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11 March 2004 @ 01:26 am
Drop science like an epileptic chemist  
Lately updating my livejournal has been oddly intimidating. I think it's because I'm having one of those "Ohmygod my friendslist is so damned *smart*!" moments. So every time I open Semagic to type something up, I'm all "Oh no! I have to word that just right!" And then I freak out and don't type anything at all. (I think it's just my attitude toward writing in general at the moment creeping into my lj attitude -- which is strange, but largely fine.)

So! A couple of things I've been thinking about lately. (I realized after typing for a while that I could practically have called this post 'Nifra Airs Her Unpopular SV Opinions'.)



One thing that really struck me about season one Clark is how much they loved to shoot him as *still* -- think about it. How many times were we shown Clark standing, motionless, among other people, going about their business. To me, this really played up his indecision and confusion -- this Clark who isn't moving doesn't know *what* to do, and he's afraid to get it wrong. This has really shaped *my* characterization of Clark for certain, and I think it *has* to inform the way we read early Clark. He's so unsure of himself, so unsure of what the right thing to do is -- and Smallville shows this by showing us his inaction in season one, and parts of season two.

What I've really noticed about season three, however, is that we're being shown less and less of these shots. Certainly, they probably still hold visual appeal for AlMiles & co. because well, TW is this big striking guy and to have him stand utterly motionless, half a head taller than those around him is really striking to look at. But what we're seeing instead is a Clark who's *moving* and *doing* -- a Clark that's make snap judgements, and decisions, and *trusting* himself to go with them. As any good genesis of Superman story would do, Smallville's showing us here that Clark's getting more confident in his ability to tell the right choice from the wrong choice. He's becoming the man who'll be acting *immediately* and decisively in the future -- Superman, naturally.

But he still is hesitating -- and most notably his hesitations come whenever he deals with Lex. The most shots we see of Clark *not* acting in Season three seem to me to be done in the castle, anywhere where *Lex* is. The hesitation that will affect Clark the most in his life is his hesitation to get Lex out of Belle Reve, and even in the episodes directly following that Clark seems to find hesitation something loathesome -- because he knows the consequences of it now.





Lana Lang's got a bad rap, in my opinion. I know some of you out there Just Don't Like Her, and I respect that -- I Just Don't Like Jonathan, so, you know, I get how that can be. I can understand the logic of arguments for him, and sure, he's doing his best, and his feelings about Lex are certainly not without a base of some kind...but I Just Don't Like Him.

Lana, on the other hand, I've lately been thinking about more and more. As I said -- I think the girl's definitely got a bad rap. Sure, she's passive aggressive and can be manipulative -- by I'll go out on a limb here and say that there are *many many* people who share those traits. Hell, I know *I* can be those things in my less than fine moments -- and when I was sixteen? Even more so. That's something that I think people forget: Lana's a teenager, you guys. I think that if all of us were to dissect our own behaviour at that age, we'd find it wanting.

Here's what I like about Lana: she's organized, she's driven, and girl definitely goes *after* what she wants. She takes good care of herself, for the most part, and even in the Exile/Pheonix "Ohmygod I want to get Clark back!" thing that happened, I don't condemn her for being *too* needy. She'd just taken someone's life *for* Clark, basically. I think that being with him would at least make that something easier to deal with. It's a weird psychological thing -- and yes, it *was* needy (I'm certainly not saying it's not) -- but I can see it. It makes sense to me. Lana's assertive, and yeah, she buys her own rap as being some kind of perfect princess -- but when Adam calls her own her hurt little girl act? She doesn't disagree with him. She knows herself pretty well, I think, and she is true to her opinions for the most part, which I like. (Though I don't always agree with her -- or maybe even often.)

We've all got facades we hide behind -- that's hers. Sure, it's *annoying*, but I think it's understandable. And yes, she does go on and on and on and *on* about her parents -- but let's consider the reality of that situation, how horrific it really was. She had to *smell* her parents burning bodies, see their corpses, listen to them scream. As formative events go? That one's kind of a biggee. This is a really *hugely* faulty analogy, I know, but watching the death of *his* parents made Bruce Wayne who he was. He doesn't talk about it all the time, no, but the huge impact is still the same. Lana doesn't really keep much inside -- she gets it out there, so *of course* she talks about this huge thing that's happened to her. So, that's something to consider when evaluating her, in my opinion. Basically, I think she's a more interesting character than people give her credit for, and a more respectable one, too. It gets old that AlMiles have a weird hard on for her, but, whatever.

