I've seen Leah's show, yea. I understand that whole thing. This? Not so much.
I've seen Leah's show, yea. I understand that whole thing. This? Not so much.
Kristin Kreuk has broken her silence on Twitter:
It must be so surreal for people who worked closely with Allison, or who were close friends with her, to read these things in the press. I mean, do you think that Tom Welling or Justin Hartley were sitting around the set a few years ago thinking "this chick is cray-zee"?
This thing was basically a copy of Scientology, that's what drew in the actors, like it does there. Clearly Allison maintained relationships with people. I mean when I saw her she had a group of people with her, as well as Glover. I don't think anybody suspected the master/slave stuff, and apparently that's where she is most culpable.
As for Scientology, I would skip Leah's show and just watch "Going Clear," the doc is far more damning. Again, I can't understand how they aren't challenged, but they have a ton of money and power and probably dirt on a lot of people.
I've seen Going Clear. It's a fascinating movie. Leah's show pairs well with it, in that we get to see a wider view of the cult and how it has hurt many people in different ways.
I hear that she may branch out to other cults though. Maybe we will get some people to explain what Allison did to them.
And there she goes. Allison has been arrested.
I don't see how anyone can be involved in anything with the word "slave" in it, without any question marks popping up. Most cults at least try to cover things up with more appealing terms.
Was she normal one day, and a total wack job the next? I have so many questions about this, and her role in it!
I swear, I should become a psychologist who specializes in cults. They fascinate me, while still appalling me.
and now quinn just tweeted about it!
it's surreal to me that this was a topic of conversation a year ago here, and now, wham. national news story.
It's also surreal to me that it's one of only two things Informant and I ever agreed upon.
C'mon. We agree on more than that.
How do you feel about pineapple on pizza? I'm pretty fond of it myself.
How do you feel about pineapple on pizza? I'm pretty fond of it myself.
Dear God. Who would do such a thing? Sour-sweet fruit on a meat pie... ? But it's your pizza.
I don't rewatch SMALLVILLE all that much. Season 1 is a mixed mag, Seasons 2 - 7 are a crime against culture, Season 8 is great, Season 9 is excellent, Season 10 is great for the first 13 episodes and then has numerous standout episodes among awkward ones that build to a puzzling series finale of confusion and awkwardness (due to the production problems rather than any lack of talent or ability). However, if I were to rewatch Seasons 8 - 10... I would mentally replace Allison Mack with Kristen Bell (who auditioned to play Chloe).
The really sad thing is that Chloe was a wonderful creation who was introduced into the actual DC Comics and was Jimmy Olsen's (ex-)girlfriend for a time. And while she hadn't appeared in awhile and Chloe's presence in the SMALLVILLE comics made it unnecessary to feature her in the mainstream DC continuity, there was the likelihood that some enterprising writer would incorporate her into the comics once again, making Chloe immortal and exist beyond SMALLVILLE as a TV show and Allison Mack as a performer. That's never going to happen now; DC Comics won't want to go near Chloe Sullivan ever again.
That is sad. Smallville has always been a fun show to go back and rewatch when I absolutely do not want to think about what I'm watching. Now the show is hard to go back to, and it is a huge smack in the face to all of the many people who put ten years into making that show. Many of them were great at their job.
Hopefully we will be able to watch the show again someday. And maybe they can cast a new Chloe in the Arrowverse or on Krypton, and repair the damage to the character. Maybe young Bruce Wayne can meet Chloe on Gotham.
And the thing about pineapple on pizza is how the tanginess of the pineapple brings out the sweetness of the tomato sauce! That interaction is golden!
Okay, what else can we maybe agree on? Because if there's nothing else, it's a miracle that we get along as well as we do.
We both agreed that Allison Mack was a cultist, abuser, human trafficker and sexual slaver long before it was fashionable to do so. We both enjoyed the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie which the world at large considers a crime against humanity. Many friendships were founded on far less.
There is an open source technology recently popularized for its low system requirements which allows a user to digitally replace a person's face with another in pre-existing video footage. It was (of course) first employed to graft the faces of Hollywood actresses onto female pornography performers engaging in performative sex acts.
I propose that we assemble a bank of (used) Playstation 3s to form a makeshift rendering farm, map Kristen Bell's face using box sets of the three seasons of VERONICA MARS, and begin digitally replacing Allison Mack in SMALLVILLE with Kristen Bell instead and hire noted impressionist Robert Floyd (Mallory on SLIDERS) to re-record all of Mack's dialogue in Bell's voice. I propose we use the magic of CGI to remove Allison Mack from every single hour of television she ever performed, expunge her from every single frame of film and leave her with nothing but her crimes.
But to be realistic, anyone wanting to use Chloe before would probably just use Felicity Smoak instead and right now, who could blame them?
I just had this weird daydream of Justin Hartley's Oliver Queen confronting Allison (not Chloe) and yelling, "YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY!"
This is a weird situation. I never really hated Chloe (though there were times when she got close), and yet Allison is a disgusting, repulsive human being. Meanwhile, Felicity Smoak has turned into a character that appeals to me about as much as another Obama presidency, but I don't harbor any I'll feelings toward Emily Bett Rickards.
