I’m truly grateful to be alive this year. With all that’s going on in this world and with all of the people who are sad, sick, away from their loved ones, angry, confused, etc – I am happy to wake up and say thank you to whoever that’s watching over us. Just to be alive and well.
We live in times where we can easily let the minutes just fly by and forget how precious they are. I say this because this is what I used to do with television. I’d use it as a tool to forget that I am a part of this world and that I am important. That I matter. I used it to mask my true feelings about various situations. I used it to move along the time until something BETTER would come up.
Nowadays, I am realizing that I am not hiding from anything, but rather enjoying television because I love it. Because it actually makes me feel alive and important. It’s truly a growing and changing medium and has a special connection to billions (maybe trillions of people). It’s what keeps many of us together. It’s what keeps me motivated to be better and do better things. Hopefully one day I will have much more control over/with the growth of this amazing medium.
With all of that said, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I see it not as a day of all of the food that we can consume without blinking (I’m the only vegetarian in my family so – not much anyway). But, I see it as a day of reflection. To mark the opportunity to say thanks – for whatever we’ve accomplished. For whatever that makes us happy.
If you’re in the mood for television, like I aways am – watch episode “Pangs” from the fourth season of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. It’s truly hilarious and a great holiday special. I have a whole blog post coming up on Buffy early in the new year! So stay tuned!
Hey guys! So, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably have already seen and read my “A Little Introduction…” post. It was my first post and (in my opinion) my most unorganized post. I just felt like I had to let you all know a little something about myself before I dove into posts about television, film, and music with scattered doses of analyses and personal reflections.
I began this blog at a very vulnerable time in my life – right after graduating from college and stuck in the limbo of trying to figure out the next step: graduate school, law school, getting a job, traveling, moving into my own place, or just bumming at home with my parents. I just needed something to relieve my anxiety and immediately be excited about.
Then, I would use the blog as kind of like my commentary on most of my social media sites or in the comments section of various posts on Youtube and other media outlets. I would get ideas in the middle of ideas and table them for some other time. Having started working and just trying to live life, I put the blog off for extended periods of time.
It wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I really started to get my ducks in a row and became motivated to write again and share my thoughts about the television series, films, and music that I love and cherish. If you all haven’t noticed – I’m something of an extreme TV fan and I talk about TV an any given opportunity!
So here’s a little “hello” in the midst of all of the posts that I have recently shared and the posts that I will be putting out in the near future. I just wanted to say that I am here and glad that you all have been reading my posts. I enjoy writing them!
As a huge fan of Beverly Hills, 90210, I think that it’s pretty amazing that people are really talking about the show again. I briefly touched on some of my favorite parts and some of the major plots of the series in my previous Beverly Hills, 90210 post. But after noticing how much attention and detail I’ve been giving to my recent television posts, I have to do Beverly Hills, 90210 some better service. I mean, the show is one of my top five favorite television series ever (and trust me, that really says something). I’ve had ten seasons to just melt into and become a very loyal couch potato and I’m not even sorry. So, here’s a part two.
Cue, theme music –
From the high school years (seasons 1-3) to the college years (seasons 4-7), and to the adult years (seasons 8-10), I was able to grow with the characters through each significant era of their lives. You can’t really say that about too many other series these days. Some perks of such a long series include being able to see the growth of characters and the changes of fashion, music, technology, and lifestyle over time. The series begins in the early 90’s and ends right at the top of the new millennium. I grew up during this decade and clearly remember these significant changes. To this day, I ‘rave’ about 90’s music and pop-culture.
Since this is something of an expansive view of the series, I am going to talk about the major characters and some of their significant plot lines (if not all). The things that I love about them and the things that always bothered me. We of course have to start with –
Brenda’s Send Off
Before I dive into how amazing and crazy the college years were for the characters, I have to briefly touch on Brenda’s descent into the girl that just couldn’t catch a break in terms of trusting her instincts and her friends. In the beginning, she pretty much had things in line until she decided to sleep with Dylan. After that, I felt like the show was punishing her (or maybe it was indeed Shannen’s ‘diva’ behavior off-screen that influenced the writing for her character on-screen). I honestly felt like the whole break up with Dylan kind of spun things out of control for Brenda and she couldn’t catch her grip afterwards. Before, she had made all of these new best friends and had a place with people that loved her. Her character seemed genuinely happy.
Then, all of a sudden Brenda was more than a basket case than usual and bounced around with taking Dylan back and being utterly jealous when they were apart (when he could fix his eyes on other girls). Kelly became more and more of a rival to Brenda, rather than a best friend. She seemed to be getting all of the attention (more so than usual) and was becoming less of the rich blonde with good fashion choices and more of someone with a brain and had her own goals and aspirations. She was becoming the shinning star in the group. As much as Brenda tried, their friendship was more of an exchange of side-eyes than anything else.
It could just be that Brenda was seeing through Kelly and this princess role of hers that she’d had since the beginning. Before, Brenda had to love her to win it in with one of the most popular girls at West Beverly – to become popular herself. But after a while, she just didn’t give a damn anymore and it was all a matter of playing nice to please the rest of her friends.
Whatever Brenda’s motives were, as just an audience member – I could feel the tension even before Kelly and Dylan had their little fling behind Brenda’s back. After that, all hell broke loose. Brenda, heart-broken and kind of disgusted that her boyfriend (though on and off) an her best friend actually had the audacity to hook up. It was like, what about her feelings and what happened to loyalty? Breakups suck. And high school breakups are probably the most painful, because usually it’s your first love and you have to constantly see them around – sometimes with their new partner. You will most likely feel like the world is against you, because those walls at school will start to close in around you and those that betrayed you. It’s the same for when you’re fighting with a former friend. Loyalties are tested and the rest of your friends have to pick sides. Sometimes, you’re too defeated to even fight for why your side should be the one that they choose to be on.
But then, something happens and you pick yourself back up and it’s game time. Revenge can seem so sweet, because hurting those after they’ve hurt you seems like the right thing to do. The facade that you once saw on the surface of your ex and your ex-best friend trickle away and they are – crystal clearly – the enemy. Seeking revenge may even be petty, but boy does it seem like a good idea.
The worst part about these kind of situations is when you’re all stuck in the same circle. You love your other friends so you battle it out with yourself about your tolerance of those other persons that shake you to your core. You spend most of the time day-dreaming about slapping the spit out of their mouths, but then you look at your other friends and remember that it’s not worth it. But, for the record, you let those former friends know that you hate them. Without a single doubt.
I always have a lot to say about Brenda, because she’s my girl. I closely related to the whole situation and it disgusted me that Kelly and Dylan found it a smart idea to parade their romance around Brenda after she found out. I don’t give a damn if they all had the same friends – distance can heal, they clearly didn’t understand that. No matter how ‘fine’ Brenda seemed about the situation, the truth of the matter is that she had to relive the betrayal over and over again everytime Kelly and Dylan were around.
I guess she got tired of all the passive aggressiveness and figured leaving was the best idea. I don’t blame her, but the show became something different once she was gone. I certainly missed Brenda’s jabs to Kelly and her over-dramatic tendencies. She was the bad girl, who was actually a gentle spirit. She reminds me of the wicked witch – turned dark only because those closest to her betrayed her trust.