Martha, on the other hand, has become, to me, a very upsetting character. She doesn't seem to voice opinions beyond, "Clark, you should be with Lana" (which, Clex aside, is to me a really *ridiculous* idea -- those two would end up just feeding into one another's mope-age). Whatever Jonathan says, seems to go. And, okay, we know how I feel about Jonathan. Martha seems to be utterly isolated within Smallville, and wholly dependent on her husband -- talk about your needy relationships, right? And she doesn't ever seem to be terribly concerned about her son's welfare -- beyond, of course, trying to push him into heteronormative relationships. I mean, okay, fine, the kid's invulnerable -- but I really don't think that even knowing that I'd be so very blase about him, oh, say being SET ON FIRE, or having stuff dropped on him, yadda yadda yadda. People lately have been making reference to Pod!Martha, but I think that since her miscarriage over the summer and brush with losing Clark, she's just become less and less independent, and less and less given to thinking for herself. Or even acting on her own behalf. What's important to her is clearly her family -- and it seems that Jonathan is the only stable family she's got left, so she clings to him in this incredibly codependent way that seems to preclude having her own opinions. I mean, so goes Jonathan, so goes Martha's nation, you guys. And, as she said to Lex, within a healthy relationship there should be room for disagreements -- but I'd take that one step further, and say that in a healthy relationship there should very *definitely* be room to be seperate people. And I'm not seeing that with the Kents, and I find it disturbing.

I mean, in all reality the only truly positive female character on the show is Chloe. Often, in fact, the paternalism of the show irritates me, but I usually don't let it bother me, and all of that's beside the point anyway. When contrasting Martha and Lana? I'd *certainly* pick Lana as a positive role model over Martha Kent any day -- even if she is manipulative and kind of self-centered. At the very least she's her own person, and she looks out for herself.





This one...well, it's hard to really describe my feelings on this issue, because I'm so torn. This is partially because I'm torn as a shipper -- there's my inner Clark/Lois shipper, and then my Clark/Lex shipper, too and they have death matches all the time. I know some of you out there feel my pain. But, frankly, as much as Clark and Lex *could* work if things were different -- it could also *not* work just as often. Even if Clark was up front about who and what he is, there are a million ways that he and Lex could have something other than connubial bliss. The biggest reason I can see is that neither one of them is willing to talk out what bothers them. Clark gets Righteous and Lex gets Sneaky, and this is *no* recipe for resolving an argument healthily -- this is, however, a recipe for Rift.

Now, don't get me wrong, I *love* Clark and Lex together and I hurt for them that they won't be. I hurt for them because of the intensity of the solitude they *both* have to bear -- even if Clark does have Lois, in the end, there's so much time that he spends alone and there are so many ways that he's *still* alone when he's with her (watch my inner Clois shipper kick me in the face for saying that). But it's true, I think. In my opinion, Clark's relationship with Lex (no matter how you view it) teaches him to avoid certain levels of intimacy and he doesn't ever really let himself be as sheerly *vulnerable* as he is with Lex with anyone else. This may be a function of the fact that his relationship with Lex is something that happens when he's very young, but it might also be because Lex is just as alone as Clark is. That's something that Lois never has -- she's a woman of the people, she's got friends, she's a career girl but she's not *apart* like Clark and Lex are. But that's part of the Clark/Lois appeal -- she tethers him to Earth, keeps him from falling prey to the whole 'protector of humany who doesn't think much of it' situation by being first his partner, and later his lover.

A lot of the things that I like about the Rift are pretty much Clark-centric -- like the fact that in a world with a Rift, Clark has Lex as this human embodiment of his fallibility. Lex keeps him honest, *by* being his nemesis or whatever and not his friend/lover. Whenever Clark's superhuman abilities make him feel like the iconic cardboard cut out he projects as leader of the Justice League, he's got this living breathing monument to the fact that he does *not* get things right all the time.

