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Smallville Retrospective [Dec. 4th, 2011|06:44 pm]
tasabian
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Due to the great kindness of a friend (♥♥♥), I have been able to watch the SV Retrospective documentary that came with the all seasons dvd set. While I wish there was more glimpses behind-the-scenes and more interviews with Tom, it was a pleasant walk down memory lane. The retrospective documentary is not without its frustrations - it would have been nice if it was acknowledged that some plot-lines were more successful than others - but any sort of critical assessment is absent.

christina_kat has posted Youtube links for parts of the documentary (via Maria & Tom Welling Unlimited.) Links, thoughts and a few new 'caps of BTS Tom & Michael, behind the cut:



Season One Retrospective

(Love Michael prattling about the weather to Tom at 6.14. As christina_kat points out, he seems mesmerized by Tom's face!)

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*swoon*
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Season 2

Season 3

(JS talks about how he used to argue with producers via 12 page essays! Clip of Michael being silly begins at 3.40. It's interesting (and appropriate) that Alicia gets a mention, but Adam, who had a multi-episode arc, is not.)

Season 4

Season 5

(Contains some maddening BS about "good" Lionel.)

Season 6

(Features quite a bit of talk about Nemesis, which is interesting as when the episode first aired, it didn't get much press compared to the big soapy episodes, like "Promise." Like Alicia, it was a fan-favourite! Director Mairzee Almas talks about Tom & Michael's different work styles.)

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I would love to read some LJ thoughts & reviews from people who haven't posted for a while - you know who you are! *nudges*
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jeannev
2011-12-05 12:16 am (UTC)
I really liked the retrospectives on the earlier seasons. Mostly 1-3. I thought even the annoying Al/Miles had a lot of interesting stuff to say, and Greg Beeman is so The Man! His love for the show may be second to none. But as the retrospectives went on, I became less enamoured of them. Unlike Al/Miles, who managed to shelve their annoyingness, and say interesting stuff, Souders/Peterson just reminded me of why I loathed them so much. Especially on the S7 retrospective where they blamed Lex's badness all on Clark, with Souders going on and on about how the "bad guy is the good guy, and the good guy in the bad guy". I always thought this attitude was full of shit, not to mention overly simplistic. I also felt, as the retrospectives went on, that you could really feel how they were losing interest in Clark more and more. At least thats how it feel to me.

While its great that Tom, and Michael, and Allison, and Cassidy, and Glover, and Schneider are here, there isn't nearly enough of any of them, most especially Tom. And there are so many people missing. And as you pointed out, so many things they just didn't discuss at all. Most egregious, I thought, was Lana's return in S8, and the whole supersuit thing. They don't mention it AT ALL. Which is ridiculous.

And I'm really puzzled why there is more of K-Site's Craig Bryne then any of the actors, and many others. I didn't mind his perspective at all, but I guess I wondered why there was so much of it as compared to, say, Tom Welling.

I do give them credit for admitting that bringing on Kara was kind of a mistake, and did take away from Clark, but then you really have to wonder why they did what they did in S10's Supergirl.

It was great to see Sam Witwer and Callum Blue interviewed, but I missed James Marsters here.

Overall, it was a nice walk down memory lane, but as has been the case with so many SV DVD's, so much less then it should've been, or could've been.
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[User Picture]From: miss_tress
2011-12-05 12:33 am (UTC)
Especially on the S7 retrospective where they blamed Lex's badness all on Clark
This, this, this. A thousand times this. I hate that they seem to take personal responsibility totally out of the equation and dump every bad thing that Lex has done and will do squarely at Clark's feet.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-12-05 12:56 am (UTC)
A thousand times this. I hate that they seem to take personal responsibility totally out of the equation and dump every bad thing that Lex has done and will do squarely at Clark's feet.
By S7, I put the blame squarely on Lionel. as does MR. As we see in "Luthor", and as Clark says: "Lionel's blood doesn't corrupt. It’s the man himself. I was wrong." and from Scion: "he was my closest friend and you destroyed him."

That said, if the events of Shattered and Asylum had gone differently, if Jonathan and Martha hadn't been so resolute against letting Clark help Lex? Then he might have gotten Tess's murderer-to-hero redemption arc. That's the power & tragedy of S3.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-12-05 01:03 am (UTC)
I missed James Marsters here.
His absence is especially odd because he was in three seasons and LOVES talking about SV and Tom...it's bizarre that Brainiac doesn't even get a mention in S5.