My Love/ Hate Relationship with Kelly Taylor
I hated Kelly after the Dylan-Brenda fiasco. I felt like she could have been the bigger person and chose friendship over romance. But no, Kelly has to have it all and she always had to get what she wanted and prove that she’s the most desired girl, ever. Underneath all of her beauty, though, I didn’t see much else. She was kind of shallow and was in need of a reality check. And as the years went by, she certainly got paid a few reality checks. Surely, she became a stronger character because of them and I finally started rooting for her. I think I started liking her after she and Brandon got together. I know, I know – she did not deserve Brandon, but she had the audacity to believe that she did and their budding romance was an eye-opener.
You see Brandon was the good guy. Freaking Captain America if you ask me. He was intelligent and knew how to be the boy-scout. Plus, he was gorgeous. Dylan started to show his true colors, even more so, with Kelly and their incompatibility grew even more apparent once Brenda left. I think they stayed together for as long as they did just to spite Brenda. Once she was gone though, it was like, “Yeah, what the crap were we thinking?” And what I find ironic about Brandon and Kelly in the beginning is that first she betrayed Brenda by stealing her boyfriend, and then she fell for the person the closest to Brenda – her twin brother. Was Kelly’s attraction to Brandon some sort of way to express her regret of hurting Brenda? I don’t know. And I’m probably thinking way to much about this. But, I think she was always jealous of Brenda and wanted Brandon so she could officially take Brenda’s place and become a Walsh. And as much as I love Brandon, he certainly showed his flaws when he (ironically) cheated on Kelly. I’m laughing just thinking about this. And it was with this chick…
Emily was ‘cool’ and someone totally different from Kelly. What’s worse is that Kelly was literally on fire when the cheating was happening. Yes, Kelly was caught in a house fire and her beauty was scarred. I guess it was a metaphor for this thing that Kelly has been using to get what she wants for so long – her beauty – being burned away. And her most prized possession, Brandon, was lured away. Now, she had to actually show what was inside and grow the hell up. This beauty queen persona needed to disappear, and all of her superficial problems, like boys, needed to go away with it. Who was the real Kelly Taylor?
It didn’t take long for Kelly to move on to the next guy – this time he was someone outside of the group (because she’d now been with Steve, Dylan, and Brandon – David was her step-brother but he crushed on her too in the beginning). Anyways, Colin was this artist that she fell for in season six after letting Brandon and Dylan know that she wasn’t going to choose between them at the the end of season five. Apparently, both guys believed that Kelly was their true love. And it’s funny, because I love both of them and each of them brought out different attributes of Kelly. Bad and good ones. Initially, Kelly was just too spoiled for my liking and Brandon matured her a bit by making her want to be this semi-wholesome / fit-for-Brandon type of woman for him. Brandon had a way of treating Kelly like she was the girl with the star on her dressing room door. Dylan too matured Kelly, because he needed to grow up himself and he had real issues to deal with (I’ll get to him in a bit). Kelly always got dragged into his mess and this sort of overshadowed the romance. Season five ended with both guys treating Kelly like a prize and may the best man win her. So she had to choose –
Back to Colin…the only good impact he had on Kelly was her change in style. Kelly always had a good fashion sense, but season six was when she was FLY! Being on the arms of an artist meant that she needed to have all eyes on her…to give him more cred. She cut her hair even shorter (than it was in season five) and wore some of the cutest outfits. She stepped it up, because she was now in the real world with real artists. But stories like this never go too well, especially on this show. This whole allusion of being an artist and knowing the who’s-who’s in Beverly Hills and LA came with a lot of peer pressure. As if Kelly didn’t get enough of this in high school. Colin did cocaine and he graciously extended the bad habit to Kelly. Before long Kelly was a stereotypical coke-head girlfriend of an artist.
After hitting rock bottom though, Kelly had the support of her friends and family. She had already went through what drugs and substance-abuse could do to you with her mother, Jackie, back in season 1. She finally realized that a) Colin was no good and b) She had become a monster that she didn’t recognize.
Before long, Kelly began to grow quite the backbone and she finally became a character that I liked and began to root for! She kicked Colin to the curb.
No more was she trying to prove herself to the likes of some guy. Especially one that turned her into something so ugly. Just because he wanted her, doesn’t mean she had to want him. This is where the glorious Kelly Taylor eye rolls really kicked into high gear for me and she became the b*tch that I loved to see side-eye those beneath her…like Valerie (oh, I’m getting there). You couldn’t mess with Kelly without her calling you out. That little entitled blonde from Beverly Hills was gone. Though, she was still catty, but in a good way. She reminded me of the old Brenda in some ways.
But this show doesn’t like to let characters be happy for very long – especially Kelly. And I don’t want this to be the history of Kelly Taylor, but the girl really went through the worse of the worse. So, I got to lay some of this stuff out. It’s like she’d make it out alive, but then something else terrible came along.
Also in season six, Kelly met her own single white female, Tara, in rehab after the coke stint. It was ridiculous, because of all of those years in high school when Kelly wanted girls dreaming to be her and following her around (like Donna and Brenda). She had met a girl that was actually ‘dead-set’ on being Kelly Taylor.
I even think Kelly was starting to catch on that her life was just a bullseye for crappy stuff to be aimed at. When she and Brandon reconnected – they had a miscarriage, called off their wedding, and Kelly was shot and got amnesia. Later on, when she finally met “Mr. Right”, Matt (as boring as he was), she was raped by some guy, who Matt was defending for some other crimes. Oh yeah, Matt was a lawyer. Kelly got revenge by shooting and killing her rapist.
And “Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes” Matt also turned out to be not so perfect after all. He also cheated on Kelly, while hanging out with Dylan. They were totally too good to be true.
Kelly went through the wire, but the worse that happened, the stronger her character became. All of her bad choices in earlier seasons came to bite her in the butt. I hated what she had done to Brenda, but honestly, the girl did her fair share of paying and atoning for her sins. It made me really sad when she would fall in and out of love. Never seeming to find the right guy.
Apparently she and Dylan had a son together in the future, but I didn’t watch the rebooted 90210 series where that story-line played out. Anyhow, Kelly went from someone I wanted to punch to someone I would punch others for. And speaking of…
Valerie Malone Comes to Shake Things Up
At first, Valerie wasn’t one of my favorite characters, but I thought she was a crucial part to keeping things interesting on Beverly Hills, 90210 after Brenda left the series. There was definitely a hole in the lineup for a brunette with attitude, and Valerie fit the bill perfectly. When she first showed up, I had my doubt about her JUST being a Brenda stand-in and I rolled my eyes when she would to just include herself in the affairs of the other main characters. Like, who are you and why do you just assume that you can hang with Brenda’s crew?
I never bought the whole story of her being a close family friend of the Walsh’s and that was why she was living in Brenda’s old bedroom. It was a little too convenient for me. But I guess after a few episodes of Brenda’s friends expecting Valerie to BE Brenda, she got fed up and decided to stand out on her own and show them her true colors.
And when we got to know Valerie Malone and her catty and indecent ways, she became the perfect foil to Kelly Taylor. And let’s be honest, they were both bombshells. Valerie had that natural beauty that could stand paired to Kelly’s. They both wanted to be the center of attention and they both grabbed the attention of the men around them – instantly. They also both couldn’t stand each other, but both knew how to be passive aggressive to the 100th degree. I then, fell in love with Valerie as Beverly Hills’ new villain.
After playing ‘nice’ for a few episodes, and Valerie hooking up with Dylan, Steve, David, and Colin – Kelly stopped trying to mask the fact that she hated Valerie and Valerie stopped pretending that she could worship the ground that Kelly walked on like all of her other friends. The two would call each other out on their bullsh*t at any given time. And it was always glorious.
