K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick! (bop_radar) wrote,
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!
bop_radar

Smallville 8.13

It's the heatwave edition of my review. Sorry guys. I'm not expending any more thought energy on this until at least one of the following things happens:
- the temperature drops 15 degrees
- Smallville returns to the show I recognise.

Um. WTF was that? It wasn't what I expected, I know that much. I was completely thrown by all the crazy camera work. It was so heavy handed and didn't enhance the story in any way. Also, I found it actually worked against the material because with a couple of rare exceptions (like the final shot), it didn't work within Smallville's established visual narrative. Smallville builds a lot of its emotional resonance through reptition and long, slow, still shots. There are strengths and weakneses to this approach, but since so much of its storytelling is visual, its very important that it maintains a consistent tone. Then, where an unusual shot choice is made, it is done so purposefully and really enhances the emotional impact. This... was, imo, a trainwreck. I felt completely disconnected from it at a visual level and, like last week's desaturated episode, it felt like 'not my Smallville'.

I know it might sound weird to throw a hissy fit about the visual presentation of an episode, but I relate so strongly to the show this way, it's my usual way 'in' to the meta, I'm just left feeling really disconnected from the episode.

I'm sure everyone will be praising Allison to high heaven, but I don't think imposing your own vision on a show like Smallville is actually a sign of good direction. Taking the Smallville style and doing it really well is a far better sign and I think Tom did better at this.

At a plot level, there was one thing that really really pissed me off, and that was the retcon of the Clana breakup video. What was that? To placate the Clana fans? I don't understand. That tape was one of the most beautiful, amazing, resonant moments in the entire series. I bawled my eyes out. They've stripped it of meaning now, retconning it so that Lana didn't choose to leave Clark. Geez, way to waste more than a season's worth of emotional development. I feel like last night's episode actually took something away from that story.

And beyond that it didn't progress the story any. Last episode ended with a Clana kiss. So did this one. Ok, this time it was Clark kisses Lana-with-superpowers, but it doesn't really make much difference because we know that they still have to break up again and now it's going to be even more rushed.

I don't feel the superpowers help any. And I am really really upset that Lana's empowerment arc is not about becoming empowered as her own character, it's about her becoming empowered in a Clark-like way, to become equal to Clark on HIS terms. AAAAAGJGHJGKDJGDKJGDKJGDKJGAHHHHHHH! Screw that! I wanted Lana to become her own person and I would have preferred an ending that had her leaving to let Clark become the hero he has the potential to be. All I wanted from this arc was to find out how Lana defined her own life. So they've now failed on that front as well.

I'm seriously jaded. Season 8 is beginning to feel like a write-off for me, and that's despite Tess being smashing, and the Tess-Lana material being engaging in this episode.

I'm really unimpressed with the way the new creative team have dismantled Al and Miles's vision. I know that is SACRILEGE to state that in this fandom, because Al and Miles are so hated, but you know what? They had a consistent clear vision and they held their story within certain clear boundaries. They also understood how to use the visual narrative to the maximum potential.

I want that show back.

Yeah, I'm not going to be popular this week but my opinion filter got removed when the temp. clocked 40 degrees. I hope you guys got more out of that than I did.

*slumps off to get an ice pack*
Tags: smallville_meta, svseason8
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