?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
10 October 2008 @ 11:00 pm
Smallville rant (pre-review of 8.04)  
Ok, guys. Unpopular (and unexpected) fannish opinion warning on this one, but I need to get it out there. I've realised what is bugging me about this season. And it's kind of huge. This is in response to 8.04 so may be spoilery, but I'm going to review 8.04 separately because I have other stuff to say about it. It's the Clois. I hate it. It's now become clear that it's not just some errant bad writing--they are deliberately characterising Lois as having (strong) feelings for Clark.

WHY?! Since WHEN?!

I've racked my brains and I don't understand it. Until now there has been attraction there, sure, but it's been very firmly repressed/buried and it's been something that is subtle and nuanced and all the sweeter for that. They've been able to play moments where Lois has softened a little towards Clark and then quickly shut down on him again in comedic fashion. There's no more of that. In this episode, she pretty much had an entire monologue where she admitted to herself that she had very strong feelings for him but was fighting them.

No. Sorry. That's not my Lois.

Here's why:
1. It breaks canon. It's way, WAY too early! And also Lois does not fall in love with Clark first: she falls for SUPERMAN. (ETA: deleted because it's not really my main gripe for reasons made clear in the comments.)
2. It's this season's writers imposing a view of Lois on the character that has not arisen organically. I can't think of one plausible reason why Lois has suddenly got this level of jealousy about Clark. She falls for heroes, damn it! And she has never seen Clark as one. It makes no sense.
3. It changes the Lois and Clark dynamic--what I love about that dynamic is Clark pining and Lois being kickass and oblivious. This is flipping that around and I'm being selfish here: that doesn't float my boat.
4. It's not even internally consistent within this season--last episode she had some amazing scenes with Oliver and worked through her emotions about their break-up. She's growing and beginning to consider that she may have been too hasty in her feelings there. She may be able to consider dating a hero in the future... That's great! And then suddenly she's lusting after Clark. Um... Weird connection there because--and I point this out again, because it's important--she does not view Clark as a hero.
5. Even more tragically, they are defining Lois solely through her romantic plot this season. So far she has no other plot. Sure, she's a reporter but now that plot is all about Clark and his entry at the Daily Planet (and their ongoing flirtations). I really want to believe they will give her her own arc that's separate from that, but I'm not sure... the closest we got to it was having her scenes with Oliver last season which so far are my favourite Lois scenes in season 8. Coincidence? I think not.
6. There's an accompanying issue that we saw in 8.02, which I'll call the 'Lois and Clark' effect: it's the tendency to tear Lois down or make her look like a ditz or an idiot for comic effect and so that Clark can sigh wryly and with superiority and we can all remember who's really great. It's the main reason that while I loved that show as a teenager, I cannot swallow it now. Tearing down strong women = not cool in the naughties. Not cool and NOT HOT. And on SV, doubly unnecessary because Clark is already great, already fully defined in his own world.

Sigh. MEGA-SIGH.

They just took my ship and changed the entire dynamic on it's head. They took my favourite character and rewrote her. I am feeling a MASSIVE disconnect with Lois now... I switch in and out of her depending on how heavily Clois-y the scene is. Not Clois-y at all? GREAT. Somewhat Clois-y? Hmm. Very Clois-y? I got nothin'. It is SO WEIRD. It's a total reversal for me from previous seasons.

This is my one great ship of all time, people! It's the one thing I thought Season 8 might be good for. Why is it being taken away from me?! *weeps*

I know I may be pretty alone in this opinion--my liking of Clois is about a very specific dynamic that I know is not everyone's cup of tea, and I respect that. I am sure there will be people who will like the Clois this season more than ever before because it more closely correlates with a dynamic they like. I am sure there are counterarguments to the case I've put here... and I'm happy for those of you who disagree with me and are finding it either not a problem or actively enjoyable. That's awesome. You rock on. But it doesn't work for me and I need to face that because I think it's an overall direction that will remain consistent this season and it's going to irk me.

