastardina to minion of Granny Goodness to lover of Oliver, sister-lover of Lex, sort of evil lady, victim/lover of Zod, and then sort of not-so evil lady. Actually, I think I just did.


She obviously did start out as a stand-in, but, as you've shown above, the overall story of her life was well shown on the show, and certainly is no less believable than, say, an orphaned son of a millionaire doctor philanthropist vowing to do whatever it takes to avenge his parents' death by dedicating his life to fighting crime, thus motivating him to give up any semblance of a childhood in favor of mastering numerous foreign languages, all kinds of biology, chemistry, and forensics all while traveling the world honing his body to physical perfection while learning every known martial art before coming home, using his parents' fortune to build a state-of-the-art headquarters in a huge cavern under the family mansion along with all sorts of advanced military hardware, and then finally dressing up like a bat to inspire fear in the hearts of the cowardly criminals.

Where Lex is concerned, obviously none of it matters at all now. You can write your fan fiction that he somehow gets his memory back (probably via magic or magical technology), but who cares.


See above for my brilliant rebuttal to this fallacy. Smile

And as for fan-fics, I do think that if there was a Season 11, this would be an awesome story arc. Too bad...

The original crime was that they could never think of a reason for him to turn evil, or even gradually become more evil. Sometimes he'd be evil, and then he'd go back to normal again. Even after he ended his friendship with Clark, his motivations rarely made sense, even from an evil perspective.


In ep 2 of season 1 he joked about letting Whitney die in a fire so that Clark's competition for Lana would be eliminated. That right there is foreshadowing of the evil to come and showing that the seeds were already there, something that took place throughout the early days. He set in motion a hostile take-over of his lover's father's company, for crying out loud. The rogue cop died in his arms and all he cared about was learning Clark's secret. The prophet lady died once she saw his future. He gave serious thought to letting his father die in the season 1 finale. Yes, he at the same time was trying to do good as well, and in fact did some good for quite a lot of the time all the way up to the season 4 finale. But that's the whole point, to show the character's progression and struggle between good and evil, with evil ultimately winning out.

(Plus, even really immoral, evil people at times do good things from the heart. John Kennedy was a very immoral man who also, according to declassified files, plotted the assassinations of several leaders of other countries...and yet when he was in the hospital to see his dying infant son he saw 2 girls unconscious in the next room from being badly burned, and was so emotionally touched that he took the time to write them each a note from the President of the United States. So I have no problem with Lex Luthor growing more and more evil while, at times, still showing that he has a heart. Even comic book villain supreme Luthor was distressed over the fate of his infant daughter Lena at one point.)

In the end, he murdered his father for no reason after stealing his necklace, then got buried under a bunch of ice. I'm not going to give much analysis to his stupid clones, but I will say they had some good opportunities to bring him back and chose to bastardize Superboy instead.


No, he murdered his father after spending his entire life being manipulated by the man, after a lifetime of the man showing him no true love. Plus, he was a villain at that point, obsessed with finding out about and gaining control over the powerful Traveler, and he knew that his father knew more than he was telling and held on his person one of the keys he needed to reach his evil goal. So, taking all that into account, he did exactly what his character progression required of him at that time: he pushed his father out of a window.

While I do wish they had spent more time on their confrontation in the Fortress, I thought it a decent end to Rosenbaum's time on the show. Future storylines of Lex would have been even better if they could have convinced him to either stay or come back for a guest spot, which is again something one has to deal with when writing a TV show. Some actors come back for guest spots with regularity (like Diane and Lillith on Frasier), some don't (like Rosenbaum.) They did the best they could with what they had, including, I must say, NOT "bastardizing" Superboy, but rather giving an original twist to already established comic canon, like they had done already with so many other DC characters.

Then, when he gave a convincing speech about how he can easily exist as Superman's enemy, they had to pander to the fans who wanted him to lose his memory too. In trying to please everyone all the time (in the finale, at least), they made each attempt entirely pointless.


Yes, how dare they actually try to give some fans what they want? Selfish writers!! They should instead just write only what THEY want and tell absolutely EVERYONE who watches the show, "You'll just have to take it..." How in the world did this show last 10 years??? Smile


The memory wipe was pointless after the speech, and the speech was pointless when followed by the memory wipe. His whole character was pointless after that.


Nope, because as said earlier, he would not have lost his basic personality traits due to the precedence "Blank" set for this universe, and his personality (evil) was made that way in his character progression over the past 10 years.

I can't put the Luthors too high on the list, because they were usually the best part of the show. However, when they ended up essentially serving no purpose in the end, the chance to really justify their roles in the Superman mythology was ruined. And that sullied something that was once promising and great.


I will agree with you on this...Michael Rosenbaum and John Glover (along with Allison Mack) were the best parts of the show.

#6 - Lois Lane. There's only one reason I'm putting Lois on the list, and that's because they failed to give her an interesting story. She really didn't need to be on the show, because Lois Lane's character doesn't contribute any conflict.


Yeah, you're right. She contributed to no conflict for anyone whatsoever. She never needed to be rescued from any villians who would have created conflict between them and the hero trying to save her, she was never Green Arrow's love interest who created a lot of drama and conflict due to being in a relationship with him (because, as we all know, relationships never have any drama or conflict in them, ever), she never was conflicted between her feelings for Clark and her feelings for his super-powered alter ego whom she didn't know were one and the same, she never contributed to any conflict when she was trying to coax Clark to reveal his identity to her and he was resisting, she never created any conflict when both her and Clark had to adapt to each other's independency and self-reliance in several Season 10 episodes, and she never created any conflict when she got last-minute wedding jitters because she was afraid that she would keep her super-hero husband from saving people when they needed saving. Nope, you're right. She served no purpose at all... Smile

There never was much of a love triangle between Clark, Lois and Lana.


Only except when Lana tells Clark in the episode in which she meets Lois that Clark felt the way he felt about Lois (annoyed) because "they're meant to be together." Only except when Lois and Clark were about to kiss for the first time at Chloe's wedding and then Lana shows up. Only except when Lois fears that Clark still has feelings for Lana as implied in "Homecoming." Only except when Lois has such a strong reaction when Toyman mentions Clark and Lana's past relationship in "Prophecy." (Also, at one point they even hinted at a love triangle between Lois, Clark, and Chloe in ep 3 of season 4.)

And by the time Clark got around to having any feelings at all for Lois, he had already gone through all of his issues about responsibility and secrets and lies.


And why is that a bad thing? They're showing character growth in him by having him learn from his mistakes with Lana.

The main problem here was that Lois was never planned for this show. When she showed up as a guest star in season four, she didn't have any purpose or arc. She was just there for eye candy and fanservice and to make dumb jokes about not liking journalism.


I believe she was trying to find her cousin's murderer when she showed up, only to (in a very humorous and original way, I might add) meet the future love of her life.

As for eye candy, please may I have another helping? Smile

As for fanservice, drat those pesky writers for actually TRYING to make Superman fans happy. Smile

As for the jokes about not liking journalism, if she had done any differently it would not been nearly as interesting or original, and fanboys would have been screaming, "It would have been so cool if at first she hated journalism but then was drawn to it!!!" Smile

After that, she was only on the show as a matter of course, to keep the status quo of pandering to fans.


Stupid writers. Pandering to fans... Pshaw....

The crime here is that Lois needs as much of a backstory as Clark does when you have her on the show for that many years. We saw her, like Clark, not develop as a character but merely change overnight.


If memory serves, she went for a couple of years not liking journalism, and then in a specific episode something happened that made her change her mind, all around the time she was also searching for what to do in her adult life. That's not exactly "overnight." And again, remember that this is a episodic TV show. The writers wanted to, in an episode, start her journey as a journalist (because, just maybe, they were wanting to contribute to her backstory.) They wrote an ep that accomplished that. If future eps had spend significant time re-hashing that, fanboys would have been screaming, "WE ALREADY KNOW THAT SHE IS NOW INTERESTED IN JOURNALISM!!! WE ALREADY KNOW THAT SHE WILL EVENTUALLY BE A STAR REPORTER!!! SHOW US MORE OF CLARK'S JOURNEY!!! THE SHOW IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT HIM, AFTER ALL!!!" Smile

They reference General Lane, but they did nothing with him.


Ironside, a guest star who as an actor has other commitments, appeared in 2 episodes of a show in which his character is a very minor character, contributing majorly to the plot both times. That, plus continual references, and you're still not satisfied?

They threw in Lucy as a trivial guest, but who the hell was she?


Um, they established both times that she was Lois's sister who had issues that Lois and Clark helped her to grow in. Again, here's an actress who is a guest star with commitments elsewhere playing a very minor character in a show of which she's not part of the main cast. Realistically, what more can you ask?

Lois' mom wouldn't have even gotten a mention if not for a weird last minute Teri Hatcher cameo.


First, I join with you even more than before in condemning those terrible writers and producers for trying to find a way, just some way, to cater to the fans by getting an actress who played a major Superman character in the past to come on this show about Superman. I'm just glad that they did this only with Teri Hatcher and didn't waste any more time getting Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, the actor who played Jimmy Olson, Terrence Stamp, Margot Kidder, and Annette O'Toole on the show...oh, wait...Well, they should have taken a clue from the fans' reaction to having these guest stars on the show and learned that fans don't like it when major stars from other Superman media make an appearance on a current Superman show...oh, wait... Smile

(I was really hoping for Gene Hackman to make an appearance, by the way. Too bad he retired.)

All we ever learned about Lois is that she's a ditzy, fickle, shallow idiot who acted like a fratboy for the first few years and only acted like a person when she was drooling over some hot guy she'd fallen in love with.


Yeah, no male or female in real life would ever act in these immature ways during their youthful years only to mature when they've found true love.

She never really was very impressive unless you're impressed by the boldness of Jackass stunts and other brainless ideas.


Yeah, the Lois Lane of the comics, Donner movies, and Lois and Clark was NEVER like that...

Her only talent is writing, which we never got to see or hear.


Except for seeing and hearing her self-written wedding vows, complete with seeing lots of errors and typos (which, again, is nothing but a shout-out to the mythos and worthless time spent catering to the fans of the show who tune in to give it the ratings that keep all the actors and writers and producers and crew having their jobs.)

And as far as her relationship with Clark, the whole thing was essentially just smartassed. She acted like Clark's buddy who despite always hanging out with him, was never all that friendly or nice. The kind of role you'd expect Matthew Lillard to play.


Yeah, Margot Kidder's Lois Lane was so much nicer... Smile

Also, in the future, she wears glasses for no reason.


I KNOW!!! Christopher Reeve did the same thing in the episodes he appeared in!!! You would think that the writers would have spent at least five minutes establishing the back story of how Lionel Luthor had, in the past, stolen Dr. Swann's contact lenses when Dr. Swann had threatened to take the Veritas journals by force and how Lionel held the contact lenses for ransom until Swann backed down, except that Swann never backed down from Luthor's villainy and decided to make a stand and wear glasses instead! There, writers! You see? How hard was that??

That's about it. Since Lois was, for all intents and purposes, a worthless, aimless human being when she was introduced, her entire run on the show should have explained, fleshed out and justified her character. Instead, she was a boob... with boobs.


Yeah, when she was introduced and she was trying to find her cousin's murderer and get justice for her cousin's death...well, that's about the most worthless, aimless thing a human being could do. And she never got any better... Why, oh why, did I like her character so much??? (Well, the boobs did help...)

Certainly more interesting than Chloe or Pete, and an okay excuse for comic relief, but not much more than a flashy jukebox spouting stupid dialogue and one-liners. Lois earns a spot at number six because even though she didn't need to be on this show, she was present for seven years. While she was frequently amusing, she still deserved to be a truly great character with much more depth and substance.



I will agree with you on one thing here. I wished the writers could have had her character talk without making some sort of snarky pop culture reference every other sentence. Other than that, you're way off... Smile


#5 - Superpowers. Honestly, I don't know why Clark had any powers at all.


I agree. The show should have been called "Gotham" instead.


He barely made interesting use of them. Nine times out of ten, he would defeat a villain by throwing them a few feet away and then standing in front of whatever was about to kill one of the side characters.


In the first ep that he used X-ray vision, he checked out the girl's locker room. That's interesting as far as I'm concerned. Smile Plus, let's not forget using heat vision to melt bullets, turn kryptonite black to get rid of the evil Lex Luthor personality, and warm up freezing people and turn a flood of water into steam, not to mention having heat vision in the first place simply because he was hot for teacher. He literally "leaped tall buildings in a single bound" at least 4 times that come to memory. He raced across the country completely out of control and accidentally threw a tractor across the county to land in front of a drunk Perry White because of sun spots (a very original story). He raced across the country to find a politician to save a little boy named Ryan and raced from Smallville to Metropolis to leap up the Daily Planet building to lift the Daily Planet globe so that it wouldn't kill people. He discovered he had super breath by sneezing a barn door across acres to almost hit Lois Lane, and then had fun with his new power by psyching out Chloe (a very humorous moment.) And I'm just getting started...but yeah, most of the time he only threw people into a wall, you're right.

He used x-ray vision and superhearing the most, but those aren't powers. They're just heightened senses. They can't actually accomplish anything.


Yeah, I've heard that blind people, due to having heightened senses to compensate for their lack of sight, can actually hear the conversations of people all over a city like Clark can. They don't have powers, just heightened senses...

