February 26th, 2003

rivka as ww

Jor-el is the best dad ever (spoilers)

I thought there was a rule that Buffy and Smallville couldn't both be good on the same night. I'm glad I was wrong.

Buffy continues to be able to make cardboard characters three-dimensional. Even the X-COPS setup couldn't ruin it, though I got the "tears" part really quickly and it might have been better edited at that point. Also, it was great to have Andrew voicing some common fan complaints about Buffy's hideous speechifying. I almost can't believe that I now understand Tucker's brother, even though I don't like him.

I was telling my friend Steve that I think I like SV because its mythic characters balance out my Buffy love, because there's no Hero with a Thousand Faces on Buffy at all, just people. Myth is, at most, pretext and background on Buffy -- ME makes up most of their own myths by this point, too -- and the show works.

Still, it's good to have a sharp contrast in SV. I love SV when it asks whether biology is destiny, though I think the show itself is quite confused on the matter. Yes: Clark's powers give him a special role, so he can't be an ordinary guy; Lex and Lucas are Luthors, and that will always define them. No: Clark is Jonathan's son (and Martha's, Jon!), not just Jor-el's; if Clark had been raised by Lionel, he'd be rich and miserable and Lex would be wearing flannel. Karl Marx said it well, and it's still true: men make their own history, but they do it under conditions not of their own choosing. When SV is getting things right, it knows this. (And is it just me, or did Bo look just terrible through most of this? Maybe it was poor editing, but I kept thinking he'd had an ill-done haircut. And the various crane shots? Sometimes I wonder what show the cinematographer thinks s/he's filming, because I wonder if I would like it too.)

But mostly, I love that Clark's biological dad is Space Lionel. It makes the inevitable Lex/Clark conflict even more tragic, somehow.

And just to get it gone, here's a chunk of a story I'll never write:
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