And as you pointed out, so many things they just didn't discuss at all. Most egregious, I thought, was Lana's return in S8, and the whole supersuit thing. They don't mention it AT ALL.
They seem to be stepping around some of less popular arcs & episodes - but yeah, that was major and deserved a mention. I wish they'd been open enough to say "yeah, not every plotline worked or was popular..." There's a hint of that from KS regarding the fake baby plot, but it's quickly dropped.

I'm really puzzled why there is more of K-Site's Craig Bryne then any of the actors, and many others. I didn't mind his perspective at all, but I guess I wondered why there was so much of it as compared to, say, Tom Welling.
I guess because he was available and happy to cheerlead? If they'd only been able to coax another 30 minutes of footage out of Tom, how amazing it would have been! Of the actors, I thought JG's bits were the most interesting, perhaps because he'd been away for 3 years then returned. KK's absence is very notable.

I cherish a faint hope that Tom will get more talkative as the years go by and the SV experience becomes more nostalgic for him.
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[User Picture]From: christina_kat
2011-12-05 12:43 am (UTC)
Thanks for the gorgeous captures!
They look sexy, so close to each other.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-12-05 12:49 am (UTC)
Thanks for the links! *squishes them closer*
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[User Picture]From: rosy5000
2011-12-05 04:42 am (UTC)
I'm gonna have to bookmark this to come back and watch these. :)

That second pic looks like they're about ready to break out in song to each other, right before kissing. *g* The last pic is just adorable!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-12-05 04:50 am (UTC)
That second pic looks like they're about ready to break out in song to each other, right before kissing.
In the clip, it's funny because Michael is really wanting Tom's attention & Tom is trying to pose fr the photographer!

The last pic is just adorable!
They're cracking up at footage of Jonathan's funeral! Silly boys.
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[User Picture]From: iibnf
2011-12-05 07:21 am (UTC)
Do you only have the youtube version? I think I have the full version avi and could upload it if you need it.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-12-06 12:13 am (UTC)
A friend kindly sent me the whole thing - thanks very much, though!
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[User Picture]From: complicat
2011-12-05 02:25 pm (UTC)
Ooh thank you, very interesting!

Great that there's lots of TW love (up to S5 anyway) and lots of MR love in S3 and S4. And love the cute behind the scenes stuff from Michael! Glad they spent some time on Nemesis and mentioned Transference as a fan favourite too.

Some thoughts:
In the season 3 one they say that Pete was written out because he had 'run his creative course' - and yet they continued to shoehorn Lana into every damn thing for the next 5 years!

Lots of eyerolling from me as they bang on about Lana and Clana and their 'amazing chemistry'. And they they start on about Lex and Lana's 'amazing chemistry' as well. It made me laugh though that when they start talking about how Lana runs into the arms of "the man who has been pining for her for years" it comes as completely out of nowhere in the retrospective as it did in the series. Heh.

Also they said something about how with Jason they "followed AlMiles lead with where we could take the character because they left it a little flexible", which is an interesting take on completely changing course with the character in a way which made absolutely no sense!

I think when Brian Peterson (I think) says they "got a tiny bit strangled in our own mythology with that storyline" about the season 4 witchy crap that's one of the only even slightly negative things I've heard any of the producers say about SV. Usually they claim that everything they do is the best thing ever and seem unable to acknowledge any mistakes. Even now that it's all over and it doesn't matter any more they can't say 'well that didn't work out as well as we hoped' or 'we had to change course here unfortunately because of x, y and z'. Drives me nuts!

Disappointed that even TW joins in with the crap about Good Lionel - "the saviour of Clark's soul when he turned to the good side, the side of light"?!? Oh please!

I predictably got bored with the retrospective as soon as they started talking about the comic characters and the Justice League in S6. And then they started gushing about Oliver, which makes sense because that's when they totally lost interest in Lex and spent all their time on Oliver instead.