But fear not! I have other things which are delighting me no end and actually greatly enjoyed this episode... so my next post will be more interesting positive.
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
 
 
 
Kate: Lois superswankmskatej on October 10th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
Oh noes! *HUGS YOU*

I haven't seen the latest episode but I have also not loved the Clois dynamic this year (and I *adore* the pairing) - the thought of her having feelings for Clark doesn't bother me intellectually but I may well react the way you did once I see how they handle it in 8.04.

Hopefully the story I am writing will be to your taste! (I plan to call on your beta-reading skills in due course, btw, so if it doesn't you can always just tell me to rewrite. *g*)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois kissbop_radar on October 10th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
It does bother me intellectually and I felt some scenes were terribly overwritten and heavy handed in this ep. Erica's doing a great job but it's clearly the direction she's been given.

Clois beta for you?! SURE! I have a feeling you'll be pretty close to the mark for me... ;)
(no subject) - mskatej on October 10th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mskatej on October 10th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - carolandtom on October 10th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mskatej on October 10th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ: Loismorganichele on October 10th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
I am liking some of the Clois, but I have to totally agree with you about a few things. One of them (which is HUGE, IMO), is that Lois is NOT supposed to fall in love with Clark Kent...she's supposed to fall in love with Superman.

This really does itch at me. It's basically like a total-alternate-universe Lois Lane and Clark Kent. :/

And, I do think it's a bit early. But, alas...they're both exceedingly pretty. lol. I tend to go a bit mushy-brained when I look at them. :P
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on October 10th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
It IS huge. *nods* HUGE. But I'm not really emotionally upset about it... at least not right now. I'm a bit annoyed, but mostly I'm intellectually disappointed. Emotionally there's still so much in the show that I do love--and I'm still enjoying the Clark side of the ship a lot.
Call Me OneTrackcallmeonetrack on October 10th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
Oh see that? I knew I wasn't imagining it! They've been making Lois be all flighty and longing about Clark this season! (Not so much last week when Ollie was on his potential deathbed, but definitely in the two preceding episodes.)

I actually didn't get to watch last night's ep because Verizon Fios and my Tivo do not play nicely together (sigh...rantyness quelched). But I agree that the rewriting of Lois is very irksome (apparently this season Chloe isn't the only one being lightswitched--I believe that is the term I just learned). I don't know the character well as built in mythology but I liked the SV Lois quite a bit and I don't want her to turn into another Lana or Chloe, just endlessly pining after Clark. Blegh.

Clearly I'm going to have to get my enjoyment from the SV men this season. Bring on the Ollie and Davis show! (Ok and Clark can stick around too for upping the pretty factor.)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on October 10th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you were not imagining things. I had thought it was some errant writing (which has happened before!) but I think 4 eps is proof that it's a consistent direction now... Last week was a bit of an anomaly because they returned to the Lollie.

Lightswitched! Aarrrrghhh. How I have come to hate that term and it's rampant use in SV meta... but yeah... I actually disagree with 90 per cent of the times that people argue characters have been lightswitched on SV, but I've got to say that I do think Lois has been lightswitched into liking Clark. Booooooo. As you point out, we've seen that story before!

I too am finding other enjoyment on the show instead... The boys are great value--and there's some superlatively pretty (and sexy) Clark in this episode. :D
(no subject) - callmeonetrack on October 10th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Cris: Lois - glassesduskwillow on October 10th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
pt.1
Aw, sorry to hear you're not enjoying Clois this year. :(

I doubt this will help, but here's my view on where they're going with the show this year.
I agree that they're pushing Clois forward full speed. But I think they're doing that with all the storyline this year. Clark got a job at the Daily Planet without us seeing how; Chloe has a supercomputer brain and they're pushing her storyline in that direction; we're getting mini Ollie spin off inside Smallville with flashbacks of his GA origin and whatnot; we have already established new She Lex villain; Davis was weird & naked in the alley already in the first episode he was in, and so on. I don't think they're taking anything slow any more on the show.

It's now become clear that it's not just some errant bad writing--they are deliberately characterising Lois as having (strong) feelings for Clark.