And I know that's some pretty cold reasoning. There's this part of me that cringes away from it and shrieks, "BUT OH MY GOD POOR *LEX*! THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH THIS HURTS HIM! AND CLARK, TOO! YOU BITCH!" But the fact is -- that no matter how I feel about it? It happens, it's going to happen, there's no way for me to try and justify to myself that it *won't* happen. Personally? I like the idea of Villain!Lex -- because I'm able to reconcile the fact that I do love him as a character, and still find his decisions and actions questionable at best. Besides, I like adversary slash -- I like all that simmering *stuff* that's between Clark-as-Superman and Future!Lex. I like the way the violence and the lust and the hurt and the betrayal and the overwhelming love that will *always* be there and that will *always* keep both Clark and Lex from ever fully leaving the other alone all commingle into this...this...*thing* that is Clex post-Rift. It's so *rich*, which isn't to say that happy!Clex is in anyway 'inferior' or anything. If you can write me a story where these two are legimitately happy together in the future and make me believe it? Dude, you fucking *win* -- because I do like those, too.

I admit to being *largely* ambivalent about this whole issue, but in the end? What it comes down to for me is that I love these characters -- and if you can show me Clark and Lex reacting to one another in an honest and *believable* way, no matter what the situation is, I'm still going to love it.






So, Smallville has my heart. I think I can safely say that -- Clark's practically a *part* of me, I love writing him so much. However, I do write in other fandoms sometimes -- and as confident as I *can* be about my writing, I get so antsy about branching out sometimes that I am practically paralyzed. For instance? I'm trying to write some HP right now (*eyes musesfool and rageprufrock darkly*), and I question everything about what I'm doing because I'm new to Sirius characterization. I'm writing what makes sense to me -- but I find myself *questioning*...myself in this way that I'm utterly unused to when I write SV. It's really making this damned thing come ridiculously slowly and agonizingly. Pretty much I just need to take a deep breath, chill the fuck out, and go with it, but it gets *very* hard sometimes becuase, yes, I *am* a perfectionist and I have ridiculously high expectations for myself. I fully admit to needing *retarded* amounds of hand holding *all the time* (which is part of why I'm so lucky to have Lyra around, because she's there to encourage me whenever I need it -- which is pretty much always), but when I start writing for a new fandom? The need for hand holding becomes *sky fucking high*. I guess I just need to get to know Sirius and Remus better, and then I'll feel more and more comfortable writing them. *repeats to self over and over*
 
 
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nerodinerodi on March 11th, 2004 04:17 am (UTC)
"Ohmygod my friendslist is so damned *smart*!"

Snerk. For serious? Who the hell is on your friends list?

Anyway, I wish we had gotten to talk about this stuff last Sat. night-- interesting things being said here.

1. Excellent (excellent!) point regarding still shots of Clark representing his hesitation/inaction and how we are having fewer of those shots. I hadn't conciously noticed that until you pointed it out. Good point.

2. Re: Lana. You know what, there are a *lot* of people who like Lana, even on LJ. IT's just the ones that hate her are the ones screaming (and I do mean screaming) and ranting and raving the loudest. Believe me, I could write a thirty page essay on why Lana is a strong female character, and I've met to meet a single person on LJ or elsewhere who has convinced me that she isn't. You'll notice that a vast majority (though not all) complaints spewed against Lana are "everybody loves her so I hate her!!" and that type, or the "Lana only talks about herself!" Um....no, no she doesn't. Seriously, look closely. It's surprising what you'll see.

Re: Martha, I agree 100% and I actually did a similar entry on that very subject back before you were on LJ. It's weird b/c I do think that Martha gives off a very comforting, maternal vibe, but man, when was the last time we saw her make her own decision, or do anything before looking to Jonathan for agreement and approval? It's very noticable, and yes, dissapointing.

I mean, in all reality the only truly positive female character on the show is Chloe.

