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  1. #31
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    Binged the third season this week--now I have to wait for someone to return the fourth season to the library before I can watch that.

    I was so disappointed when Alicia turned out to be a bunny-boiler--the actress had such good chemistry with Tom Welling that I wish she could have stuck around. Looking at IMDb, I see that she does return in season four, so I have that to look forward to. She is played by Sarah Carter who's the actress that played adult Grace aka Cicada 2.0 on THE FLASH. She was a regular on FALLING SKIES--which I've never seen, but maybe that's a series worth checking out.

    The season ends with a surprise when Clark's cousin Kara shows up but she's not Laura Vandervoort--she's Adrianne Palicki!

    In many ways I like this series more than the current CW shows, when they use so many comic book short cuts while this series slowly builds toward the big moments. However, there's a lot of other dumb stuff, like how now they've been at high school for three years and they still aren't seniors. Which means all those sexy scenes in season one were featuring fourteen year olds? And how did Whitney get into the Marines?

    Another big bit of comic book logic that I don't like is how the dead Kryptonian Jor-El has godlike power. If he had this kind of power when he was alive, why couldn't he save his planet? I really don't like all that Deus ex Machina stuff.
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  2. #32
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    If it weren't for Smallville's Pete, I might never have discovered the joy of chewing Stride gum!

    Although I should have skipped Sam Jones' sex tape...
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  3. #33
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    Another thing that surprised me was John Glover getting his long lovely locks shaved off at the end of the season. If that had happened on a current show, I'd suspect some visual trickery. But back then I don't see how they could have faked it. I can't believe Glover submitted to that--surely they don't pay him enough to make such a sacrifice.
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  4. #34
    Extraordinary Member Jon11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Another thing that surprised me was John Glover getting his long lovely locks shaved off at the end of the season. If that had happened on a current show, I'd suspect some visual trickery. But back then I don't see how they could have faked it. I can't believe Glover submitted to that--surely they don't pay him enough to make such a sacrifice.
    He was the one who actually suggested it:

    From the Transference episode commentary

    Miles Millar: How was it to have short hair this season? Was it different?
    John Glover: Well… less time in hair and make-up. Yeah.
    Al Gough: These are the in-depth, hard hitting questions that the fans want to know.
    John Glover: I know.
    Miles Millar: It was always like Lionel Luthor has always been vain about his hair. And this year sort of like we cut it off. Last year John said at the end of last season we could shave his head. Such a great, great image.
    John Glover: Do you remember when I made that offer to you? It was when we were doing Memoria.
    Miles Millar: I do remember that.
    John Glover: Miles walked in the make-up trailer and I knew I was going to prison, and the hair was starting to drive me crazy because it took so much effort, even in my life. So I offered it up and Miles got so excited. I thought he was going to hit the ceiling of the make-up trailer when I offered it. Because I said ‘If you film it, I’ll shave it.’
    Source.
    "Keep flying; keep fighting; keep loving; keep smiling. You wonít always be right, but you donít have to be. Be just. Be fair. Be good. Be brave. Be Superman." - Bryan Q. Miller.

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  5. #35
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    Such dedication to his craft. But the hair seemed to do a lot of the acting for him.
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  6. #36
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Another thing that surprised me was John Glover getting his long lovely locks shaved off at the end of the season. If that had happened on a current show, I'd suspect some visual trickery. But back then I don't see how they could have faked it. I can't believe Glover submitted to that--surely they don't pay him enough to make such a sacrifice.
    I remember in one of the commentaries it was stated that Lionel had long hair just to spite Lex. I love that image. Kid is bald... so you're hair is long just to rub in his face what he CAN'T do... just such a Lionel thing to do, and probably completely subconscious.




    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    In many ways I like this series more than the current CW shows, when they use so many comic book short cuts while this series slowly builds toward the big moments. However, there's a lot of other dumb stuff, like how now they've been at high school for three years and they still aren't seniors. Which means all those sexy scenes in season one were featuring fourteen year olds? And how did Whitney get into the Marines?

    AGREED. I always love the early seasons, and don't think it jumped the shark till around 5 or 6... but I've always felt they didn't have much faith in that first season. That they were telling Senior year stories with Freshman characters. In a story with heat vision, super speed, and flight.... The most unbelievable thing in this show is that a freshman girl is head cheerleader, most popular girl in school, homecoming queen, and dating the quarterback (who I can actually accept WAS a senior if he joined the marines.... nothing HAD to say Whitney was same age as clark…)

    Chloe was the in CHARGE of the school paper as a freshman?? and the only real person on staff for four years??? And yeah... the underage sexiness was downright illegal the way they present it... because in their minds the actors are all 20+ and they can't wrap their heads aroudn the characters are 14-15ish. Same problem CW has with Riverdale, Vampire DIaries, etc. etc.