Even when they knew that they could really hurt each other, the moment couldn’t be sweeter to make the other one look bad in front of their friends. It’s like when one did something shady, the other would come running i to shine the spotlight on the situation.
Another great thing about the Valerie and Kelly rivalry was the obvious jealousy of the other. Valerie let Kelly know that she could have the men that love Kelly. But, Kelly would let her know that the guys actually did love HER and not Valerie. Kelly thought that Valerie was, more or less, a bimbo for the moment. Then, David actually fell in love with Valerie and started to make her seem more human and sympathetic. Moments came where Valerie and Kelly would have to team up, because someone else was causing trouble for the group. But of course, they had to one-up each other even then.
The fact of the matter was, they said to each other what we couldn’t say to them when we hated the two of them for their shenanigans. And because I hated Kelly for the longest time, Valerie made me laugh on many occasions when Kelly was just being obnoxious, irritating, and unabashedly territorial with Brandon. In my head, I would call out the fact that sure Kelly could get Brandon, but she always ruins it with her big mouth or something unfortunate happens to them. So when she paraded around with Brandon, this came to mind…
Either way you slice it, Valerie was a b*tch. Kelly was a b*tch. And they were at their b*tchiest toward each other. Calling each other out did embarrass the other, but sometimes it shined a light on things that they seriously needed to change about themselves.
Even though Valerie was brilliant as Kelly’s nemesis, she didn’t limit her terror on just Kelly. The rest of the group got their individual doses of Valerie Malone, giving them good reason to hate her. There would be times where she would go too far and no one was laughing. Those times, I seriously wanted someone to slap her.
She may not be my favorite character, but I am glad she came to stir the pot as the group stepped into adulthood. Sure, I missed Brenda, but some of the things that Valerie did was specifically made for Valerie. I wouldn’t want Brenda to stoop so low and become downright hated in the process of screwing with the other characters. I loved to hate Valerie and all of her glorious seduction and sabotage.
Donna. Martin. Graduates.
Donna was a hard character for me to like in the beginning. I wanted so much more for her. She was just so hollow and would just follow Kelly around and basically be her little sidekick. Then, season two came along and she became an individual. She stepped out and gave me good reason to love her quirkiness. Instead of being Kelly Taylor’s second-in-command, she was just as much an important part of the squad, because the rest of the group loved her, for her. They adored Donna. Just think about the whole Donna Martin Graduates protest. There was nothing her friends wouldn’t do for her, because she was a sweetheart.
Donna had her high school sweetie, David Silver and the two were perfect for each other. Donna helped David shake his geekiness and be taken more seriously by the others. David helped Donna rise from under Kelly’s shadow and have more important things to do. Even when they went to college, they shined together.
However, Donna’s sweetness was taken advantage of by David. David eventually cheated on her, because Donna wanted to wait until marriage for sex. After that situation, Donna had to realign and redesign herself. Then, she started experimenting with some of the most cheeky outfits (though she always had a bold fashion sense). After David though, it was like she had no reason to play it safe with her look and she switched it up quite a bit. Some of her choices really made me scratch my head though…
Stories soon got more serious for Donna after she and David split. She started dating another ‘wannabe musician’, Ray Pruit. Valerie couldn’t wait to get her hands on him when he was becoming something of a star. Donna, usually the ‘innocent one’ of the group and seemingly easy to be stepped on, had to become a bit more feisty and put on some punching gloves to fight for what she wanted. It just so happened that at the moment, she wanted Ray.
Ray being someone other than David that Donna fell for meant that she tried to hold on to him even when he didn’t deserve her. The bastard made her his punching bag and Donna had to come up from under his shoes and remember that she was important and deserved to be treated with respect and love. She had to stop opening herself up to jerks that took advantage of her genuine niceness. I think a lot of times they assumed that she was ‘easy’ due to the way she dressed, but she set them straight. They tried to make her feel like they were doing her a favor by being with her or something.
It was always Donna not feeling smart or pretty enough and basically falling prey to guys like these due to her insecurities. She eventually meets “Mr. Right”, football player, Joe Bradley, and he showers her in the respect that she deserves. The two became a happy couple, both sharing the same disbelief in premarital sex.
It turned out that Joe has a heart condition and Donna did the Powerman 5000 “Strike the Match” music video, making Joe understandably uncomfortable watching Donna parade herself around so explicitly sexual and semi-degrading. His wholesome values became jeopardized, I think, with dating someone who would agree to do something like this. And honestly, I don’t blame him for questioning their relationship after this. I still wonder if Donna was trying to test him or push him – just to see if she could. Anyway, this coupled with all of the stress with Donna’s life and his heart condition, Joe moved back to his hometown. He asked Donna to come with, but of course she belonged in Beverly Hills.
Donna got a lot of scrutiny for her choice to be a virgin until marriage and for the way she dressed and the guys that she dated. But, her friends had her back even when they were setting her straight on these guys. Kelly remained her best friend through thick and thin. She had her own issues, but she was something of a sister to Donna and knew just what to say when Donna needed advice and cheering up.
She also had her new roommate, Clare Arnold (Steve’s girlfriend) to be there for her when Kelly was too busy getting high or fighting for her life. No, but seriously, Clare was a nice touch to add a different layer to Donna’s social life. Both were quirky and got into hilarious shenanigans, usually involving David and/or Steve.
Speaking of David, he and Donna were on-and-off and eventually she decided to sleep with him after they graduated from college. I guess she was like, to hell what other people think! It’s true love. Check out Donna’s red/burgundy hair, though. The girl was not afraid to switch up her style! I actually really liked this color on her. It complimented her features. And she no longer looked like she was trying to look like Kelly.
Well, her and David eventually broke up again and she started dating Noah Hunter. This guy annoyed the heck out of me. He was always brooding or complaining about something while trying to seem like he had it together. His problems just added too much drama for Donna and her big personality seemed to be incompatible with his staleness. Donna actually ended up cheating on Noah. Yeah, I’m still stunned. I didn’t know what was happening with little Miss Martin, but apparently she was bored with him. She felt horrible and regretful after the fact though, and he did his best to make her feel like crap for her mistake. By being with other women and making Donna beg for his forgiveness. I’m still on the fence about this situation. On one hand, yeah, Noah was a bore. On the other, cheating is wrong and Donna should have known that first hand.
It also turned out that Donna’s cousin, Gina, was actually her half-sister and hated Donna for being the princess in the family. She wanted everything that Donna had, because she felt that Donna didn’t deserve it or that she was too spoiled or that it was she that should have been raised by their (rich) father, Dr. Martin. Donna had to watch her back with Gina, because she was [trying] to be the next Valerie. But, she wasn’t. She was just too pathetic (in my humble opinion). I actually really hated her character.
But after all of the drama and all of the pain, it was David that Donna truly loved and who loved her. They grew up together and saw each other at their worst…and best. They were there for all of the tears and regret and there for each other even when they weren’t together. They were each other’s first love. The series ended with their wedding day.
Let’s Talk About David
David started off as the geek who was obsessed with Kelly Taylor and her group of popular friends. He often had these get-to-hang-with-Kelly-quick-schemes that made for some comedic moments, like season one’s slumber party episode. The thing that fascinated me about David though was his dance skills. The guy was a natural at getting the party started. Seeing the rest of the cast try to hang and keep up with him was hilarious. I think the only two characters who could keep up with David’s crazy dance moves were Brenda and Donna.
