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Why I am boycotting Season 9 of Smallville

Marikology September 28, 2009 User blog:Marikology

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Before Season 9's premier episode Savior, I had seen every episode of this show from beginning to end. I've been archiving plotlines, characters, and the most minute details on this site for three years. I am closing in on ten thousand edits. Clearly, I know what I'm talking about when I talk about the show, and clearly, I'm a devoted fan of this television show. I do not read or care about comics.

When Comic Con happened, I was upset. But as I got more and more spoilers, I realized that if spoilers were accurate, the show I loved was completely gone, replaced with an old story everyone's already heard before and I as a viewer don't care to follow. The past 174 episodes no longer mattered.

Comic Con also confirmed that character destruction would continue. We already saw Ollie's destruction. In Justice, he meticulously made sure everyone was out of the building before he blew it up. Inexplicably, by Toxic, he was willing to kill Lex Luthor for something Lionel did when Lex was nine years old. The motivation was contrived and made no sense. Yet in Identity, he was willing to be Green Arrow again, but was back to murderous tendencies again by Bride, then killed Lex in and blackmailed Chloe into silence in Requiem. Ollie's arc has been uneven and nonsensical. I don't want my heroes to be murdering drunks. I loved Ollie in Season 6. I suppose he will get back on track with Crossfire and the introduction of Speedy, but I've already seen his downward spiral(s). It's rehashed and boring.

There was a lot of news about the coming of Zod. Except we've already seen him. The Zod plotline is so boring I can't even think of anything to rant about with it.

Lois Lane would be more prominent. I don't hate Lois. I take her for what she is. She makes mistakes, but she's not evil. However, she's a secondary character and always has been. None of the main story arcs would change if you took her out. She should stay a supporting character. I don't mind her when she's on the screen, but I certainly don't want to see more of her.

ComicCon also announced that Chloe will be Watchtower. Brian Peterson even had the gall to say that this role goes back to the Pilot.[1] Words cannot even describe the rage that statement caused. Yes, Chloe is a hacker. But that is secondary to the role she's always had- REPORTER. She was introduced with a mess of newspaper articles, not computers. I watched her devote her life to journalism for seven years. I watched her get dragged out of the Daily Planet kicking and screaming.(Descent) She said herself she'd been praying to the Gods of journalism her whole life. (Plastique) Yet last year, she inexplicably decided to be a "counselor" while the show KEPT reminding me she used to be a journalist. Faora found her by tracking down her articles in Bloodline. The Legion looked over her archived Wall of Weird to find out who she was in Legion. A deleted scene from Beast had Davis Bloome also remarking on her journalism. Hex had her admitting that she was jealous of Clark and Lois' life as reporters. But instead of hearing that she'd find her way back to her lifelong dream, she was going to be a computer technician. I am not interested. Chloe is a reporter. She's wanted it her whole life. I want to see her reclaim her dreams. I sat through her awful stint as a counselor last year. I won't do it this year.

Season Nine promised many things. Clark in a suit. (I don't care). New comics characters Roulette, Metallo, Speedy. (I still don't care.) Clark and Lois get closer. (I REALLY don't care) Clark and Chloe will be fighting. This plotline interested me. I thought if they were fighting, it might be a way for them to come together and be even stronger in the end. Turns out, they're fighting over Chloe wanting Clark to turn back time and bring Jimmy back from the dead. I have a lot of problems with this. First of all, the Chloe/Jimmy relationship was the most pathetic excuse of a relationship ever. Chloe never loved him as much as she loves Clark. A whole entire episode (Abyss) pointed this out. Chloe herself told Clark, "Everything I've ever done, right or wrong, I did it for you." Jimmy never trusted her, was horribly insecure despite all of her reassurances, tried to back out of the engagement twice (Odyssey, Instinct) dumped her repeatedly, (Cure, Crimson), had a wandering eye (Fierce), dumped her and publicly humiliated her, (Turbulence) was sending her mean emails, (Eternal) and was then stealing from her (Beast). On the heels of all of that, Doomsday had them reuniting as if none of that even mattered. As if they were a solid, healthy relationship. Chloe clearly was never willing to put her relationship with Clark over hers with Jimmy. Clark always came first. I do not want to see Clark and Chloe fighting, of all things, over Jimmy Olsen.

As recently as Infamous, Chloe knows that messing with time is a bad idea. It's stupid and out of character for her to be mad at Clark for not doing it. I am not going to sit through Chloe wishing and hoping that Jimmy will come back from the dead, as if he was her one true love and they would be happily ever after if he wasn't dead, when I was shown why their relationship won't work. I can understand guilt, I can understand Chloe being angry at Clark for abandoning her when she'd lost everything, but to have them fighting over Jimmy Fricking Olsen is just unwatchable. I'm sick of the implication that Chloe and Jimmy would be happily ever after if he was alive when we were shown why they didn't work together. That relationship needs to stay dead, not continue to stink up the show from beyond the grave.

