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Old 10-12-2014, 12:37 PM   #1
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Th Confused Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I understand Welling was no master thespian, but his look was right for Clark imo and he fit in well with the show's concept. The character of Lana started out very well, and Lex as well as his father was done well. I loved the relationship Clark had with his parents in earlier years. I'm even noticing the new Flash tv show fans are taking some shots at Smallville and already considering the new show (off of just the pilot) better than all 10 years of Smallville. I think it is too early to tell. For some reason if you bring up Smallville to some Superman fans, they totally freak out in disgust. Nothing is perfect, I just wonder why the hatred and vitriol from some What did the show do to lose some of those fans?

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Old 10-13-2014, 01:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

It's just like any other adaptation. It would be appealing to some and a "mythology butcher" to others.

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Old 10-13-2014, 10:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

Because those people hate change even if it's for the better. It's sad to see that's still happening today having some sad belief Superman can't live on past Christopher Reeve or in the comics when they say Superman's New 52 tenure is horrible. Smallville really is a good thing for the Superman mythos.

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Old 10-14-2014, 02:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I loved the show for a long time before the last episode left me cold. I didn't mind it being different but I do mind it being unsatisfying for me. We didn't get to see Welling as Superman despite the show choosing to evolve beyond the original idea and make it into a straight up superhero show. Lex's entire Smallville history is erased which means his story on the show means nothing because it doesn't inform who the real rival of Superman is. Lex's journey is irrelevant because we get a clean slate at the end of the series.

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Old 10-14-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

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I loved the show for a long time before the last episode left me cold. I didn't mind it being different but I do mind it being unsatisfying for me. We didn't get to see Welling as Superman despite the show choosing to evolve beyond the original idea and make it into a straight up superhero show. Lex's entire Smallville history is erased which means his story on the show means nothing because it doesn't inform who the real rival of Superman is. Lex's journey is irrelevant because we get a clean slate at the end of the series.
You try reading the Season 11 Comic?

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Old 10-14-2014, 09:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

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You try reading the Season 11 Comic?
No, I might do that someday. Honestly though, if I have to reed Season 11 to make everything seem better then someone wasn't doing their job with the finale. It's just like how Clone Wars being great doesn't make the Prequel films better.

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Old 10-14-2014, 09:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I did find it a rather unambitious show for the most part.

Especially early on. It wasn't bad per se, but they could have explored so much more with the material given. Even with a budget.

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Old 10-17-2014, 06:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I watched the entire show from beginning to finish, and was a 'fan'. Not a hardcore-blinkers-on fan - I've criticised plenty of things about the show - but someone who just liked the initial concept and stood by the show until the very end because ultimately, it was still a show about my favourite comic book character.

I liked the casting.
I liked the rich history they gave some of the characters.
I liked the stories which were, for the most part, good - although there were a few duds along the way.
I liked the effects, which were superb in the first few years for a TV show, though they did suffer a bit as budgets were reduced.
I liked the characters - Superman was only one part of the Smallville mythos, and we got to meet many of his DC stablemates such as Flash, Hawkman, Green Arrow, etc. Batman was the most obvious absence but I guess that was just too much to ask.
I liked the show's determination to stick to telling the story of Clark Kent, and not to suddenly become something it was never intended to be (a Superman TV show) along the way ... hence the no tights/no flights rule.
I liked the cameos from Superman-related actors - Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, etc.

There were of course things that weren't popular.

I didn't like the style of writing, which was a typical CW trait. Too much Dawnson's Creek-style prose, cliches, ridiculous narratives and so on.
I didn't like the the handling of some key villains. Doomsday for example - the encounter between him and Clark was a huge anticlimax. Darkseid was also a disappointment - huge physical presence, but they chose to have him mentally inhabit a human. Again this was likely due to budget constraints - understandable but nonetheless disappointing.
I didn't like the back-and-forth and constant will they/won't they questions between Clark and Lana. They dragged that one out waaaaaaaaaaaay too long - again, another typical trait of CW dramas who seem to think it injects tensions into a show. It doesn't.
I didn't like the budget constraints in later seasons. It showed. The set they used for Metropolis (and any other street shots) in the last few seasons was woefully overused. Even the extras seemed to dwindle away to nothing - large crowds on the street in the first few seasons, to 3 or 4 odd spectators in later ones.
I didn't like some of the iffy acting. Wasn't even the main cast usually, but random actors appearing as a one-off.

And like many viewers, I didn't like that we never got the money shot - a full view of Tom Welling in the suit. They teased it, we got some partial body shots and distant CGi, but never a full Superman pose. I understand the show was always about Clark Kent becoming Superman, but nevertheless the finale was the end of the road - Smallville had finally arrived at its destination after a 10yr journey. I felt they owed it to the show AND the fans to proudly present Superman, showing that Clark had made it and what all his trials and tribulations had achieved. It was teased instead.

