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Smallville: "Fierce" Review
by Doom and Black Goliath
guest starring Gay Lex Luthor
SOMEBODY KILL THEM ALL
If only the town died in this scene. IF ONLY.
Smallville is like a fine wine in reverse: it just seems to get worse as it ages. It jumps from plot to plot to newly created characters all mixed in with shitty special effects, with a dose of shitty acoustic music for good measure. You begin to wonder how far you can go with the whole "Clark Kent before he became Superman" premise when you've used up any good material in the first three seasons. Well, they must be doing something right, because it's season 7, and the program shows no signs of stopping yet. All of my pleas have been for naught, as the series walks on with new characters, a new season long arc, and so much Clark and Lana that it'll make you want to vomit. Yet it can't be that bad, right? I mean, nothing can, given the site's wildly insulting reviews of it previously. What, Tyra Banks sent some of her America's Next Top Model slaves as guest stars? Ah, fuck. DIE, CW, DIE
Wow, she's really great at walking! No wonder they cast her!
The plot is pretty much the same damn thing you've seen the last 150 odd episodes. Meteor Freak is in town causing trouble. Clark fights Meteor Freak, while working out his issues with Lana. Side plot involving Chloe. Cryptic ghost/plan/plot point alluded to. Lex confronts/is confronted by a man. Deux ex machina takes care of the Meteor Freak in a contrived fashion and resets the status quo by the end of the episode. Clark and someone have a talk at the barn about trust or love or control or change or some other vague crap. It's all done in a very efficient manner honed by years of practice and the experience of using the same model of episode writing for nearly every episode (I say nearly every because the season premieres and finales tend to involve some sort of climax or resolution). They could quite literally teach a class of this. I personally would take "Smallville 101" for my next semester, as it would no doubt teach me how to string one formula along for seven fucking seasons.
I get it, Lana thinks Kara is Clark's new girlfriend! COMEDIC MISUNDERSTANDING!
The long version of the plot goes like this: Clark and Kara (aka SUPERGIRL!!!!) are having problems about control and relationships. Kara is too reckless ("watch out Kara, or I'm taking your badge!!"), and Clark is a stick in the mud who won't listen worth a damn or allow any fun for the new girl in town. In an attempt to fit in, Kara decides to enter the local beauty pageant, where she runs into homicidal models bent on finding lost treasure (seriously). After having one of those "You don't understand me, DAD!!!" moments, Kara works with the robbers. Don't worry, Uncle Clark stops the robbers with help from useless Kara, and they all come to an understanding, albeit fraught with "I think you learned ______" after school special bullshit. Also, Lana makes her 'long-awaited' return (hahahaha), and even though she's a wanted criminal, she's offered not only a chance at love with Clark, but also a room at the Kent Farm. Chloe is contemplating telling Immy Jolsen about her freak status, even though he's become sort of a human supremacist when it comes to superpowers (the scene literally involves him exclaiming meteor freaks all inevitably go crazy. JIMMY OLSEN...OR CHARLES LINDBERGH?). He's also attracted to Kara, and for some reason, the feeling is mutual. Continuity, logic, good taste error magic xylophone blunder somebody fired for should etc. Oh, and Lex Luthor is repentant and wants to make a positive contribution in his life, which marks his 87th reform in the show's history. In an epilogue of sorts, he speaks to new employee Kara (who now works at the coffee shop) and tells her about her abilities. She pretends not to notice. And last but not least, everyone is looking for Kara's ship. Why? I don't know. Maybe they wanted to recreate the classic "Find Clark's ship!" arc. Man, what a doozy.
The one thing I noticed right off the bat was the massive amounts of Kara. I'm really serious here. I know that she is a major part of this season, what with the creators trying in vain to hype her up for a possible spinoff, but she was in damn near every scene, and she was acknowledged in one way or another in every other scene. She's Jimmy's new crush, Clark's new headache, Lex's new fixation in life, and God knows what else. You'd have to blind or gay or both not to notice how hot Laura Vandervoort is; yet, there is a limit to how much bad acting I can take. She's beautiful and all, but this whole tendency to put hot women on the show at the expense of story or acting ability brings it down a lot. Case in point: when Clark talks to Lana about the whole "I was an Asian prostitute" plot a few episodes back, Kara cums (I mean comes) down the stairs clad in skimpy underwear. Sure, it's great, but what the hell does it add to the damn plot outside of spankin? And the stupid sitcom convention of the ex-girlfriend or the crush walking in on the male lead in a strange situation and completely misinterpreting it? And wasn't Lois supposed to be the resident sex object? Or was that Chloe? It's so damn hard to keep track nowadays.
"I'm still the girliest cadet, and don't you forget it, Kara!"
Tom Welling is still the stiff, wooden actor who just stands there, or lays on the ground because of Kryptonite poisoning or some shit. At the very least the women have some life to them. You could probably replace Welling with Christopher Reeve's corpse, and you'd get a better performance out of him. Better yet, replace Welling with a scarecrow, and see if you can tell the difference. Ten points if you can see the straw, or note the acting nuances the scarecrow is capable of and Tom Welling's not capable of! The rest of the cast is still the same idotic bunch we all know and loathe. Lana's an idiotic bitch, Chloe does nothing of importance, Lex is still fab and on his third good guy streak, and Jimmy oplsino656 is still a retard. If he's not eating fruit roll-ups in a corner, it's not accurate. Lois and Osborn don't appear in "Fierce", and no one missed them at all (Kara replaces Lois in the sex role, and has enough hair to replace Osborn in the 'ridiculous amounts of hair' role). For what increasingly becomes an ensemble show, one would think they would invest in good actors or good characters or good anything. The only thing the cast brings to the table is more options in my game of "who do I want to kill first?". Jimmy, then Lana, then Kara, then Lois, then Lex, then Clark, then Osborn, then Chloe, then myself.