  7. #37
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Such dedication to his craft. But the hair seemed to do a lot of the acting for him.
    That season ending montage with Lionel being shorn,Lex being poisoned, Chloe's safehouse blowing up , Jonathan laying unconscious and Clark being pulled away by Jor-El was one hell of a cliffhanger. I remember sitting there thinking they were playing hardball.
    When it comes to comics,one person's "fan-service" is another persons personal cannon. So by definition it's ALL fan service. Aren't we ALL fans?
    SUPERMAN is the greatest fictional character ever created.

  8. #38
    Mighty Member John Venus's Avatar
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    There has been a live action Superman show for every decade.

    80's: Superboy
    90's: Lois and Clark
    2001: Smallville
    2015: Supergirl
    20's: a new Superman show.

    I'm guessing its because aside from the Man of Steel himself, every one of his core cast (Johnathan and Martha Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, Lana Lang) are all rooted in the real world that it draws in writers who are interested in soap operatic elements of the set up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    To save money, I'm watching these on DVD from the library--so literally free--but the third season is out right now, so I will have to wait a week or two before it comes in. I was talking with my sister and my nephew on Remembrance Day about the series and they tell me that the main street of Smallville, with the movie theatre (which was actually the Clova), is in Cloverdale although that's no longer a movie theatre anymore. Cloverdale is a bit of a trek from Vancouver, but maybe one day I'll make the journey just to see what it looks like. I think I've driven through there before, but never stopped to take it in.

    Awhile back Greg Berlanti said how the CW shows owe their existence to SMALLVILLE--and I think some fans took umbrage at that. But I'd agree, there's a lot of connective tissue. And I'd single out Glen Winter. He's the Canadian cinematographer who most often worked on SMALLVILLE (92 episodes)--and later as a director (12 episodes). He's been a director of photography or a director on every Vancouver based DC show, plus TITANS and DOOM PATROL (and soon STARGIRL)--often working on the pilots for these shows. He's also listed as a producer for ARROW, FLASH, SUPERGIRL, LEGENDS and DOOM PATROL.
    I agree with him. Arrow was originally going to be a spin off of Smallville meant to replace the latter after it ended. I remember way back when some people were annoyed that Hartley wasn't going to be reprising his role and that the show wasn't going to be set in the Smallville universe.

    Smallville set the blue print for all the other superhero shows that came after it: mopey superhero lead who often does dumb things, love interest torn between the hero-in-training and the villain-in-training, heroes quirky side kick, villain-in-training abused by his scenery chewing dad, stunt casting previous actors in franchise in key roles, superhero guest stars....

    Quote Originally Posted by BBally View Post
    What's I found quite intriguing about the show since rewatching it is the amount of Pre-Crisis elements other than Clark and Lex knowing each other in Smallville.

    - Lana Lang getting different powers during the course of the show is very reminiscence of how Pre-Crisis or even Modern comics Lana would gain powers temporarily.
    - Lexa being portrayed as a morally ambiguous character calls back to the Lexor stories or the way Pre-Crisis writers like Elliot S! Maggin used to write the character.
    - Pre-Daily Planet Chief editor then reporter Perry White meeting Clark in one episode and Lois meeting Clark in Season 4 are reminiscence of that two separate occasions in the Golden Age Superboy comic where young Clark Kent went a then inexperience reporter Perry White and a young Lois Lane.
    - Clark meeting up with younger versions of certain heroes.
    - That one time/episode where Lana was put in charge as editor of the school paper, like her comic counterpart during Pre-Crisis.-
    The season 3-4 plot of Lana moving to France in an attempt move on with her life is pretty similar to how Pre-Crisis Lana picked an assignment in Europe to forget about Superman (Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #109).
    -Jonathan Kent running for a governmental office in Smallville was basically the last over arching storyline the Superboy comics were doing before Crisis On Infinite Earths rebooted the DC entire Universe.
    -Even the idea that Smallville was picked as a destination for the rocket ship with baby Kal El to land via young Jor El's experience on Earth and the coordinates' signal being traced by Dr. Swan (Christopher Reeve) in the 70's sounds somewhat similar to the idea that Jor El sent a tracker to Earth with a recorded message when it landed near Albert Einstein's home, requesting the best environment for Kal El to land and be raised in from Elliot S! Maggin's Last Son Of Krypton novel.

    Also while people tend to think of Clark's red jacket and blue shirt look when they think of the early seasons, Clark also wore a red t-shirt or sweatshirt/pulover a lot, which remind me of the red pulover he wore in his youth during Pre Crisis.

    Agreed. This was Superboy tweaked for the aughties tv. Lex losing his hair is also connected to Clark albeit indirectly.