To me it was obvious this season that she likes him a bit. But there might have been stronger feelings under the surface. She just dealt with leftover feelings she had for Ollie in the last episode (and that was the first time we saw them together on screen this season), and put an end on that chapter of her life.
So to me her feelings for Clark hit her a bit unprepared, ergo the over the top jealousy fit and poking Clark in the arm after she caught him in the elevator with Maxima. I don't think she saw it coming, that is why she didn't answer when Maxima asked her if she feels anything for Clark.
Also, the anvils were really big in this episode, but SV was never subtle.
So I'm OK with her falling for him, as long as they'll have Clark fall for her too. Because I do not want any one-sided 'he loves me not' crap.

And also Lois does not fall in love with Clark first: she falls for SUPERMAN.

She does fall for Clark in modern age comics, after the revamp in 1986 (I think that's the right year?).

She may be able to consider dating a hero in the future... That's great! And then suddenly she's lusting after Clark. Um... Weird connection there because--and I point this out again, because it's important--she does not view Clark as a hero.

But she thinks Clark's a good guy. Like she said to Lana in Reckoning - she'd be happy to end up with a guy like Clark one day. She's attracted to him and thinks he's good looking. The foundation was already there even before this season.

Even more tragically, they are defining Lois solely through her romantic plot this season.

This I hope will change, because I also have problems with her having only romantic storyline. I want her to write that Lex expose even if he's not here anymore. Or get another really big story. They can explore her as an ace reporter without Clark always being there. Or get her another solo storyline.

Cris: Clark - Daily Planetduskwillow on October 10th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
pt.2
There's an accompanying issue that we saw in 8.02, which I'll call the 'Lois and Clark' effect: it's the tendency to tear Lois down or make her look like a ditz or an idiot for comic effect and so that Clark can sigh wryly and with superiority and we can all remember who's really great.

Sure, Lois missed some things in that episode. But so did Clark, he was at the sight of the accident, and then later right next to Plastique when she killed that guy. And he still didn't place everything together or notice anything weird, even with his superpowers. Chloe took Plastique home even though she knew nothing about her, had enough sense to do a research on Davis but not on a kid living with her, and didn't realize she was behind the accident and murder until she almost got blasted away. And she's the one with superbrain. Everyone has their stupid moments, it just depends who you focus on.
Like in this episode, how they had Lois explain to Clark what endorphins are.

I mean this is Smallville. People get blown up in houses or in cars, but then they come back alive. Lex is suddenly evil and a brilliant mad scientist who is able to clone people. Chloe is a meteor mutant after 5 years, even though she never mentioned she was in the first meteor shower. There are fake babies. Lionel died a saint, and people he tried to kill few years ago think he's a good guy! Lana is kidnapping and torturing people, but Clark thinks everyone makes mistakes, so it's alright, and he redeems her in the end. And this year in particular they are taking giant lapses forward. IMO the show is too flawed to expect them to do everything right/how I'd prefer it. And with 22 episodes, 18 left, and Erica not being in all of them, they probably feel pressured to hurry the Clois storyline a bit if they want to start/do it this season (especially if it's the last one). So they also hint at offscreen, like when Chloe said last week that Clark and Lois are joined at hip and spending all their time together. For me what works best is to kick back and relax, knowing the show will always be flawed but at least it's moving forward this season (unlike the last year and a half).

This turned really long. O_o
Re: pt.2 - mskatej on October 10th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.2 - duskwillow on October 10th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.2 - bop_radar on October 10th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.2 - bop_radar on October 10th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.1 - cbrownjc on October 10th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.1 - duskwillow on October 10th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.1 - cbrownjc on October 10th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.1 - bop_radar on October 10th, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.1 - cbrownjc on October 11th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.1 - bop_radar on October 11th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.1 - bop_radar on October 10th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: pt.1 - bop_radar on October 10th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Nora Norwich: Bend over boyfriendnorwich36 on October 10th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
I agree with you to the extent that I think they are rushing the Clois a bit, and it's making some of Lois' dialogue seem forced. I have to say, though, I have no problems with Lois having deeper feelings for Clark than she's acknowledging to herself as long as it's the same for Clark (which I think might have been hinted at in the tag scene of Instinct). But otherwise, yeah, the idea of Lois pining over Clark makes me want to vomit.