And then there's Clark. He has said over and over again that he's proud of his humanity. (Solitude) He acknowledged so many times that his parents, his relationships are what makes him who he is. His turning his back on his humanity is stupid and contrived. Clark Kent from past seasons would never just leave Chloe while she's in mourning, with her cousin missing, for his so-called destiny. He was willing to shove his destiny aside so many times, even to simply play house with Lana at one point. (Action) He's made a lot of mistakes, a lot more serious than the Doomsday fiasco, so I don't buy that his terrible guilt over Jimmy has spurred this decision.

Even if it has, okay, weak storytelling, but I can deal. THEN we get the implication that he can't finish his training because he can't let go of a particular human. Who is this human? Lois Lane.

No NO NO NO. Allow me a bulleted list of why this bothers me.

  • Solitude- Clark tells Brainiac that he's proud of his humanity and his faith in humans. He then talks to Chloe about how Brainiac underestimates humans, obviously never having met her.
  • Tomb- Clark expresses admiration at Chloe's compassion for others. "You care more about other people than anybody else I know."
  • Vengeance- Knowing he'd do something he'd regret, Chloe strongly cautioned Clark not to go after the guy that stole his father's watch. Clark didn't listen, but later told Chloe she was right.
  • Labyrinth- When Clark's world is upside down, the only thing "normal" is Chloe's behavior. Clark realizes that Chloe was the only one who believed in him, and only gave up fighting the alternate reality when she "died."
  • Bizarro- upon news that Chloe had died, Clark had a visceral reaction. Afterwards, Chloe told him that even though he wasn't human, there is more to his personality than biology.
  • Kara- Clark uses Chloe as an example of the smartest human he knows.
  • Apocalypse- When Clark is ready to give up, it's Chloe who urges him to continue, saying [humans] need him.
  • Abyss- Clark admits that he needs Chloe more than she needs him and considers losing her confidence a great loss.
  • Legion- Brainiac tells Clark that he chose to inhabit Chloe because he knew he'd never harm her. Clark tells the Legion that any code that was based on his ideas would try to save, not kill her. "There's still a person in there." His unwillingness to sacrifice Chloe forced the Legion to come up with an alternate plan to defeat Brainiac.
  • Beast- believing he would be guilty forever, Chloe chose to leave with Davis instead of letting Clark send him to the Phantom Zone.
  • Doomsday- Chloe realizes that the only way to control Davis is to keep him at bay, away from Clark, but Clark decides that Davis is worth saving, but is wrong after all, and Jimmy dies as a result. He *then* gives up on his humanity.

Chloe has been to the Fortress of Solitude more than any other human. The first instance (Arrival) , Clark refused to let her die and begged Jor-El to let him take her to safety. The second time, (Solitude) she saved Clark's life and prevented Zod from being released. The third time she shouted from the rooftops how much she loved Jor-El's son. (Traveler). The fourth time Clark pleaded again with Jor-El to cure her Brianiac infection.(Abyss) I REFUSE to believe that the Fortress has witnessed all of these clear cases of devotion towards one another and then concludes that Clark can't move on from Lois Lane. The idea is insulting and illogical.

Since learning his secret, it has frequently been the role of Chloe Sullivan to make Clark realize the value of his compassion/caring for humans. To suddenly transfer this aspect to Lois Lane in Season 9 is another way the show has interchanged the two girls, simply to lightswitch Clark and Lois into their iconic soulmate roles without having to do any of the buildup. In my opinion it's terrible writing, a disservice to all three characters, and an insult to longtime viewers.

Clark and Lois are nowhere near the level of devotion and emotional intimacy that Clark and Chloe are. The producers admitted last year that Clark and Lois had been written as a brother and sister relationship from Seasons 4-7. [2] Unless they have a really warped view of siblings, in my opinion, that negates any perceived "flirty banter" before that point. I can admit that their feelings changed in Season 8, with Lois suddenly and inexplicably in love with Clark, when previously she had never been attracted to guys like him. All her other boyfriends had been charismatic, charming, powerful, etc. I can even admit that Clark considered it, but didn't act on it. (Infamous). But that's as far as it got. The commentary for Hex had the writer saying that Tom Welling himself admitted he didn't think Clark was in love with Lois, and Tom confirmed this again to tvguidemagazine.com.[3] This show cannot seriously believe that Clark cannot complete his training because of a sudden unrealized love for Lois Lane.

