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Smallville review: Patriot - tasabian [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Smallville review: Patriot [Nov. 19th, 2010|09:37 pm]
tasabian
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*Remember, this is the 'non-shipper perspective...



The Good

- Tom continues to be a very good director, elevating his material
- Clark's little pout when Emil hurts him removing his kryptobrand!
- Clark's little pout when AC calls him a clownfish
- Michael Hogan! A performance of perfect pitch. My favourite scene was Clark desperately pleading with Slade to let Clark save him. That's Clark right there. You're trying to kill me but I want to save you.
- I enjoyed Lois's duel of wits with Slade very much. And I suspect Tom added the knife threat to Emil - a little OTT, but fun to watch.
- Hello, Vancouver Aquarium! You are a lovely location.
- Oliver continues to crush on Rick Flag, which will be pleasing to dawnyb.
- Lex got a shout-out! The government stole his idea because Lex is smarter than everyone, the sweetie.

The Terrible

- Mrs Aquaman swipes the trophy for Most Awful Acting by a Guest Star from the Head Villager in Harvest. Beautiful and stacked, yes. Able to deliver a line of dialogue without me hooting & throwing things at the TV, no. She made Aquaman seem naturalistic.

The Overly Familiar

- Remember episodes like "Cyborg" where Cyborg's doomed love for his girlfriend is a metaphor for Clana? And episodes like "Cure" where Dean Cain's doomed love for his girlfriend is a metaphor for Clana? And you want to say to the writers: YesYesYes, we get it, we got it the first hundred times, you can stop laying it on with a trowel. So here, not only do Mr & Mrs Aquaman drop by the farm to offer heavyhanded commentary on Clark & Lois's relationship, it's suggested that Superheroes can only function properly while in constant consultation with their partner, joined at the hip. Clark is chastised for keeping Lois off his team, yada yada.

I don't see it that way at all. Clark and Lois should excel in their separate spheres, their work complementing each other. She's not supposed to be a Hero and that's not an insult - she's a reporter, through & through.

It also implies that Clark can't be a hero without Lois which I don't believe for a minute. He might be a happier hero with Lois but if they parted ways forever tomorrow, he would be a hero regardless.

Again, it feels repetitious. Lana & Chloe also got the "you're the true hero, I can't do it without you" moments & it always rang false. Other characters don't need to be built up at Clark's expense. They can be awesome on their own.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-20 04:30 am (UTC)
Tom always keeps his top on when he directs :(
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[User Picture]From: jeannev
2010-11-20 04:27 am (UTC)
In my review, I'm going to have some very similar thoughts as your "Overly Familiar". I always say when you have to lay it on that thick, what are you overcompensating for?

Everything else we pretty much agree on, except for one thing. I thought Michael Hogan was terrible. I do appreciate an actor going over the top, but he was just....well, it just didn't work for me at all.

Aquawife was the absolute worst. And don't get me started on how they had her dressed. Just, why?
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-20 04:38 am (UTC)
As always, I look forward to your review!

I thought Michael Hogan was terrible. I do appreciate an actor going over the top, but he was just....well, it just didn't work for me at all.
Heh, he was amusing me greatly but it was a broad performance, to say the least. I was giggling through the teaser. Mind you, the script was so awful, I don't know how else he could have played it.

Aquawife was the absolute worst. And don't get me started on how they had her dressed. Just, why?
I found Slade to be Fun Ham. She was Bad Ham. Which is a shame because the actress was so thrilled to be on SV but....yikes.

I'm going to have some very similar thoughts as your "Overly Familiar". I always say when you have to lay it on that thick, what are you overcompensating for?
It's become a SV tradition, to hammer the audience with the Awesomeness and Purity of Clark's Lady Friends. There's Laying it on Thick and then there's Laying it on So Thick it chokes you. WE GET IT. STOP PUSHING. And why make Lois look insecure when her confidence is one of her most likable traits?
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[User Picture]From: serenography
2010-11-20 05:14 am (UTC)
I'm with you on the actress playing Mera, especially her first scene with Lois. I was kind of stunned at how bad, and it's not like we haven't seen bad before on this show. I agree, she gets a trophy or something. :)

Also agree with you about Hogan. I thought he fit the part well, and delivered about as good as can be with what he was given. It was a little OTT, but I think his being Omegafied might have added to his zealousness.