I strongly disagree with this statement. Why do you think Chloe is a positive female character? Sure she is smart and spunky, but she pretty much spent all of season two trying to manipulate Clark into not liking Lana, all the while pretending to be best friends with Lana, and then when spurned (well, not even spurned, but when her manipulations fail), what does she do but going running to Lionel Luthor to spy on Clark? And continues to spy on Clark for awhile, and then when she realizes she's made a mistake, does she warn Clark? No.....she doesn't tell him that Lionel Luthor is investigating him for at least eight months, and only does so when confronted, and *when* confronted, she tries to turn it around on Clark. So, I'm not sure how Chloe comes across as a positive role model. For my daughter, I'd take Lana any day of the week.

3. Personally, I look forward to the rift!!

Anyway, enjoyed your entry. Nice job.
nerodinerodi on March 11th, 2004 04:18 am (UTC)
I meant I've "yet to meet anyone", not I've "met to meet anyone". (In my Lana paragraph above)
pure FORESHADOWING: absolut!nifra_idril on March 11th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC)
*grins* Got it.
when she smiles it's like a revelation: Fox - Newbiefox1013 on March 11th, 2004 09:37 am (UTC)
Also?

Chloe is a horrible example of "if you're an outspoken female, you're going to get punished for it".

*points to everything this season*

I like Chloe a lot, but she's not the example I'd want my imaginary kid to follow.
pure FORESHADOWING: Chloe/Faithnifra_idril on March 11th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC)
You know, I'm not sure that's so much a function of the character but a reality of the paternalistic show in which she's been set. Though, you're right, that is an incredibly troubling trend that AlMiles have set with her... and honestly, I'm pretty sure the girl's going to buy the farm (not literally, like Lex did with the Kent farm -- but actually die) before the series is over. So. *sighs*
nerodinerodi on March 11th, 2004 02:30 pm (UTC)
I'm just responding here under foxes comment to both fox and nifra regarding chloe, b/c yes, I too like Chloe, and nifra you said you wanted to think more about her, and ugh, i hate to do this b/c it feels like character bashing and I know there are a ton of people who love chloe, so i hate to sit here and bash her, and like i said, i really *do* enjoy her as a character, but also, touching on what fox said, another problem I have with Chloe is that well, not that it's "outspokenness", I think it trascends further into blatant lack of tact and social boundaries. Her shocking (to me) lack of regard for other people's privacy always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But one of my main problems with Chloe (and unfortuantely Nifra, this has been hightened in Season 3, so while many of the things I discussed above have calmed down a bit this season, this following one has become even more pronounced): I feel like Chloe makes her own bed (with very poor judgement) and then acts shocked when she has to lie in it. For example, she knows Clark is upset with her snooping into his adoption (Zero), yet she continues to do so, and is quite surprised in Lineage when he gets mad at her yet again for doing the exact same thing. More recently, Lionel directly threatened both her internship and her father's job if she wouldn't spy on Clark (and she knew from DAY ONE that he wanted her to spy on Clark so she really couldn't act all surprised about that), and then, when she ultimately refuses, she acts shocked and dismayed when Lionel, you know, actually goes through with his threats!! Now of course everybody makes mistakes, i certainly don't fault her for that (and who would want to watch a character that doesn't make mistakes), but its the way she deals with these mistakes that doesn't impress me. Chloe (like both Clark and Lex), has yet to truly grasp that her actions have consequences.
pure FORESHADOWING: Clark RHPSnifra_idril on March 11th, 2004 02:12 pm (UTC)
Hey there -- I wish we *had* gotten to talk this over on Saturday. I'd love to discuss Lana with you at some point (she's been on my mind lately because of my newfound SV femmeslash obsession -- and Lord knows where *that* came from.)

1. Heh -- the Clark-still shots were one of the first things I noticed about SV. Actually, weirdly enough? My fic As You Are basically happened because I wanted to write something with Clark being forced into motion re: his romantic situation with Lex. So it's something I've been very conscious of (as I think AlMiles have been).

2. You know, I hadn't thought about it but I guess you're right -- there must be more people out there who don't hate Lana. I agree that she *is* in fact a stronger female character than people give her credit for, and you're right, she doesn't just talk about herself. Personally, I loved the Lana/Adam arc (before he became weirdly threatening) because their interactions were (I'd say) Lana at her absolute best. And she was adorable!