I do like the idea of Lois falling for Clark rather than Superman, though.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on October 10th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
otherwise, yeah, the idea of Lois pining over Clark makes me want to vomit.
Totally!

(What's a 'tag scene'?)

I don't mind the idea of Lois falling for Clark rather than Superman--but I feel it's way too early for her to do so in SV canon.

And also, yeah, it's just not my ultimate dynamic. You know: the dynamic that I find ridiculously superhot and irresistible. It's still a likeable dynamic and these two are probably hot enough to carry it somewhat for me. But it's not my toally ultimate ship type any more.
(Deleted comment)
svgurl: clois s8svgurl on October 10th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Aww, I'm sorry the Clois didn't work for you. *hugs* I can totally understand being frustrated at the lightswitch and them not following canon.

It changes the Lois and Clark dynamic--what I love about that dynamic is Clark pining and Lois being kickass and oblivious. This is flipping that around and I'm being selfish here: that doesn't float my boat.

I hope that even while Lois is pining, she'll still be kickass. She doesn't seem the type to just mope or anything so at least we can eliminate that possibility.

Maybe I'm too optimistic ... but I have hopes for this season. I would like to see some feelings on Clark's side though. :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois searchingbop_radar on October 10th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah she is still kickass! I loved her 'bring it, bitch' line, for instance. But it doesn't change the fact that she's actively interested in him which lessens the dynamic for me personally. I don't reckon most people will have my issue with it. ;)

I'm just going to hang out and watch/hope for Clark's feelings to play more of a part...
daybreak777: loisdaybreak777 on October 10th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
Quick comment!

See, I like Clois. I like Clark/anyone. Poor kid. I like when anyone cares about him. And heck, I just wrote Clois and had no idea about this ep when I did. (Um, hope you like that fic. Just total fantasy, but I wonder how it reads after this ep.)

But there was some wtf-ery here with Lois. Not Clark. I buy what you said last week to me about him waking up to the awesomeness of Lois. But Lois? Wasn't she crying over Oliver last week? When did she get so emotional? I don't really know her well, but she seems to be going back and forth between tough!Lois and emotional!Lois pretty quickly.

They are rushing the Clois because the series is winding down. I don't know why. These two have plenty of time, it doesn't all have to happen on the show. Silly writers.

Also, as much as I want Clark to be happy with some woman, he had like three love interests in this single episode. Goodness! I kinda cheered when Chloe told him she was over him (don't know if I believed her but it sounded convincing) and I actually ship those two. He's cute and sweet, but I'm glad when women have a good backbone around him.

Lois has that. I don't care if they hookup as long as she stays Lois around him. She's been a bit weird lately and not just over Clark.

So Boppy I am so sorry they are changing your ship. I wish shows would never end so they wouldn't feel this need to rush things. I hope you feel a bit better now. Sometime soon, I'll have to rewatch Instint. I watched it, but didn't see where Lois said she had strong feelings for Clark. The alien-girl said it, but Lois said those words? Did I block it out? *g*

I still think she's a bit oblivious. But again, I have to watch the ep again. Off to print out your full-ep meta because I liked it very much too!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Boppybop_radar on October 10th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
I don't really know her well, but she seems to be going back and forth between tough!Lois and emotional!Lois pretty quickly.
yeah she was. It's not really her being emotional that I object to--that's been well established before, especially where relationships are concerned (her achilles heel!) and Oliver was a very big deal for her--her first real love. So I have no prob with that, but I do have a prob with her insta!feelings for Clark.

he had like three love interests in this single episode. Goodness!
Hahaha, that's oldschool!Smallville too though...