And having these "heightened senses that are non-powers" (really, dude?) never helped solve anything throughout the entire show, you're right. Clark's super-hearing was never the way he found out Chloe worked for Lionel, and his x-ray vision never, ever was able to show him where the person needed saving was inside the building. You're right. It was a waste of time, him having these "heightened senses."

Clark's biggest obstacle in the show was pure ignorance. He wouldn't know where someone was, so he'd have Chloe figure it out for him. Then when he got to wherever someone had been taken, he'd look around or listen to find them. And it hardly made Smallville a detective show. It just gave Clark a reason to remain forever stupid. Because who needs intelligence when your abilities let you see and hear everything and your hacker friend does the rest?


Yeah, good thing Superman in the comics never sees the need to use Oracle's hacking abilities...oh, wait...well, it's a good thing Superman's secret identity in the comics is not Clark Kent, INVESTIGATIVE reporter, because really, why would Superman waste his time investigating anything...? Oh, wait...Well, it's a good thing Superman in the comics never uses Lois Lane's investigative journalistic abilities to solve any crimes...oh, wait... Smile

Speaking of which, Clark never once used his brain on this series. He never even had any curiosity about anything. After the first episode, where he was Googling world record breakers, he never showed a further interest in learning. And that genuinely is a crime.


What about that whole arc on the show about going to NY to meet Dr. Swann because he was curious about his origins? What about constantly trying to decipher the meaning of the symbols on the cave walls because he was curious about what they would reveal about his origins? What about all the times he did some investigating (with and without Chloe's help, I might add) because he was curious about what Lex's true intentions were, or what Zod's real plan was, or trying to find where the escaped Phantom Zone villains were on earth?

Clark could read every book in every library within an hour, but he never bothered to.


I would think that the first ep showing that he was googling at super-speed would be enough to show us that yes, he could in fact read every book in the library in an hour if he wanted to. Plus, there was a flashback in Season 8 to where he and Chloe first met as kids where she mentioned her favorite book and he whooshed from the barn to the library, searched the entire library to find the book, and whooshed back to the barn within one second to have it to show to her before she turned around. That right there tells you something.

But the fact that he also, at times on the show, talked about staying up all night cramming for an exam simply told me that, while he obviously had the ability to speed-read, he due to his desire to be as normal as he could (a believable goal for a super-powered being), chose not to use his powers in that way in order to be more "human."

Most of that is on Chloe's head, because she did all his work for him. But in reality, it's the fault of the writers. There have been countless shows based on detectives who use their extensive knowledge to solve crimes. John Doe was one of them, and it worked greatly. Of all the formulas Smallville could have ripped off, this one would have made the show an instant classic. Unfortunately, it all comes down to Chloe.


First of all, I've shown how Clark did, many times without Chloe, do his own investigative work. Secondly, Chloe doing a lot of investigative work to help Clark gave Chloe's character her own, original, progression that basically turned her into the first Oracle of the DC Universe, which is a very original twist that I appreciated. But that's just me...

And that's why she doesn't get her own spot on this list. Because, yes, she was a waste of a character, but she never had any potential in the first place. She simply shouldn't have been there at all.


On the contrary, she is, in my opinion, the third best well-written and best-acted character on the entire show, after the Luthors, and her character (and Lionel Luthor's character) originality not only in origin but also in character progression is one of the things that really made Smallville stand out in my mind. Remember, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and countless other Superman characters (both heroes and villains) were not originally part of the Superman mythos, but they made an original entrance and then became a permament part of the mythos. Jimmy Olsen, I believe, was added by a radio show. There is certainly no reason for the same to be done for Chloe Sullivan.

As for the other powers, heat vision came into play only so often, but the superbreath barely made an appearance.


You're playing fast and loose with the definition of "only so often" in how you're using it to apply to heat vision to support your point that super powers in general are the top 5th of Smallville's supposedly wasted opportunities. From season 2, ep. 2, heat vision was one of his most used powers, and used in good ways.

But I do agree with you about the super breath. The Donner movies and Lois and Clark didn't use super-breath enough either. (Neither, now that I think of it, do the comics.)

Superspeed was only used for transportation and bullet-time shots.


Transportation, in most cases, in order to get Clark to where someone needed saving immediately, so it was used in the best way possible.

As for bullet time, as far as I'm concerned all 10 seasons of the show using bullet-time to show Clark dodging bullets or catching them with super-speed is far better than previous Superman shows simply showing "sparks" of bullets bouncing off Superman's chest.

(Speaking of which, that's a power you didn't mention that the show gave an original twist to. Remember how at the beginning he dodged the bullets at super-speed because he didn't know that he would be invincible to them, and then when they did hit them they at first left bruises? I thought that an original way to show the origin of that power.)

Basically, the show just wasted the creative opportunity for coming up with unique and fun ways to use Superman's powers. So why have them at all? Why even make the show about Clark, except to force fans to watch? To be fair, of course Clark did actually use all of his powers. But not nearly enough. If the show had better characters, this wouldn't be as important. But when everything else is so dumb, we needed more action and eye candy.


Dude, I really think you're reaching...well, with all of it...but especially here...

#4 - Fight Scenes. To me, this is a no-brainer. I guess the main reason for this void is that Smallville never had a fight choreographer. At least not one who ever left his trailer, sobered up, or spent much time awake. But is there any excuse? Buffy did it. They had fights all the time on that show.


Because Buffy was a show about a super-powered vampire hunter fighting super-powered villains, all of whom were on an equal playing field with her, each and every ep. Smallville is about the most powerful super hero in the DC universe facing off against either mortal humans or super-powered humans whose powers don't hold a candle to his own. Apples and oranges...

It's extremely cheap and effective production value.


Not necessarily, based on what I've researched.


This problem affects the very concept of Smallville. If you're going to have Clark matched by Kryptonite-powered mutants, then it gives you an opportunity to have fight scenes on an equal footing.


Again, not necessarily. Your average "freak of the week's" powers were not the same caliber as Clark's. So I would argue that his fight scenes with them were believable and thus enjoyable.

Against a normal human, yes, Clark would clean their clock in under a second.


And a lot of the time, that's who he faced on this show. With good reason.

But against superteens, there's no question that there should have been a fight scene in every episode. And that means several blows, not throwing someone at a shelf.


Not necessarily, for the reasons stated above. But I see your point overall. In my opinion, this is a problem with the Superman world in general.

You'd think with all the fanservice in season ten, they would want to make up for this severe omission. And I'm pretty damn sure they actually promised to.


I think in earlier seasons they worked to make up for it. He went up against super-ppwered beings many times in Seasons 5, 6, 8, and 9. And the fight scenes for those were pretty good for a TV show with a TV budget, in my opinion. (Except for Doomsday, but that was only due to failing to live up to the hype.) Titan especially was awesome.

But no, instead we get Clark pushing a planet. Yeah, that sounds more epic than a fight, but a good superfight would have been immeasureably more satisfying to any fan.


Pushing a planet IS pretty epic, and it was awesome. But I do agree with you that it would have been pretty cool to have at least 1.5 minutes of a flying Clark fighting a Force-wielding Lionel-Darkseid. They didn't FAIL in that, but they could have done better.

Superman needed to present himself by showing everybody that you don't mess with Superman, not by displaying unfathomable Godlike power in an almost abstract way.


To be fair, if I was your average villain or super-villain on the show and I saw Superman moving an entire planet, the message I would get immediately would be, "Don't mess with that man."

The best way to differentiate Superman from Clark would have been to show him doing something he'd never done before. And Clark had rarely taken charge and kicked ass. He never saved a plane and pushed a planet either, but those are just special effects stunts, which is the way Clark ends every episode.


I see your point, but I think you're trying to have it both ways. Saving a plane and pushing a planet are special effect stunts, but special effects stunts would be required in a better fight with Lionel-Darkseid also. I also think that if every episode had Clark fighting baddies with powers on an equal playing field, a lot of fanboys would be screaming that this was getting old also.

This is high on the list because it's such an easy thing to deliver, and something that the show failed at time and time again.


Again, I see your point, but I don't think the show failed in this, and I don't think it's as easy a thing to deliver as you might think. Producing the actual TV show is a lot harder than you or I Monday-morning quarterbacking it.

#3 - Smallville. Yes, Smallville. I'm not giving a spot on the list to Metropolis, because like Chloe, it had no business being on the show. It could've been used better, but who cares.


Not necessarily, because the show is about showing the part of Superman's life before he revealed himself to be Superman to the world. In all other canons that I'm aware of, he did this almost immediately after moving to Metropolis from Smallville. With this story, he was in Metropolis doing super-hero things for 3 years before deciding to take on the Superman persona. It's an original origin story, and therefore I have no problem with it.

The show was called Smallville, and it was called that LONG before that was ever a nickname Lois gave to Clark. With the setting of the series, we had a decent opportunity to show Clark's life growing up. What was it like? Who lived there? What made it different than any other town? The answers, sadly, were valueless. The town was a bunch of corn and a bunch of homicidally insane mutants. That's it.


Um, again you're reaching here. I would say that the insane mutant factor, along with the occasional ordinary human villain...combined with the conflict provided by the teen angst, and the interesting take on the Luthor origin story, AND the interesting take on the Clark's Kryptonian origin story, made what happened in this particular small town a lot more than just rows of corn.

Once or twice, they showed a festival or fair, but mostly it was devoid of life. In most other shows involving a high school, you get some sense of the relationships between the students, how they do in school, what the teachers are like, where everybody hangs out.


If the show had done this, the fanboys would have (justifiably) screamed bloody murder, "THIS IS A SHOW ABOUT SUPERMAN!!! POWERS!!! MYTHOLOGY!!! LUTHORS!!!! LANA!!!! WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' INSIGHT INTO CLARK'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FAVORITE TEACHER!!!! WE WANT MORE CLEX, AND LESS CLARK AND MR. HUNSAKER FROM GYM CLASS!!!"

All we got was the Talon, one of the more unlikely establishments in TV fiction.


I live in a small town, and on Main Street there is a coffee shop that looks a lot like the Talon, and it is a popular hang-out for both teens and young adults. So there... Smile

But I see your point. The Talon ranks up there with the coffee houses Seinfeld and Friends showed all the time. Completely unbelievable. No wonder those shows tanked...oh, wait...


99% of the time, we never saw Clark and his two-and-a-half friends outside of the school newspaper room.


If the show hadn't focused on Clark, at the very least, being involved in journalism in his high school days, the fanboys would have screamed, "WHY ISN'T HE INVOLVED WITH THE SCHOOL PAPER??? HE'S GOING TO BE A REPORTER SOMEDAY, AFTER ALL!!!"

And there's only so much you can milk out of a dull room, a dull coffee shop, a dull loft, and the area between Lex's desk and his pool table.


You're right. There's only so much you can milk out of this. They ended up milking about 7 seasons of the above in which enough viewers kept coming back for more to justify 3 more seasons of the show changing its venue to Metropolis. Obviously they had no idea about what they were doing... Smile

Most of the time, people just went to different locations to talk about things they could say anywhere. There's a glimmer of hope in the pilot, where we see Lana hanging out at the graveyard. But really, once you get out of the first season, we didn't see many locations.


Again, when you're writing for a TV show, you have to take into account location and the budget to make that location. And you will find that this makes you limited in what you can write about. Why do you think the first 6 seasons of 24 took place in LA all the time?

I should probably mention Whitney here, as he lent a little more diversity to the cast and represented the town as the only character who belonged there. But aside from seeing him at work in one episode, he didn't give much flavor to the place. And for some reason, he decided in the end that he belonged elsewhere doing more important things. I wonder why it took everyone else so long.


Because in the first season he was a senior who graduated at the end and joined the military. The rest were freshman who still had 3 more years of high school to go.

As for other characters, Pete didn't go anywhere in the plot or as a character. He added nothing to Clark, despite a few stories of their youth. They never had much chemistry, and his affair with Chloe was a joke.


I agree that they could have done more with Pete, esp. after he learned Clark's secret. But I think they learned from this, and it showed in how Chloe interacted with Clark after she learned his secret. (Which, in the end, I think worked out better, because Mack and Welling had better chemistry than Welling and the drug overlord.)

The town sheriffs were all annoying


I liked the original sheriff who ended up trying to kill Lionel. But I agree with you about his replacement.

the parents of everyone but Clark and Lex might as well have been ghosts


So are the parents of secondary teen characters in every other teen show. There's nothing wrong with this, considering that the main focus on the show isn't about these secondary characters and their lives. In fact, I think Smallville gave more attention to the parents of Pete and Chloe than other shows would have. Pete's dad is mentioned several times, his mother is shown once, Chloe's mother had an entire ep devoted to her, and her dad is mentioned and shown several times.

and the school seemed like less than one hallway. Nothing was ever fleshed out or filled in, and I can't think of any reason why not.


Write for a TV show and you'll find out. See my above points.

Maybe this entry seems trivial,


Just this one...? Smile

but when the town could have felt as real as Eureka or Twin Peaks or Cicely, Alaska, it seems to me to be a glaring waste of possibilities. If you're going to name your show after a town, make the town earn it.


The town earned it simply by already being a part of the Superman mythos that, until now, had not had that much literary exploration given to it. Smallville the TV show changed that.

What better metaphor for the unimportance of Smallville than the shift of location and the ease with which Clark left the place behind? Even then, no effort was made to show the contrast between the two places. No one ever reacted to it. It made the location of the show absolutely meaningless.