David officially became one of the crew when his dad married Kelly’s mom and he started dating Donna. The two of them were a refreshing duo to watch as their romance was more fun and silly vs. all of the drama with Brenda, Kelly, and Dylan. David had this sizzling personality coupled with Donna’s underrated quirk. He was always trying to be on the radio, or make music, or film something. She was his muse, partner, and manager.
Of course, David made some mistakes with the price of trying to get famous and work in the industry. It’s a dirty business. I think he started to mature more when he started dating Valerie. I honestly didn’t see this relationship lasting too long, though. Valerie was a vixen and knew how to get under everyone’s skin. David, for the most part, was the nice guy. I guess Valerie needed a little more humility in her life and David needed to date someone that could teach him a few things. Though they were sort of cute together, it sickened Kelly and hurt Donna to see them getting closer. I always felt like Valerie had an ulterior motive for dating David. She may have fell for him to an extent, but it wasn’t real love.
David was also Steve’s sidekick and the two of them got into a ton of shenanigans. He was even there to continue his sidekick duties with Steve’s wife, Janet. David and Kelly also had a solid sibling relationship and he would do anything for her and vice versa. I don’t think the two of them ever saw that coming when he was following her around like a lovesick puppy / paparazzi and Kelly was constantly telling him to go away. Their relationship grew to become the ultimate bro/sis combination.
And again, he and Donna realized that they were crazy not to be together. They were basically one heart beating in two separate bodies. Stronger together.
Dylan and His Ladies
Oh Dylan. Dylan, Dylan why must you be so handsome? I instantly fell for Dylan during season one’s “Isn’t It Romantic?” episode. The one where he and Brenda have their first hangout / date. Here he was, genuine Beverly Hills material and he was interested in little Miss Minnesota. I don’t say that to be condescending or anything. What I mean is that Brenda thought her ‘in’ to the Beverly Hills group was to impress Kelly, but all she had to do was be herself and this guy was fascinated by her coolness. She actually didn’t have to do all of that crap (like dye her hair blonde) to create a facade of coolness for Kelly to accept her. What Dylan liked the most about Brenda was that she was easy to hang with like Brandon. Without the pressure. Until there was pressure – to be this ultimate boyfriend for such a wholesome girl. Dylan was used to playing the field and doing whatever he wanted, until he saw that this could hurt Brenda. And he didn’t want that. Sure, he was totally cool and suave – but with Brenda he was a normal guy.
I’ve said it already, but the foreshadowing of the two girls wanting to impress Dylan in season one is just so uncanny. Who would of thought that by just being Brenda, Dylan would fall for her. He was at his most likable when he was with Brenda. Up until they slept together and the show did everything to drive a wedge between them. The funny thing is that when he was with Kelly, they slept together all the time and it was no big deal. This still baffles me.
So glad that he and Kelly didn’t last too long and Dylan met someone even more sweet than Brenda – Antonia ‘Toni’ Marchette. Dylan was going through the most with Kelly and I have to admit, seeing him with Valerie after they broke up just made me hate watching Dylan’s storylines. I had no attachment to him and I didn’t care for him, until he met Toni in season six.
Yes, their whole storyline was very soapy and dramatic with the war with her father. The thing that broke my heart though was seeing Dylan so happy and so in love with Toni and having her ripped away from him. I just thought it was cruel.
Toni was so great that even Kelly couldn’t hate her. She was just what Dylan needed – a light to brighten all of the darkness in his life. When she was killed, I thought it was best for Dylan to leave. I mean, there just wasn’t much for him left in Beverly Hills. I never thought that he and Kelly were soulmates, so why would he stay? Of course, this is television and the show brought him back and put him back in the graces of Kelly. Glad their relationship was open-ended in the series finale.
Steve Grows Up
Steve’s life seemed to always revolve around women. He was infatuated with the opposite sex. For the longest time, he was the playboy or the boy who lived to have fun. The man-kid, not really growing up. After chasing after Kelly in the early seasons, he seemed to say, screw it, life’s too short. Before we knew it, Steve was chasing the ladies and many of them equally played with his heart. His first serious girlfriend, Celeste, was the sweetest, though.
Unfortunately, Steve let his immature ways ruin that relationship and she left him. He did meet her at a dating game show, so I knew the relationship was bound to hit the breaks in the long run. Steve soon started dating Clare Arnold. Clare was definitely a match in one-uping Steve. She was witty and kept things interesting for the two of them.
They actually couldn’t stand each other in the beginning. Clare with her big mouth and Steve with his immaturity. All of their pent-up angst for each other lead to lust, and then love. In between, we got some pretty funny moments of Clare saying things that totally embarrassed Steve and him irritating her. When she left, Steve was heartbroken.
Steve became the master of longing after unattainable women. There was a vicious cycle of Steve latching on to a girl and them basically getting the best of him and pretty much (consciously and unconsciously) using him (cough, cough Valerie). Steve desired to be the ultimate bachelor, but after being best friends with Brandon for years, Brandon’s good will and ‘family man’ ethics started to rub off on Steve. He then desired to be a part of something bigger than himself. He later met Janet Sosna, and though their relationship was rough in the beginning with Janet’s parents against the “untraditional” pair and Janet also questioning Steve’s maturity, they later started their own little family and got married. Janet and Steve had their own (tabloid/National Inquirer-inspired) newspaper and Steve was finally a part of something bigger – outside of the group. He had people relying on him and he, though comically, succeeded at being the family man.
Brandon Walsh, The Boy Wonder
No, I certainly did not forget about Brandon Walsh. The man with the plan. The good guy. The great guy. The boy scout. Brandon served as the leader of the group and the main character for eight seasons. His big plans and overall, good guy exterior (and interior) was the glue keeping the group together.
Even though his Beverly Hills friends all had their different passions and dominant traits, Brandon brought them all together and they all felt wanted and a part of something with Brandon around. Of course, no one is perfect and Brandon surely showed his flaws from time to time. Even though he always strived to do the right thing, and be the symbol for the right thing, his inner desires pulled him left field. Like dating Kelly after (while) her and Dylan went through a rough patch. Kelly was a friend and Dylan was one of his best friends. But, Kelly was like a golden trophy and I think Brandon wanted to prove to himself that he could have her. I already mentioned this before, but Brandon also ended up cheating on Kelly with Emily Valentine, because he was so wanted by Emily and he felt like he had to have her (since their relationship failed in high school).
But let me back up for a second. I always thought that Brandon and Andrea made a really good pair. Sure, I liked him and Kelly together, but Andrea was sort of like his equal. She was smart and goal-oriented and this made Brandon look up to her.
But maybe that’s why they remained friends. Brandon held Andrea too dear to him. She was like a sister, someone to set him straight and keep him on the right path. Even though she wanted more than friendship for quite some time, Brandon knew that friendship was much more valuable. Romantic relationships are messy and I don’t think Brandon wanted to taint his and Andrea’s friendship with the downfalls of dating.
They certainly were adorable together, though. Both with those million dollar smiles. They felt safe with each other, like they could totally be themselves. Brandon was the first to accept Andrea into the group, despite her not being wealthy like the rest of the Beverly Hills peeps. Andrea also accepted Brandon and took him seriously as more than just a pretty face. They were the ultimate journalists at West Beverly. Getting the scoop on everyone’s business.