    Chloe was also a lot like the Pre Crisis Lana Lang; ace reporter and possible love interest to Clark. I've read some of the old Superboy comics as well though I don't recall kryptonite giving regular humans powers but I probably missed those issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    I wouldn't recommend it. It hasn't aged well. Just watch clips. I would say first four seasons are held together by clark and luthor(both lionel and lex). Last two seasons are held together by lois snd Clark. For me erica durance is the best lois lane. Period. She took the postcrisis army brat lois lane and made it her own.

    Also green arrow was awesome
    Seconding this. The show didn't age well. You kind of have to grow up with it and the notion that this is the best you are going to get on a television budget. I remember being sick of the endless merry go round on whether Clark will accept his destiny and Clana hook ups (their final break up was awful). That said there were always highlights: Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor was the best part of the show, Lois didn't feel like Lois at first but when they finally allowed Erica to play Lois and wrote her character as such, she became one of the best on screen portrayals of the character. Justin Hartley's GA was nothing like comic book Green Arrow and clearly meant to be one of the many Bruce Wayne/Batman expie's on the show but they were able to get away with it because Hartley was so charming and the writers quickly realized they could take him in directions that they wouldn't be able to with Bruce Wayne. Of the superhero guest stars I thought Cyborg, Impulse, Zatanna and Hawkman were done well.

  9. #39
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
    ustin Hartley's GA was nothing like comic book Green Arrow and clearly meant to be one of the many Bruce Wayne/Batman expie's on the show but they were able to get away with it because Hartley was so charming and the writers quickly realized they could take him in directions that they wouldn't be able to with Bruce Wayne. .
    Not sure I agree with that. I mean... comic book Green Arrow has had a LOT of 'phases' he's gone through. The way they focused so much on the trick arrows and passionate crusader bits... He was as much a comic book GA as any of the other characters matched up. He was closer to the comic version that Amell's version for sure.

    It doesn't help that a lot of GA was originally cut and pasted from Batman in the first place... but I definitely see GA when I watch Hartley's perfomances.

  10. #40

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    I don't agree that the show did not age well or that you had to grow up with it.

    I saw the show for the first time just a few years ago when I binged the DVDs for a few months.

    I thought the show was very well done in general and holds up well. The stories were often riveting and the complex relationships between the characters that became deeper and more enriched over time were very entertaining to watch.

    The show was not perfect -- no show is. As more and more Kryptonian stuff was woven into the show, sometimes the series became too densely plotted for its own good. Because of this, some plot points and payoffs got the short-shrift. I thought the Season 7 finale with the confrontation of Lex and Clark in the Fortress after Lex finally discovered everything was way too rushed and therefore a letdown. The faceoff between Clark and Lex should have been at least the final 15 minutes of the show, not just the two minutes that we got. Also, the retconning the show did with its own history didn't really make sense -- like establishing connections between the Luthors, the Teagues, etc. who know there is an alien on earth -- contradicts Lionel Luthor's prior interactions with Clark. Lois Lane was introduced a few seasons too soon.

    Still, Smallville was generally a great series and always fun to watch. The movie-takeoff episodes and the episodes where they start at a crisis point and then flash back to the events that led up to it worked for me every time they tried them (which was often).

    I think Smallville should also get credit for starting a trend of plot-heavy, mystery-laden serials that have now become the norm. I think shows like Lost owe some debt to Smallville. Perhaps both owe a debt to X-Files, but I've never seen enough of that show to know if it belongs to the same category.

    To sum up, I think Smallville is pretty much the best Superman show ever made -- although there's something to like about all of them.

  11. #41
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    Comments on season 4:

    RIP the fictional character of Alicia Baker (as played by Sarah Carter). She had more chemistry per second with Clark than any of the other women in his life. Makes me think of the great lost loves of Clark Kent in the comics--like Lyla Lerrol, Lyrica Lloyd and Sally Sellwyn. But like them, while Clark emotes a lot over his loss at the end of the story, that loss doesn't stay with him in the following episodes. That's something they could have used more--the people that really matter to him that he's lost, like Ryan, Alicia and Evan, should be remembered and inform his character development.

    It's weird that Erica Durance didn't get to be in the opening credits for this season, but Jensen Ackles did. Her Lois Lane makes a much stronger impression than his Jason Teague--and by the end of the season he's just a gun-toting heavy, who serves no greater purpose. With all the supernatural business going on, it's like this season was a dry run for SUPERNATURAL (the series he was written out of SMALLVILLE to star in--funny that both shows were made in Vancouver).