I don't think he left the place behind with ease. The fact that it took 3 seasons for him to completely make the move, and one of the themes o
 
Michael Corleone
What better metaphor for the unimportance of Smallville than the shift of location and the ease with which Clark left the place behind? Even then, no effort was made to show the contrast between the two places. No one ever reacted to it. It made the location of the show absolutely meaningless.


I don't think he left the place behind with ease. The fact that it took 3 seasons for him to completely make the move, and one of the themes of the finale is "Don't ever forget Smallville," shows this to be true. And as for the contrast between Metropolis and Smallville, I think the show did an obvious job in showing the differences between the two.

#2 - Lana Lang. The whole character was a missed chance. There's nothing wrong with the classic Lana Lang, and it probably would have done the show good to present a positive, wholesome character instead of the horrible stuck-up stereotype they went with.


You see, I don't think she was that stuck-up. Here's a teen girl who quits cheerleading because she doesn't like how the sports society of her school sweeps immoral stuff under the carpet, only to get herself a job, and when she's fired from said job, she just picks herself back up and tries again, eventually earning Lex Luthor's trust to become his partner, which she excels at. In the meantime, she continually gives her boyfriends second chances when they mess up (first Whitney, then Clark.) She also shows a lot of compassion for others that many teen girls don't, considering all the times she went out of her way to help others. All of this makes her character very exemplary.

But, that said, there were times when she was a bit hypocritical and self-centered and made mistakes with her relationship with Clark and Lex, but to me that just balances out the positive attributes shown above to make her character a bit more realistic.

Some might say the red hair didn't mean anything, but the overall appearance was a complete package. Lana is supposed to be the nice redheaded small town American girl next door.


That same mindset could be applied to the argument that Pete should have been white. However, since this country has a mix of different races and cultures that make up its citizenry, there is certainly nothing wrong with an oriental-looking girl playing the stereotypical red-head and a black guy playing the stereotypical blond-haired, blue-eyed best friend of youth.

She's the kind of person that would attract and inspire Clark Kent growing up. She's the kind of a girl - and this is important - that, while nice, contrasts Lois Lane in such a way as to make Lois even more appealing. That juxtaposition between the small town girl and the big city girl was completely ignored on this show, just like the comparison between Smallville and Metropolis.


Watch the early seasons, and look for the positive qualities I've listed above, and when you see them, you'll see that Lana did in fact positively inspire young Clark Kent in many ways. However, he also had a real crush on her that, like so many young, male, hot-blooded teen crushes, ignored the faults of the object of said crush. That was very realistically shown in the relationship between Clark and Lana.

And all of the mistakes both of them made in their relationship really DID show the audience (who were not blinded by the snark, that is Smile ) the real contrast between Lana and Lois, and why Lois was so much better for Clark than Lana, and how Clark had grown to be the type of man that Lois would want.

Instead, the only thing Clark liked about Lois was her boobs.


And your point is...?

Seriously, dude...you're really reaching here.

What else was there? She was kind of an idiot, annoying, and rude.


At first, but not nearly as much in later seasons. And if she completely got rid of all negative factors, she wouldn't have had anything in common with Lois Lanes of other canons and the fanboys would have screamed...

Lana, on the other hand, was absolutely perfect. She was a cheerleader who aspired for more than just popularity. She was the youngest business owner in America, probably in the world, in history.


And, as I pointed out above, these traits make her, while not perfect (because she had obvious flaws), certainly not the witch (pardon the pun) she is commonly complained of as being.

She knew martial arts, business, computers, art, and whatever else they needed any given week.


Actually, the show showed her LEARNING those things, which also is an exemplary thing. They showed Lex teaching her martial arts. They showed her going to Paris to study art, etc. They implied that she had courses in computers and business.

They cast her as a dark-haired exotic girl. Sure, she acted like a small town girl at first. But eventually she married Lex Luthor, thwarted him, bested him, spied on everybody, traveled the world


All original takes on the character made by a show whose very premise promised an ORIGINAL take on the youthful years of Clark Kent. Nothing wrong with that. (And how is that different from the comics making Lana Lang, Smallville small-town best friend girl of Clark, the wife of the VP of the US, and the CEO of LexCorp at one point?)

and became one of the most powerful heroes in the universe, powered by a substance which could kill Clark.


Again, very original. Nothing wrong with that. And personally, I think it was a shout-out from the writers acknowledging all the angst a lot of fans had about her character. I think they were saying, "There's a lot of Lana hate out there, so we'll make her character, when all is said and done, poison for Clark." It's genius and very humorous, when you think about it... Smile

She never had any role except to be unattainable, but desired by everyone. She was barely Clark's girlfriend a couple of times, and the relationship even then was paper-thin.


There's the contrast you were looking for between her and Lois...

She had no character arc, just a series of ridiculous transformations. In the end, they don't even mention what happens to her. And even though she could never be with Superman, it didn't seem very tragic on her part, unlike in some other versions of the story. On the whole, just crap, but being a worthless character altogether means there's still one spot left for a greater disappointment.


Couldn't disagree more, but to each their own...

Also, they didn't need to mention her at the end any more than they did ("Homecoming," "Prophecy," showing flashbacks of her in "Finale"Wink, because her story was done.


#1 - Clark Kent. This was predictable, but necessary. Clark just sucked on this show. He was a pleasant person, but that's not shockingly rare in real life, despite what the news media would have us believe.


So that makes him suck?

One of his biggest problems was having no defining characteristics whatsoever.


The show depicted the years of his life between ages 14 and 24. I deal with people in that age bracket quite a lot. Trust me, you'd be surprised at how many of them have no defining characteristics whatsoever, because they're still growing up, still finding out who and what they are. And that's what Clark was doing in Smallville, and I applaud the show for being realistic with his character in this way. The problem with a lot of people is that they wanted him to be exactly, or mostly, like Superman from the very beginning. But that's not realistic. He had to learn how to be like Superman, not just in powers but also in character...and in real life you don't learn stuff like that without making a lot of mistakes along the way and starting out being, in many cases, not that much like what you will eventually become. Smallville showed this character progression in Clark wonderfully.

He didn't collect rocks; that was just something Impulse mistook his secret Kryptonite for. He didn't like astronomy; his telescope was just an excuse to spy on Lana getting naked.


First of all, I doubt he was a peeping tom. Secondly, so what if he didn't have a hobby? Lots of teens are like that.

We know that on red K, he would gladly buy a big screen TV and an Xbox, and yet he showed no interest in these or any other distractions whenever he was "inhibited."


He was too busy saving people and hanging out with a billionaire at the time...

Sure, he played a little bit of basketball and football, but he never really showed any passion for sports beyond the adolescent glory associated with them.


And that makes him different from a lot of other teens in what way...? A lot of young people get into sports because they crave the glory. Way to go, Smallville, for being realistic in this way.

He certainly never convinced me that he cared at all about journalism.


He was part of the school newspaper, he started going to college with journalism in mind. Sure, he dropped out (and they should have had him going back to college at a later time, that wasn't realistic), but after spending a period of time not knowing what he wanted to do career-wise (something a lot of people his age at the time wonder about as well), he then decides to give what he had shown interest in during earlier seasons another try. What's wrong with that?

Hell, he never even convinced me of his interest in Lois.


From Season 8 on, his interest kept growing and growing. If you didn't see it, perhaps you were too busy with the snark... Smile

Even with Lana, his attraction was animal at best. Sure, Lana was perfect in every way, but the desire was superficial.


Again, here's the contrast between the two L's that you were looking for. And what teen boy DOESN'T have an "animal at best" attraction for girls? Please....

At least with Alicia the teleporter, Clark felt a connection because she had to live with keeping her powers secret. With Lois, the romance had even less basis. If Clark had ever stated that he liked Lois Lane's brash nature or the way she'd take whatever she wanted no matter who had to die, then that would be one thing. But the simple fact is that he never once said what he liked about her until she read his wedding vows.


First off, kudos for pointing out this about Alicia. I agree.

Secondly, there were several times in seasons 9 and 10 that he did exactly what you've said above that he didn't do: state attributes about Lois that he liked. (He even did so back in Season 4 when they first met, which is what prompted Lana to predict that they would eventually end up together.)

As for Clark's development as a character, the show never explored much more than basic teenage angst. They could have gone much further with the many emotions that made Clark tick. He really just stayed the same since day one, only trading in his teenage awkwardness for mid-twenties brooding.


First of all, that's exactly how a lot of 14-24 year olds are. Secondly, they actually DID explore a lot of the emotions that made Clark tick. When his dad died, when he was furious with Lex, and when he was sorrowful over Lana come to mind. So he didn't "stay the same." Shoot, watch the first 2 episodes of Season 1 and the last 2 episodes of Season 2 and you'll see a lot of differences.

He always saved people. He always struggled with responsibility. But his conflicts were mainly internal, and uninteresting at that.


Where am I from? How do I handle these powers? Should I use them, or have only a normal life? Should I save everyone? Why did I make that mistake? Yes, all of these internal questions that Clark dealt with over the 10 years were VERY uninteresting... Smile

He went to school and showed no interest in it except for football, and only because he wasn't allowed to play.


Too busy saving people... Smile

He attended college and dropped out. He suddenly went to work at the Daily Planet, but showed no aptitude or even much outward intent to exploit the job for the purposes of stopping crime.


I will agree with you that they should have done more with the college story. But other than that, him joining the Daily Planet for the purpose of stopping crime is no different from the Superman of yore...

In fact, he never showed much interest in crimefighting either.


Um, he stopped a crime in almost every episode of 10 seasons....

He always talked about destiny, but never did anything about it until the entire world was in immediate (but vague) danger.


Yeah, all those eps that had him trying to figure out his purpose, how best to accomplish it, etc. Yeah, they weren't about destiny at all... Smile


Even when Darkseid was at large, Clark was more concerned with getting married to a girl he had barely dated.


He didn't know Darkseid was "at large" until in the middle of the wedding. And he dated the girl from the latter part of Season 8 to Season 10.

In the end, I didn't take much away from his character. He was hunky, he brooded, he saved people (usually the same ones over and over again), and eventually turned into a cartoon, flew away, and turned into even more of a cartoon before settling down on a comic book page where he could happily remain unmoving and uncaring for seven years.


In other words, Smallville showed a super-powered teen/young man who had to deal with the same issues and concerns and questions many real-life young men deal with, before finally figuring out how to be a super-hero named Superman...whom we know about because we read the comic and saw the cartoon... Smile What's your problem, again...?

There may have been slightly more insight into Clark Kent here than in other filmed versions, but stretched across ten years it didn't end up being any more effective than the few lines we got in the movies. It's ironic that the movie version of Clark spent twelve years doing no more than listening to books on tape, and yet this version wasted more time in ten years than all other versions combined. That doesn't feel very super to me.


I feel the exact opposite. I think Smallville showed us a more relatable, more realistic, more "human" Clark Kent than the Donner films or Lois and Clark ever did. But that's just me...


Well, it's been fun. I might comment on your honorable mentions later.

Just to make it clear, I'm not ripping on you or attacking you, and if I came across that way I apologize. I'm just disagreeing, and trying to do so in a logical yet humorous way. No harm, no foul. Smile
 
Lex Vader
the League DID have something to do with Clark's journey

I specifically mentioned this so nobody would say, "But the League wasn't important to Superman's origin, so it doesn't matter if they weren't on the show more!" This article is about wasted opportunities, and when the Justice League snowballed out of a few cameos and cheeky references, they COULD have done more with them instead of keeping them offscreen most of the time. For the record, Smallville did NOT make the League important in Clark's origin. Just because they showed up a few times doesn't make it canon that they influenced Superman. They really didn't. I'm not here to debate how Smallville is different to other incarnations, just how it works or doesn't work. And yes, I know it's TV and they can't do everything. But you don't introduce a concept if you can't follow it through.

the finale (rightfully so) focused on Clark and his reaction because the story was ultimately about him

That was a copout excuse the producers used because they didn't know how to tie up all the loose ends. For SIX YEARS, the show was about cameos and comic book references. Now all of a sudden, it's about Clark and no one else? Pull the other one.

I'm sure some of the fanboys would have been saying, "Nooo!!! This is a show about SUPERMAN, not the JLA!!!"

I am LITERALLY the only person who complained about Absolute Justice having little to do with Clark. Everybody else loved that kind of crap, because it looked like a superhero show for once. And the finale only looked like one for about five minutes.

they actually did state at least twice that the JLA was out patrolling

The only reference was when Clark said, "Lois, there's a whole team of heroes out there protecting the world. So, we can get married." And that was to excuse how Clark can avoid being a hero for a few hours more than it was to excuse why the other heroes weren't there. I mean, saving cats from trees doesn't make them too busy to help stop the end of the world, so it's a one-note explanation. Besides that, it might have been nice to let THE POLICE handle their JOBS for one day. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

The League could have been used in place of the wedding, which was pure pointless fanservice that didn't lead to anything and had no business wasting screen time. THEY DIDN'T GET MARRIED. And not only that, but NEITHER OF THEM SHOWED CONCERN ABOUT IT LATER. It might as well have not happened. So... throw in something for the League instead. That deals with characters instead of filler story. Characters are more important than a fakeout wedding.

That made [Jor-El] both original and also a bringer of conflict to the story, which I would think you would be happy with.