So the idea of replacing Chloe with Felicity makes me sad, but the idea of replacing Allison's image with Emily's doesn't.
Part of me thinks they should keep and celebrate the Chloe character, but change her appearance (maybe do that thing where they make white characters black for some reason). Another part of me thinks that no matter how they alter her appearance, Allison would always be able to look at Chloe and own a part of that character.
Turn her into a villain and kill her off?
My feelings about Kristen Bell are complicated. I love Veronica, but I'm actually not a fan of Bell's in general.
There's a lot of tragedy from that show. Between Allison and Sam Jones III getting arrested (albeit for much different crimes) and Lee Thompson Young committing suicide....that's quite a bit. There isn't anything else, is there?
I think that's all. The show ran for ten years and had a ton of guest stars, so I'm sure that there are other stories out there, but those are the big ones. It's weird for me to group Young's death in with the others. He was bipolar and that resulted in a serious depression, causing him to kill himself. The others were (presumably) decisions made with a clear mind.
In other news, my brain has created it's official Chloe Sullivan exit story. I may never actually write it, but at least I now have a story that builds off of Smallville history and does what needs to be done. Maybe I'll write up some of those ideas later... After I finish that Supergirl script that I've been chipping away at here and there for a couple of years now.
Well, they're three very different things and sad in their own ways. And I only threw Young in there at all because it was a tragedy too.
Either way, 2 of the 8 main cast in the 1st season has been to prison (it could've been 3 if Kristin stayed in). That's no good.
Plus Jensen Ackles has been to Hell a few times now.
I feel really bad for people like Tom and the crew who worked their asses off and built a legacy with this show, only to have it destroyed by Allison's evil decisions. I want to find a way to bring that back to them while putting her in her proper place.
Well, I mean, to me....I don't really connect Chloe and Allison. I don't think anything less of Chloe the character because of Allison the actress. Bill Cosby is a monster, but the Cosby Show helped a ton of African Americans (emotionally and financially). Louis CK has done terrible things to women, but his comedy helped a lot of people laugh. And I don't think people that still choose to watch The Cosby Show or Louie are supporting Cosby or Louis CK by doing so....they're just enjoying the entertainment.
And I don't think Allison's crimes should be held against Tom Welling or Smallville or Chloe herself. It'd be weird to see Chloe and it might make you think differently about the character, but I'm able to put a divider between real life and the show.
All I can think is that Chloe would be ashamed of Allison. Which is good enough for me.
You have no idea how weird it is for me to see Slider_Quinn22 saying we should separate the art from the artist when he insists on Quinn in Season 4 indicating Quinn's sociopathy rather than Jerry being half assed and hungover and not bothering to learn his lines or read the entire script.
But Chloe shouldn't be a villain just because Allison is one; we shouldn't confuse the actor with the character.
At this point, I would digitally replace Allison with Ann Coulter or Tomi Lahren if it would get Allison's sorry ass out of the show.
I mean... I'm not confusing Chloe with Allison really, but it would be hard to watch Chloe without thinking about Allison right now. And a lot of the things that made Chloe so appealing (her charm, her wit, her smile) are probably a lot of the things that Allison used to draw in her victims.
I sincerely hope that I will be able to forget that Allison is a real person at some point, and think of Chloe as some sort of computer generated character, but I'm not there yet.
Similarly, I used to enjoy watching 7th Heaven from time to time, because it was a silly, stupid, thoughtless fluff show. I haven't really had any desire to return to that series since Stephen Collin's whole situation erupted.
Bill Cosby... same. Don't get me wrong, I have a loooooooooot of questions about that case, but my ability to watch the Cosby Show and see him as the all-American father that everyone wished they'd had is long gone.
A lot of this stuff is probably because these are still "current" cases and none of this dust has settled at all. I know all about Hollywood history and how horrible some of those people were back in the day, and I can probably still watch a lot of their old movies.
Aw, hell. I just read that some of the charges against her involve trafficking children. Does this bitch ever stop getting worse? What the hell?! How have we never heard stories of her being this evil before this story broke? Was she just really good at hiding it?! Was she somehow brainwashed into being evil? I never stop being disgusted by this horrible woman.
And yes, I know that calling a women a "bitch" is triggering for some. Sorry for that, but the shoe definitely fits in this case and there are no words nasty enough for this monster.
Still... no need to bring Ann Coulter into this. She can stay way, way over there. Far away from Smallville.
(I don't know enough about Tomi to care about her one way or the other)
SQ22 is my evil doppleganger
And I think there's a bit of difference there. If an actor plays a character differently, those traits become part of the character. This can be on purpose or accidentally. When Matt LeBlanc accidentally hurt his arm on Friends, it had to be written into the show. LeBlanc was hurt....so Joey became hurt. Rob McElhenney purposefully put on a ton of weight for Always Sunny, and they had to write it into the show.
If Jerry O'Connell played Quinn as lethargic and careless....Quinn suddenly became those traits.