    The supernatural shenanigans made my brain hurt. How can any of this connect with Krypton? Having some tie to Earth pre-exist Kal-El's arrival on our planet is one of those things I never liked in the comics. It should be an act of desperation, when Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van launch their infant son in a rocketship from the doomed planet--and it should be totally random that the Last Son of Krypton happens to come to Earth.

    I got all a-tingle when Lois Lane and Lana Lang met for the first time. I wonder--in between scenes--do all the L.L. characters sit around the Luthor mansion wondering how they all came to have the same initials?

    They sure had bad luck with the rain. Believe it or not, there are times of the year in Vancouver when we have no rain. During the summer we can go for months without rain, there are water restrictions and the risk of wild fires is great. I wonder if they just happen to shoot most of the TV shows in the months when there is the greatest probability of rain. They couldn't even shoot the graduation ceremony without the rain coming down (and Chloe left her car's top down).

    Man, John Glover's hair grows out fast.

    It's strange that Clark was set on playing football. Given all the things he can do, playing football seems like a waste of his potential. I guess he finally realized that, but it took him a long time. A lot of episodes in season 4 seemed like rehashes of stories from previous seasons. The high school setting was sucked dry of any new ideas. Why did they make Geoff Johns a psycho-killer quarterback?
    Last edited by Jim Kelly; 01-11-2020 at 09:13 PM.
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  12. #42
    Mighty Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Not sure I agree with that. I mean... comic book Green Arrow has had a LOT of 'phases' he's gone through. The way they focused so much on the trick arrows and passionate crusader bits... He was as much a comic book GA as any of the other characters matched up. He was closer to the comic version that Amell's version for sure.

    It doesn't help that a lot of GA was originally cut and pasted from Batman in the first place... but I definitely see GA when I watch Hartley's perfomances.
    Spoiled rich playboy who is humbled due to the incident that left him stranded on a desert island. Check.

    Comes up with trick arrows just for fun. Check.

    Steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Check.

    Reacts with quips and sarcasm to the fantastic stuff happening around him like audience surrogate. Check.

    I watched some clips of SV's GA since posting my initial comment and yeah, he was much more faithful than I realized. Hartley is also a better actor than Welling and he was a good foil for Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor. The only real difference is the lack of goatee and I'm used to comic GA being hot blooded and loud mouth. I can't imagine him having the charisma and leadership ability to organize and lead a team, though he can ground them and inspire as seen in the 'Divided We Fall' episode when he convinced Superman to keep the League together. Still I like SV's GA, the costume still holds up and the addition of a crossbow was a nice touch. On the charisma/pretty ness scale, Hartley's more on the Roy Harper/Steve Trevor/Kyle Rayner side of the spectrum than Oliver Queen.

  13. #43
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    At the halfway point of season 5 now and watching the "you're beautiful" episode--what I call it, because that James Blunt song is incessant on the soundtrack. I was dreading this episode in my rewatch, because it's the episode that destroyed my affection for SMALLVILLE going forward. I just hated hated the way that Jonathan Kent was killed off in exchange for Lana's life. If it was up to me, I would have saved Jonathan and let Lana die. By this point in the series, they were just beating a dead horse with the Lana-Clark romance and had used up her character--and they were just going to destroy her anyway--if she had died at this stage, it would have been a touching death and driven the series forward in a meaningful way.

    I can't stand the stuff with Jor-El, who is God as far as the plot goes. It's ironic, in this episode, when he says to Clark that they're not gods. Ha! He can do anything that the plot requires--his position as some malevolent god is the only way to explain it.

    John Schneider and Annette O'Tool were the actors that sold this series in the beginning. And I think they were perfectly cast as Ma and Pa Kent. However, the writers often wasted them. The series should have been about how they guided Clark and instilled the values in him that made him Superman. But too often, especially with Jonathan, the writers didn't go in that direction--with the yelling at Clark and telling him he's a disappointment. Instead of being the kindly father figure, Jonathan would go over the top in his rage at everyone and everything--that is when he wasn't being tossed around like a crash test dummy. Any normal human would have expired already before this, given all the beatings he took.

    At least the writers played fair in foreshadowing Jonathan's death from the opening of season 3 onward. I'll give them that.

    Bringing in Lois Lane in season 4 was the saving grace of the series. She brought in a new energy and it was a relief knowing that she would eventually end up with Clark--which made the Lana drama easier to take.
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  14. #44
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    Also a little over halfway through 5. We just watched the Cyborg episode the other day. My kids love this show. It’s a great way to bond with them over something I loved when I was younger.

  15. #45
    Mighty Member John Venus's Avatar
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    I know it was for budgetary reasons but I like how this Cyborg could 'hide' his cybernetic enhancements. With advanced technology why wouldn't Vic have access to prosthetic make up that would allow him to pass as a regular person on the streets?

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