I saw Andrea as Brandon’s mentor and coach when it came to writing and even entering into politics in college. Andrea had her head on straight when it came to academics (she eventually got pregnant and married their freshman year though), and Brandon looked to her for strategy. Maybe they would have been a power couple, but you know, this show wasn’t much for happy endings. Every romance had to have drama and Andrea and Brandon were too much of a pure couple to actually last as more than friends. Even Andrea and her husband hit a snag with him being unfaithful. But Brandon had her back and she had his.
Emily Valentine seemed to be someone that Brandon was just magnetically attracted to. First in high school and later on when he ran into her in season five. After the whole Emily slipping Brandon drugs in season two, Brandon saw her as a bad influence – but kind of like his Id. Yeah, let’s get Freudian. Emily allowed Brandon to indulge and be bad. A version of himself that wasn’t accepted by the rest of his friends, or at least a side that he didn’t want his friends to see. The annoying thing about Emily was that she didn’t seem to care that she was luring Brandon into darkness. Maybe she meant well, but she certainly wasn’t the right girl for Brandon.
So even with the temptation from Emily, Brandon seemed to know one thing for certain –
He loved Kelly Taylor. I’m glad that the two of them didn’t date in high school, because the whole dating your sister’s bestie and your bestie’s (Steve) ex would have just taken away from the longing and beauty of them finally getting together in college. I didn’t see it coming after Kelly and Dylan stole the damn show, but it was big when Brandon finally gave into his desire to be with Kelly (and take her seriously). I was still angry at Dylan for choosing Kelly over Brenda and I wanted to finally see Brandon with someone he could actually have a lasting relationship with. Sure, Kelly was still at her annoying stage, but I felt like there was big change coming for her character with Brandon.
Their relationship was just grounded in this realistic world. They seemed so stable and grown-up, compared to all of the other pairs. Like, their hearts were tugging for each other. Brandon was the ultimate good-guy that Kelly had been in need of, and Kelly was the beautiful princess that Brandon wanted in high school, but he wasn’t ready for her and she wasn’t ready for him. Yeah, Kelly had more depth than being a princess, but she was just so spoiled and entitled in the earlier seasons and when she started dating Brandon, she allowed herself to be better and switch up some of her life goals. All of her (need to be in charge) issues though pushed Brandon away and his big plans to move forward – and away from Beverly Hills was too much for her. Her home was in the 90210, but it was never Brandon’s real home. He wanted things outside of their little bubble and eventually moved away. I’m still pretty sad that it didn’t work out with the two of them, but it all seemed like a mirage anyway.
Well there you go, folks. It took me a little while to get this post up, but I had to give the series a more in depth look. Forever a favorite of mine and I’m glad that I discovered it all of those years ago. Whenever I watch the show, I notice something different and see characters through a different lens – based on where I am in my life. Can’t wait until my next rewatch of the series and the new things that will become more important and clear. Love the characters and love the stories. The series became so much more than a teen drama, and that’s one of the things I hold most dearly.
Hello everyone! It’s that spooky time of the year again! Last year, I had a great time sharing some of my favorite tracks from my Halloween-inspired playlist. I thought I’d make it a sort of tradition and include more of the artists and tracks here. I hope you all enjoy!
I first heard this song on the film, The Craft (1996). Yes, back in the 90s. It’s one of those underrated films about teens fitting into the
crowd. I would describe it as Clueless gone goth. Breckin Meyer is even in it. There are a lot of familiar faces in the film like pre-Scream Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich. The style in the film is so awesomely 90s-goth.
I remember being a kid and wanting to wear black lip-liner and a cute plaid skirt with some combat boots…Glad my mom smacked that idea out of my mind. Don’t think it would have been appropriate to pull off the edgy look at 5 years old. The ladies in the film just looked so cool and bad a**, though.
Anyways, “Dark Secret” is one of the best tracks on the soundtrack. It sounds like Halloween with the ghostly whistling in the background and Sweet’s excellent emphasis on sadness, madness, and confidence as he repeats – “It’s a dark secret. Carry it with you.” What’s the secret? I’m not entirely sure, but what’s more Halloween than being “different” to the point that you have to keep your true identity a secret. Very be-witchin’!
So, I have a pretty cool story about The Tontons. I had this really close friend in junior high and to me, he was the guru of all cool music. He really got me into indie rock and broadened my horizons on the meaning of great music. He got in touch with me while I was in college and told me about this band, The Tontons, where his older brother is a band member. I was like, what?! So, immediately I got into their music and they’re excellent.
“Desperados” is one of those tracks that can hypnotize you. The lead singer, Asli Omar, croons and swoons as she beautifully parts the waves of all the eery instrumentation. It’s like she’s putting a spell on the listener. I can’t put my finger on it, but the music sounds like a mixture of western cowboys and latin conquistadors having a music festival on el dia de los muertos. Pretty cool.
Update: I actually met Asli Omar yesterday and she’s the most down-to-earth person. She’s seriously so sweet.
I talked about Thom Yorke last year in my Halloween post, but I couldn’t pass up another opportunity to feature more of his music. This guy is a music genius. I am a HUGE HUGE fan of Radiohead and Yorke and listening to their music really shaped my college experience (when I heavily started listening to them).
The eeriness about this song comes from Yorke’s beautiful voice on top of this pulsing sensation of chaos and erratic music. It’s like he’s caught in this storm and shapes the the storm and aims it at whomever he pleases. It’s a perfect song to listen to during a rainy day actually, and even more great for a Halloween mixer.
This song is absolutely beautiful and powerful. It’s like I feel it everywhere when I listen to it. I first heard the album version on One Tree Hill and both incarnations are quite the experience to listen to. I take it as a lost love. The lead singer, Finn Andrews, sounds absolutely distraught and heartbroken, calling after his sweet Lavinia. Not sure if Lavinia is an actual person or she stands for something else – like a drug or state of mind. But, the song is this beautiful/dark desperate cry for her. He’s possessed by her love.
I hate to admit it, but I first heard this song on the Twilight: Eclipse film. Yeah, I totally have a love/hate relationship with this series, because it’s so awful – but it was a heavy part of my adolescence. Everyone was talking about Twilight and I had to see what all of the fuss was about. I threw myself into the madness and the one good thing I got from it was Eclipse’s soundtrack. I can’t even lie – it’s amazing. I can listen to it in it’s entirety. So, with a song from the soundtrack of a film about vampires and werewolves, it’s bound to have some sort of Halloween significance.
It’s hot! It’s like sexy and dark and cool. I can imagine Dracula walking in slow-mo through a cloud of fog, tilting a top-hat or something. I don’t know. The song, to me, is calling out all monsters and telling them to cast their shadow and enjoy the night. But it does it in a cool way. “The moon is always full for us.”
Another excellent soundtrack is Fight Club‘s. Yeah, we’re going to talk about Fight Club for just a second. What is more Halloween than a guy with split personality and dueling it out with his own corporeal Id? “Where is My Mind” excellently represents the madness of this film and the idea of meeting your most primitive self and figuring out that your mind has a life of it’s own.
In the midst of losing your mind and battling it out with it when it occasionally shows up to wreck some havoc, why would you want to look for it? The answer is clear. You need it. You own it…
Well, that’s it for now. Listen to these tunes to make today even more awesome. Or, on a regular day.
“When we are together, I need you forever / Is it love?”