So all in all, I liked the show a lot but it had its flaws. And I guess that's why it still polarizes opinion to this day; how much you like the show was largely dictated by how much you were able to see past its flaws. Some people just couldn't buy into the teenage romance angles, the writing, the constant use of meteor rock as a plot device.

Despite the flaws, I felt the show tried hard, and for that reason I stuck with it.

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Old 11-02-2014, 11:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

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I didn't like the style of writing, which was a typical CW trait. Too much Dawnson's Creek-style prose, cliches, ridiculous narratives and so on.

I didn't like the back-and-forth and constant will they/won't they questions between Clark and Lana. They dragged that one out waaaaaaaaaaaay too long - again, another typical trait of CW dramas who seem to think it injects tensions into a show. It doesn't.
I am guessing this is the major thing that got it negativity from the comic book fans. The producers fascination with trying to keep Lana relevant, but only as some object for Clark to long for really dragged down the show at times. You can only tease will they get together or won't they so much before it gets old.

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Old 11-04-2014, 04:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

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I am guessing this is the major thing that got it negativity from the comic book fans. The producers fascination with trying to keep Lana relevant, but only as some object for Clark to long for really dragged down the show at times. You can only tease will they get together or won't they so much before it gets old.
They took that dead horse, beat it, flogged it, then beat it some more. And flogged it again. Then gave it another beating. Then they turned round to leave, and figured what the hell, one more for the road - so gave it another beating.

It was all a bit pointless too, given that most of us fully expected that the Lana thing would never truly work out in the end - given that Lois Lane is the love of Clark's life in most of the mythology.

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Old 11-07-2014, 11:48 PM   #11
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It was all a bit pointless too, given that most of us fully expected that the Lana thing would never truly work out in the end
I personally think Lana and Clark should have started dating by Season 3 and you could have had 2 seasons of that before they break up for good. The producers seemed like like soap opera style drama(although I guess one could argue they sort of separated them in Season 4 for most of the season so they could drag it on more in later years)

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Old 11-08-2014, 10:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

Disclaimer: I'm not a big Superman fan at all. I love TAS and I like a few of the movies (especially some of the animated ones) but in general I'm indifferent to the character.

I personally didn't like Smallville because it seemed to be ashamed of being a comic book show. We see all the relevant Superman characters, we see him fight almost all of this major rogues, we see a ton of comic stories adapted but he still isn't Superman until the very end. If you want to make a prequel show then do it, but don't do it halfway like they did with Smallville. He shouldn't be facing off against the likes of Doomsday and Darkseid if you're doing the no tights/flight rule.

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Old 11-12-2014, 09:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

Smallville is three different concepts. Seasons 1-4. Then seasons 5-7. Then season 8-10. I enjoyed the first two seasons of Smallville for what it was. Young Clark Kent coming of age while discovering his various powers. Those first two seasons were cheesy but at least it had a clear identity. The more complex the show became the less charm it had. At least to me.

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Old 01-05-2015, 03:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I actually felt Smallville had a very close connection to the Donnerverse is some weird ways. It had a great innocent nostalgic tone, loved also how they incorporated John Williams themes in key episodes as well, the design of the Fortress etc...even liked how they used the Superman Returns suit (even though that's not technically Donner). Gave it all a nice connection, even though they are a different mythos.


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Old 01-05-2015, 03:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I was a fan of Smallville early on. I liked the relationship between Clark and his parents, Chloe was awesome, Lex was a standout all around as was Lionel in the beginning. Also the portrayal of Brainiac was noteworthy. The ending of season four marked the end for me though. I still watched it, but it became increasingly frustrating to see no direction whatsoever. For me the ideal thing was, at some point in the middle, to change the focus to a Superman show set in Metropolis. In the last seasons they were almost doing that, but never making that last step. Even until the very end. It dragged on for five years. That's too much.

Jor-El was bad or good? Lionel was bad, then good, then bringing him back evil again? Lana was a wildcard. It was like they where throwing ideas around to see what stuck. In the beginning it seemed bold and daring, challenging some premises of the established Superman mythos... but then they tried to shoehorn it into the comics canon. "Oh that wasn't really THE Jimmy Olsen, it was his older brother who shares the same name"

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Old 01-05-2015, 03:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I think it was great in the end.

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Old 01-24-2015, 05:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I wonder if polarization isn't generational? I mean, fans of George Reeves, Christopher Reeve films, Superman: The Animated Series might not have liked a show about Clark Kent and not Superman. Even Lois & Clark had Clark as Superman. It took the show a decade to get him in the suit and even then it was very brief. I also have to wonder if some fans weren't supportive of the WB/CW teenage drama of Smallville.

I was a fan of the show. I thought it used the teen drama aspect to make the Superman mythos fresh and contemporary. I also thought the show had a healthy respect for the Christopher Reeve films, which was great because Reeve is my Superman.

