Archive for the Television Category

The Right and Wrong of It

Posted in Randomness, Television with tags , , , , on October 30, 2010 by Becca C.

Image Courtesy of the CWI was going to write a “Harvest” review to post here since this isn’t my week to write a review for SHoE. However, thanks to my Twitter addiction, I’ve seen some disturbing and annoying statements being made about Smallville fans and the “right” or “wrong” reasons to watch the show. So, please allow me this “rant” of sorts. I won’t make a habit of it.

Dear Fan Boys (and Fan Girls),

There is no such thing as a “right” reason to watch Smallville or any show. There is no viewer rulebook. You watch a television show because it entertains you. If you watch a show that makes you miserable that’s called being a masochist.

But just because someone watches for the interaction between a couple they like, or because they like action, or comedy, or whatever reason you can come up with does not make the reason “wrong.” If that reason is why you enjoy the show and tune in every week—more power to you.

I admit that I don’t like the character of Chloe Sullivan or the relationship between Chloe and Oliver on Smallville. But I do respect the right of their fans to watch for that reason. Just as Clark and Lois fans have a right to watch the show because of that relationship. Tess/Lois and Clark/Lex fans have the right to watch for the innuendo between those characters. You have the right to watch to see Clark use his super powers. Or to watch Clark become a reporter. You can watch for individual characters. You can watch for couples. You can watch because the show is full of attractive actors. Or you can watch because you’re a fan of the sci-fi drama.

There isn’t a single reason that is WRONG. Whether you’ve been watching since Season 1 or Season 4 or Season 8 or you just started now, you’re still a fan. There is no such thing as a “true” fan or a “real” fan or a “better” fan. There is no such thing as tenure in fandom, so who cares how long you’ve been watching?

No, some may not enjoy the show as it is at the present. And they have ever right to be unhappy. But they also have every right to stop watching. There have been plenty of shows I liked at one point that eventually took thematic turns I didn’t like and thus stopped watching.

The idea that Clark and Lois fans are somehow wrong or horrible for being excited by what the Smallville team is giving this season is insane, arrogant, and sad. This is the story the writers are telling, if you are so offended, stop watching. But to insult and rant all over Twitter or on YouTube is frankly pathetic. Again, I really don’t like the “Chlollie” ship, but their fans have every right to make fan art and fan vids and converse in peace without being trashed. The same goes for “Clois” fans or “Clex” fans or “Tollie” fans. Everyone has a place at the table to like what they like.

As for Smallville deviating from “canon,” ever since Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders took over it is quite clear that Smallville would obey the spirit of comic’s canon but not the letter of it. This is the story about how this particular Clark Kent becomes Superman. The details won’t be exactly the same as they were in the Silver Age comics, or Birthright, or in Superman: Secret Origins, or in Superman: The Movie, or in Lois&Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, or in the recently released Superman: Earth One. And that’s OK. There’s always room for reinterpretation of a myth. Superman has existed for over 70 years, so long as the general concept remains the same, the journey there is the reason to watch.

If I wanted Smallville to be exactly like the comics—I’d READ the comics. What Smallville does is take expectations, takes the familiar, and puts a modern (post-modern?), original spin on it. It’s not going to be to everyone’s liking, of course. But that’s why televisions have remote controls these days—you can change the channel and watch something else. I hated Superman Returns the first time I watched—so I never watched it again. Why would I continue to punish myself with something that makes me miserable?

I love Smallville. I didn’t always enjoy it (hello Season 7), but I respect those that enjoyed what I didn’t. I love what it has become. I believe if you love something, you get enjoyment out of it then it’s the RIGHT reason to watch.

I’m going to continue to watch Smallville for the reasons I’ve always watched—the fabulous cast, the story of the world’s greatest super hero, and the evolution of the most beautiful love story ever. I encourage everyone else to watch for the reasons they love the show. And to know—that’s the RIGHT reason. And to those who think those who watch for reasons other than their own myopic, arrogant, pathetic little bubble—maybe get a life and stop trolling Twitter and Message Boards for reasons to be pissed off at what other people enjoy.

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The Beginning of the End of the Beginning…

Posted in Television with tags , , , on September 24, 2010 by Becca C.

A Review of “Lazarus,” the Season 10 Premiere of Smallville

(Minor Spoilers maybe…nah, not really)

First of all, I apologize for the…dodginess of this review. I got the screener, watched it, loved it and kind of wrote this on a whim. Secondly, I wrote this review/received the screener as the last blast of the website I used to work for (tellemgirl.com) before it…well, I’m not entirely sure what happened. I was home sick from work on Monday, checked my old email and saw the offer for the screener. So, here I am, less than twenty-four hours from the actual premiere of “Lazarus” with a completely non-spoilery review of the tenth and final season opener of Smallville. Now, on with the show….

To say that the season 9 finale of Smallville was remarkable would be an understatement. It was a near flawless execution of a full season’s worth of storyline resolution. “Salvation” was the sort of season finale that leaves fans wanting more and makes the summer hiatus excruciatingly long. Like any good finale, “Salvation” both resolved the season’s major plot points and set the table for the next season with a series of breathtaking cliffhangers.

In order to resolve the cliffhangers from Season 9, the season 10 premiere, “Lazarus,” needed to storm out of the blocks and deliver an emotional punch while rapidly resolving the hanging plot threads from the finale. “Lazarus” succeeded on nearly every level. It has heartfelt moments, intense action, emotional drama, along with a welcome dose of comedy and touch of romance. The only real complaint I have for “Lazarus” is that it felt a tad too full, too rushed. Due to the 42 minute time constraint a few key moments felt rushed, particularly in the hush-hush, super secret, don’t you dare talk about it fourth act.

This complaint, though, mainly stems from personal greed. I simply wanted more of “Lazarus,” as it was an enjoyable, exciting and exhilarating episode. The cast was in top form, particularly star Tom Welling, who receives the sort of focus the show’s central character deserves. The man who is nearly Superman has always been the heart of Smallville, and his portrayal of Clark Kent in “Lazarus” is no exception. Heroic, smart and brave, Clark is in top form, scaling new heights as he gets even closer to his ultimate destiny. Always a standout performer, Erica Durance deftly maneuvers between every emotion possible in a single hour, taking her Lois Lane on an important journey that will have important ramifications for future episodes. I could single out every cast member, and guest star, for his or her extraordinary performances, but in an attempt at brevity I’ll simply say to put your remote down because this is a tour de force episode for a fine ensemble cast.

With the screener DVD’s of “Lazarus” the CW issued a strict edict not to spoil the premiere episode for the fans–with good reason. “Lazarus” is an hour that is best experienced in its entirety. The premiere episode of the tenth and final season of Smallville is one to savor every moment of without knowing too much beforehand. I love spoilers, but going into this episode virtually unspoiled heightened the experience. From the emotion of the pre-credits teaser to the final moments, you’re guaranteed to sit in awe, shed a few tears, and maybe even laugh a few times.

Even though I’ve already seen “Lazarus” and know all about the big moments that will knock your socks off (don’t even think about missing the final few minutes of the episode), I can’t wait to watch the official broadcast tomorrow night. With all of the special effects in place and Louis Febre’s beautiful score accentuating each poignant and powerful  moment, I’m sure I’ll have a new appreciation and affection for an already beautiful premiere. You don’t want to miss it either–it is the beginning of the end of the beginning!