Who doesn’t love this song? This song is the epitome of everything 90’s that I love! It’s hype, it’s sultry, it’s catchy, and it just makes me get out of my seat and start dancing – no matter where I am. I automatically smile when it comes on in my shuffled playlist. I think the song can give anyone rhythm, no matter how awful they may think their dancing is. Someone like myself. But seriously, if you’ve seen A Night at the Roxbury with Will Ferrell, then you at least know how to do that little head-bob dance. Which could cause a serious cramp if you’re not careful. Been there.
The song was also in one of my favorite episodes of My So-Called Life, and was the ultimate soundtrack for the character Ricky’s breakout ‘I don’t give a hoot about who’s watching / YASSSS’ dance moves. I just remembered being like “please let this song come on while I’m at a random dance club so that I can do this dance!” It was one of those moments where you remembered in high school that there was one kid that just didn’t care what others thought and who didn’t hide his fabulousness. You probably were that kid or admired that kid. I was usually on the sidelines watching and smiling, but now I’m that person at a party!
It’s just a fabulous song that never gets old. Oh, 90’s, how I miss thee!
You know, there are some films that I think that I don’t have the right to try to review or discuss in so much as a few words in a blog. Films that have such a cult following or are so exceptionally influential on the masses. Films like Harry Potter. My theory is, if you haven’t read the books and you’ve only watched the films – you probably shouldn’t assume anything concrete about the plot of the story. It’s like you’re walking blind-folded. You only know a slight percentage of the ins-and-outs of Harry Potter. Maybe it’s the same for those who’ve only read the books. Cinematically, Harry Potter is, I think, a whole other ball-game. I remember first watching The Sorcerer’s Stone (Philosopher’s Stone) and being hooked! I had never even heard of a Harry Potter book. The film had everything that I needed to fall in love with the story and the characters. Those British accents were hypnotizing.
Then, I got older and decide to start reading the books in high school. To this date, I’ve only read The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows. I had grew impatient after watching the last few films and waiting for the sixth film to come out in theaters. I had become utterly wrapped up in the Harry Potter world and couldn’t take the wait. In the books, there was so much detail that I missed from the films that were referenced.
They made me see films 1-5 so much differently. And that’s good and bad. Yes, I caught on better to the quick dialogue and the geography of the films. Yes, I knew more about the history of the characters and their inner-thoughts. Yes, I learned about things that weren’t even in the films…which was the bad part. I became concerned that some things were only in the books. Like a secret. When the Half-Blood Prince film premiered, I went to see it on premiere night and was the most excited than I’d ever been seeing a Harry Potter film – because I’d read the book beforehand. I was in on the secret and couldn’t wait to see everything unfold on screen (including the big death at the end of the book). I’ll say this – it was the first time that I left a Harry Potter film feeling absolutely ripped off and pissed off!
It was like the film tossed half (actually more than half) of the plot in the garbage. Where was the majority of Tom Riddle’s story? What about Snape’s becoming of the Half-Blood Prince? And so much more. And what I didn’t need was for the film to become a high school love-fest about wizards. Sure, this was great in the book along with all of the serious stuff. But, centered on the forefront of the film with only bits and pieces of the Dumbledore and Harry team-up was not my cup of tea. I was so angry that I felt cheated. It suddenly dawned on me that maybe ALL of the films left out a bunch of plot from the books. Maybe even my favorite films: The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire.
I probably I hated The Order of the Phoenix so much, because it didn’t have enough to make me care. Honestly, this was something that made me sad and intrigued. If I read all of the books, maybe I’ll like the films more (the ones that I had already watched a 100 times) or I’d hate them. And like I said, I still have only read the last two books and I hate the last three films because of this. Well, “hate” is a strong word – I just don’t really care about the last three films, because I wasn’t fully sold all that I paid for. The Deathly Hallows films were just ‘meh’ to me, because I was fully invested in all of the action from the books. Though, Part One was more enjoyable than Part Two, due to the slow pacing and detail. But the ending of the series and all of the losses were quickly glossed over and rushed. I mean…
In saying all of this, I think the time has come for me to take the plunge. I’ll read the first five books and watch the films again afterwards. I want to see what I have been missing out on. And honestly, I want to actually try to love The Order of the Phoenix story, so hopefully the book gives me what I’ve been missing out on for years. If I end up hating the first four films, including my favorites, I’ll be quite sad, but at least I’ll have the books and the memories.
So this post is a bit different. I don’t actually have a review for the series, but more of a preamble to what’s to come. I’ll review each film and book pair with thoughts on what I loved/hated before/ after reading the books.
Smallville is my favorite show. Hands down, with out question. Many come close, but nothing competes with the memories spent watching this show (several times). I love Superman. He honestly gives me this [un]realistic hope that this world isn’t totally screwed up and doomed to destroy itself. There are actual writers out there who have created the ultimate hero. He believes in truth and justice. He fights for our safety. He’s from a world beyond ours, sent to correct our wrongs. He’s courageous and charismatic. He’s strong, but not a macho jerk – too difficult to connect with. He doesn’t let us get pushed around by bullies – including the government (#ARGUS #Checkmate #Cadmus). He’s some guy, to say the least. Plus, his cover is a journalist. Out of all things. He likes to be in the know and have a voice within this world that he’s saving on a reg. Did I mention that he’s easy on the eyes, too?
Ok, ok. Let’s talk Smallville.
I started watching Smallville during it’s fourth season. Flipping through the channels, I caught the episode, Devoted (on The WB), and I was hooked. Like I said, I love Superman and comics in general so automatically I was baited into being a fan of this show. To jump in on this episode was quite the experience. I had no idea who most of the characters were – but it was set in high school. From my previous posts, you know how much I love high school / teen dramas. Then, there was this guy with super strength saving his friends from being pummeled to death by jocks affected by a super gatorade-esque drink spiked with love potion from cheerleaders – WHAT!? Then, I realized the super strong guy’s name was Clark. Clark Kent. And one of the girls’ name was Lois.
Hold the phone. As in Superman ‘Clark and Lois’?? Let me just read up on the show… It’s called SMALLVILLE. Surely enough this was a show about the teen life of Superman and his journey to becoming Superman. I hurried up and found out what channels were airing the first few seasons and never looked back! Thanks ABC Family.
The show is what got me into my other favorite sci-fi dramas including Charmed, Buffy, Angel, Roswell, Supernatural, Heroes, and Firefly. The list certainly goes on. More than just a high school drama, the show was an interesting interpretation on the story that I thought I already I knew. A funny thing about my experience with this show is that I couldn’t exactly binge watch it like I can do now a days (except for ABC Family’s marathons). I watched a few episodes out of order, because I had to catch it when it was being syndicated on ABC Family. The first episode I watched after Devoted was Zero, from season one. I was also watching season four as it aired on The WB. Basically, I was all over the place with this show and when I finally circled back to the pilot episode – I wouldn’t let anything or anyone disturb me from catching on to every name, every Superman reference, every romantic moment between Clark and Lana, because I was trying to figure out what had happened with those two while watching the current fourth season. Because you know, Lois was there.
Then, after experiencing (watching) the rocky relationship between Clark and Lana during the three seasons, Lois’s entrance to the show was a breathe of fresh air. I mean, I love Clark and Lana’s drama and romance, but after a few seasons of Clark’s lies and Lana’s demands – Lois’s quirkiness and kick-ass attitude coupled with Clark’s awkwardness was amazing to watch.