Chloe was a good person throughout the show. She showed none of the "Allison" traits. So I can separate the two. Maybe it's a weird place to put a divider, but it works for me.
Cosby's a little weird because I never really watched the show growing up, and there was an episode where he drugs a bunch of people. And he jokes about it in his standup routine. So maybe that's a bad example. I was just thinking of a couple different prominent examples. I don't think Kevin Spacey's horribleness will make me enjoy something like Usual Suspects or Seven any worse. I have a soft spot for K-PAX.
He did make me stop watching House of Cards, but that's because that show SUCKS.
Allison is out on five million dollars bail, to her parents' custody. She is not allowed to contact anyone related to the cult. I assume that includes her wife, but who knows
Both she and her parents put up their homes and their retirements for this. I would not have made that deal if I were her parents.
If found guilty, Allison faces fifteen years to life.
Sam Jones III must feel such relief, since he's no longer the disappointing member of the Smallville family.
Slider_Quinn21's right that Allison's crimes aren't onscreen whereas Jerry O'Connell's bad choices were. Sorry for the typo.
Allison's lawyers are trying to negotiate a plea deal; her parents have taken a deal her out of custody but under house arrest. My opinion: we cannot make deals with people like Allison Mack.
I couldn't care less what New Age garbage or pedantic psychobabble we might put forth: this woman is a human trafficker, a willing accessory to rape and slavery and pedophilia and she did it all in the guise of female empowerment and she used you to do it. She used me to do it. Every time we felt pride and joy and admiration for Chloe's intrepid perseverance and compassion for all, we were feeding a false myth that Allison used to carry out her crimes with impunity until now.
I have no children, but I have a niece. Her name is Lauren. I love her more than I've ever loved any one or anything, so much that I wrote her into SLIDERS REBORN as Quinn's gay teenaged protégé. If Lauren were arrested for Allison's crimes, I would certainly visit Lauren in prison, but I would do nothing to extricate her and nothing to mitigate the consequences of her crimes and I certainly wouldn't put up any money to give her the creature comforts of house arrest after she deprived innocent people of their liberty and safety and violated their bodies while using Chloe Sullivan to entrap her victims. Also, I wouldn't have any confidence in Allison's ability to abide the conditions of her bail; she has no concern for right and wrong, actions and consequences, harm and suffering. She has no kindness, no care, no love, no soul. I want Allison in jail. I want justice served.
Realistically, however -- she may turn evidence against Raniere, expose his network, lay bare his organization and assets and accomplices and victims and offering her immunity and a reduced sentence could serve a greater good and contain a worse evil. I understand that. But the thought of striking any kind of bargain with Allison makes me sick. The idea that Allison could resume her life without a shred of consequence for all the people she's abused and tortured and raped and enslaved and possibly present herself as a victim is outrageous.
FAKE NEWS!!!!! Damn I've been waiting to say that! [...] if she were hiding out in Mexico OR on the run from the law, would she have agreed to appear in ATLANTIC CITY, NJ, in April???
Not to poke fun at Grizzlor who has shown himself to be one of those excellent people who can admit that they were wrong -- but in a shocking turn of events, Allison's appearance has been cancelled, and I hope we can say that everything else in her life has been cancelled as well.
I've been wondering to myself where Allison goes from here. Is there any chance of redemption, not of her public image as much as her soul or personal life. On Leah Remini's Scientology series we see people like Mike Rinder, who also did some very bad things while under the thrall of that cult. Now he is trying to make amends. So is there any amends for Allison?
The thing is, while Mike (and others) was guilty of some misdeeds, he was also very much a victim. Beaten and broken, mentally and physically, until he was forced to be compliant. He makes no excuses for what he did, but he was still a victim.
Allison appears (from what we know) to be much less of a victim. We have no reports suggesting that she was beaten or tortured into submission. In fact, reports suggest that a lot of the physical violence was her idea. So this would seem to make her more of a David Miscavige figure than a Mike Rinder figure. Miscavige took all of the worst parts of L. Ron Hubbard's personality and his cult, and took it to even deeper levels of evil, which is saying a lot, because Hubbard was pretty evil.
So, is there any path to redemption for Allison? Say she gets mental help, deprogramming, and treatment for whatever the hell is wrong with her head, can she become something better?
As a Christian, I want to believe that she can. I believe in redemption. But realistically, I'm not sure that I see it happening. She's shown no sign of humanity since this all began. And as for her willingness to turn on her master... I don't know. Some reports say that she's willing to go to prison to save him. Maybe her actual arrest scared her. Maybe not.
I don't know how anyone around her let it get to this point with Allison -- and perhaps they didn't have control -- but if they didn't, then it's not someone who we can act had no culpability and didn't keep willfully imposing criminal acts. Like, don't treat her like a little girl if she truly was responsible for these crimes she is being charged with.
Don't act like it was all Reiner and she had no agency.
No, that's not what I meant. Allison made these decisions and did horrible things all on her own. And I'm really interested in the psychology of that and understanding how she got there, but that doesn't matter as much at this point, because you can't unpull that trigger.
