Smallville (2001-2011, The WB/CW)

An interpretation of the Superman story features young Clark Kent coming to grips with his emerging superpowers. He must hide his abilities from his friends, including Lana Lang, the girl of his dreams, and Lex Luthor, who will one day become Superman’s nemesis. Complicating matters is the presence of kryptonite throughout Smallville, which causes strange mutations in locals and cripples Clark.

I like Smallville well enough as a kid, but dismissed it after season 7… but it’s one of my favorite shows now? In a weird way, the earlier episodes reminded me of Supernatural, back when it was fresh and each episode didn’t leave me numb and questioning my life choices. I miss those days. After not watching a single episode of Supernatural for five years, I think maybe I might be able to now, LOL. Somebody save me.

There are over two hundred episodes of Smallville, and well… it probably went on for three years too long. There is a lot of WAFFLE. A lot of Lana/Clark. A lot of Chloe feeding us exposition…

…but Tom Welling as Clark gives the show a charming quality that a lot of other shows lack. He’s very seamless in the role. In a lot of my recaps, I don’t make the distinction between the actor and character because I don’t see one, but with Smallville, it genuinely feels like you are watching the day to day activities of Clark Kent.

Here’s my little season recap!

Season 1

The best season! Young Clark is coming to terms with his powers and he meets Lex Luthor for the first time. Follows a freak of the week structure, but it’s charming and fun. We get to see Clark working as a student journalist and saving the day with the help of his best friends Pete and Chloe. Oh and he’s in love with Lana Lang, his neighbour.

Continue reading “Smallville (2001-2011, The WB/CW)”

snarkview: Lie To Me

 

lie-to-me2

The world’s leading deception researcher, Dr. Cal Lightman, studies facial expression, body language and tone of voice to determine when a person is lying and why, which helps law enforcement and government agencies uncover the truth. But his skills also make it easier for him to deceive others.

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You know, my parameter for bad shows is usually ‘is it better or worse than the crap that the Supernatural team have been putting out since season 6?. It’s not difficult to be better than Supernatural. It really isn’t. A reality show based on Vanilla Ice living with Eskimos for six months would be better than Supernatural.

That being said, Lie To Me now has the distinct honour of being even worse than Supernatural. Sort of. Season 1 is great. I have no complaints about season 1. The science was a bit… well, they basically used screengrabs to convey microexpressions which seems iffy to me. There’s a fifty percent chance between it being a genuine microexpression and a well timed screenshot. Someone should let shippers know that, though. Anyway, season 1 reminded me of my second favourite show ever (yeah, despite it’s flaws, Supernatural is still my favourite show purely because it got so bad that I vowed never to get heavily invested in another show. So it still occupies that spot), The Mentalist. It was a typical procedural.

Just not typical enough apparently.

Shawn Ryan took over for the second season and everything went downhill. I guess he wanted to put The Shield in Lie To Me because the main character goes form nerdy scientist to rude Englishman. So he went from speaking like a reasonable person to call everyone a wanker and yelling ‘oi!’ every five minutes. He went from being a consultant to barging into people’s houses, getting into people’s faces. Being waterboarded and tortured by freaking Jason Dohring and coming out unscathed. It was quite the transformation.

Apparently Tim Roth didn’t like the science aspect of the show, so they just abandoned it. It was just Lightman determining who was lying and who wasn’t. And I could deal with that. Except, the acting became really bizarre. I was convinced that Tim Roth was either sick or had a drinking problem but apparently that’s the characterisation.

He flops about, jerks around erratically, pulls faces and can’t sit still. I can’t believe that no one told him how stupid it looked. It killed the show for me. I can sit through silly storylines (like some guy marrying a new woman every six months after cutting deals with the ex-husbands), but not a character being so weird and uncomfortable for no good reason. He even becomes slightly sexist and inappropriate around any female character on-screen except for his teenage daughter, Emily.

That’s another thing. In the first season, he was at least civil to the other main characters. By season 3, he’s just nasty. I couldn’t make sense of it. Was it had writing or just bad acting? They all seem annoyed with each other. Like they all got on the same bus during rush hour and they were on it until the last stop. Pure misery.


Verdict: 8/10 for the first season, 5/10 for the second season (just because I like that episode with all of The Shield characters) and 0/10 for the third season.

Rockin’ At USA High!

USA High | USA Network | 1999-2000

Does anyone else remember this show? It’s not the most memorable, but you guys already know that I have questionable taste. 

Funny story. I’ve been trying to remember this show for years. YEARS. I’m sure that I’ve come across it and dismissed it during my search because my memory is more photographic than anything. The name USA High meant nothing to me. All I remembered that the headmaster had a daughter at the boarding school and that there was a cafe with some kind of orange/red seating and that there was a token black girl on the show. 