He wasn't original. He was the same as the movie version, but more bossy. The conflict he brought was arbitrary, and once Clark found out how to avoid it, he went back to his normal routines. Everything Jor-El confronted Clark with was ignored after the episode ended.

So, in the end, we see that Jor-El was testing Clark

Well, I'm just so glad that Jor-El murdered Clark's baby brother to teach him a "lesson." What a great guy. Truly, Clark couldn't become Superman without an infanticide in his past.

[the show] has the right to re-define what "acting like a Kryptonian" means

They contradicted Clark's cold behavior in later seasons, just as they contradicted the way Jor-El always acted.

As for flying, I'm not comparing it to how he discovered or developed his other powers. They made it clear he COULD fly, but for some reason, wasn't. So there needed to be one specific requirement for HOW TO FLY. They changed their answers every time it was brought up, contradicted themselves, and in the end it had nothing to do with love or accepting his Kryptonian side. So each episode that made an EXCUSE for why he COULDN'T fly was untrue and pointless. They contradicted themselves and this is a fact, not my opinion.

I respect that with you going along with already established canon from other stories is important

It's not, and I'm getting tired of you assuming I wanted the show to be unoriginal. I never said that, and none of the reasons why this show didn't work are dependant on any other Superman story.

of COURSE it "made him mopey,"

You need to pay attention to the structure of my sentences. The emphasis was on "just" and "every so often," not on his reaction to DEATH. Seeing someone mope on television IS NOT INTERESTING.

The lesson that every decision has consequences

That's stupid for two reasons: one, that no one could predict a magical, mystical status quo of the universe by way of saving someone through time travel no matter HOW hard they through things through, and two, they said multiple times that it was not Clark's fault and he was not responsible for what happened in any way, shape or form. You CANNOT learn a lesson from that. I DON'T have a problem with Clark blaming himself. I DO have a problem with the show being WORSE after Jonathan died, instead of being any better. In the end, Clark still acted like an idiot for several years and still needed a father figure, which the show deprived him of.

In reference to Homecoming, I've explained already why that episode was terrible, and also how what happened in that episode was IMPOSSIBLE, even based on their own internal logic. And that was mostly because the writers ripped off a Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life without THINKING about how it would work.

For Martha, the emphasis was on the fact that Jonathan's death only resulted in dramatic material for, let's say, about four scenes in the rest of the show where we saw Martha dealing with it. Hell, I'll just be generous and say half a dozen scenes, since I have neither the time nor inclination to go count them. This is compared to how many dramatic scenes we could have had between Jonathan, Martha and Clark in the rest of the series if he hadn't died. So it was not worth it. Yes, this is mainly the fault of constant series renewal, but I don't care. The Kents were wasted in the latter half of the show, and their presence was crucial to the first three seasons at least. Losing that outside perspective on Clark's journey made it less impactful on the audience.

this shows that Martha Kent's new career as a Senator isn't so far-fetched

No, her BEING a senator with a few references to her reading library books IS far-fetched, ESPECIALLY if it's only happened once in real life. The point is, it had nothing to do with her as a character and added nothing to the show. Even Jonathan's state senate campaign was VERY forced.

That's not exactly staying only in Smallville only occasionally changing his clothes or his job.

He slept in Smallville. He lived there. He "stayed" there. I wasn't implying that he literally never moved out of his easy chair. I was pointing out that his parents' absense did not prompt him to move to Metropolis or go train in an ice fort for twelve years. It didn't serve the plot or directly influence it. It just happened and then was mostly ignored.

who among us hasn't misunderstood a mother's intentions before?

Who among us hasn't taken a really long crap? Does that mean they need to show Clark doing it? They intentionally made Clark a confused moron incapable of calling someone on the telephone and asking them a pertinent question just so he would buy an apartment in Metropolis. Don't tell me I shouldn't be pointing that out just because there are lots of stupid people in the world.

Lois 7 years in the future told him to go back to the farm

You can't call a plothole they forgot about a "resolution." That's not how resolutions work. They needed an implication that he decides to keep the farm, but instead had him decide it offscreen after he realized that his "S" stands for "Smallville." That made his mother's cameo anti-climactic, especially if the resolution to the problem was already established months earlier.

It was already established that she was a senator and a powerful behind-the-scenes kind of character as the Red Queen.

That is the definition of a "weird, awkward state." It doesn't fit Martha Kent's character as written in this show for the first few years, any version of Martha Kent, or any sane person's interpretation of Martha Kent. It. Doesn't. Work. Leaving her standing next to a ghost with no implication of where her life will head is a copout, especially when they explained it for other characters. WHO THE HELL CARES IF OLIVER HAS A SON?

As for your sarcasm about ghosts... I don't have a polite response to that. Everything you mentioned FIT the TONE of the medium it was in, and was well written and well established. This show didn't even pre-establish that ghosts exist, let alone that they can pick things up. It doesn't fit the tone of Smallville to have a ghost suddenly show up, ESPECIALLY when they implied the previous version was just in Clark's head. The irony is that this inclusion was a ripoff of Spider-Man 2, which was written by Smallville's creators. A coincidence, I'm sure, since I doubt the creative team of Smallville knows how to read.

you really have to be reaching to come to this conclusion, my friend.

Really? It's such a "reach" to say that Clark Kent's parents should always be important in a show about Clark Kent growing up, or that they should always be important in Superman's life? Read a book.

"Blank" set the precedent of what happens when one loses all their memories

No, that was superpower-induced amnesia, which is not even subject to science or common sense because it is by nature magical and unexplainable. It's not the same as LITERALLY having all of your memories erased, including potty training. And if you lose ALL of your memories, including early childhood, that's what would happen. They did not imply otherwise.

The clone showed Lex's progress at the time in his work on cloning

Which was completely contradicted in his cloning of himself, which for no reason wouldn't work without some of Clark's DNA, unless he was sewn together from multiple body parts. Don't tell me that Lex's progress with cloning was in any way important enough to have a whole new character introduced in a season. And don't try to tell me they planned to have the original creators kill Lex, thus forcing the new producers to bring him back. Maybe the creators told them how they could bring Lex back, but we don't know that.

the overall story of [Tess'] life was well shown on the show, and certainly is no less believable than [Batman]

It was not shown, it was told, poorly, and stretched over three years, during which they made up various facts about her that weren't planned. That's not "well shown." It's "poorly told." And yes, it is less believable than Batman. Batman is a simple character. He fights crime to avenge the murder of his parents. How he does it is not important to the description.

I'm not even going to TOUCH you comparing John F. Kennedy to Lex Luthor. I'll let the wolves have you. You could have said Nixon gave somebody a stick of gum once. I never even said anything about Lex never being good. I was addressing his flip-flopping every time he was supposed to have gone "finally" evil. For further reading, see all of Neal's reviews from that time.

In reference to Lois, I was talking about the character from the comics. Creating physical conflict by being kidnapped is not dramatic conflict. There is no conflict. You have to save someone, you save them. It's as simplistic as it gets. The drama that they eventually used Lois for in Smallville was not planned and not a part of the comic book character. That is relevant only because it's the character they BASED their character on, and why they chose to use her.

I don't give two turds about how, YEARS LATER, they threw in a couple of false moments where Lana or Lois were jealous of one another. I'm talking about their REASONS for putting Lois into the show, none of which included creating a love triangle, and thus her character had no purpose except just to be there. If you don't understand my points or the fact that things are written gradually with various intentions and not just produced instantaneously with a magical device, then I don't know why I'm responding to you.

Yeah, the Lois Lane of the comics, Donner movies, and Lois and Clark was NEVER like that...

Oh, you're not allowed to mention other versions of the character. Smallville is supposed to be "different."

I hope people who accuse me of nitpicking have read your post, because you've perfectly defined it. Picking out one scene in the entire show to refute my claim of something lacking in a character. Yes, that one scene completely justifies never convincing the audience of Lois Lane's writing abilities, her only major attribute apart from constantly getting knocked unconscious.

I'll reply to the rest of your nitpicking later, maybe. I have better things to do. But let me just say that I could have mentioned all the things you've pointed out and still had the OPINION that the various aspects of the show didn't work in the long run, but if I did, it would have crashed the internet. I mentioned all those things BECAUSE I thought about them. I didn't want to write an article about each and every scene on the show where something happened that was intended as drama, and thus, worked as drama, because not only would that be too long, it would be a lie. My post was about how, by and large, pretty much all the characters failed to live up to the importance that several dozen scenes about them promised. I am well aware those scenes exist, but it doesn't mean that most of the show wasn't just Clark feeling sorry for himself and spending entire hours waiting for someone to be saved. Because it was. And even then, those hour-long stories weren't good enough to sustain a show for ten years. (Yes, I am aware the show lasted ten years.)
 
Supereyes
Long...long...posts. Can't say I read all of it. I don't quite agree with you Vader.

I agree with #10 the most. The Justice Leaguers were wasted exp. in "Collateral," the JL in a virtual world where they can't use their powers? Black Canary fighting Chloe in a virtual world. But then, BC and GA get out of the virtual world, but Clark still stays there. There was always some excuse to prevent Clark from using his gifts, this was the writers and producer's fault.

In season 9 however, it seemed they increased Clark using his powers, but then he just stopped using it in season 10. He used x-ray vision three times in two episodes. He used heat vision twice, but in season 9 though, he used heat vision 12 times. Super hearing does not count for me.

Clark decided to read To Kill A Mockingbird for himself just because Lex suggested it. But I don't agree that Chloe was always the one to help Clark track down everything. I think people say this just because they love Chloe. I don't like Chloe. She should have been on your list.

She wasted time in season 5. Just about every minute she was on the show, we could have been seeing something else.

But the writers lacked college, Clark didn't go to college at all, just for a semester. Neither did the other characters finish college.

I didn't care for Julian Sands either but the thing that I was more mad about the most was that Jor-El actually threatened to kill Jonathan in the season 3 finale, and since then they've wanted to slowly build up to Jor-El turning out to be a good guy, just misunderstood, but that just wasn't acceptable. And...he wanted to take his son's life and make him reborn. He thought he was superior to humans. It didn't make sense how, in "Lazarus," Jor-El was mad at his son for almost taking a man's life, when Jor-El, more than just persuaded it, tried to kill Jonathan. If I'm not mistaken, earlier didn't Jor-El want Clark to conquer Earth...or was that just what the ship said?
[img]http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t309/Supereyes/clois.jpg[/img] is not a valid Image.

~I look upon my powers as a gift...Not mine alone, but for anyone who needs them~
Superman: Peace on Earth

Click Here to see my Super Fan Art!:
http://groups.msn...lery2.msnw
 
Lex Vader
I didn't include Chloe because if this was about the show's mistakes, I'd have to list Doomsday and Darkseid and Mxy and nearly everything and it would never end. So I made it about WASTED opportunities. And I never really saw any potential for Chloe as a character, which is why she went through the same random transformations as Lana and Tess once they ran out of ideas for her. As a substitute for Lois Lane, her character really was redundant, because Clark Kent is ALSO a reporter. Which means Clark is capable of everything that Lois is capable of, and by proxy everything that Chloe is capable of. There's no reason we couldn't have seen Clark working for the school paper instead, in a much more direct fashion, and investigating more himself. That would have been a NEW aspect to the character - a genuine interest in journalism instead of merely using it as a cover. Basically though, Chloe was a ripoff of one aspect of Willow's character from the first few seasons of Buffy, that she could hack computers. The only time it went beyond that was whenever Chloe would get nosey. The crush on Clark didn't really work very well, because we were never given any reason to care about Chloe's desires. She smiled a lot, but that's not endearing enough to make the audience really care. And even that was a ripoff of Willow's crush on Xander. I know they couldn't think of a way to have exposition if it was just Clark and Pete, and it would have been a thinner cast. But nobody forced them to make the show and add a character who only spouted exposition. Better writers could have come up with a better idea, and a character with more nuances.

So yes, technically, Chloe COULD have been a more interesting character, but I personally can't imagine what that would be based on how she was written. Since there's no precedent for her character, and since she didn't have the dynamic with Clark that Lois Lane always has in Superman stories, there's no comparison for me to make for how she could be better written, except to compare her to Willow. And the answer there is just to make her quirky, likeable, and interesting. Which they tried... but after she did/didn't join Lionel in the Dark Side, her character kind of fell flat and became cardboard. And she was already pretty one-note to begin with. Yes, she went through lots of different arcs, but honestly her ending up with Oliver just because they couldn't ship him with Lois anymore was kind of stupid, especially when the guy could have any woman in the world. It's like if Bruce Wayne actually married Rachel Dawes. There's a reason she blew up. Chloe should have as well. I mean, I'm surprised they didn't rip that off. I guess they just didn't have the guts.

Good points about Jor-El, and I don't really recall them ever actually excusing it as him being a glitchy computer, so that doesn't fly. The problem was we never even knew why they wrote him to seem so evil except to just force Clark to disobey him. If he had been fatherly and nice, Clark would have done whatever he said. It just didn't work to have the character be on the show when all they could do with him was completely avoid him because it was never time for Clark to train. The fact that Clark's very life was his "trials" means he never needed Jor-El, because guess what... he would have had a life anyway! Everyone's life growing up is their trials! It's OBVIOUS! And if all Clark's abilities developed naturally and his mom made his suit... just what was the point of the Fortress and Jor-El at all?
 
Supereyes
Yeah, and basically it was just a month and a half of training at the FOS, that was it. The FOS was no use. It was used for a good location for a few good scenes like the Kandorians and Clark confrontation scene at the end of "Sacrifice," and Clark and Brainiac's showdown in "Solitude."