Now that I have watched the entire series (several times over) and own all of the seasons on DVD – I am pretty much something of an expert on all things Smallville. Here are some of the things that I absolutely love about the show, along with things that annoy me as well. There were a few things that I thought I was entitled to seeing on the show and at times (later seasons) the show didn’t live up to my expectations in terms of character interpretations and connections to the comics (and the animated Superman and Justice League series). I mean it’s my favorite show, and I am not shy to talk about some of the crap that I had to put up with while watching it as the writers were really testing me in the later seasons. So, here we go…
My first impression of Clark was: Wow, he’s pretty. Seriously, Tom Welling is absolutely beautiful and back in 2001, he played the heck out of the high school freshman Clark Kent. From the comics, I expected the stereotypical terribly awkward and clumsy kind of a guy (even though Clark was faking it to mask his totally poised nature). And sure, Tom did ‘justice’ to Clark’s awkward and clumsy nature (see what I did there), but the stereotypical high school (outsider) was NOT an impression that Tom could even try to fake. I mean, the guy looked like a modern day prince charming. Gorgeous.
His eyes alone could pierce right through you (even without the heat vision)! Now, enough with my semi-objectifying of Tom Welling. His portrayal of how lonely Clark was and how strongly he just wanted to fit in and be a normal teenager in high school was believable, especially scenes where he would tower over everyone as they moved out and about their lives without him.
Due to his burgeoning super powers, early on in the series he had to miss out on being a part of sports (football), being totally honest about this whereabouts (when he was saving people), and dating. He actually only wanted to date one girl in particular, Lana Lang, but she wore a meteor rock (kryptonite) necklace – so she literally made Clark weak to his knees when she was around him. But, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her and I loved seeing their longing stares.
Other than his love for Lana, Clark had to deal with obeying his father’s wishes (Jonathan Kent) to just blend in and try his best not to get caught using his powers, while at the same time accepting that he is different from everyone else.
A lot to put on a teenager’s shoulders, huh? Since Clark had the superhero mentality from the beginning, he couldn’t just sit and watch when danger loomed over his town. He was always at the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time – depending on how you look at it. So when the time came for questions to be asked, Clark had to lie about his whereabouts or his connection to anything beyond the normal. Most of the time he tried to prove his innocence to his best friend (soon-to-be-arch-nenemis)…
Some of the best scenes in Smallville come from Clark trying to convince Lex that he’s totally a normal teen and the fact that he was always at the scene of something out of the normal happening was totally a coincidence. I got to give it to Lex, he does try his best to believe Clark in the beginning and just wants a normal friendship. Clark was like the brother that he didn’t get the chance to have (re: Julian and all of the other bros/siblings (Tess) that popped up later on). He even protects Clark on a number occasions when his money could do the talking.
But, Lex always had something dark inside of him and I think all of the lies and deceit (coming from his end too) just caught up with him and blurred the lines between good and evil. His distrust of Clark after he knew for sure that Clark was lying to his face (Lex’s got resources, so it was only a matter of time when he could buy the truth) ate away at his soul and he couldn’t and wouldn’t take it any more. The same with Clark. Season five’s Mortalallowed both Clark and Lex to punch it out on an even playing field when Clark became mortal.
Clark knew that Lex was losing his soul (figuratively and literally) and there would be times when he knew Lex was definitely lying to his face. All of the back and forth – I’m your best friend – I would never lie to you – You can trust me – pretty much crumbled their friendship and Clark made it his mission to catch Lex in his wrong doings and Lex wanted to reveal Clark’s true powers (and take advantage of them).
There’s a perfect example in season four’s Transference. How could Clark explain this situation? Other than the fact that his body was possessed by the evil Lionel Luthor and Lionel was using Clark’s powers against Lex…
Of course, when Clark approached Lex again (having returned to his own body), Lex was prepared for some answers. Like right now!
Clark always had to play dumb and convince Lex to believe some story of how he “wasn’t himself” and that the strength was “adrenaline”or something. Slap to the forehead! Really? That wasn’t the only time this type of situation and even crazier situations have happened to prove that Clark and Lex’s relationship would be the stuff of legends. I think Lex’s final descent into darkness came in season four’s Onyx, when Lex is literally split into his two selves – good and evil.
Face / Off, I mean Transference
Season four’s Transference is one of my favorite episodes as it reminds me of one of one of my favorite films, Face / Off, starring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage. Basically, good guy’s identity is held hostage by his nemesis via face swapping. Hmm, I wonder if the writers knew what they were doing here. In any case, it’s a great episode, especially the prison fight scene with Jimmy Eat World’s Pain playing as the soundtrack. But look, am I wrong…
Chloe, The Wall of Weird, and Meteor Freaks
Back at Smallville High School, home of the Smallville Crows…Clark has this genius and adorable bestie named Chloe Sullivan. Chloe was one of the names I didn’t recognized when I first watched Devoted, so I didn’t catch on quick enough that I was watching a show about Superman. Chloe is a character made up specifically for the show as a “Lois Lane proto-type.” She’s the editor and chief at The Torch (high school paper) and the pioneer of the Wall of Weird.
She’s collected clippings and articles about the paranormal and ‘weirdness’ in Smallville after the first meteor shower (Clark’s plight to Earth from the planet Krypton). A mere notebook couldn’t contain all of the strange and questionable happenings, so she used a wall. Of course, she showed the wall to Clark to impress him, but little did she know that Clark is the sole reason that her wall even exists. The wall jumpstarts Clark’s mission to help those that he affected by coming to Earth and allowing people to be transformed by the infected meteors and thus becoming monsters of themselves and wreaking havoc in Smallville. Thanks, Chloe.
The infected persons are dubbed ‘Meteor Freaks’ (basically meta-humans or mutants). The kryptonite-laced meteor fragments from the meteor shower somehow mixed into their system during some extraordinary event, like getting caught in frozen water littered with kryptonite meteor rocks for an extended period of time (Ice Man-type freak), or having a flock of insects attack you after crashing your car full of kryptonite infected insects (Bug Boy-type freak). After the freaks set their sights on destroying those who’ve wronged them while they were relatively normal teens – Clark comes in to save the day! With a little help from his friends…
Chloe (along with Pete Ross [who annoys me, so I’m not going to bother writing about him]) is unknowingly and knowingly Clark’s sidekick – filling him in on the freaks and giving him a head start on how to stop them from causing more damage. Once again, thanks Chloe. But of course, Clark has to lie about how and why he can even go toe to toe with the freaks to stop them.
Before long, it’s revealed that Chloe is in love with Clark (how could she not be) and just being his sidekick and best friend was not always enough. Clark did love Chloe (how could he not), albeit only as a friend.
Their bond grows deeper after she finds out that she was right all along about Clark being extraordinary. All of the lies and dumb excuses start to make sense and Clark can just tell Chloe that he’s going to save the day and she’s like, ‘I got your back’ and gladly embraces her sidekick status! THANKS. CHLOE.
I mentioned earlier that the early seasons of Smallville centered around Clark’s love for Lana Lang. And I admit, I rooted for them until I realized that Lois Lane would soon be gracing Smallville with her presence and SHE was Clark’s soulmate. But I was torn (still am) by which girl is rightfully Clark’s true love. I sometimes argue that Chloe is Clark’s true love by her wit and heroism from the earlier seasons – before the writers turned her into some sort of ‘computer wiz’ and living ‘brainiac’ in the later seasons. Seriously, after she leaves The Daily Planet, she loses her Chloe-ness that I grew to love over the years. I mean, she rightfully deserved to be at the Daily Planet and that’s more than I can say for Lois Lane (later on).