At the same time, I wonder where she goes from here. She is a young woman, so presumably she has many years ahead... Hopefully in prison, but years nonetheless. So is she incapable of human emotion and empathy, and incapable of becoming something better, or is she capable of becoming a better person?
Like I said, right now she seems like a David Miscavige figure, and he is nothing but evil. But there are straight up murderers who become better people. In prison.
No excuses. But like I said, I'm a Christian. We think about things like forgiveness and redemption a lot. I'm not talking about legally forgiving her, or having her appear at cons. I'm just talking about her own road forward. Is she going to Charles Manson it, and ride the evil wave right into the grave? Or does she get a wake-up call and become a person again?
And without internet access, because she doesn't deserve Twitter followers anymore. How is she still on Twitter but comedians get kicked off because someone was offended by a joke? But that's a whole other rant.
I blame my writer brain for always asking too many questions and wanting more information. It doesn't change the fact that I think she is a horrible person who did evil things, and she must be held accountable.
Sorry, I didn't meant for it to appear as a response directly to you Informant. Just was a general thought on my part.
Interesting article, with comments from a source close to Smallville. It helps create a sort of timeline between Allison being a nice, but desperate and lost young woman, to the monster she became. I do think she was an easy target, and that she was broken because of this. However, that doesn't excuse what she became. We are responsible for our own choices. So while wrongs may have been committed against her, they in no way excuse the wrongs that she committed on others.
And when she broke, she really damn broke.
So... Is the Allison that we saw on Smallville the same person that she is today? Or is there a divide somewhere?
There is no redemption for a human trafficker, for procuring children to hand over to a pedophile, for enslaving and torturing women into forced labour. I have no concern whatsoever for Allison Mack's recovery or well-being and I'd suggest we save our concern for the victims and not the perpetrator.
Like I said, it's not really about concern for her. I'm just interested in the way people become what they've become. Character arcs, I guess. My brain seeks information. Motive. Backstory.
Apparently, Allison was once a normal person. But even within those comments about her, I spot weakness. They say that she was interested in finding her place in the world, helping people and female empowerment. None of those things actually mean anything. They're general notions of genres of goals. To me, this paints a picture of someone who had been playing characters her whole life and didn't have a grasp of who she was as a person. She was an empty vessel, and that made her a prime target for a cult. She wanted to feel like she had purpose and meaning, and ultimately, power over the world.
I can understand how a cult leader could take someone like that and mold that person into a monster. It doesn't change what she did, or lessen what she did in any way. People who are taught a pattern of abuse as children often repeat that pattern. It doesn't lessen their own crimes, but it helps us to understand where that evil is rooted. It helps us identify that pattern elsewhere.
Like I said, I'm fascinated by the psychology of cults. Maybe because I've seen it up close. That doesn't change the fact that I just looked at a clock, saw the letters "AM", got a flash of those initials burned into human flesh, and was disgusted.
Allison should definitely rot in prison for what she did. She is a disgusting human being. But she is the product of a machine, and I want to know how that machine works.
On another note, I saw an article that attempted to pain the whole Smallville series as cursed, with actors who never amounted to anything after it ended. Plagued by fleeing cast members (Michael and Kristen left after seven seasons! That's a whole series run for most shows!) and chaos. The article was BS, trying to paint Allison as one part of a larger tragedy. I don't get the need to ruin other people who just happened to be around her at one point, years ago.
Another interesting article about Allison, with comments from people who actually knew her:
Shall we all agree upon a schedule to monitor Sabrina Lloyd's blog for any signs that she's joined a cult? https://motheringaroundtheworld.com
we don't have to worry about her. good head on her shoulders.
Allison Mack's defense lawyers have decided to try to argue that blackmailing people into sexual slavery isn't illegal:
With luck, this will cause courts and the government to revisit their views on Scientology and recognize them for the cult they are.
Allison Mack has pleaded guilty. Actual remorse or a cold calculation that it was her only chance at escaping life imprisonment and having to register as a sex offender?
At the very least, I think Mack should be registered as a sex offender for her trafficking and subject to permanent GPS monitoring. She's dangerous and is a threat to any women who cross her path.
One of my favourite actresses, Sara Fletcher, is playing the role of Allison Mack in this movie about the cult.
A highly anecdotal account of meeting Allison Mack. *shudders*
Also, Grizzlor’s photo with Allison Mack is now her Wikipedia headshot.
There's a scene in Season 10's "Ambush" that I really like where Lois finds her sister, Lucy, kissing Clark. Lois' reaction is to drag Lucy away and tell her to go crush some ice. Lois doesn't doubt for a moment that Clark is faithful to her and Clark says Lucy surprised him. But then they have an argument anyway.
CLARK: "You know what's a bigger surprise? Is that you couldn't stand up to your dad. Unless you actually agree with his vigilante registration act?"
LOIS: "Clark, I am just trying to get through this 'holiday' without a fight.
CLARK: "Lois you either agree with him or you don't."
LOIS: "I don't. But this means something to the General so please do not make me choose sides."