Then there was the endless announcement of the Triangle for Two. In the context of this show, it makes no sense. Last year, Lois was IN LOVE with Clark. Clark was still hung up on Lana. This year, Lois' blind devotion to The Blur is pathetic and boring. She can't even see him. He could be a 40-year-old man with five kids. The idea that Clark as The Blur suddenly needs a new confidante or a helper or a sidekick, when Chloe has been by his side for eight years, is also insulting. If the Triangle for Two actually happens, it will mean Clark will chase after and pine over someone who has always degraded him, but last year actually was in love with him, while hero-worshipping his alter-ego. It will be the same rehashed angst with Lana where he agonizes over telling her his secret, which also makes no sense in the context of the show-- he already knows that she'd react well. (Infamous) Lastly, the idea that Clark is "distancing himself from humanity," still abandoning his best friend when she needs him, but he still has time to have flirty banter with Lois, is ridiculous. Chloe has loved him just the way he is, warts and all, farmboy or superhero, but she has to be front and center while he calls her cousin? It's just sickening, and I refuse to watch.

Clark and Chloe are the only two characters that were also in the pilot. Their relationship is complicated, heartbreaking, honest, and earnest. I refuse to watch it sidelined for the simple idea that "he has to end up with Lois because it's like that in the comics." I've seen both of them literally lay down and die for each other. (Chloe- Fracture, Clark- Odyssey) I can't compare the emotional weight or importance of Clark and Chloe's relationship to that of Clark and Lois'. Clark and Lois are friends. I get that. They have heartfelt moments. But their relationship usually consists of contrived sexual situations. Last year it had Lois completely regressing to a 14 year old with antics like "Zip up my dress", when she had been previously strong and confident with men. I cannot watch and support the idea that none of the last eight years of Chlark's displays of devotion to one another matters. I hate that the two main characters are now being sidelined for contrived plotlines and relationships that never previously mattered. I don't care about new characters from the comics. It is TOO LATE and nonsensical for the producers to continue to claim that this show will line up with the comics. I watch for Clark and Chloe, and I will not watch their relationship systematically and illogically destroyed just so the show can align with "mythos."

It would not take a lot for me to come back to the show. I devour every scrap of spoiler ever and am eternally optimistic. I know that spoilers certainly can be misleading and plotlines can change, and I am willing to sit through a lot of crap if I know I'll get my happy ending in the end. I sat through a lot of garbage last year, because with the almost weekly reminders of Clark and Chloe's long history, and Chloe's journalism background, I was sure that I just had to sit through it until the payoff. Up until Injustice, with the Doomsday/Clark fight heating up with Chloe in the middle, I still believed that. Then Doomsday happened. Chloe and Jimmy inexplicably reunited. Clark walks away from Chloe when she clearly needs him. Oliver turns his back on his hero team. Season 8's finale proved to me that this show is not interested in maintaining a cohesive storyline and will just reset anything they want at the drop of a hat. The reports from Comic Con and the spoilers afterward confirmed that.

This year, I'm taking the spoilers for face value. The premier promised more Lois- and she has gotten more screentime than Clark in four out of the first six episodes.[4] It promised Chloe and Clark fighting, and that they did, over Jimmy. It promised Lois/Blur, which is pathetic and pales to the trust and connection that Chloe has always had with Clark. It promised everything I hated and wished wasn't true, so I didn't watch. (I watched the Chloe scenes on YouTube and read descriptions of the Clark Fortress scenes.) The official description had insinuations that Chloe will "manipulate" people, while Lois is suddenly the "woman he cares about most." [5] I don't want to see them kiss in Crossfire or Idol. I definitely don't want to see a dream sex sequence between them played on an infinite loop, complete with graphic description to Lois' psychiatrist. (Idol) If Clark and Lois was "the plan" all along, it should have started before Season 8. If it's still the plan, I'm not watching. I don't want to see Lois systematically replace Chloe in every aspect on the show. I need reassurance that the last eight years actually matter. That I will see the payoff from eight years of stories and characterization of Clark and Chloe, not simply shoved aside so it can "align with the mythos." Until I get some sort of reassurance, (not vague hints, teases, promises of a "cool twist",) I am actively and openly boycotting Smallville.

Comments are welcome, but please do not use profanity. It will be edited.

References

  1. http://www.kryptonsite.com/cc09-briankelly.htm
  2. http://www.tvguide.com/news/Smallville-Comic-Con-Lois-15681.aspx
  3. http://www.tvguidemagazine.com/smallville/tom-welling-feels-super-about-season-9-2255.html
  4. http://www.kryptonsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134879
  5. http://www.kryptonsite.com/season9official.htm

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