As to Martha -- well. I admit up front my anti-Kent prejudice. She gives off maternal vibes, sure, but it seems as though the only 'maternal' things she's willing to do are a) bake and b)look vaguely concerned. I'd like to see her actually *do* something maternal, you know? I mean, poor Clark! He *really* needs his Mom right now -- to talk to him, to counsel him, to just *hug* him, and Martha's absence seems to me a huge big deal. When Jonathan's in the hospital getting his heart surgery, Clark actually says that Jonathan's the most important person in his life -- which bothered me, because Jonathan just nods and accepts it and also becuase it's a blithe rejection of Martha's influence in his life. I mean, what does the woman *do* other than bake?!

*laughs* I'm sorry, I get way carried away when talking about Martha. It just disappoints me so very, very much that AlMiles have the ability here to do a really great full fledged family portrait of Superman, one complete with maternal influence, and they're just *not*.

As to Chloe -- *wow* I had not thought about her that way, *laughs*. I guess when I say that I think she's a positive character, what I really like about her is her perseverence and her need to be up front. But the more I think about it, the more you're right, she *isn't* a fully fledged strong female character -- but I feel like she's getting there more and more this season. Chloe's an interesting tangle, isn't she? I'm going to have to think more about her, so that I can really give you a more coherent and thought about argument about how I think she falls in the spectrum of female role models.

3. Bring it on, baby. *grins*

(Deleted comment)
teaphile on March 11th, 2004 05:36 am (UTC)
Martha
she's just become less and less independent, and less and less given to thinking for herself. Or even acting on her own behalf.

Which to me is a valid response to grief. Martha wanted a baby. Martha got a baby. Martha lost the baby plus the son she already had. Therefore, wanting things is bad. I think that if we'd had a chance to see her grieve in more than one episode, her actions now would be more clear.

BTW, I don't hate Lana, I hate how others react to her.
pure FORESHADOWING: fabio!clarknifra_idril on March 11th, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Martha
I'm not certain, really, that I could characterize all of her actions as grief based -- because even prior to this season Martha's role in Clark's life was steadily being trimmed back. Of course, Shattered/Asylum was the ultimate pinnacle of that, but even in second season more and more Martha had begun to defer entirely to Jonathan. By third season it's become absolutely egregious, so it seems like it was a downward spiral into basic inability to function without her husband. You're right -- a part of that may be grief-related, but basically my feeling is that as a parent, she needs to you know, act like one for her son. Which she really hasn't been lately. Our Clark's been going through *quite a lot* recently, and Martha's only attempts to comfort him have been ridiculously inappropriate to what he's going through in many ways.

And by how others react to her, in regards to Lana, -- do you mean on the show? Or do you mean in fandom? Because how they react to her on the show is kind of tiresome from time to time, for *sure*. *laughs*
-_-: collisionechoskeleton on March 11th, 2004 06:07 am (UTC)
While I'm not exactly a Lana-booster, I tend to think that she has a great deal of potential which, for various reasons, has never been completely acknowledged.

As I've said... somewhere else, Smallville has already redefined the roles of 'hero' and 'villain', but making Clark so conflicted, and Lex so incredibly sympathetic. Lana is the archetypal Damsel in Distress, and if they could manage to successfully re imagine her role, her character would probably be just as fascinating as Clark or Lex.

Again, this is all my interpretation, but I've always seen Lana as something of an active victim, as it's not only a large part of her character (especially in the first and second seasons), but she also used her status as victim to manipulate people. While I doubt any of this was deliberate, I think that if the writers had been willing to explore that angle, to look into how Victimhood could be a source of power for some women, Lana would have been much more fascinating character.

But that would have meant acknowledging that she was a deeply flawed character, and, probably more importantly that her and Clark's love was *not* oh so pure. If they played with that dynamic, it would show how much their respective roles as hero and victim tied into Clark and Lana's attraction to each other, and I'm not sure that Smallville is really willing, or even able to go into that. Mostly because, while Clark is Lana's savior, he's also one of her victimizers. They would have to admit that the relationship is not entirely healthy, and that would cost them their core audience of young girls, who like the idea of True Love.