Hope the ones for the next 4 seasons make it to YouTube as well - so I can beat my head against a wall as I watch them!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-12-06 12:07 am (UTC)
Here's the link to the rest of the clips! It's interesting how the casting of LV changed the intended characterization of Kara (and thank god for that!) Michael pops up in S8 with a little Tess-love and Sam (sweetly) was super-sad about killing Jimmy. The final quote of the whole thing goes to John S....and it, alas, is dumb.
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF98FB81E3951880C&feature=view_all

Disappointed that even TW joins in with the crap about Good Lionel - "the saviour of Clark's soul when he turned to the good side, the side of light"?!? Oh please!
It amuses me because Good Lionel is almost indistinguishable from Bad Lionel: he's still an appalling father, he never stops killing people and when Clark gets lippy, he throws him into a krypto-cage! I agree with the dude who said SV Lionel is the closest parallel to comics Lex. (And I think Tommy just has a weakness for Luthors ♥)

Great that there's lots of TW love (up to S5 anyway) and lots of MR love in S3 and S4. And love the cute behind the scenes stuff from Michael! Glad they spent some time on Nemesis and mentioned Transference as a fan favourite too.
I'm glad that both those eps seem to have been acclaimed "best of their season." I remember the relief of finally getting a good ep in S6 - and the wonderful surprise that Lex comes back for Clark.

In the season 3 one they say that Pete was written out because he had 'run his creative course' - and yet they continued to shoehorn Lana into every damn thing for the next 5 years!
Poor Pete! Even in the golden days, the writers just weren't interested in him!
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[User Picture]From: complicat
2011-12-08 09:17 pm (UTC)
Oh lord, there was altogether too much JS in the whole thing and that quote at the end made me eyeroll!

I think what LV did with Kara was way better than what they originally had planned! Thank god for her!

Lots of love for Michael in the S7 one, especially from JG. Aww! They barely mentioned KK leaving too though - even though she didn't take part in the retrospectives it seems a bit rude!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-12-09 12:31 am (UTC)
JG has gotten a lot more frank in his quotes - I love how he calls Michael "sexy" and Tom "beautiful." Right you are, John!

Oh lord, there was altogether too much JS in the whole thing and that quote at the end made me eyeroll!
When he goes into oratory mode, it's definitely eye-rolly.

They barely mentioned KK leaving too though - even though she didn't take part in the retrospectives it seems a bit rude!
I wish she had taken part - she would probably have added to the Tom & Michael quotes and I'd be interested on her take on things. In past interviews, she's been gently critical of some aspects of the writing and the documentary could have used a dollop more critical thinking.
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[User Picture]From: frelling_tralk
2011-12-05 04:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the caps! It's interesting that they weren't very critical as A&M used to be surprisngly frank when they thought that certain moments stumbled (the actress in Skinwalker not being all that great and having no chemistry with Tom, the Adam plot being too sci-fi, the witch plot getting ridiculous etc), so I think the fans would have been just as interested if they had gone into the moments that they felt didn't work as well

Was there much BTS footage or bloopers BTW? :)

And lol call me biased, but I just can't with "Good Lionel" when he was still consistent in talking to Lex like shit right up to season 6/7. I just don't understand why they would try so hard to sell Lionel as some kind of misunderstood saint, at the same time as say having that character mocking Lex's emotional damage over his mother's death in Phantom. Season 3 was totally the peak for Lionel and they should have had him killed by Lex a lot earlier once they were ready to move Lex darker around seasons 4/5. Trying to make him some kind of father figure to Clark was so blatantly them just stretching reasons to keep him around because they liked the actor, in season 4 even the actor and writers didn't seem sure over whether Lionel was faking his goodness or not
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-12-06 12:12 am (UTC)
Was there much BTS footage or bloopers BTW? :)
No, I was hoping for much more. I've linked to the remaining parts in my comment to complicat above, if you want to watch the rest. Long quote from AM on the S10 clip that you might enjoy.

I just can't with "Good Lionel" when he was still consistent in talking to Lex like shit right up to season 6/7. I just don't understand why they would try so hard to sell Lionel as some kind of misunderstood saint, at the same time as say having that character mocking Lex's emotional damage over his mother's death in Phantom.
Yeah, Good Lionel tortures Clark and beats a lady to death with a shovel in S7! I think "Luthor" cleverly showed that "Good Lionel" was barely different from the Lionel that dominated & warped Clark Luthor in that dimension: it was always about control.

Trying to make him some kind of father figure to Clark was so blatantly them just stretching reasons to keep him around because they liked the actor
I think that was it - everyone loved Glover and so Lionel stuck around much longer than expected!

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