But what does it matter that Lois is also a reporter? I mean, yeah she's also a reporter, but I NEVER saw her character as redundant nor anything like Chloe. I never saw Chloe as a character from the beginning. Every time Chloe was on, I was like what's she doing there? Get out. She was desperate for Clark's friendship, and to be his girlfriend, she lied, she spied on Clark's emails, she investigated him for Lionel...this is why I didn't like her. Now I know that Clark and Chloe were supposed to be friends but...they had no chemistry together.

People seem to blame Tom Welling for his character acting boring and depressed, and for this reason, that means Tom Welling is not a good actor. I disagree. Clark isn't cheery when he's with Lois. According to the writing, he loves Lois, but I didn't buy into the whole romance. He never could develop a new sense of humor.

Now I have to say I loved Jor-El as a character, his voice was awesome, and every line he gave was interesting...but they never resolved why he threatened to kill Jonathan in season 3. This was evil.

Jor-El always said Clark was wasting his time with hummanity but said in the finale that the time he spent saving humans, were his trials? His other trials included disobeying Jor-El. This made no sense because Jor-El said that humans made him weak.

Kal-El could have been evil for all we know, or these writers...Al Gough and Miles Millar originally planned for Jor-El and Krypton to be evil.

Jor-El trained the new, reborn Kal-El to reject any other human (Martha), because his destiny was too important, so that meant he could push people out of the way, hurt them, and not worry if someone would die.

There's a scene of Kal-El confronting Clark, "These humans have made you weak."

That's just wrong.

I'm not sure I thought that Jor-El at one point wanted Clark to rebuild Krypton on Earth.

Maybe originally the writers did want Jor-El to be evil because according to "Exile," Jor-El said to Jonathan that Clark putting on the red kryptonite was his first test to see if he was ready.

It may have been that the red kryptonite was just to make Clark leave all the people important to him in Smallville, or that red kryptonite was part of it, robbing banks in Metropolis?

But they made it almost clear that Jor-El wanted his son to become an evil king of the world. The way they addressed the Kryptonian symbol for "S" at that time represented evil...not to mention that scar Jor-El burned on Clark's chest. That was harmful.
[img]http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t309/Supereyes/clois.jpg[/img] is not a valid Image.

~I look upon my powers as a gift...Not mine alone, but for anyone who needs them~
Superman: Peace on Earth

Click Here to see my Super Fan Art!:
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krypto-mac
I'm that tired of this show that i'm not going to bother debating all the finer points, wasted opp's, and redundancies. I am just bitterly disappointed with the way it ended, and when i do get around to writing a review, it's not going to be a positive reading experience, i can tell you that.
To err is human, to moo is bovine.
 
Steve Wright
I'm that tired of this show that i'm not going to bother debating all the finer points, wasted opp's, and redundancies. I am just bitterly disappointed with the way it ended, and when i do get around to writing a review, it's not going to be a positive reading experience, i can tell you that.


Which is a shame because you used to be much more fair and not as nitpicky as Lex. Ah well...
 
superking
1.Clark flying...i was really hoping that we would see him learning/ developing his flying ..after all this show was about his journey toward that end so a bit dissapionting really.

2. supergirl...I wasnt really a fan it took away some focus on clark and thats not what i wanted and you could say the same about green arrow..sometimes the drama and story lines about there characters could have been better served on clarks development.

3. lana/lex..When they started going down that road lanas character had started becoming annoying and this whole period of the show for me really tested my resolve ...

4. the wedding..since there wasn;t a wedding it doesnt count i guess but the fact they tried to was a bit rushed..ive really enjoyed the romance of lois/clark in fact it kinda saved the romantic aspect of the show after the clark/lana nightmare...they nearly even butchered that in seas 8 when superlana showed up, the journey of blond eyecandy to dark haired ball buster was pretty amusing .

im sure i can think of other thing but those really stand out.
 
Michael Corleone
Sorry it took me so long to reply. Since I wrote the above, my mom had a heart attack (she's fine now, thank God), I had a birthday (35! Yeah!), and I ended up having to work about 7 straight days of 12-16 hours a day...so I only had time now and then for a quick fly-by on this website. But now I'm back, ready to defend the virginal honor of Smallville from the conniving machinations of Lex Vader's snark-ridden reviews. Smile


This article is about wasted opportunities, and when the Justice League snowballed out of a few cameos and cheeky references, they COULD have done more with them instead of keeping them offscreen most of the time.


And if the show was about JLA, or about the JLA AND Clark, I would agree with you. But it wasn't. The show was about Clark Kent. And in writing about Clark Kent, they came up with the really neat idea of having him interact with the JLA...FROM TIME TO TIME...in his early years before becoming Superman. And so, by keeping the spotlight away from them a lot of the time, the show was staying true to its original premise.

For the record, Smallville did NOT make the League important in Clark's origin. Just because they showed up a few times doesn't make it canon that they influenced Superman. They really didn't.


Let's see...Kid Flash shows up and, after Clark helps him see the error of his criminal ways, offers to pal around with Clark doing good deeds and such all over the world. Aquaman shows up, and after being showed the error of his misguided ways by Clark, informs Clark that he's going off to protect the oceans (a huge portion of the planet) from villiany. Green Arrow shows up, and shows Clark how vigilanteism is done in the big city. Green Arrow, Cyborg, Kid Flash, and Aquaman show up, and they all try to get Clark to join their team. And then a season or so later they try again, and this time Clark considers it. And by the end of that season he and they are working together at least part-time. And then in Seasons 9-10 he and they are working together even more...

...Yeah, I really can't see how they inspired him to do anything Superman-like at all... Smile

I'm not here to debate how Smallville is different to other incarnations, just how it works or doesn't work. And yes, I know it's TV and they can't do everything. But you don't introduce a concept if you can't follow it through.


First of all, they followed through on it just fine. If they had introduced the JLA in "Justice," had implied that we would see them again (which they did)...and then we never saw them again...THEN they wouldn't have followed through on it. But the fact that they had the JLA, either completely or several members thereof, in at least 10 episodes after "Justice," as well as being mentioned many times in even more episodes, shows (to the rational, non-snarky critic) that they followed through on it in a very satisfactory way.

Secondly, if you ADMIT that TV can't do everything, then how can you criticize them for (supposedly) not following through? Have you ever written and/or produced a TV show, started a concept, only to then have circumstances change that are out of your control that limit you from "following through" on that concept you've started? If you have a favorite TV show that in your eyes is far better than Smallville, I GUARANTEE you that your favorite TV show, behind the scenes, found itself in the same situations as Smallville and had to improvise. (And I also guarantee that your favorite TV show did so to the best of its ability, but that some of the viewers made the same statements about it that you're making about Smallville.) Smile

the finale (rightfully so) focused on Clark and his reaction because the story was ultimately about him

That was a copout excuse the producers used because they didn't know how to tie up all the loose ends. For SIX YEARS, the show was about cameos and comic book references. Now all of a sudden, it's about Clark and no one else?


Um, don't you think cameos and comic book references are fine for a show THAT IS ABOUT A POPULAR COMIC BOOK CHARACTER?? Smile And no, the show wasn't "suddenly" all about Clark in the finale? He has always been the main character, which is why the JLA weren't in every episode.

Pull the other one.


Um, not sure what you mean here...and I really don't want to find out... Smile

I am LITERALLY the only person who complained about Absolute Justice having little to do with Clark. Everybody else loved that kind of crap, because it looked like a superhero show for once.


Wait a second. So you're saying that Smallville under-used the JLA...even though in your eyes they made a TWO-HOUR TV MOVIE that focused on the JLA rather than on Clark?? And on top of that, had numerous other episodes in which characters from the JLA made an appearance?? Does anyone else see the big paradox here? Smile


they actually did state at least twice that the JLA was out patrolling

The only reference was when Clark said, "Lois, there's a whole team of heroes out there protecting the world. So, we can get married." And that was to excuse how Clark can avoid being a hero for a few hours more than it was to excuse why the other heroes weren't there.


Actually, there was at least one other reference made besides that one. And even if there weren't, before the wedding Clark did not know that Apokolips was at hand, so it was perfectly legitimate for him to prioritize HIS WEDDING DAY over what, as far as he knew at the time, would be an ordinary day. Again, the Superman in the comics had the other DC heroes at bat for him while he not only got married to Lois but went on the honeymoon.

I mean, saving cats from trees doesn't make them too busy to help stop the end of the world, so it's a one-note explanation. Besides that, it might have been nice to let THE POLICE handle their JOBS for one day. Give them the benefit of the doubt.


So let me get this straight. You're upset because the League wasn't shown being superheroes. You're also upset at Clark for putting the superhero job on them so he can get married. But...you also want both Clark AND the JLA to step back to let the police handle any crisis that would come up...even though if they had done that it would have meant that you would have not seen neither Clark NOR the JLA doing anything super-powered onscreen in the finale...I think I'm getting a headache...

The League could have been used in place of the wedding, which was pure pointless fanservice that didn't lead to anything and had no business wasting screen time. THEY DIDN'T GET MARRIED. And not only that, but NEITHER OF THEM SHOWED CONCERN ABOUT IT LATER. It might as well have not happened. So... throw in something for the League instead.


Um, the reason they didn't get married was because the wedding was interrupted by a super-villain who tried first to take away Clark's powers permanently and then tried to use HIS PLANET THAT LOOKS LIKE HELL to destroy OUR planet. With that in mind, I can understand why the wedding wasn't completed and why the participants of said wedding had other things on their minds for the rest of the episode.

And yeah, that wedding? Pure, pointless fanservice, I agree. No TV writer in his right mind, and certainly no comic book TV show/movie writer, would ever want to cater to the fans in any way, shape, or form...

That deals with characters instead of filler story. Characters are more important than a fakeout wedding.


What's one person's "filler story" is another person's climax of character development. Some would say that Lois and Clark deciding to get married is very much all about the characters and their development instead of "filler story."

That made [Jor-El] both original and also a bringer of conflict to the story, which I would think you would be happy with.

He wasn't original. He was the same as the movie version, but more bossy.


I guess the scenes where Marlon Brando burned an S-crest into Christopher Reeve's chest before taking away his powers were left on Richard Donner's cutting room floor. Yeah, Smallville Jor-El is VERY MUCH like Donner Jor-El...you're absolutely right...

The conflict he brought was arbitrary, and once Clark found out how to avoid it, he went back to his normal routines. Everything Jor-El confronted Clark with was ignored after the episode ended.


Yep, you're right. When we first meet Jor-El, the conflict he brought into Clark's life only caused him to run away for 3 months. Later, he takes away Clark's powers for another few months, only to then prophesy that the life of someone close to Clark will be exchanged for the return of his powers and the return of Clark from the dead. All of that is tyrannical (the definition of arbitrary), and yet you call it arbitrary while also disagreeing with me about how Jor-El brought conflict into Clark's life and also stating that it had no real impact on Clark's life. Really? Smile

So, in the end, we see that Jor-El was testing Clark

Well, I'm just so glad that Jor-El murdered Clark's baby brother to teach him a "lesson." What a great guy. Truly, Clark couldn't become Superman without an infanticide in his past.


Um, I believe it was Clark who decided to blow up the ship in his teenage/rebellious efforts to defy Jor-El, and it was the destruction of said ship that caused the truck with Mrs. Kent to flip over and thus cause the miscarriage. So yes, Jor-El WAS testing Clark, but it was Clark, not Jor-El, who came up with the idea that led to the series of events that caused the miscarriage. And in this way Clark not only failed Jor-El's test, but also began to learn the Supermanly lesson that rash decisions bring about negative consequences, a lesson he, being a teen, would need to learn a few more times before it would finally sink in...


As for flying, I'm not comparing it to how he discovered or developed his other powers. They made it clear he COULD fly, but for some reason, wasn't. So there needed to be one specific requirement for HOW TO FLY. They changed their answers every time it was brought up, contradicted themselves, and in the end it had nothing to do with love or accepting his Kryptonian side. So each episode that made an EXCUSE for why he COULDN'T fly was untrue and pointless. They contradicted themselves and this is a fact, not my opinion.


He had the power to fly but not the wherewithal or knowledge to know how to use it and/or control it consciously. This makes flying no different from his other abilities. Heat vision, super-hearing, X-ray vision, and super-breath all started out as accidents, in which Clark did not consciously cause them to happen and as a result had to learn to control them. He had to do the same with flying, it just took him longer. So it doesn't make it a contradiction at all. (And that's a fact.) Smile

I respect that with you going along with already established canon from other stories is important

It's not, and I'm getting tired of you assuming I wanted the show to be unoriginal. I never said that


Um, I never said you wanted it to be completely unoriginal (and I'm getting tired of you assuming that I...just kidding...) Smile What I said was that adherance to previously established continuity seemed to be important to you, based on things you've said not only in this discussion but in other discussions on this site.


of COURSE it "made him mopey,"

You need to pay attention to the structure of my sentences. The emphasis was on "just" and "every so often," not on his reaction to DEATH. Seeing someone mope on television IS NOT INTERESTING.