Lois has that. I don't care if they hookup as long as she stays Lois around him. She's been a bit weird lately and not just over Clark.
Yeah, I hate the new writing of Lois. I still love Erica's performance *as* Lois but they've given her some weird material. Ah well. Such is the life of an SV fan. We gotta roll with the punches.

didn't see where Lois said she had strong feelings for Clark. The alien-girl said it, but Lois said those words? Did I block it out? *g*
The strength of her reaction to them in the lift spoke louder than words and then she had a little monologue where she was all 'Smallville? never!' but she was clearly protesting way too much. It was too OTT for me to be in any doubt that she had raging feelings for him. I'm glad other people think she's still oblivious though... I guess it just wasn't subtle enough for me (but it's hilarious that I demand subtelty from SV, I guess!)
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lollie yogabop_radar on October 10th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
Re: part I
Personally, I prefer Lois Falls For Clark First to Lois Falls For Superman First because I like the idea of her falling for the actual guy rather than his persona
Yup! On balanced reflection me too. And I've just struck out that part of my complaint for that reason. And also because it's been well pointed out that SV is more consistent with post-Crisis comics canon.

what makes a 'ship work for people is often as individual a thing as fingerprints
Yeah, ultimately that's the problem. It doesn't work so well for me now and I'm not really attached to this post as meta--it's more just a record of my personal resignation about the dynamic flipping away from what I personally prefer.

She didn't expect that out of herself, which suggests to me that what she feels was buried deep and she was taken aback when it bubbled to the surface.
Paid. But I found the whole thing massively overwritten. If it had been more restrained I could have rolled with it, but the strength of Lois's reaction (she screamed and tapped at his chest and stormed off!) seems to me like she couldn't really remain oblivious to her reaction and its implications. Yes, she protests against it to Maxima but Lois ain't dumb. She knows what that kind of over-the-top behaviour means and she may not like it but she just realised she has feelings for Clark. I think that showed in their final scene too where she very carefully avoided telling Clark what Maxima said. Once upon a time Lois would have blurted that out to him and been all 'HAAAA! Isn't that funny!' Now it's too close to the truth for her to voice.

she was crying about it to Clark because she thought she'd discovered that the honorable man she loved was really the sketchy vigilante whose moral compass didn't quite align with hers
That's not quite my reading of that scene, but I agree that it's well established that Lois likes honorable men. And she does think of Lois as one--she has gone so far as to say she'd be lucky to end up with someone like him one day. But before that did not mean she was actively interested in him, it just meant that she recognised in him qualities she appreciated.
(Deleted comment)
Re: part I - bop_radar on October 11th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on October 11th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC)
Re: part II
It's about thinking that what he's doing in the world is so much bigger than her/anything she could contribute.
Oh absolutely! Completely agree with your points there--but she doesn't think that about Clark yet either. His ambitions do not seem bigger than hers, quite the opposite.

it's a complaint more justly leveled at Plastique than Instinct.
Definitely--I meant it to be levelled at 8.02, sorry if that wasn't clear.
tasabiantasabian on October 12th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
There's an accompanying issue that we saw in 8.02, which I'll call the 'Lois and Clark' effect: it's the tendency to tear Lois down or make her look like a ditz or an idiot for comic effect and so that Clark can sigh wryly and with superiority and we can all remember who's really great.
De-lurking to say I think this is spot-on...After the sweet Clois friendship of S6, this feels like a big step backwards. I wish the writers would ease up on all the 'shipper-urgency and just allow the characters to settle into their new roles: more focus on actual journalism for Lois, Clark and Jimmy; more focus on the sinister encroachment of Brainiac for Chloe.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois Crimsonbop_radar on October 13th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
Mmm, yeah I really loved the S6 friendship. I agree with the need for the writers to relaaaax. 22 episodes is a lot of time! And it's still possible to create shippy moments (of greater subtelty!) within more plot-oriented scripts. Sigh.
latteaddict: Passed out pilotslatteaddict on November 28th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
wow, you picked up on their dynamic switch much earlier than I did. I saw the changes but I didn't actually think TPTB would follow through so I brushed them off. 'The Bride' changed that of course; strong hints turned into straight canon.

I hope they fix it and don't drag this back-to-front dynamic on much longer.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois marriagebop_radar on November 29th, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
SAME! I feared it and then my worst fears came to pass... but I am hopeful that Clark will pine after Lois now she's gone to Star City for a while...