This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Remember when this place was just flame-throwers and rotating knives? I miss that."
11945 members | you are not logged in | 26 November 2014




Tweet







March 29 2003

It's a Small world after all. Wait a minute, Smallville is Buffy the Vampire Slayer? This article thinks so.

I don't watch Smallville, mainly cause of the corny dialogue, and cause the entire acting-deficient cast look as if they stepped out of some fashion magazine, but I'd change my mind if there's a Clark and Lex romance!

Also, Peter Pettigrew wasn't a student when he turned into Scabbers!
I guess if you simplify things enough you can make anything look similar. I don't agree on a couple of the comparisons made here either though, the great wrong being Ma Kent. And besides the whole super-being thing, Smallville has always struck me as a crappy X-Files.

As for a Clark/Lex romance, maybe they'll go to Bizarro World some day and you can get your wish, Samara.
Definitely agree with the article. Of course, that's why I like Smallville. Of course it's no Buffy. It's just ... Buffyesque.

If you ever wanted to know what a Buffy animated series would be like, and you have the Disneyt channel, check out Kim Possible. It's very Buffy - just swap out the vampire stuff for secret agent stuff and you're there.
I've thought this for sometime. I didn't take it down to character by character analysis. I have noticed that Smallville was kinda prone to Sunnydale type occurrences ... and there have been times when I thought an episodes of smallville was interestingly familiar. Though I'd like to think Xander and Willow are a bit more rich and pivotal than Chloe and Pete. Xander is a more rich character than Pete, (not that they use Xander lately). ... In contrast up until this season, when Pete was "let in on the secret", he was merely "token black kid". I don't think Pete has been as well thought out as Xander so far (like the series themselves).

There are many Buffy-type programs which have emerged in the past seven years if you think about it, Dark Angel, Alias, Birds of Prey, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and several others. Coincidentally The WB acquired Sabrina and premiered Smallville in the 2001-2002 season when Buffy moved to UPN.

Smallville is definitely a good adaption of the Buffy idea. They've even started to have story arcs in their second season (hmm... ). I don't know if they can ever live up to the Buffy standard or move into their own ideas. Even if it's never up to the Buffy standard, it'll probably still better than most of what's on television.

Though I don't like the whole predetermined thing... I hope they make their own way... and not adhere to other versions of Superman so much, and eventually stop leaning on Buffy, and find their own way.

If they do the "Who's the Boss?" thing with Lana for another 5 years it will annoy the hell out of me.

I look at its ratings/sucess and think only if people watched the real thing ...
This is a kinda low blow. Perry Mason and Matlock had more in common. I happen to like both shows, but the commonalities between Smallville and Buffy are obviously coincidental, because they both separately have more in common with predictable plot structure styles.

The first season of both shows intended to establish the characters, and did so with mostly one episode 'monster of the week' plot structures. In the second season and onward, now that the characters are established, the writers feel more able to explore the dichotomy of the characters and their inter-relationships. So the feel becomes more soap-opera like. What happened in past episodes is carried on into future ones. The world created starts taking on a grander scope. Mutant Enemy is admittedly MUCH better at this than Smallville's writers, but this structure is a classic one used in many television series. Quantum Leap, X-Files, and Star Trek Next Gen come to mind. Often the writing staffs try to maintain a balance throughout a given season, alternating one-shot MOTW episodes with 'myth-arc' episodes. Fans of a given series begin to see the one-shots as "fluff" or "filler."

I find Smallville interestingly different from Buffy because we all KNOW the outcome. It's like watching the prequels to Star Wars, only with Smallville I have to admit I'm more entertained. We know Ma & Pa Kent eventually die. We know Lana Lang never learns Clark's little secret. We know Lex Luthor will one day become Clark's nemesis. We know Clark one day starts running around in long underwear saving the world a lot. The question is how do they get there from where they are now? Sometimes it looks obvious and sometimes it looks impossible. I find that enjoyable. This is definitely not "canonical" from a standpoint of the original Superman Myth, but it's lotsa fun to watch the idea get explored.

And the characters of Chloe and Pete, as well as that of Lex's father and some other characters, are totally outside canon, so anything can happen in those areas. Even though Clark's life is pretty much predestined from a viewer's point of view, there's still a lot of the Unknowns to explore in Smallville's world.

Another difference: Smallville is even more restrictive than Buffy ever was when it comes to when it's over. The series can continue until Clark graduates high school with little change. Eventually he goes to college. Unlike Buffy, Clark graduates, and then moves to Metropolis where he becomes a reporter/superhero. So Smallville can only exist in its present state for three years. After Graduation Day, it's gonna have to dramatically change. With Buffy, we didn't really know how it was gonna end. We were told that all Slayers throughout history have died relatively young, so Buffy's life was gonna be cut short, but compared to the Superman Myth, that's not knowing very much about her destiny.

And M.E. purposefully killed Buffy off at the end of season one, so when she died that was only the beginning. It wasn't the end. With Smallville, we know eventually Clark grows up and moves out of Smallville, and when he does that, they can't call it Smallville any longer. The show will last as it exists for three years, then dramatically change to a collegiate level soap opera for about three or four years, and then.. either they'll rename it "Metropolis" or end the series altogether...

Ewww...

This series may have more in common with Buffy than I had originally thought, but not quite in the manner that GigMatrix suggests. Like any tv series featuring young people, it's forced to grow up with its actors and characters.
Zach, I'd like to make a couple minor corrections to your Superman mythology here. I believe Lana learned Clark's secret in the Man Of Steel mini-series, on Clark's last night in Smallville. Also, Pete exists in the books, married Lana, became a senator and eventually Vice President of the United States when Lex won the Presidency.

However, Smallville seems to have played around enough with the mythology that nothing is certain except for Lex and Clark surviving it. It's far enough away that they could end the series with Smallville going up in a tremendous explosion while Clark and Lex are busy in Metropolis for some reason or other.
Further evidence ... look at Season 2 finales.

Buffy season 2 : After killing Angel, Buffy forsakes her slaying duty and leaves town.

Smallville season 2 : After inadvertly being involved in his mother's miscarrage, Clark decides his family and friends would be better without him, and leaves town.

add this too your growing body of knowledge ...

[ edited by ascii_102_117 on 2003-06-15 09:00 ]

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home