CLARK: "I thought you were somebody who stood up for what she believed in. And then when it comes to your father, you do the same thing that he does; you make your choices based on fear."
LOIS: "Hey just because you don't have a -- "
Lois stops talking.
CLARK: " ... a what, Lois? What were you going to say? A father?"
LOIS: " ... okay. What I am trying to say is that you haven't had to deal with a family for a really long time. All you have to answer to is yourself. Clark, if you want be with me, you're going to have to deal with my family too. I hope you can respect that."
I thought it was a really well-written episode in a well-written relationship that really showed how Lois and Clark were both devoted to each other but still had the capacity to oppose each other in various conflicts.
Smallville is a show I'd like to revisit, but it was such a mixed bag.
I have been wondering what would've happened if Smallville had been the Arrowverse. What if we'd had:
The Flash (2005) - starring Kyle Gallner
Aquaman (2006) - starring Alan Ritchson
Cyborg (2006) - starring Lee Thompson Young
Green Arrow and the Justice League (2008) - Starring Justin Hartley, Alaina Huffman, and Phil Morris
The Chloe Chronicles (2008) - Starring Allison Mack and Kristen Kreuk
Could've been interesting (I know a lot of these actors had dark things happen to them, but I'm hoping this world would've been kinder to them / they were kinder to others).
I revisit SMALLVILLE, but in my head, to be honest. I don't actually rewatch it. I think of Clark's amazing supersaves in Seasons 8 - 10, especially him saving Lois from a crashing train and saving Chloe from a Checkmate fired gunshot to the head in almost still frames of slow motion superspeed. I think of how Tom Welling, who started as one of the worst actors to ever appear on television, came to embody Clark Kent's decency and humility and gentleness so well by subsuming the role into his own personality which turned out to be a perfect match.
On Planet Ireactions, SMALLVILLE opened its first season with Tom Welling, Kristen Bell, Sam Jones III, Kristin Kreuk and Michael Rosenbaum playing characters in Smallville University as opposed to Smallville High.
In my head, Kristen Bell didn't play Chloe; she played Lois Lane but was otherwise exactly the same as Chloe. Also, in my world, the Kryptonite freaks, having Kryptonite inside their bodies, often injured and nearly killed Clark and were increasingly powerful with each episode.
And on Planet Ireactions, Lex is heroic and friendly but a bit ruthless and with a troubled past. In Season 5, everyone has graduated from university and Lex starts LexCorp. In the Season 5 finale, Lex is forced to bankrupt LexCorp to help Clark and friends save the world from aliens.
All of Lex's friends are grateful, but his now out of work employees and investors and most of Metropolis despise him and when Lex tries to explain to the world at large that aliens would have destroyed the world, he's mocked and dismissed as a crazy person, causing Lex to become resentful and bitter and this leads to him becoming evil in the middle of Season 6 and Clark is forced to accept that his best friend is now his worst enemy by Season 7. Lex goes further ballistic when he realizes that Clark could have outed himself as an alien to restore Clark's good name but ultimately declined to do so to protect Jonathan and Martha.
Also on Planet Ireactions, the most exciting setpieces of every week are Clark's supersaves, any time a character close to the main cast's age dies should be alarming and unusual and the show should really focus on it -- and the Lana/Clark romance is over by the middle of Season 2 and in Season 3, Clark admits to himself that he's in love with Lois but is terrified to date her because he'll never be able to hide The Secret from her.
And Planet Ireactions' SMALLVILLE definitely has Kyle Gallner as Bart Allen join the regular cast in Season 3. I have no real affinity for Bart, but I know Slider_Quinn21 likes him a lot so yes. And we also have those weird starfish aliens pester the cast for a season because that will make Temporal Flux happy. I want to think of something that would make Transmodiar happy, but the only thing that comes to mind is to stop typing now.
A SMALLVILLE animated series? ... I don't know. There are challenges.
The thing about SMALLVILLE is that it was mostly about having very specific actors onscreen and it lasted 10 seasons because people liked the actors. Their physicality. Their rapport. Tom Welling's performance as Clark is based in his huge body mass and his incredibly gentle screen presence. Michael Rosenbaum's appeal as Lex is through his ability to make really lengthy monologues about THE ART OF WAR seem like he's coming up with them off the top of his head.
Animation and dialogue recording on the DC Animated Films budgets is never going to pull that off, unfortunately. The voice performances in those projects always make it obvious that the actors are recording in isolation and create the weird sense that the conversations are stitched together from the actors' voicemails. The animation is also incredibly stiff with very little performance or body language in the movements.
Japanese animation often has limited animation with an emphasis on hyperdramatic composition because their budgets don't allow fluidity. Western animation often rejects that approach but also can't afford for fluidity; there's the sense of seeing action figures in their posed stiffness being marched on and offscreen. To capture what made SMALLVILLE work (as much as it ever worked), you'd need Don Bluth style animation with live actors performing all the scenes and animators adding the actors' body language to the drawings. But it's super expensive and this sort of budget actually killed the FOX Animation division.
The SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN series used very simple character designs for fluid animation. But SMALLVILLE needs the likenesses.
A CG animated series might address this problem, however; the Nickelodeon NINJA TURTLES series has a delightful sense of characterization in all their character models and movements for each Turtle and the human characters. However, there is often the sense that these aren't living beings as much as highly expressive children's toys; they would be a (loving and artful) caricature of Welling and Rosenbaum if that style were used on a SMALLVILLE animated show.
I was a big fan of the SMALLVILLE Season 11 comic books, but I have to say, there was a point towards the last 1/3 or so of the run where it stopped working. The problem: the comics stopped using the likenesses of the actors. Originally, there was a lot of effort to showing Tom Welling and Erica Durance's faces as Clark and Lois with Michael Rosenbaum as Lex. However, due to sales not being terrific, the budget and schedule for the comics got lower. Newer artists were brought in to finish the run.
The newer artists were very good, but they were made to work faster and didn't do the careful photo referencing to maintain the likenesses. Tom Welling's wide face, full lips and lengthy hair were lost; he just had the usual DC Comics Superman face with the square-jaw and short-hair. Erica Durance's distinct nose and cheeks were flattened into her being generically female. Justin Hartley's spikey hair and sculpted cheeks became a bland rectangle with a mop of blond hair; Allison Mack's face lost all definition beyond being a blonde girl -- it wasn't the SMALLVILLE actors any longer.
The writing was strong from start to finish. But visually, SMALLVILLE's comic book run concluded in a disappointing yet oddly appropriate fashion: it looked like pretty much any other Superman comic book by the end. I'd hope that a SMALLVILLE cartoon could avoid that.
Always blows my mind how Allison Mack and that Keith guy were talked about on here before it became a story. Today, unfortunately for her she gets sentenced. I feel bad for her but at the same time, no matter how swept up she was, she had agency. And seemed to do some crazy things.
Couple things. Firstly, an animated series is only as good as its production team. If they get one of the typical ones, it will be fine. Rosie is a voice acting pro by now, and he knows everybody including famed voice director Andrea Romano. I'd definitely watch.
Allison got 3 years in prison, though obviously she'll likely only have to serve half of that or whatever. She was clearly mentally/emotionally broken in various ways, and was manipulated by Raniere.
I find that in a typical animation project is pretty much like those DC animated direct to video films.
The voice performances in those projects always make it obvious that the actors are recording in isolation and create the weird sense that the conversations are stitched together from the actors' voicemails. The animation is also incredibly stiff with very little performance or body language in the movements.
Allison Mack is a psycho. People are constantly telling me I'm crazy, sometimes on this Bboard, sometimes in the SLIDERS Discord, but even a lunatic like me draws the line at joining a cult and branding people. Three years is way too light for a sexual abuser and human trafficker, but I understand the prosecutors cutting a deal to get Raniere in jail for what's effectively a life sentence.
Grizzlor, I congratulate you on having taken Allison Mack's Wikipedia photo. Now I ask that you stay the hell away from this convicted criminal. She is dangerous and I don't want to lose our SLIDERS.tv ambassador to a creepy cult; we already lost one guy to Trumpism.
Ha ha, look I'm not trivializing what she's done; however, when one is in a runaway cult, crazy crap goes down. It's a Lord of the Flies mentality. Look at January 6th!
As for me, hey I was happy at the time to be at a play of John Glover's, and she randomly was there too. I'd follow John right into the apocalypse! He beat those Gremlins once, and as for the walking dead....
I got a subscription to Comixology for Christmas, and I was so sad to see that the Smallville comics weren't on there for free. That was something I was looking forward to, before I understood the limits of Comixology Unlimited.
Maybe one day.
I was listening to Michael Rosenbaum's latest podcast, INSIDE OF YOU. Rosenbaum got COVID-19. He was fully vaccinated. He didn't realize he had COVID-19; he was recovering from back surgery, experiencing exhaustion and thought he was just tired, but when his tiredness got worse and worse, he got tested and tested positive. He stayed home for two weeks and made a full recovery. He didn't need to be hospitalized; he never needed a ventilator; the vaccine enabled him to build the antibodies needed to fight off COVID-19 and all he had to do was rest and take extra vitamins.
I'm not sure if I can wholeheartedly recommend spending about $90 on buying all the SMALLVILLE comics. They start out really, really well, but as I explained, with all the art shifts and reduced budgets, the artists were no longer able to maintain the likenesses of the actors for all the characters, so by the last third or so of the SMALLVILLE comics, they stop looking like a SMALLVILLE comic book series. They just look like any other SUPERMAN comic, sadly.
However, Tess is revealed to be alive after her death in "Finale," so that's nice. I remember after "Finale" aired, I was appalled by Tess' death and pointed out that Tess had died like three times already and surely this fourth death would be undone as well in a future season of SMALLVILLE. Other fans pointed out that there wouldn't be any future seasons of SMALLVILLE, but I petulantly insisted that Tess would be back and I was mildly astonished to be proven right because I wasn't actually being serious.