First, I understood what you meant. (I'm getting tired of you assuming that I don't pay attention to the structure of your sentences...) Smile

Secondly, I think that Clark moping IS in fact interesting to watch, because it's realistic. It's a realistic response to a loved one passing away before his time, and when you think it's your fault. It's realistic to be stressed and a little depressed when you have all of these powers, you want to help people, and yet many times you either try and fail, try and make things worse through inexperience and immaturity, and/or realize that you can't save everyone and you can't accept that fact yet. This all was a part of Clark's journey to adulthood and maturity, and so yes, I did find it interesting.

The lesson that every decision has consequences

That's stupid for two reasons:

Why Lex, that hurts my feelings...How very un-Supermanly of you to say that what I honestly and sincerely believe is "stupid," for not one but TWO reasons, at that!! (I hope the moderators are reading this...) Smile

One, that no one could predict a magical, mystical status quo of the universe by way of saving someone through time travel no matter HOW hard they through things through,


Um, this is a sci-fi, comic-book, fictional world. Such things as time travel are par the course, as real in that world as driving a car is in the real world. But, interestingly, no one in the sci-fi, comic book, fictional world is born into it KNOWING that such things as time travel are par the course. Therefore, when someone in this comic book, sci-fi, fictional world make a bad decision that just so happens to result in or involve the commonplace element of time travel and brings about a negative consequence, they will learn that every decision has consequences, just as not looking both ways before crossing the street in the real world results in getting hit by a car and teachings us the exact same thing: that decisions have consequences. Smile

and two, they said multiple times that it was not Clark's fault and he was not responsible for what happened in any way, shape or form. You CANNOT learn a lesson from that.


Which makes it even more interesting and realistic, because all of us in real life have made dumb decisions that we should learn from, only to have well meaning friends tell us very sincerely that it wasn't our fault (when in fact it was.) Season 5 made it so that it WAS Clark's fault, while Season 10 had Brainiac telling him it wasn't. Very real to life, because all of us have experienced something similar.

Not only that, but all of us have realized that a decision we made really messed up our lives or someone else's life, and we spend YEARS in a guilt-trip on it, and what helps us out of it is a friend basically either outright lying to us and telling us that it wasn't our fault, or (as Brainiac did) directing our focus to the decisions of other individuals involved in what happened to get us to stop blaming ONLY ourselves, because said friend realizes that it's counter-productive for us to continue to (justifiably) blame ourselves. That's what happened in "Homecoming."

I DON'T have a problem with Clark blaming himself. I DO have a problem with the show being WORSE after Jonathan died, instead of being any better. In the end, Clark still acted like an idiot for several years and still needed a father figure, which the show deprived him of.


Which actually happens in real life when immature 18-year-olds lose their fathers to heart attacks and then spend several years without a father figure continuing to be immature and idiotic in various ways due to, in spite of their dad's death, not suddenly and magically learning and maturing in everything they still had to learn and mature in. Thus, because of its realism in this area, the show didn't get worse for me after Jonathan died, but in some ways got better.

In reference to Homecoming, I've explained already why that episode was terrible, and also how what happened in that episode was IMPOSSIBLE, even based on their own internal logic. And that was mostly because the writers ripped off a Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life without THINKING about how it would work.


Since time travel is impossible to begin with (and, now that you mention it, so is a beefy alien coming to earth looking like a human whose cells absorb solar energy to give him the ability to defy the laws of physics by defying gravity, shooting fire from his eyes whenever he's horny, hearing a bug land on a blade of grass a mile away, and run at Mach 2), then your criticism that what happened in "Homecoming" (and the entire show) is impossible is irrelevant when critiquing A FICTIONAL, SCI-FI SHOW. Just sayin'... Smile


For Martha, the emphasis was on the fact that Jonathan's death only resulted in dramatic material for, let's say, about four scenes in the rest of the show where we saw Martha dealing with it. Hell, I'll just be generous and say half a dozen scenes, since I have neither the time nor inclination to go count them. This is compared to how many dramatic scenes we could have had between Jonathan, Martha and Clark in the rest of the series if he hadn't died. So it was not worth it.


Are you willing to guarantee me that if they had devoted, say, at least twice the amount of time to showing Martha's bereavement than the amount of time that you say they did, that you would have not complained that the show was getting too mopey, that watching people grieve is not interesting? And yes, I know that wasn't your point, but I had to ask anyway.

So, even more relevantly, are you willing to guarantee me that if Jonathan had not died and they had continued with the status quo of having teen Clark be involved in zany adventures under the watchful, protective, platitude-spouting eyes of his parents, that you would have not complained that the show was running out of ideas and needed to either quit or re-invent itself in some way?

Yes, this is mainly the fault of constant series renewal, but I don't care.


So, let me get this straight. You acknowledge the reality of what had to have taken place behind the scenes, but you "don't care," i.e., it has no impact whatsoever on your critique of the show? To me, that's like my wife getting ready to take me out on the best date ever, only to at the least minute come down with the flu, and my reaction is, "So what? I don't care. You didn't give me what I want, and so what if it's for reasons out of your control? I still didn't get what I wanted, and that's all that matters!" Smile

The Kents were wasted in the latter half of the show, and their presence was crucial to the first three seasons at least. Losing that outside perspective on Clark's journey made it less impactful on the audience.


I had the opposite reaction. Part of every boy's journey to truly becoming a man involves, in some form or fashion, leaving the parents behind and taking charge of his own life his own way. It was the right time for the Kents to take a backseat to Clark's life, right around the age of 19-21, and for him to strive out on his own. I applaud them for doing that. Even John Schneider said as much when interviewed about whether the time was right for his departure...

this shows that Martha Kent's new career as a Senator isn't so far-fetched

No, her BEING a senator with a few references to her reading library books IS far-fetched, ESPECIALLY if it's only happened once in real life.


First of all, neither you nor me know how many times this has actually happened in real life. The fact that I cited one definitive time that this happened in the real world ought to itself be enough to legitimize the plotline. If not, then how many times does it have to happen in real life before you will consider a fictional story mirroring it to be legit?

The point is, it had nothing to do with her as a character and added nothing to the show. Even Jonathan's state senate campaign was VERY forced.


Although I know this won't mean anything to you, in real life since 1783 there have been MANY cases in fly-over country where ordinary people with non-political careers (including farming) have decided to run for public office on the local and state level and have won. The original intent of the framers of the Constitution was that ordinary joes serve in public office and then return to their jobs and lives. So what Jonathan and Martha did is not far-fetched at all.

That's not exactly staying only in Smallville only occasionally changing his clothes or his job.

He slept in Smallville. He lived there. He "stayed" there. I wasn't implying that he literally never moved out of his easy chair. I was pointing out that his parents' absense did not prompt him to move to Metropolis or go train in an ice fort for twelve years. It didn't serve the plot or directly influence it. It just happened and then was mostly ignored.


If memory serves, his mother was the first to encourage him to broaden his horizons and move on from the farm at the end of Season 6, followed afterwards by both Lois and the JLA encouraging the same at the end of Season 7 and the beginning of Season 8. So yes, his parents did in fact have a hand in getting him to Metropolis, as did the JLA (but never mind them, because they were never inspiring to Clark, right?) Smile

Who among us hasn't misunderstood a mother's intentions before?

Who among us hasn't taken a really long crap? Does that mean they need to show Clark doing it? They intentionally made Clark a confused moron incapable of calling someone on the telephone and asking them a pertinent question just so he would buy an apartment in Metropolis. Don't tell me I shouldn't be pointing that out just because there are lots of stupid people in the world.


You see, this right here is the big difference in how you and I look at Smallville. You want Smallville to show a teenaged/young adult Clark who already has the wisdom and maturity of the older Superman portrayed in the comics, whereas I applaud Smallville for sticking to its premise, said premise being to show us the previously unexplored early years of how Superman came to be the Superman we know him to be, and thereby showing us a young Clark Kent who makes many of the same misjudgments and mistakes that most of us have made when we were his age.

Lois 7 years in the future told him to go back to the farm

You can't call a plothole they forgot about a "resolution." That's not how resolutions work. They needed an implication that he decides to keep the farm, but instead had him decide it offscreen after he realized that his "S" stands for "Smallville." That made his mother's cameo anti-climactic, especially if the resolution to the problem was already established months earlier.


It's an assumption on your part that they forgot about it. The implication you are looking for is right there in "Homecoming," one of the most watched and most beloved shows of the season, in which future Lois tells him to go back to his farm 7 years in the future. After that ep, when I in later eps heard them talk about selling the farm, I immediately said to myself, "No they won't, because 7 years in the future they still have the farm." And then when his mom showed up in the finale to talk to him about not selling the farm, I said to myself, "This is how he still keeps the farm 7 years in the future. His mother talked him out of it." You see? Not that hard to figure out... Smile

But if you wrote the show, you would have him then look at the camera and have an inner monologue like Scarlett O'Hara at the end of Gone With The Wind in which he verbally talks to himself and says for the listening audience, "Why, my mom's right! I don't need to get rid of this farm after all! Because tomorrow is another day!"

It was already established that she was a senator and a powerful behind-the-scenes kind of character as the Red Queen.

That is the definition of a "weird, awkward state." It doesn't fit Martha Kent's character as written in this show for the first few years, any version of Martha Kent, or any sane person's interpretation of Martha Kent. It. Doesn't. Work. Leaving her standing next to a ghost with no implication of where her life will head is a copout, especially when they explained it for other characters.


"any version of Martha Kent" -- This is one reason I said what I said earlier about already established continuity being important to you. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

And I find what you said above to be ironic considering your other complaints about lack of character development and character progression. In the early years of Smallville, it was established that Martha gave up the big city life and the open doors that her education would have opened to her in order to marry Jonathan and live the Smallville life. And yet, by the end of the show she's a powerful senator and behind-the-scenes power player living in the big city. Kind of like how Michael Corleone started Godfather 1 as completely the opposite of what he ended up being by the end of the movie. It's character progression, irony, and character development.

And the show already established by its end that she was a senator still in Washington with big connections. During the inter-planetary crisis the finale showed her on the phone talking to someone in the military. That right there shows us that Martha Kent, at the end of this story, is still a Washington power player. The last scene we see her in, appropriately, is focused on the family side of her, her talking to her son with the ghost of her husband at her side. I find it ironic that you don't like that final image of her considering that it harkens back to the early days of the show.

WHO THE HELL CARES IF OLIVER HAS A SON?


Um, I do, because it implies that him and Chloe are still together 7 years later, happily married with a family. A nice end of the story for both of them, and a hint of the future Green Arrow to come as shown in the comics.

As for your sarcasm about ghosts... I don't have a polite response to that. Everything you mentioned FIT the TONE of the medium it was in, and was well written and well established. This show didn't even pre-establish that ghosts exist, let alone that they can pick things up. It doesn't fit the tone of Smallville to have a ghost suddenly show up, ESPECIALLY when they implied the previous version was just in Clark's head.


In Season 4, there was a ghost of a high school girl that took over people's bodies. In at least 2 episodes, Lex has a vision of his the ghost of his departed mother, in which she pleads with him to change his ways. In the ep that you cited from Season 5 (ironic, as it defeats your argument), the drug causes Lana and Clark to briefly go into the afterlife, where she sees her dead parents' ghosts and he sees Jonathan's ghost. So there IS precedent in the show.

And actually, the case could be made...using your own critiques of this show as read in your points above...that the ghosts in Star Wars WEREN'T well written or well established. You have no idea Qui-Gon Jinn's ghost exists after he dies until it is BRIEFLY hinted at in Episode 2 and then given exactly ONE SENTENCE of explanation in Episode 3. Afterwards, you only know that Obi-Wan turns into a ghost in Episode 4 when you hear his voice talking to Luke, but you are LEFT TO YOURSELF TO DEDUCE that he was able to do that based on the training Qui-Gon Jinn gave him from the afterlife. Same with Yoda. Smallville actually has its ghosts doing more and interacting more with the main characters than Star Wars does.

you really have to be reaching to come to this conclusion, my friend.

Really? It's such a "reach" to say that Clark Kent's parents should always be important in a show about Clark Kent growing up, or that they should always be important in Superman's life? Read a book.


The show clearly established that Clark's parents were important to him and continued to be. The fact that you're saying that the show fell short of its opportunities to show this mystifies me. As for reading a book, you have no idea... Smile


"Blank" set the precedent of what happens when one loses all their memories

No, that was superpower-induced amnesia, which is not even subject to science or common sense because it is by nature magical and unexplainable. It's not the same as LITERALLY having all of your memories erased, including potty training. And if you lose ALL of your memories, including early childhood, that's what would happen. They did not imply otherwise.


First of all, your observation about memory loss being against the laws of science and such is irrelevant in a critique about a science-fiction show whose main character is from another planet and can fly and shoot fire from his eyes when he gets horny.

Secondly, the guy who took Clark's powers in "Blank" got that ability as a result of the experiments his father was conducting on him AT SUMMERHOLT, the same place Tess said the memory loss stuff she placed on Lex's face came from. There's your implication. Therefore, since the memory wipe stuff came from the same place, we can deduce that it has the same properties. After losing his memories per the guy with the powers from Summerholt, Clark could still walk. He didn't need to be taught how to walk again. After Lex lost his memories from the serum from Summerholt, we see him walking. He didn't need to be taught how to walk again. Ergo, we can deduce that since Summerholt memory loss didn't cause Clark to lose the ability to walk, talk, wipe his butt, or his basic personality traits, the same can be said for Lex.