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Old 02-02-2015, 02:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

Even if I didn't find some of the mythos changes and additions problematic... For myself it was just of low quality, or at least there were far too many low quality elements for me to ever consider the show great, or even good. Much like the two current CW shows featuring DCU characters, there's a sense of getting good experienced actors for smaller or supporting parts and then whiffing it badly in roles that will be important for the long run, though this is slightly better on FLASH than ARROW, this is a common element shared with SMALLVILLE, where outside of Lionel, Lex and Ma and Pa, no one was a great thespian per se (special commendation to Sam Witwer, who is always awesome).

It also just was not that well written for me, either. As the CW can justify keeping a show on despite ratings, this is probably more important to keeping the show on for as many seasons as it was than the broad appeal or quality the show had.

Maybe it does break down by generations but I am a Superman fan that loved the first two Reeve films, disliked LOIS AND CLARK, disliked SUPERMAN: TAS/JL, loved JLU, disliked SR and ADORES MOS. I like to think I judge these projects on the merits, and to me, SMALLVILLE had few if any.

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Old 02-11-2015, 08:47 AM   #19
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

When a show declines in quality in it's later years, that's unfortunately what people remember it as. The same happened with Lois & Clark. The first two seasons are very strong but people mainly remember it for the mess it was by its final season.

I recently re-watched Seasons 1-3 of Smallville and it holds up incredibly well. The cast, plotting and production value are a joy to behold. It's far better than any comic based show currently running. But it's almost unrecognizable to it's final seasons. I would say it's decline mirrored people's interest, which seemed to wane when Superman Returns came out. The general public watched the show expecting him to become Superman and that became more unlikely in peoples minds when that film was released.

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Old 02-15-2015, 02:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

Smallville made me into more of a Superman fan than I was before, especially the post-Crisis version of the character. Smallville made Superman into my favorite DC hero. With Superman everyone has a different interpretation of who the character is and when something is accurate to the character. From the beginning to end I though the show was fantastic, I thought the Season 11 comic featured a better Superman than the New 52 Superman.

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Old 02-15-2015, 06:20 AM   #21
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

Smallville looked big at the beginning, it felt like it was leading somewhere and treated the future as mythic, but then it dragged, and dragged, repeating storyline, not letting go of Smallville or characters like Lana, and it ended up the way it did.

The show originaly was what made me a Superman fan, but looking back at it, i see more problems than positive aspects. Only watched the first Season of Arrow, but it seems like the CW DC comics shows aren't making the same mistake of promising the future, they're just doing the heroes from the very beggining, though Green Arrow is still called the hood in Season 1.

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Old 03-11-2015, 03:14 PM   #22
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I found Smallville dragged on a concept too long of Clark's pre-Superman years and at times seemed more interested in the idea of teen drama then realizing they have the entire world of Superman to work with to the point it seemed ashamed to even include the powers at times. Of course DC's odd way of banning some characters from appearing on the show helped harm the show more than help it.

To its credit though, i think we got the best live action version of Lex Luthor so far and Erica Durance is still my favorite Lois by far.

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Old 03-12-2015, 08:26 AM   #23
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

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Jor-El was bad or good? Lionel was bad, then good, then bringing him back evil again? Lana was a wildcard. It was like they where throwing ideas around to see what stuck. In the beginning it seemed bold and daring, challenging some premises of the established Superman mythos... but then they tried to shoehorn it into the comics canon. "Oh that wasn't really THE Jimmy Olsen, it was his older brother who shares the same name"
Same problem that afflicted Sylar from Heroes. He's bad ..... then good .......... then wondering if he's bad or good ............. then back to bad ............. and so on.

There's only 2 excuses for such inconsistency when it comes to a central character in any TV show (or indeed, any medium) : the character is either a schizophrenic, or the writers haven't a clue at all what they're doing from one week to the next.

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Old 04-05-2015, 11:11 PM   #24
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

My Lois list

1. Teri Hatcher
2. Amy Adams
3. Erica Durance

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Old 04-06-2015, 03:24 PM   #25
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Default Re: Why is Smallville polarizing amongst Superman fans?

I think Smallville has more positives and negatives. Ultimately , like alot of series, the first two seasons were probably the best. It set alot of positive precedents and negative precedents. It had some of its highest highs and lowest lows.

Ultimately I consider a story about Lex Luthor's fall from grace and Clark Kent ascendancy to greatness, and who their different paths destroy the close friendship they had. That was best relationship in the series.

The casting for the most part was good and they had some great storylines. They introduced several DCU characters for the first time on film, they told the origin story in a new and dynamic way, and they played on the Extra Terrestrial element of the Superman myth which is often glossed over in many versions. MOS in many ways was a Smallivlle film and the casting of Eisenberg as Lex certainly brings to mind Rosenbulm's younger version of the character.

At the same time the freak of the week, over reliance on Kryptonite, and terrible romantic troupes dragged many of the storylines , characters, and show down in general. Unfortunately many of those troupes hung around and have caused problems in subsequent series such as Flash, Arrow, and Gotham.

All and All, its a more than worthy addition to the Superman canon despite its flaws over its 10 year run.

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