All the heavy-handed Clana message episodes were intended to slam down our throats (okay, for some of us it was a slam) how utterly doomed their relationship was. With Clois, they need to just STOP ALREADY. They've established Great Big Love already... We have cohabitation and Engagement ring is bought. We don't need any more LOVE LESSONS for Clark. It's just so tiring and belittling to Clark to once again have everyone else be his emotional brain and show him the way. I wish they'd just stop and let the relationship just BE and EVOLVE in a normal way.

I did like that all that ultimately led to Lois getting full disclosure and being in on Watchtower and Tess, I just wasn't thrilled with how they got there.

Yay for the Lex shoutout. Proof that he's never far from Clark's thoughts. Yup.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-20 05:22 am (UTC)
With Clois, they need to just STOP ALREADY. They've established Great Big Love already... We have cohabitation and Engagement ring is bought. We don't need any more LOVE LESSONS for Clark. It's just so tiring and belittling to Clark to once again have everyone else be his emotional brain and show him the way. I wish they'd just stop and let the relationship just BE and EVOLVE in a normal way.
I couldn't agree more. I would loved to have seen Lois keep pursuing her story, Clark keeps pursuing the VRA...and the final scene, they meet for a drink and a laugh about their crazy lives: "So how was YOUR day?" The point being, though they work hard in the separate spheres, they're still a happy young couple & she's his oasis after a long hard day.

I thought he fit the part well, and delivered about as good as can be with what he was given. It was a little OTT, but I think his being Omegafied might have added to his zealousness.
He seemed to be enjoying himself so much, which usually wins me over (though not with Mera, poor thing!)
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[User Picture]From: auroramoon22
2010-11-22 04:33 pm (UTC)
I agree 100% with everything you say :)

the relationship doesn't seem to always seem natural at all on SV thanks to the writers. -_-

it's funny how they were able to naturally write scenes that was so full of Ho Yay and Foe yay but they can't write a hetero scene that seems natural for the life of them.

sure they had some rare moments but...?
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-23 03:31 am (UTC)
I think Clex has the advantage of not being a traditional relationship, so they couldn't use the same template as with the boy/girl romances.

(Though, Clex candelit sex would be PURE GOLD!)
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[User Picture]From: jlvsclrk
2010-11-20 05:43 am (UTC)
I think the problem with Mera, over and above the crappy acting, was that the character was so smug - absolutely unlikeable.

And although I don't mind Lois being pulled into the innermost circle, I do have a problem with much of the nonsense surrounding it. And from a story POV, I don't see what Lois did that would have made Mera for example do such an about face. All she did was narrow down the options for which facility AC was being held in, which should have taken the team about a nanosecond to figure out itself. Much better if her blueprints had given the team a vital clue about how to take down the facility. My sister's analogy was to Star Wars and Leah finding the plans for the Death Star. As it was, we called her Lois 'Lame' tonight, which is very rare for us.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-20 09:30 pm (UTC)
I think the problem with Mera, over and above the crappy acting, was that the character was so smug - absolutely unlikeable.
Yes! Is she like that in the comics or has SV twisted her around?

I don't see what Lois did that would have made Mera for example do such an about face. All she did was narrow down the options for which facility AC was being held in, which should have taken the team about a nanosecond to figure out itself. Much better if her blueprints had given the team a vital clue about how to take down the facility.
For sure. The rest of the plot seemed written backwards, to prop up the "Clark needs a co-captain" theme (which I don't agree with at all.)
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[User Picture]From: goodvibe
2010-11-21 11:41 am (UTC)
Excellent review! Our only area of disagreement is Slade - I thought the acting pretty much stunk. But aside from that, ICAM - especially on the 'overly familiar' stuff.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-21 09:01 pm (UTC)
Val agrees with you about Slade!