But Lois’s first few seasons (seasons four – five and some of six) were when I loved her the most. She was strong and quippy. Most of all, she ticked Clark off. Before Lois, Clark tried his best to get along with everyone and was always Mr. Likable until Lois came around to shake things up. There was actually someone to annoy Clark and to get him into ‘normal’ trouble with his folks like in season four’s Gone.
Lois drove Clark crazy…in an adorable way. The more she spoke up for herself and got herself into hot water, the more Clark had to step in and be HER sidekick. I think he liked that about her.
However, in later seasons, Lois becomes this whiney damsel, pining after The Blur (Clark’s first attempt of a Superhero name). I got so sick of her meeting in the telephone booth, calling after this mysterious shadow vigilante. I honestly think, their relationship was rushed into a romantic one anyway. Especially since the writers kind of weakened her character after she already dated two other superheroes in previous seasons (Aquaman and Green Arrow). I struggled taking her and Clark seriously. I never saw the romantic-chemistry between the two of them like I saw between Clark and Lana.
I feel like the writers were shoving Lois and Clark down our throats after Lana left the show. The earlier seasons took the time to show Clark falling in love with Lana, and she with him. Clark put Lana through so much crap, because she knew that he loved her and she let him pull her in. But he wasn’t honest with her and all of the lies pushed her away. The fact that she loved him made her forgive him on many occasions and Clark constantly had to try his best to be the best for her while at the same time keeping his responsibilities in check. His true identity could put her in more trouble than he already had by being close to him (re: season three’s Exile). When he did hurt her, it took him time to forgive himself to be close with her again. He had to push her away to keep her safe, but Lana didn’t understand that.
Even at some of Clark’s most vulnerable moments like in season five’s Reckoning, when Jonathan Kent dies. Lana tried to hold on to the threads of her love for Clark, even though he was hardening up and closing himself off. If she knew what he was really going through (Clark going back in time to save her from dying and instead Jonathan’s life is switched for hers), she probably wouldn’t have been so hard on him about the faults in their relationships.
Which is why Lana started to tick me off in later seasons. She treated Clark like he was this horrible person (mainly because he sometimes had to be to keep her safe) who lied and willingly hurt her feelings. I hated the both of them for treating each other terribly (especially Lana marrying Lex in season six’s Promise). I think Clark could have just told her the truth though instead of stringing her along all of those years. She found out eventually, though, and it’s excellent. But, being honest from the start would have saved them both a lot of heartache. However, Reckoning was a gift of an episode where Clark actually told Lana everything and proposed to her.
Their blissfulness led them down a dangerous path, though, as Lana (now knowing Clark’s secret) became a target to Lex’s crazed demand to be in on the truth as well…resulting in Lana dying. Clark (not having that) changes the past and this time around he doesn’t tell her the truth, thus further pushing Lana away, losing her anyway. She’s now the reason Jonathan is gone, Clark unintentionally weighing her life over his own father’s. The episode is beautiful though, especially the ending soundtracked with Peter Gabriel’s I Grieve. The episode is what I had been waiting to see happen between Clark and Lana FOR YEARS, but I also got to see how (why) Lana knowing Clark’s secret was a dangerous idea.
No matter how much in love Clark was with Lana, I don’t think Clark trusted her enough to be strong enough to handle whatever bad could happen to her if she knew his secret. At least, not in the beginning. It could be that he loved her too much to burden her with the task of keeping his secret. Though she found out eventually and we see how well that worked out (Clark ends up with Lois). All of their ups and downs made a relationship worth watching on television, though.
When the Comics Invade Smallville
I think Smallville finally became Superman’s story, when more other DC superheroes and villains made their way to town. Season four introduced a few comic characters like Myxlplyx in Jinx, Bart Allen (“Impulse” / The Flash) inRun, and of course Lois Lane in Crusade. Also, Clark (as Kal-El) actually flies in this episode and it’s amazing!
Season five introduces fan favorites like Brainiac (played by Buffy alum James Masters), Aquaman, and Cyborg. I think season six is where the series and comics smash-collide in a great way. Green Arrow becomes a re-occurring character, later to become a series regular, played by Justin Hartley.
His presence pushes Clark to finally see that he can’t do this whole saving the world thing alone and needs a little help from others like him – superheroes. You gotta love season six’s Justice. Seeing so many of DC’s finest in live action was something Smallville fans (DC fans in general) had been waiting on for a long time. Can you imagine how stoked I am for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad next year?
We get a full view of Martian Manhunter in season six’s Phantom (he’s introduced in season six’s Static). Season seven introduces Kara Kent (Supergirl) who’s a series regular that season. Clark basically gets to train her to get used to her abilities just as he had to do in earlier seasons. He became something of a big brother figure. His relationship with Kara was strong, because he had to protect her from those willing to exploit her (cough, Lex) and teach her about the importance of having a secret identity. The thing was, Kara wasn’t raised by humans and she didn’t like to think of her powers as a secret or burden. Well, until she meets Jimmy Olsen (introduced in season six). Then, she wants to be a relatively normal girl. Overall, Kara and Clark’s relationship on the show is a great nod to the comics.
In the case of other characters like Davis Bloome, Tess Mercer, and ‘Major’ Zod – I could have lived without on the show. Surely they tried to fill the void of the villain / anti-hero after Lex Luthor left in season seven. I mean, maybe if they had more time to develop and they started their origins in earlier seasons, I would have taken them more seriously. But honestly, after seeing Lex from season one to his last episode (not including his return in season ten’s series finale) and him developing as the villain, any other bad guy was just filler. Tess Mercer was forced on us and I grew annoyed by how she was supposedly bad, but also good. What made Lex’s villain status so amazing was his chemistry with Clark. Something the later villains lacked.
Characters like Hawkman, Black Canary, and Dr. Fate’s time on the show was just so rushed and I didn’t care about their characters other than the fact they were from the comics. That’s what pains me the most about the series – rushed storylines and empty-important characters. Yeah, sure it’s great to see the Justice League coming into fruition, but what about filling out the characters more? Major props to the costume department though. At least the characters looked great!
Anyway, I love the show and I’m sure that if I watch the series again (for the hundredth time), I’ll spot even more things that I love and hate about it. I grew with the show as a teen and now that I am an adult, my perspective of certain characters could possibly change. Maybe. In any case, I hold the show dear and there’s so much more that I could say about it. I mean season eight through ten deserve their own blog (Post-Lex Smallville). Then there’s my love/hate view of what the series did with The Daily Planet and how Lois and Clark somehow became journalists without finishing college. Or even, community college. Then I could rant about Chloe’s character evolution.
Plus, there’s all of the actors that started on Smallville and went into their own series or starred in other DC related films: Jensen Ackles (Supernatural), Adam Brody (The OC), Amy Adams (Man of Steel), Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries), and Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries). Then, there’s appearance from Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling (Beverly Hills, 90210), Christopher Reeve (Superman), Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman series), Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark), Carrie Fisher (Star Wars), and so on! Also, Smallville set the tone for new DC comic-centric shows on The CW like Arrow, The Flash, and even Gotham (on Fox). So much to discuss, and maybe I’ll do a part two. Maybe. Watch the series if you have enough time for ten seasons!
‘Til Next Time.
P.S. I do not own any of the photos (or videos) and I do not claim any credit for any of their edits. :)