The clone showed Lex's progress at the time in his work on cloning

Which was completely contradicted in his cloning of himself, which for no reason wouldn't work without some of Clark's DNA, unless he was sewn together from multiple body parts. Don't tell me that Lex's progress with cloning was in any way important enough to have a whole new character introduced in a season. And don't try to tell me they planned to have the original creators kill Lex, thus forcing the new producers to bring him back. Maybe the creators told them how they could bring Lex back, but we don't know that.


That's irrelevant, because the new producers/writers took what Al and Miles already established about the clones and Clark's blood and ran with it to produce their own story, thus using already established Smallville continuity instead of ignoring it. I would think you wouldn't have a problem with this. Man, you're hard to please. Hope I never have to work for you... Smile

the overall story of [Tess'] life was well shown on the show, and certainly is no less believable than [Batman]

It was not shown, it was told, poorly, and stretched over three years, during which they made up various facts about her that weren't planned. That's not "well shown." It's "poorly told."


Um, Cassidy Freeman is on record as, when they told her that she was a Luthor, that they also told her it was the plan from the beginning of Season 8 to eventually reveal her to be a Luthor. She even went so far as to say as that's why the red hair was so important back when she was cast. So that's not a lack of planning. As for not being "well shown," they introduce her as already high up on the Luthor food chain in the company, they gave her a backstory episode in Season 8, they also showed that she had a previous relationship with Lex in Season 8, and then after an entire Season focused on Zod they then reveal her to be a Luthor, tying it together with the Darkseid story, in Season 10. That's good enough for me. It took a year and a half before Clark found out he was from Krypton, and another year and a half before he made the Fortress. So why not take 2 1/2 years to reveal that Tess is a Luthor? I like how the show stretches things out instead of jumbling it all together.

And yes, it is less believable than Batman. Batman is a simple character. He fights crime to avenge the murder of his parents. How he does it is not important to the description.


Sure it is, if you're focused on believability. An 8 year old having the discipline at that early age to spend the next 20 years honing his body to physical perfection, learning every martial art in the book, becoming a master of all kinds of chemistry and forensics, having a fortune from his DOCTOR father (who was murdered at a relatively young age to have acquired all that money) that rivals Donald Trump's, who decides to dress up like a bat, all while his father's EMPLOYEE blithely stands by and, not only raises his dead employer's son, but then encourages him to basically put himself in the path of a bullet just like his father night after night? Yeah, that's very simple...and so much more believable than the new head of Luthercorp after Lex disappears being revealed to be his half-sister.

I'm not even going to TOUCH you comparing John F. Kennedy to Lex Luthor. I'll let the wolves have you. You could have said Nixon gave somebody a stick of gum once. I never even said anything about Lex never being good. I was addressing his flip-flopping every time he was supposed to have gone "finally" evil.


It's been two weeks. Still waiting for those wolves. And sure, Nixon would apply too. So would a number of other Presidents. Kennedy was a flagrant adulterer who is on record as plotting the assassination of several leaders of other countries, and is also on record as having ties to the criminal underground of the time. So he was no pure, white rose. The Kennedys were extremely ruthless. But he did love his children very much, and as I showed earlier he was compassionate. Lex Luthor is also very ruthless, but in his Smallville years he has his good side. What you call "flip-flopping back and forth," I call showing both sides in order to tell a story of how Lex Luthor came to be who he was in the end.

For further reading, see all of Neal's reviews from that time.


Oh, believe me, I have. And I see the same inconsistencies and lack of logic in those reviews too.... Smile (But I'm sure you could say the same about me...)

In reference to Lois, I was talking about the character from the comics.


Seemed to me you were talking about Smallville's Lois, but oh well...

Creating physical conflict by being kidnapped is not dramatic conflict. There is no conflict. You have to save someone, you save them. It's as simplistic as it gets.


Yeah, you're right. Clark never worried about whether or not he would be able to save her in time...oh wait, he did...she never grew more in love with him as a result of his Blur persona saving her...oh wait, she did...she never had any feelings of anxiety, anger, remorse, revenge, or any negative things that stayed with her as a result of the harm that she was in, and neither did he...oh wait, they did... Smile

The drama that they eventually used Lois for in Smallville was not planned and not a part of the comic book character. That is relevant only because it's the character they BASED their character on, and why they chose to use her.


Stephen King is on record as stating that a wise writer never "plans" how the story will end when he begins the story, because he'll find that it almost always ends up going in a different direction, involving different characters, than it did when it was originally in his mind when he first puts pen to paper. Maybe in 2001 they didn't plan to have Lois Lane on the show, but sometime in 2003 they did, and since then they discovered how to use her and use her effectively.

"...not a part of the comic book character." That's another reason why I came to the conclusion that previously established continuity was important to you. Not that there's anything wrong with that... Smile

I don't give two turds about how, YEARS LATER, they threw in a couple of false moments where Lana or Lois were jealous of one another. I'm talking about their REASONS for putting Lois into the show, none of which included creating a love triangle, and thus her character had no purpose except just to be there.


They put her into the show to try to find her cousin and/or her cousin's murderer, and to establish a relationship with Clark that started as a love/hate relationship and eventually grew into a love/love relationship. This they succeeded at.

If you don't understand my points or the fact that things are written gradually with various intentions and not just produced instantaneously with a magical device, then I don't know why I'm responding to you.


Because of my charm and vivacious wit? Smile

Yeah, the Lois Lane of the comics, Donner movies, and Lois and Clark was NEVER like that...

Oh, you're not allowed to mention other versions of the character. Smallville is supposed to be "different."


But not COMPLETELY different, and it wasn't. Clark was still Kryptonian and had powers and was raised by Midwesterners to be a good, moral person. Lex was still evil in many ways at the beginning and only grew worse as the show went on. And yet, they established DIFFERENCES to the characters as well. How Clark found out the truth about himself, and how he grew to be Superman. How Lex struggled to rise to the light instead of descending into the darkness.

And Lois, they kept her the same in some ways (as talked about earlier), and they made her different as well. And that's perfectly okay...

I hope people who accuse me of nitpicking have read your post, because you've perfectly defined it. Picking out one scene in the entire show to refute my claim of something lacking in a character. Yes, that one scene completely justifies never convincing the audience of Lois Lane's writing abilities, her only major attribute apart from constantly getting knocked unconscious.


Yeah, it's irritating when someone nitpicks at what you've written and believe in, isn't it? Smile Gosh, I wonder if that's how the writers of Smallville feel about you...but I guess they don't count... Smile

As for the one scene, there was actually more than one. Several from Season 8 come to mind...


I'll reply to the rest of your nitpicking later, maybe. I have better things to do. But let me just say that I could have mentioned all the things you've pointed out and still had the OPINION that the various aspects of the show didn't work in the long run, but if I did, it would have crashed the internet.


Not to mention it would have continued to reveal how extremely open your mind is to other possibilities that could be deduced from the show and its writings...but I digress... Smile

I mentioned all those things BECAUSE I thought about them. I didn't want to write an article about each and every scene on the show where something happened that was intended as drama, and thus, worked as drama, because not only would that be too long, it would be a lie.


Clearly... Smile


My post was about how, by and large, pretty much all the characters failed to live up to the importance that several dozen scenes about them promised. I am well aware those scenes exist, but it doesn't mean that most of the show wasn't just Clark feeling sorry for himself and spending entire hours waiting for someone to be saved. Because it was.


If anything, what you said above, combined with earlier how you acknowledged a reality but then said, "I don't care," shows that what the show actually SHOWS doesn't matter to you unless it fits your template 100%. A difference between us. But oh well...


And even then, those hour-long stories weren't good enough to sustain a show for ten years. (Yes, I am aware the show lasted ten years.)


But, since the show lasted for ten years...and since it only lasted for ten years due to continually having enough of an audience to justify its continued existence...and since the audience tuned in only because of the story and how it was told...then apparently those stories WERE enough to sustain it for 10 years...

Lex, my (friend? acquaintance? rival? dueling partner?)...it's been fun. Again, I'm just doing nothing but having fun here. This is all said in the spirit of fun debate. I'm not wanting to belittle you or anything. You are certainly entitled to your (erroneous) opinion, as am I. We're just 2 Superman fans duking it out on a message board in fun, as far as I'm concerned...

Edited by Michael Corleone on 06/06/2011 20:36

 
The Progressive
I guess I am one of the wolves.

Michael Corleone wrote:

“John Kennedy was a very immoral man who also, ACCORDING TO DECLASSIFIED FILES, plotted the assassinations of several leaders of other countries…”


What declassified files would those be? If you could list them or provide a link so people could read them for themselves that would be great Michael. Trouble is they don’t exist. There are no declassified documents that show JFK plotted any assassinations. The leaders of several countries you mention were of course Fidel Castro, Rafael Trujillo, Ngo Dinh Diem, Patrice Lumumba etc. All targets of the CIA. JFK knew nothing of any of these plots. That is a matter of public record. It is a fact. Only someone totally ignorant of things such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and history in general could state such nonsense as you have Michael.

There was a an official investigation many years ago it was called the Church committee (you may have heard of it Michael although I doubt it) and they investigated the CIA and its assassination programs and guess what? They ruled there was NO EVIDENCE that either John F. Kennedy nor his brother Robert were involved in any assassination plots. If that was not enough the CIAs own Inspector General report of 1967 also ruled that JFK and his brother were not involved in any assassination plots.

You should try reading these things Michael instead of spouting false statements either through your ignorance or your stupidity.

Michael Corleone also wrote:

“It’s been two weeks. Still waiting for those wolves. And sure, Nixon would apply too. So would a number of other presidents. Kennedy was a flagrant adulterer who is ON RECORD as PLOTTING THE ASSASSINATION of several leaders of other countries, and is also ON RECORD as having ties to the criminal underground of the time. So he was no pure, white rose.”


Repeating falsehoods over and over does not eventually make them true. My post above shows that officially there was no evidence JFK was involved in any assassination plots. It was against his character. As for his alleged criminal ties once again how about some links Michael? Good luck with that.

Now let me give you some examples of people that actually knew John F. Kennedy and what he was like. In his biography of Fidel Castro called Fidel:A Critical Portrait Tad Szulc mentioned to Castro a conversation he had with JFK. I quote it below.

“I mentioned to him (Castro) that in November 1961, seven months after the Bay of Pigs, I had been summoned by President Kennedy for a private discussion of Cuba in the oval office, and that I had been stunned when he asked me:’What would you think if I ordered Castro to be assassinated?’ I told Castro that my reply had been that the United States should not be involved in political assassinations and the president said:’I agree with you completely.’ Kennedy had added, I informed Castro, that he was under pressure from some of his advisers to have the Cuban leader killed, but was ‘glad’ that I opposed the idea because, indeed, he felt that for ‘moral reasons’ the United States must not be party to assassinations. Richard N. Goodwin, then assistant to the president, who was present at this conversation, testified in 1975 before a senate committee that when he asked Kennedy several days later about this discussion, the president replied: ‘We can’t get into that kind of thing, or we would all be targets.’ I made a point of mentioning this to Castro, too, and my story started him on the subject of John Kennedy. Castro, of course, knew in 1984 that numerous attempts had been made by the CIA in the 1960s to murder him but, as he said, he could never bring himself to believe that President Kennedy would have authorized them: ‘Well what you tell me is really very interesting, Castro said. ‘I’ve never heard it before, and it’s very interesting for me because, in the first place, there’s a strong connection between what you have described …and Kennedy’s idea of having a dialogue with Cuba. Castro went on to tell me that on 22 November 1963, the day Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, he was meeting in Cuba with Jean Daniel, a French magazine editor, who had brought him a secret message from the President. This was a year after the Cuban missile crisis. Kennedy, according to Castro, had asked Daniel to come to Havana and ask him how he felt about ‘discussing the possibility of a dialogue with the US…to find some channel of contact, of dialogue, to overcome the great tensions that existed.’ Castro said that the radio flash about Kennedy’s death came just as he and Daniel were discussing the presidential message to him over lunch. ‘For this reason; Castro said thoughtfully, ‘I have always had the impression that Kennedy was seriously considering the question of relations with Cuba.’



For a good understanding of the kind of man John F. Kennedy was you should listen to his American University speech of June 10 1963. He wanted peace. This is what Robert McNamara had to say about this speech when he was interviewed by David Talbot in his book, Brothers. Mr McNamara said:

“The American University speech laid out exactly what Kennedy’s intentions were. If he had lived, the world would have been different. I feel quite confident of that. Whether we would have had détente sooner, I’m not sure. But it would have been a less dangerous world. I’m certain of that.”


During his appearance before the Church committee in his testimony in 1975, Ted Sorensen made an eloquent case for why President Kennedy would never have approved the CIA’s “wet work.” Assassination, Sorensen told the senators,

“was totally foreign to his character and his conscience, foreign to his fundamental reverence for human life and his respect for his adversaries, foreign to his insistence upon a moral dimension in U.S. foreign policy and his concern for the country’s reputation abroad, and foreign to his pragmatic recognition that so horrendous but inevitably counterproductive a precedent committed by a country whose own chief of state was inevitably vulnerable, could only provoke reprisals and inflame hostility on the part of those anti-U.S. forces whose existence was never dependent upon a single leader. Particularly ludicrous is the notion that one of his background would have ever knowingly countenanced the employment for these purposes of the same organized crime elements he had fought for so many years.”


Since this time many previously classified documents have been released through the ARRB (Assassination Records Review Board) none of which have anything to do with JFK and his knowledge or involvement in assassination plots.