One of the most annoying things I ever saw in our community was from this one nutjob who was constantly angsting about Allison Mack's fate. Oh my goodness, how will Allison Mack live? How will she move forward? How will she be redeemed? How can we prioritize the well-being and safety of the privileged white woman over the victims she blackmailed, enslaved into sexual service, trafficked, intimidated, branded with a hot iron, imprisoned and isolated from her families? Oh no, how will Allison live? Jesus ****ing Christ.
Anyway. Allison Mack is in jail for a three year sentence, although I assume she'll be out in less than two with good behaviour.
https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/e … e/3273753/
Serinda Swan, who played Zatanna on SMALLVILLE, was one of the worst actresses I'd ever seen, performing a stilted, overposed character who seemed more like a shop window dummy than a human being. I could always see Swan thinking how to best frame her body for the camera instead of behaving like a person.
I recently saw Swan in the new series CORONER where she plays a medical examiner who has experienced some severely traumatic events. Swan's performance is riveting and sincere; she plays a panic attack with such gnawing agony. Her acting is incredible and because she's cut her hair short and is dressing like an adult professional instead of a comic book cosplayer, she's almost unrecognizable.
My actress friend tells me that a lot of what I describe of Swan's acting is something male directors often ask female performers to do and it's possible that Serinda Swan was always an amazing actress but getting terrible direction until now with CORONER.
Finally got around to watching a few episodes of Kristin Kreuk playing a police detective in BEAUTY IN THE BEAST and oh my goodness, Kreuk's ability to sell non-superpowered fight scenes is quite impressive.
Alfred Gough and Miles Millar created SMALLVILLE. They are also showrunning the new WEDNESDAY ADDAMS series on Netflix.
A WEDNESDAY ADDAMS series is a dream come true for me, but hearing that Gough and Millar are writing it -- well, it's the equivalent of hearing that NBCUniversal has commissioned a SLIDERS revival but hired Keith Damron to run it.
Gough and Millar are a truly peculiar choice for a property as eccentric and idiosyncratic as THE ADDAMS FAMILY. SMALLVILLE had 217 episodes. Gough and Millar were showrunners for 152 of those episodes. Of 152, they only wrote nine. Their nine episodes, while solid, are action adventure mixed with teen angst and have none of the macabre, gothic, comedic sensibilities of THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Gough and Millar aren't innovative, insightful, witty or clever. They're entertaining and competent.
Outside of those nine 'event' episodes, SMALLVILLE under Gough and Millar had a serious quality control problem. Season 1 had a lot of adequate to excellent entries but were hyperformulaic with a repetitive monster of the week format, apparently mandated by Gough and Millar.
The backchatter I've heard from is that Gough and Millar were incredibly disengaged from SMALLVILLE. They originally set out to do BRUCE WAYNE: THE SERIES about Bruce's adventures between graduating from college and becoming Batman. They were unable to license Batman but were told they could get the rights to a young Superman. They sold the pilot to series on the WB network.
After that, Gough and Millar didn't know what to do and didn't bother. They had made Clark Kent too powerful to be seriously threatened; they had geographically isolated Clark to a small town and didn't have a wide range of story ideas within the town. Gough and Millar told the writers room for Season 1 to do monster of the week episodes to fill in the 22 episode orders and then Gough and Millar stopped working on SMALLVILLE scripts, focusing instead on writing screenplays (SHANGHAI KNIGHTS, SPIDER-MAN II).
The Season 1 writers came up with arcs and running plots in Gough and Millar's absence; when Gough and Millar came back at the end of the year to write the season finale, they threw out the Season 1 writers' arcs. The Season 1 writers mostly left for other shows. A new team was hired for Season 2 under the same restrictions with absent showrunners who'd occasionally return and demand that any character or plot development be reset.
As a result, Seasons 2 - 7 suffered from scripts that were produced under severe restrictions, trying not to build any characterization or storylines that the showrunners would just tear down when passing through. Gough and Millar didn't know how to run a 2000s-era TV show of ongoing arcs, viewing TV as strictly standalone, siloed episodes. They were as indifferent to SMALLVILLE as David Peckinpah was to SLIDERS, bringing their A-game to the episodes they personally wrote and uncaring about the rest.
As showrunners, they wrote only 6% of Seasons 1 - 7 and only seemed to give SMALLVILLE 6% of their attention.
Gough and Millar were, however, very successful at the *business* side of running SMALLVILLE. They got it to seven seasons and their successors got it to ten. Gough and Millar hired most of the 'regular' actors on 13 episode contracts and have them absent from nine a year, trimming those costs signifcantly. They cast unknowns to pay lower but equitable rates and less than what more experienced performers would cost. They marketed their actors as heartthrobs for their audience and kept them in the press.
They were great at selling the show and reducing their budget to keep pace with diminishing ratings. They were great at making SMALLVILLE cost less than its earnings in ad revenue. They were great at keeping SMALLVILLE on the air.