I think a good amount of the Lana-Hate comes from KK, actually. While I'm usually not involved enough in the character, or her plot lines to care, there have been times that I wished that they'd hired a more competent actress for the role. While KK has improved since the show began (and, having watched the Pilot last night, I can say that there has been definite improvement), she still can't create a believable inner life for her character. She often seems blank to me, and I never find myself getting lost in the character.

Look at her speech at the end of Shattered for a good example of what I'm talking about: in such an intensely emotional episode, that scene was the only one that fell flat for me. A good actress could have made Lana seem conflicted, and frightened, and really, truly sad. And while KK was certainly making her 'sad' face, I never got the feeling that she understood what Lana was feeling, or why she would breaking up with Clark. She was saying the lines because they were in the script, with no internal logic whatsoever. That's why most people can't relate to Lana: because she doesn't seem to have any genuine emotions to relate to.

And that's why we like Martha, I think. AOT is a good actress, who makes the character seem like a human being. While we're not given any textual indication that she has a personality (and ITA with everything you've said about Martha, and the Kents' relationship), AOT makes the character seem real, and human. Hell, look at her scenes in the beginning of Exile, where she could convey real, present grief in a relatively short scene.

Also, I'm so with you on the Rift right now. It's both heartbreaking, and totally fascinating to me, watching how they come apart, how both their presence and absence in each other's lives will influence who they become. Plus, I love how they will never get rid of each other, how they are two sides of the same coin, soul mates in the most literal sense. It's so tragic, but so beautiful as well.

But, hey, I'm not going to say no to well-written, well-characterized fluff. Mostly because I tend to read a lot of fic before rushing off to class, or in between writing a paper, and I don't always want to cry. *g*
pure FORESHADOWING: broken supermannifra_idril on March 11th, 2004 02:39 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Lana as an active victim, in all honesty, I'm not so sure about. I mean, certainly in confrontations she does retreat into the 'martyr' role -- however, I wouldn't say that I read the character as one who is attempting to bank on her victimhood. Now, I say this because I don't personally think of many of the attacks on Lana and think that she sought them out. For the most part I'd say that the town tends to *need* her as its perpetual victim -- one who has suffered for the town since the very begining of the weirdness/tragedy. It's as though Lana has become a locus of all the town's pain, and therefore it's almost understandable that all the kryptofreaks should harbor such a strange obsession with her. Strange -- but hey, so are the kryptofreaks in general.

Lana herself seems to me to be attempting to break *out* of that role for the most part, as would be evidinced by sending Clark away in Shattered. This is a girl who has continually been trying to find a way out of the future she feels is 'mapped out for her' -- and I would argue that that future is one of the permanent victim. The town whipping post, in a way -- this totem of everything that Smallville has gone through since the meteor shower.

Now, I do agree with you that AOT is a much better actress than KK. But I'd say that KK's grown a *lot* as an actress -- I think most memorably would be in Exile/Pheonix when she cries after Clark tells her that he's leaving town. I mean, that was well done. As for her delivery of the lines at the end of Shattered, well, *shrugs* it didn't fall as flat for me as it seems to have for you. I think it may be mostly because I was thinking, "Damn, girl's gotta be on a whole helluva lot of pain meds right now." *laughs* But the point remains.

AOT does do her best for Martha -- but there's not much to be done for a character like that, it seems. *sighs*

It's both heartbreaking, and totally fascinating to me, watching how they come apart, how both their presence and absence in each other's lives will influence who they become. Plus, I love how they will never get rid of each other, how they are two sides of the same coin.

That's a perfect description of how I feel about the Rift, too. That's why I'm loving watching these two men twin their futures together and work their ways further and further into the other's psyche. This is why I keep watching the show, and why I love the Rift. Amen. *laughs*
-_-: light and shadowechoskeleton on March 11th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC)
Now, I say this because I don't personally think of many of the attacks on Lana and think that she sought them out. For the most part I'd say that the town tends to *need* her as its perpetual victim -- one who has suffered for the town since the very begining of the weirdness/tragedy

*nods* I agree that a large part of Lana's victim status was thrust upon her, and that she is currently trying to break out of this role. However, I do think that, especially in the first season (which I'm currently watching along side the new episodes, which is probably how I got this insane perspective) she did define herself primarily as a victim. The fact that she wore the Kryptonite necklace, and visited her parents graves regularly indicates that she did own this status for most of her life.