If you were around in the 90s, you know that basically sums up every single teen show. It was basically the same dude making them (think Saved By The Bell). I searched high and low anyway because it bugged me that I couldn’t remember and then one day it happened. 

The black girl I remembered popped up on a brief scene on The Fresh Prince (which I just happened to be rewatching). I have no idea how I knew it was her, but I was literally just like THAT IS THE GIRL FROM THE SHOW I DON’T REMEMBER! 

Her name is Marquita Terry. I looked her up and voila, there it was. 

USA High

After such a soulful journey, I couldn’t even hate the show. It’s terrible. It’s somewhat skeevy, and it’s full of ridiculous stereotypes about Brooklyn, Germany, British people and you know, black people (she just had to be the aggressive kind that threatens to beat people up a lot), but somehow it still manages to retain its nineties charm. 

That being said, I still have some snark. 

Let’s take a look at the plot:

Six suitemates at an exclusive American high school in Paris become friends and have the time of their lives.

 …so basically this is a show about nothing that just happens to be set in an American high school in Paris

Paris in this case = mentioning The Louvre, Champs Elysées and Eiffel Tower at any opportunity possible. If they didn’t mention Paris now and then, you’d hardly know where it was based. Hell, they even pay for everything in dollars, lol. 

Let’s take a look at the main characters (season 1 only because it’s not the same without Lazz). 

Bobby ‘Lazz’ Lazzarini

  • He’s from Brooklyn, and so he says ‘Youse’ and other Brooklynisms at any opportunity
  • Has a strange obsession with meat
  • His parents are… ice clowns
  • He’s the short one who never gets any girls… until he does. 
  • He’s the wheeler dealer of the group and despite the fact that he’s always coming up with money schemes, he seems to be able to order very expensive meat whenever he wants. 

    Jackson Green

    • Resident douche – sorry, heartthrob
    • Plays guitar, sings cheesy love songs that are at odds with his sketchy exterior
    • Is highly sensitive. Literally, every time he has an argument with someone he said, ‘I don’t want anything to do with you!’ which is dramatic because he lives in the same suite. That’s kind of impossible, bro. 
    • Daddy issues
    • Mommy issues
    • Surfer bro dating his ex issues
    • At one point he had frosted tips. I’m so happy that look died down.  It’s horrifying. 

    Winnie Sue Barnes

    • Stereotype City 101 right here
    • She’s loud, aggressive, lots of attitude
    • She threatens to beat someone up at least once per episode
    • Somehow she managed to have a long lasting relationship with Christian that’s partly based on fear. 
    • Like I said, unfortunate stereotypes. 
    • That being said, there are some nice scenes with her buried under the steaming pile of stereotypes. 
    • I particularly like her catchphrase ‘H.O.T.T HOTT’. 

    Christian Mueller

    • The dimwitted, muscled German
    • At the start of the sshow his behaviour was creepy and weird but he ended up being sweet albeit in a really dumb way
    • Eye candy x 1000000
    • Uh. Well. Clearly he’s one of the more nuanced characters. 
    • I think he’s secretly snarky but hides behind his dim exterior for reasons unknown. Just go with my theory, dammit. 

      Lauren Fontaine

      • The pretty one
      • Uh… That’s it really.
      • I can’t remember too much and I’ve been watching this shit on a daily basis. Welp. 
      • I looked the actress up and she seems to be married to some sort of Scientology weirdo. This doesn’t surprise me at all. What’s creepy is that she looks exactly the same. 

          Miss Dupree

          • Pretty teacher
          • Teaches 57 different subjects because this school only has two teachers, a headmaster and a cleaner. 
          • Has no real purpose on the show apart from every male character leering at her. 

          Mr Elliot

          • Stuffy headmaster who spends most of his time hitting on Miss Dupree or handing out restrictions (detention)
          • Should have been handed at least 59 sexual harassment suits within the first twelve episodes. The teenage characters gawping at Miss Dupree is at least in character… Watching a grown ass man do the same thing isn’t all that funny.
          • Even with the British accent. Sorry. 

            Ashley Elliot

            • The actress who played her adopted what has to be the worst English accent of all time. Instead of ‘speshul’, she pronounces special as ‘spessial’. So wrong. 
            • I guess the writers were going for the barmy Brit stereotype because she’s freaking nuts. 
            • My favourite Ashley scene is when they’re parachuting out of a plane and she’s extremely excited… only for another character to point out that she’s wearing her backpack and not the parachute. 
            • NGL, I wouldn’t have minded if they’d killed her off. Her accent is soul destroying. 

            All in all this show is hopelessly stupid, but hey, the theme song is catchy.