I am unnerved by Gough and Millar scripting a WEDNESDAY ADDAMS series, a show that calls for eccentricity, humour, inventiveness, wit, quippy dialogue, and the ability to balance the morbid with the amusing. Gough and Millar wrote nearly humourless scripts for SMALLVILLE even at their best. Their scripts were functional superhero stories that were nominally related to teenagers and had a flair for visuals, scenes that were playable for actors, a sense of myth and legend, effective in their action -- but they weren't comedies and they weren't in the vein of offbeat horror-comedy like THE ADDAMS FAMILY.
It looks like Gough and Millar are writing eight of WEDNESDAY's 10 episodes. That's 80% of the scripts. Hopefully, they'll give it 80% of their attention as well.
In addition, all ten episodes of the show are being directed by Tim Burton, also the executive producer of the show. Burton is a master of the eccentrically gothic and morbidly bizarre.
Maybe Burton is the true showrunner and actively reworking and writing Gough and Millar's scripts.
Maybe Gough and Millar's 6% efforts are all that Burton requires for his vision. I love Wednesday Addams and I hope that is the case.
Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum will be recording a podcast covering every episode of the second worst television show ever made, SMALLVILLE. https://www.talkvillepodcast.com/
SLIDERS probably remains the worst television show ever made. I am sorry, but I do SLIDERS no favours by pretending that "This Slide of Paradise" didn't leave it at the bottom of the pile.
I'm intrigued by this podcast. I think Welling and Rosenbaum are both really good. I worry I don't remember nearly enough about Smallville to enjoy it
I listened to the first episode. Welling and Rosenbaum are avoiding saying the words "Chloe Sullivan" and "Allison Mack", not discussing any of her scenes or character. It'll be interesting to see how long they can maintain that avoidance of a critical character and performer who has ended up exactly where she deserves to be (jail).
Very interesting recollections with Welling and Rosenbaum remarking that Lex has barely interacted with Clark at the point when Lex is declaring that the Clark/Lex friendship will be "the future" and Rosenbaum noting how weird it is that Lex is clearly meant to be a college graduate who is almost seductively befriending a high school student (who, despite Welling's age, spends four seasons in high school and is therefore 15).
Welling and Rosenbaum say SMALLVILLE had no choice but to do monster-of-the-week episodes in almost every single episode of the show's lifespan. That is nonsense and it speaks to how neither Welling nor Rosenbaum are showrunners or television writers. Welling was a good producer in Seasons 8 - 10, but he was not a writer. The television shows GILMORE GIRLS and EVERWOOD were set in small towns and neither needed to introduce monsters of the week. SMALLVILLE could have told stories about the crises facing Smallville as a small town: farms getting squeezed out, the gradual breakdown of services and local businesses, the menace of Lexcorp, prejudice, poverty, education, loneliness.
SMALLVILLE was unfortunately showrun by two privileged, wealthy residents of Los Angeles who had likely never set foot into a small town and did no research whatsoever on what stories could be told in this setting, nor did Alfred Gough and Miles Millar devise and execute any ongoing character arcs and conflicts.
The argument that SMALLVILLE needed weekly freaks-of-the-week for superhero action sequences was soundly disproven over 10 seasons. SMALLVILLE never had a real superpowered fight. It never had the budget to pull it off except in brief flashes. This repetitive plot device to create enemies for Clark to fight was pointless. SMALLVILLE never pulled off superhuman combat; it was only good at doing the supersaves as Clark pulled people out of crashing cars or yanked them away from bullets and train wrecks and collapsing buildings and explosions.
SMALLVILLE fell into this error because the pilot was scripted with little to no thought as to how the ongoing series would work. Welling and Rosenbaum have noted how the age difference between Clark and Lex was not considered for their weird friendship nor was it ever really explored. Jonathan took issue with Lex's presence in Clark's life, but he never said anything as cutting as remarking that surely Lex could find some twentysomethings to be friends with instead of a high school student.
The other lack of thought: SMALLVILLE made Clark invulnerable right from the start and gave him superspeed that let him transform into a red blue blur. This made Clark so powerful that SMALLVILLE struggled to come up with situations where Clark would struggle to save someone or defend himself. IF SMALLVILLE had kept teenaged Clark Kent's powers at the level of Angel on ANGEL (enhanced strength but not enough to lift trucks; able to leap 1/4 of a tall building at a single bound, injured by gunfire but able to recover over days), Clark would have been a lot easier to write and his powers could have increased gradually over time.
Writer Doris Egan offered Gough and Millar a solution: the Kryptonite freaks had Kryptonite in them, so they could be more capable of hurting and injuring Clark. Gough and Millar refused, insisting on Clark being invulnerable which then required a level of threat for Clark that the show could never produce. Egan quit after Season 1 along with most of the Season 1 writers.
Throughout SMALLVILLE's lifespan, the actors and directors and set designers and costumers and effects artists -- basically anyone who worked in Vancouver -- seemed to be super-invested in the series. However, the showrunners -- who worked in Los Angeles -- seemed deeply uninterested in their show. In Season 8, the oriignal creators left and that changed, but in Season 10, the writers being at a distance from the Vancouver set caught up with them again.