I just wish that they had made Lana's status as the Damsel more obvious, and put more attention into her struggle (and, if they really want her to be the third figure in a Clark/Lex/Lana trinity) the show, and her character would be much more dynamic and interesting. So far, her primary status has been as Clark's love interest, and they haven't really focused on this potentially interesting conflict. I mean, wouldn't it be perfect? You've got Clark, who in the beginning just wanted a normal life, but must come to grips with the fact that his life will always be defined by lies and deceit; Lex, who wanted to be different from his father, but will end up surpassing him as a villain, and Lana, who wanted to be special, but ends up becoming a footnote in an epic story.

But the writers refused to really pursue this angle, letting it stop at the subtextual level, which is a mistake IMO. Because it means that, while I can see Lana's potential, I still find myself thinking that her character is irrelevant and uninteresting when I'm actually *watching* the show.

But I'd say that KK's grown a *lot* as an actress -- I think most memorably would be in Exile/Phoenix when she cries after Clark tells her that he's leaving town.

Oh, she definitely has improved. The scene at the beginning of Phoenix with Clark in the Talon was quite good. But she has a lot of huge weaknesses, and one is that I don't see her getting lost in the role. Like I said, most of her emotions come across as being very shallow. She's angry because it's in the script, not because it's correct for the character. It's like... she's making the appropriate faces, but not really expressing the emotions behind them.

I get the feeling that I'm not making a lot of sense, so I think I'll just stop right there.

That's why I'm loving watching these two men twin their futures together and work their ways further and further into the other's psyche.

Yes! I'm not so much about rival!slash, but I'm all about the reciprocity. I love it when two characters compliment and complete each other the way Clark and Lex do. Something about the balance of light and dark, good and evil makes me all happy inside. So, apparently, I have a bit of yin/yang kink, which, thanks to fandom, I now know is far from the weirdest thing out there. *g*
(Deleted comment)
pure FORESHADOWING: feel you fallingnifra_idril on March 11th, 2004 02:20 pm (UTC)
*nods* That's another Rift factor -- we all knew what we were getting in for when we signed up for this fandom, *laughs*. And like you? I found it a draw. Because...man. I like it complex and dark the way it's going to be.
when she smiles it's like a revelation: Snugfox1013 on March 11th, 2004 09:37 am (UTC)
You are brilliant-like. My head hurts from nodding.

*snugs you*
pure FORESHADOWING: Niflet!nifra_idril on March 11th, 2004 02:21 pm (UTC)
*pets your head* No Fox-hurtage!
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous) on March 12th, 2004 05:56 pm (UTC)
Warning, my spelling and run-on sentences are ugly things. But the meanings behind them are not.

Had to be split into 2 posts

In defense of Martha:

First off, let's remember there are currently NO women writers on the team of character and script writing. This takes a big hit of damage on any female character that the writers have in the show. Time after time we see pathetic episodes and just pure lazy writing.

If it doesn't apply to the plot, the development is ignored. IE, Clark Lex friendship, Clark Pete friendship, Lana Chole friendship, Chole Pete friendship any recurring characters usually die ryan, Dr. Hamiliton, Snideface, Edge etc. or never heard from again Dominic! Gabe Sullivan, Nasty Nell, Pete's mom (most likely) or never seen Chole's contacts Chad the only Goth! morgue attendants.

On the character/presence that is identified as Lana:

I don't see Lana as a positive character because I see her as static and unchanging, a Barbie Doll who throws pity parties, a tool of the writers (again not a real person!) who is more alien to me in emotion than Clark is out of space. I almost thought the Ladam arc cute at first would give her time to develop and grow more but it turned into another stalker situation. She could have made friends with him, be conflicted and try to help him in ambiguous ways that would test her friendship w/Clark and/or Lex, learned somehing more than not to take on mysterious borders after being stalked so many times.

