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*