The way Jimmy should be: dying.
As for the Meteor Freaks, well, the less said about them, the better. They had no real importance, few lines, and were just there because it fit the tired and true routine Smallville has. You honestly can't expect Oscar quality acting out of Tyra's bunch. Speaking of which, I don't really understand the gimmick of the episode. Although I also don't understand America's Next Top Model, so maybe it's not for me to understand. But I'll fucking try anyway. One of the guest stars (Eva Pigford...her last name says a lot about her looks), the most prominent Meteor Freak (ICE POWERS!), won America's Next Top Model's third season. Smallville marks her 3rd or 4th foray into 'acting', the others being WB/CW/UPN guest spots, I Think I Love My Wife and something related to TYLER DIE DIE DIE DIE PERRY. I don't know why CW thought it best to create cross-promotion. I understand both shows air on the CW, but do they really think the audiences are conducive to one another? The core audience of Next Top Model consists of dumb women with no futures and the core audience of Smallville consists of nerds and people with the intellectual power of mollusks. Of those who enjoy Next Top Model, how many would love the show so much to see a former winner act on a bad science fiction program? Not many, I would guess. Besides, she won in Season 3. It's on Season 9 now. Do you really think any viewers have that long of an attention span? Regardless, Eva did a shitty job as the buried treasure seeking model (yeah). The character she played was boring and lifeless...so at least she adhered to the Smallville tradition.
Lex, your thoughts on the America's Next Top Model crossover?
OMG! Like, oh my GOD, oh my STARS AND GARTERS! America's Next Top Model crossover! Why didn't someone tell me of this beforehand? Suffering succotash! If somebody would have WARNED me ahead of time, I totally would have entered into the beauty pageant. I could've won too, trust me. I didn't purchase all that gender reassignment hormones and surgery for nothing, you know! Unlike certain episodes of late which I feel stress the women of the show more than the strapping young lads (although I do hear that chocolate delight Pete Ross is returning - I'd like to hershey HIS bar!), "Fierce" is utterly fab, even though it still does stress the women. My feeling is if the women HAVE to be around, they might as well be doing something fashion-related. And I prefer nothing more fashion-related than America's Next Top Model. My friends (Trey, Rob, Roscoe) like to have a slumber party and watch marathons of all 9 seasons ('cycles') every other month. I love Top Model, therefore I love this episode. My only question: WHERE WAS TYRA? Tyra is the only woman I'd ever want to have sex with. Why? Because she's TYRA! If she appeared, I would give "Fierce" 5 glasses of buttermilk out of 5. Instead, this receives 4. An honor, sure, but not the top one. And Roscoe knows I love tops!
Great. We've gone from implying Lex was gay to implying he is changing genders. What next, Daily Raider? Pain Olympics?! To get off the topic of men cutting their dicks off for Internet enjoyment, let's discuss Kara/Supergirl and the obvious efforts of the showrunners to spin the character off into her own series. They tried with Aquaman, they probably tried with Green Arrow's Junior Justice League, yet I think Supergirl's the one for the proper spinoff. Why? Breasts. She has them. One of the age demographics of the CW loves breasts. The other prime demographic has their own breasts. Yet they can be won over by terrible drama and love stories. Thus, restructuring Supergirl into her own show seems a simple task, as all you'd have to do is redo Smallville and reverse the genders on the characters. Clark Kent? Kara Kent. Lex Luthor? Some bald lesbian always trying to figure out Kara's secret. Jimmy? Kara's klutzy, stupid, inept female friend. Lana, Chloe, Lois? Go the usual CW route and cast unemotive underwear models to entrance the girls. Set the program somewhere in an urban area (New York? Metropolis?) to differentiate it from Smallville and to catch the eye of urban hipsters not hip enough to know not to watch TV. They wouldn't even have to rewrite the original Smallville scripts extensively! Just reverse the genders, tweak the setting a bit (no changing of production values, though) and throw in a 'girl power' message every so often. If Supergirl becomes its own show, or Kara takes over Smallville when Rosenbaum and Welling and co. want more money, expect it to be exactly as I outlined. Girl power, freak of the week, crappy pop-rock song montages at the end of the episode.
I think the reason her acting is so labored and awkward is she doesn't have a dick in her mouth.
As seen by the constant mentions of 'formula' and 'routine', "Fierce" recalls nearly every fucking other Smallville episode before it. Bad special effects, inane story, Clark moralizing, shitty acting, terrible mythology, everyone eventually working at the fucking coffee shop, and rejected X-Files villains galore. The only addition to the formula is Kara, and even then she's about as interesting and as daring as Clark...only she's got the pink! Ho ho! What an ingenious inversion. However, no amount of new gash can positively affect the quality of the formula, which sucks. In summation: fuck Smallville.