Martha dependant? Well, we never get to see Lana have a life outside of Clark! So she's got the Talon, why don't we see her struggle with that even more, bills from clark's ejacu-lo eyes and fighting stalkers, nasty customers, ones that try to sue her from fake poisoning, we had the reality show restaurant, show her develop in a way maybe parallel to lex in operating a business, dark areas...c'mon! She's so freakin inconsistant it drives me nuts, it may be the writing, but it makes her look crazy-stupid sometimes. The same dialogue barn scene five episodes plus in a row this season makes me think of her as a stalker in her own right that can't take a hint, her magnetic episode was pure filler that could be used to develop other characters, 1969 smallville plot she sucked out time for others and more questions personalities Kryptonian Mythology to be discovered, she keeps running to Lex for help, her arc with adam was a complete waste. She is a waste to me, period. Not only a waste of space, but a waste of a character. That pisses me off and makes me hate everyone involved with it KK, the writers, M and G as equally guilty for guillotining her and the pink fountain sprouts out of her neck as the character runs around like a chicken with its head cut off.

In my conclusion, Lana is most definately not a positive character.

(Anonymous) on March 12th, 2004 05:59 pm (UTC)
Whew!

Ok, now onto Martha...

Being a patricarchial show, Bo gets the most dialogue, bad platitudes that they are. To me Martha's character is first really set apart from Bo's in Heat. Her dialogue showed that she was her own person(besides kowtowing to Lana) in the sense that she was her own character. She understood her relationship w/ Bo was not a perfect one but loved him as the good ole boy he was. In Linage, we see she left her father and the big city in sacrifice for being a farmer's wife. We see more of her come out with the Job for Lionel arc, independant of Bo and proud of what she does, even fighting Bo about it (Lionel hits on her incident)and putting her foot down. They built her character right, but tore it away after the hostage episode. Purely too many story lines to deal with and they all ended up suffering, Martha reduced to three lines, Helex horrible, more lana bad pudding filling etc. (though Emily Lionel tea party is a keeper)

They cover up her baby's death with time and should have deleted magnetic and had her deal with it in an episode, hell a B plot but the most it'll be mentioned in passing of Clark's guilt. There has been NO character development for Martha in season three at all, she's been shoved under the rug just like pete often is and chole was a lot during season 2. The writing for her is horrible simply because they have turned her into an automation, in fact the way they do lana. When she says lines they are as generic and unhelpful as Bo's platitudes, and only serving the plot, not being her own character.

Annette o' tool is a wonderful actress but although you can spin incredable feelings out of cheesy dialogue (Pheniox? bankrupt w/ Bo scene) you can't make gold out of nothing. Because the writers gave her nothing, she has nothing and her character has stagnated much the Lana is permanently, the way Chole did in season 2, because we don't get to see her live and grow continually from her grief and experience.

So, when they let her grow as a character during season 2, Martha hella was a positive influence that I genuinely liked and admired. She stood up to Bo, handled her own with the likes of Lex and Lionel, showed something more than a small town farm wife that won bake offs for pie (Yay!Pie!). She was her own person and a strong, independant female which the writers should have kept in favor of Blana, whom they can never develop until they see her for other than a pretty face that has to be lamaneted and undamaged by flaws, which Martha had, but it led her to be positive, a real person and woman in spite of them.

I'm going to eat dinner now. I hope I gave you something to digest as well. :)

Shy

Whew!

Adoable Frunklyra_sena on March 12th, 2004 06:26 pm (UTC)
You know, I was thinking. And this goes along with your story, Moonlight Ladies, and how I view Nell, but for all the flack she's gotten about being horrid and nasty, she's actually a really strong woman. Sure, she took up with the Luthors, but you know, as far as a role model:

She steps up to the plate and raises Lana, thus giving up her own freedom and goals. She makes the best of her situation, and remains strong for Lana, always trying to do the best thing for Lana. When Nell finally decides it's *her* time to be happy, and pursue her own dreams, she gets totally shunted for it. So she wanted to go to Metropolis with her boyfriend and start a new life. Can anyone blame her? She's a strong, independent woman who is smart and savvy (she ran her own business), caring (she assumed responsibility of Lana), and independent (when she decided it was time to become her own woman, she *did* it). Lana made the choice to stay behind. It's not like people have never moved before for godssake.

So yeah, I was just trying to think of *all* the women on SV, who has shown us strength, independence, a will to succeed, and determination? My answer is Nell.