But aside from that, ICAM - especially on the 'overly familiar' stuff.
WhyWhyWhy do we have to have this all over again?
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-21 09:02 pm (UTC)
I guess they wanted the actors playing the couple to be evenly matched.
Heh, well there's that! Next to her, Ritchson is a second Olivier.
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[User Picture]From: dawnybee
2010-11-22 09:13 am (UTC)
Tom continues to be a very good director, elevating his material

I adored the scene after the press conference where Tess and Lois try to make their way to Oliver. It was so cinematic. Tom really does make his actors look good.

Oliver continues to crush on Rick Flag, which will be pleasing to dawnyb.

Haa! You know me so well. "Flag was right." That was his way to get back at Clark for defending Lex in "Bride".

Lex got a shout-out! The government stole his idea because Lex is smarter than everyone, the sweetie.

How fantastic was that? I kinda snarked that they give one continuity (bringing up Kara), but forget two, but they had two pieces right there: the scenario from "Justice".

- Mrs Aquaman swipes the trophy for Most Awful Acting by a Guest Star from the Head Villager in Harvest. Beautiful and stacked, yes. Able to deliver a line of dialogue without me hooting & throwing things at the TV, no. She made Aquaman seem naturalistic.

At one point Alan almost fell into her terrible stilted way of delivery, she's making him regress.

I don't see it that way at all. Clark and Lois should excel in their separate spheres, their work complementing each other. She's not supposed to be a Hero and that's not an insult - she's a reporter, through & through.

This! And it bugs the hell out of me because where is Clark's safe space. With everyone involved in this from his mother and now girlfriend, where can he just be himself? Is there anyone who could love Clark yet let him have his own thing that's just his?

Other characters don't need to be built up at Clark's expense. They can be awesome on their own.

It's like the ridiculous sitcom plots like in Laverne & Shirley, the two of them move to LA and then EVERYONE moves to L.A. It's almost that level of ridiculousness that everyone is working with the JLA.
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[User Picture]From: auroramoon22
2010-11-22 04:42 pm (UTC)
"This! And it bugs the hell out of me because where is Clark's safe space. With everyone involved in this from his mother and now girlfriend, where can he just be himself? Is there anyone who could love Clark yet let him have his own thing that's just his?

Other characters don't need to be built up at Clark's expense. They can be awesome on their own.

It's like the ridiculous sitcom plots like in Laverne & Shirley, the two of them move to LA and then EVERYONE moves to L.A. It's almost that level of ridiculousness that everyone is working with the JLA."

I agree, couldn't had said it better myself. I found it weird myself.

It almost seems like the SV Lois is simply just focusing on his superhero persona too much instead of seeing the real person or something.

There's times when I like her, and then there's times where I just plain dislike her. sometimes I feel both at the same time, like with this episode.

it doesn't help that I'm the kind of person that if something is forced down my throat, like with their Great Super LOVE thing, I then start to have an aversion to it.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-23 03:29 am (UTC)
it doesn't help that I'm the kind of person that if something is forced down my throat, like with their Great Super LOVE thing, I then start to have an aversion to it.
I know. Smallville always pushes their romances so hard and it takes all the fun & surprise out of it.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-23 03:28 am (UTC)
I adored the scene after the press conference where Tess and Lois try to make their way to Oliver. It was so cinematic. Tom really does make his actors look good.
It was really well-staged - Tom made it look like a massive crowd, when it was probably just a handful of strategically deployed extras.

You know me so well. "Flag was right." That was his way to get back at Clark for defending Lex in "Bride".
He's going to keep name-dropping Flag, hoping Clark will notice & get jealous!

With everyone involved in this from his mother and now girlfriend, where can he just be himself? Is there anyone who could love Clark yet let him have his own thing that's just his?
These writers don't get that having separate busy lives, then coming together at the end of the day, is MORE romantic than being, blah, "co-captains." Superman is a bit of a solitary gig, even within the JLA.
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