Now onto Smallville. I was looking for some decent reviews of episodes of Smallville now that it is finally over as the reviews on Kryptonsite are abysmal. The reviews on Kryptonsite are done by a reviewer who is good friends with some of the people who are on the show which destroys any hope of fair, balanced and impartial reviews. The reviewer constantly harps on about how perfect everything thing is and how beautifully written certain scenes are. That cannot possibly apply to the episodes of Smallville I have watched. Although there are some good people on the Kryptonsite message forums there seem to be far too many who accept any plot lines no matter how nonsensical or contrived. I agree a lot with Lex Vader as he recognizes bad writing for what it is.

I enjoyed the early seasons of Smallville but was disgusted by how bad the episodes became over the years. Yet despite that I kept watching out of some morbid curiousity to see how bad it became and how it would end. Smallville become like a really bad comic book. A comic book with very little action scenes and constant angsty dialogue mind you. A show that brought in Jimmy Olsen and then killed him and then turned around and claimed suddenly that in fact he was not the real Jimmy Olsen at all but was simply the real Jimmys older brother who just happened to like being called Jimmy as well. This is the kind of atrocious writing that would be laughed at on a kids cartoon and yet amazingly there are people that have no problem with it. This is just one example of the type of garbage the writers of Smallville come up with on a regular basis. It seemed there were no depths they could not plumb. No plot line they could not make as bad as they possibly could.

The finale of course just continued all this. A wedding that never happened but yet for some reason Clark and Lois wait seven years before they try again? Clark saving the day as the blur in a superman returns rip-off where he never actually reveals himself to the people of Metropolis and is not actually named as Superman. This means of course that in the eyes of the citizens of Metropolis he is still the blur. It is as if the writers somehow think Superman hides in the shadows saving people. Or how about the awful mindwipe of Lex that not only makes his speeches in this episode totally pointless but actually destroys his development from seasons 1-7. Total garbage. The flash forward is also lazy writing of the worst kind. The writers should have addressed the issues that their plot lines raised instead of relying on this cheap trick. They saved the naming of Superman for Chloe in what the writers termed in their usual goobledegook as "Chloes jewel" when she should have been written out of Smallville years ago. What about the comic book? Anyone reading it will quickly figure out who Superman is. Anyone with any kind of thought process that is. Which of course would not apply to the writers.

"Hey Lex. you lost all your memories? Don't worry about it. Here, read this comic. That will fill it all in for you."
 
Lex Vader
The reviews on Kryptonsite are done by a reviewer who is good friends with some of the people who are on the show which destroys any hope of fair, balanced and impartial reviews. The reviewer constantly harps on about how perfect everything thing is and how beautifully written certain scenes are.

What a terrifying concept!

Nearly every scene on Smallville has something to ruin it, whether the majority of it is well written or not. Just some examples from the finale: the Darkseid fight. On the one hand, pretty awesome Superman action. On the other hand, short, a copout ending, and featured Clark (as far as he knew) murdering Lionel, whom he had no way of knowing had already been killed by Tess and/or Darkseid. All the Jonathan scenes: on the one hand, Jonathan always works on this show. On the other hand, magical unexplained ghost with Patrick Swayze willful-touch powers. You know why that worked in Ghost? They backed it up with emotion and built a whole movie around it. Here, it's just a poorly contrived excuse to bring Jonathan back. And yes, it was justified in the comics when Clark dies. Because that had a CAUSE. Jonathan's ghost showed up for no other reason than to show up. The Lex scene: great explanation for how Lex can still be the villain even though he knows Superman's secret identity. On the other hand, they invalidate it by permanently wiping all of Lex's memory since the day he was born. Here's one I didn't like, but I can see why someone would: the reading of the vows. On the one hand, they finally had Clark say what he likes about Lois Lane (this is literally the only time in the entire series that's genuinely explained). On the other hand, each person is waiting on the other side of the door in dead silence with no response and yet not asking what's going on. That's incredibly awkward and painful. Also, the constant spinning around the door was an obnoxious technique that distracted more than it added to the scene.

I could do that for nearly any scene season since the start of season 4, but what's the point when we know how it ends. There were very very few "beautifully written" scenes in this show. Most of them were sullied by a terrible execution, reason, setup, or surrounding story, if not by the overall season arc. Even my favorite moment (the nuke save) was ruined by Lana not questioning why normal, everyday human Clark's clothes were ripped to shreds later. The writers of Smallville always thought that as long as they didn't address something, we wouldn't notice. When in fact, we all noticed, and it would have saved them a lot of face if they had just written some acknowledgment of their plotholes and actually attempted to fill them in, even if the filling didn't really hold up. I would rather Clark say he was mauled by a bear than not say anything at all. Why write his clothes to be ripped as if the physics of the situation mattered and not have the obvious visual anomaly brought up by any of the characters?

Logic isn't hard. Internal logic is even easier. I know it's about a guy who can shoot fire from his eyes. They basically explained how that works, or it least that it DOES work. Did they explain why a person wouldn't ask another person why their clothes are ripped? They could, if they wanted to. Like she's a stupid idiot. There, problem solved. Except they didn't say that. Instead, they ignored it. It was that kind of writing that kept the show from ever being great or really moving and kept a lot of people from fully enjoying it. And the sad thing is that there was no reason for it except laziness. They underestimated their audience and in doing so, insulted them. And that's not the kind of show about which I'd have too many nice things to say.
 
Michael Corleone
What's up, The Progressive?

I was interested to see a wolf finally show up concerning the JFK comments I made. Basically, you asked for proof, which I am happy to provide. I'm not going to rebut in this forum each of the points you brought up concerning JFK, not because I can't, but because it would go against the moderators' wishes that the discussion stay on topic about Superman-related subjects (specifically, Smallville-related subjects.) I brought up what I've read about JFK as an analogy to how Lex Luthor can act in an extremely evil way while still at times showing kindness and compassion, not to get into a discussion about the Kennedy administration in a Superman discussion forum. But if you want proof, I'm happy to show you where to find it. I don't think that would be violating the moderators' wishes concerning this.

Ergo, I urge you to examine the following. You can find them at any major retailer bookstore, either in the store or online. Based on what you've said above, I know you're familiar with at least one of them (Talbot.) Taking all of them together provides a fuller picture, in my humble opinion...

An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, by Robert Dallek
The Dark Side of Camelot, by Seymour M. Hersh
The Camelot Conspiracy: The Kennedys, Castro, and the CIA, by E. Duke Vincent
One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Kennedy, and Castro, 1958-1964, by Aleksandr Furensko
Brothers in Arms: The Kennedys, The Castros, and the Politics of Murder, by Gus Russo
The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby, by Richard D. Mahoney
Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, by David Talbot
Jack: A Life Like No Other, by Geoffrey Perret

Hope that helps turn you from a wolf into a lamb (although I doubt it...) Smile

Now back to the previously scheduled Smallville she-lacking and defending...
 
The Progressive
Lex vader wrote:

What a terrifying concept!

Nearly every scene on Smallville has something to ruin it, whether the majority of it is well written or not. Just some examples from the finale: the Darkseid fight. On the one hand, pretty awesome Superman action. On the other hand, short, a copout ending, and featured Clark (as far as he knew) murdering Lionel, whom he had no way of knowing had already been killed by Tess and/or Darkseid. All the Jonathan scenes: on the one hand, Jonathan always works on this show. On the other hand, magical unexplained ghost with Patrick Swayze willful-touch powers. You know why that worked in Ghost? They backed it up with emotion and built a whole movie around it. Here, it's just a poorly contrived excuse to bring Jonathan back. And yes, it was justified in the comics when Clark dies. Because that had a CAUSE. Jonathan's ghost showed up for no other reason than to show up. The Lex scene: great explanation for how Lex can still be the villain even though he knows Superman's secret identity. On the other hand, they invalidate it by permanently wiping all of Lex's memory since the day he was born. Here's one I didn't like, but I can see why someone would: the reading of the vows. On the one hand, they finally had Clark say what he likes about Lois Lane (this is literally the only time in the entire series that's genuinely explained). On the other hand, each person is waiting on the other side of the door in dead silence with no response and yet not asking what's going on. That's incredibly awkward and painful. Also, the constant spinning around the door was an obnoxious technique that distracted more than it added to the scene.

I could do that for nearly any scene season since the start of season 4, but what's the point when we know how it ends. There were very very few "beautifully written" scenes in this show. Most of them were sullied by a terrible execution, reason, setup, or surrounding story, if not by the overall season arc. Even my favorite moment (the nuke save) was ruined by Lana not questioning why normal, everyday human Clark's clothes were ripped to shreds later. The writers of Smallville always thought that as long as they didn't address something, we wouldn't notice. When in fact, we all noticed, and it would have saved them a lot of face if they had just written some acknowledgment of their plotholes and actually attempted to fill them in, even if the filling didn't really hold up. I would rather Clark say he was mauled by a bear than not say anything at all. Why write his clothes to be ripped as if the physics of the situation mattered and not have the obvious visual anomaly brought up by any of the characters?

Logic isn't hard. Internal logic is even easier. I know it's about a guy who can shoot fire from his eyes. They basically explained how that works, or it least that it DOES work. Did they explain why a person wouldn't ask another person why their clothes are ripped? They could, if they wanted to. Like she's a stupid idiot. There, problem solved. Except they didn't say that. Instead, they ignored it. It was that kind of writing that kept the show from ever being great or really moving and kept a lot of people from fully enjoying it. And the sad thing is that there was no reason for it except laziness. They underestimated their audience and in doing so, insulted them. And that's not the kind of show about which I'd have too many nice things to say.


This is it in a nutshell Lex. They did insult their audience with their lazy and nonsensical plot lines. Sad thing is that there seems to be people that not only can't see this but instead try to argue that everything has been thought out. The writers had everything worked out to the last detail. Where the opposite is clearly the case. Only by ignoring logic and even the most basic critical thinking skills could anyone possibly believe that the plot lines in Smallville make any sense. It became more and more obvious as the seasons went on that the writers were incapable of any kind of thought process in their writing. When I think back on Smallville I think immediately of wasted opportunities. This show had so much potential. I really enjoyed the first three seasons but after that it become an absolute travesty. I would not let those writers near anything else after their efforts on Smallville. I would also like to read a review from you on the finale. I guess that would make two people who would like to read it!



Hello Michael. Thanks for getting back to me.

Michael Corleone wrote:

"Basically , you asked for PROOF, which I am happy to provide."
"

"But if you want PROOF, I’m happy to show you where to find it."


You then proceed to list eight books as if somehow that would constitute proof of your claims. Of these eight books I have read seven of them. The only one I have not read is 'The Camelot Conspiracy.' This is not really an issue though as this book is a work of fiction. Something that could equally apply to Gus Russo's dismal effort as well mind. I fail to see how those eight books could possibly give me a fuller picture on anything that you have said. Maybe if you could refer me to the relevant passages in the books I can check them over once again. Vague assertions and speculations do not constitute proof in my opinion. A book is only as good as it's sources. I do however appreciate you taking the time to list them for me as some of those books are excellent and I would recommend One Hell of a Gamble especially.

Most importantly however is what you did not mention in your reply. Any rational person reading your reply must no doubt wonder why it is that you did not simply cite the declassified files you mentioned earlier as your proof? I specifically asked you to provide a link or even a reference to them and you have not. These declassified files would constitute proof of your claims. There could be no better rebuttal than these documents. Yet for some reason when you say you will provide me proof you instead refer me to those eight books. By absolutely no stretch of the imagination do any of those books provide proof of JFKs involvement in assassination plots. Circumstantial evidence perhaps but certainly not proof. Not one of these books, it should be noted, references or uses these declassified files in any of their pages. Now why would that be? The answer of course is that these files do not exist. If they did Hersh would have pounced on them as would have Dallek and Russo although he still probably would have made a total pigs ear out of the information. Did you think somehow I had suddenly developed the mental capacity of a Smallville writer and would forget that you made that comment about the declassified files Michael? Those statements you made are there for everyone to see. You referenced declassified files that proved that JFK was involved in assassination plots. I will ask you again to provide a link or reference to them. Otherwise you should just admit you may have been in error. No harm in that Michael.

Edited by The Progressive on 14/06/2011 11:39

 
Michael Corleone
Hey there, Progressive. Again, considering that I do not want to violate the forum rules by getting into a detailed discussion about historical/political matters, I consider what I wrote above to be sufficient to your requests, considering the venue in which we are discussing this. I've been in other Internet forums (and have seen it at times in these forums also) where the discussion has gotten way off-topic and the moderators have had to come down on the participants who have, essentially, "hijacked" the discussion by making it about something completely different than it was supposed to be about. Since I like this site and like participating in the discussions on this site, I don't want to purposefully violate the wishes of the administrators of this site and thus risk being banned from participating in future discussions.

Therefore, what I've cited above should be sufficient for both you and the readers who are interested in learning more. If you've truly read the majority of the books that I've cited, then you either: a) have forgotten the several points brought out in them that prove what I've talked about, or b) are deliberately overlooking and/or twisting certain things that are brought out in them so that you can continue to hold to what you claim are the facts (ironically, the exact thing you accuse me of doing.)

Either way, what's in the books speaks for themselves. You can accuse me of whatever you want; the fact that I went out of my way to show the sources of my claims so that the readers can read it for themselves is enough, as far as I'm concerned, to bolster what I'm saying.
 
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