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I am – Hercules!!

Behold! Our first actual review of “Smallville,” the “Roswell”-esque Young Clark Kent saga set to bow on the WB this autumn (Screen Actors Guild permitting)! The circumstances of the review appear to be bizarre, to say the least (unaired WB pilots on CSPAN?), but the descriptions match up with the “Smallville” script Herc saw last month. Consider the early reports that Lana will not be a redhead confirmed…

Here's UCFKevin!

I've never sent you any top secret information before, so this is a first time thing. Yesterday at six, I was watching the Simpsons, but it was an old episode, which don't exactly float my boat, so I went channel surfing. I passed through the last channel on the system, Channel 98 (CSPAN, usually) and noticed a man holding a baby next to a rocketship, saying, "We can't keep him!" I thought, "What the hell is this?" so I watched it some more. Turns out it was Smallville. I don't understand how it was on, or why, but it was definitely the finished product and had no commercials for some reason. Anyway, here's my review, more or less, it may be crude since I've never done this before.

The show, on a whole, was alright. It wasn't that great but it wasn't that bad. It suffers from the typical cliches that teen shows have, like Dawsons Creek and the like. There was WAY too much pop music on it, like every single scene had a #1 hit in it, that must've cost WB a fortune. The acting was ok, it wasn't anything special. I've never been a screener before, so I'll do my best here:

Plot: I'm assuming this was the pilot since it began with Martha and Jonathan Kent finding Clark in the rocketship. I came in 10 minutes late, since I was just flipping through the channels and happened to find it. It establishes all the main characters, who I'll dissect one by one. Essentially, the plot was about this kid who was harrassed by senior football players years before, and somehow got super electricity powers as a result from a meteor shower (Smallville is, apparently the Meteor Capital of the US) So anyway, the kid wants revenge and decides to electrocute all the current senior football players...I'll leave it at that. Also, Clark saves Lex's life from drowning...kinda interesting.

Clark: Tom Welling was good in the normal dialogue scenes, but kinda sucked during the sci fi parts, like when the electrokid was fighting him, Tom kinda had some goofy faces on, like he didn't feel comfortable doing those scenes or know what he was doing. Overall, he was pretty good. Way better than I expected. He didn't look too model-like AT ALL, which is a great thing. His hair was kinda shaggy, honestly, not really how you'd expect Clark Kent to look, but it was ok, not too bad. It wasn't Tom Cruise from MI2 bad, but it wasn't that great.

Lana: Asian and hot. I don't know why she's Asian, but whatever. She was pretty good, too, I think her and Tom Welling are the best actors in the group, which honestly ain't saying much

Pete Ross: He's black now, for some reason, and the guy playing him wasn't that great, kinda too schlocky and had a lot of the WB teen vocabulary.

Jon and Martha: I've seen better. LandC's Ma and Pa were MUCH better, these didn't really seem to fit the role too well, but maybe that'll be improved with time. I didn't care for them.

Lex Luthor: The guy playing him looked kinda young, 20's, bald (as a result from a meteor shower, of course). He did alright, nothing spectacular but nothing horrible. He was just sorta TVmovieoftheweek caliber. Could be better, maybe he will be.

Those are the basics, Clark has a friend, a girl, I don't know who she is, but she seems to be the "Willow" of the show (Willow from Buffy I mean), apparently, her, Pete and Clark will investigate the strange happenings around Smallville.

I'm pretty sure whatever I watched was the final product of the show. All the FX were completed, and as for his powers, Clark ran fast and used his strength, that's about it.

The show could be good. David Nutter seemed to have a good enough grasp on the characters, could've been better, but it could've been worse. I enjoyed the Lois and Clark pilot a WHOLE lot, and this reminded me of that. So it could go either way: good or bad. So that's about it. I wonder if I was the only person in the area who managed to see it? Maybe the world? I dunno? I hope this helps.

Finally, a little footage from CSPAN!

Readers Talkback
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  • May 9, 2001, 12:56 p.m. CST

    FIRST! This review can't be real...

    by Barrymore

    flipping around and saw Smallville on CSPAN? What the--? I dunno. Maybe cosmic sunspots made a feed of Smallville floating around somewhere materialize on CSPAN or something. I dunno. If real, show sounds interesting. Kind of a male Buffy, or Super-Roswell.

  • May 9, 2001, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Who are these people? 85th!

    by James_O'Nasty

    So they went with no-names? That could work, but that's what they wanted to do with the live action Beavis and Butthead movie...that was going to suck. As Bill once said..."sure hope this works!"

  • May 9, 2001, 1 p.m. CST

    superman meets dawsons creek?

    by jedimonkey2

    sounds gay to me. they already made this show in the late 80' was called sucked this probably will too. Jus tmake the new Superman Lives movie please.

  • May 9, 2001, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Sounds, as Bart Simpson says, craptastic

    by BigDogg

    I love the Superman comic books and this is a slap right directly in the face of comic book geeks like me. After "Batman and Robin", I thought that DC couldn't stoop any lower in whoreing out its characters, but apparently I was wrong. Hopefully this practice viewing will be the last showing ever of this garbage (except at comic book shows in a double feature with the equally crappy Fantastic 4 "movie")

  • May 9, 2001, 1:41 p.m. CST

    And I thought I had good Super-Karma.

    by Sgt. Bilko

    After that fantastic DVD, I really shouldn't be complaining about the status of the Superman Mythos...But REALLY? Does anyone even GET the character anymore? Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Roswell? Meteor capital of the U.S.A.? Does anyone remember Fleischer Cartoons? Action Comics? Christopher Reeve?! ANYBODY AT ALL?!? The WB is a MADHOUSE...A frickin' MAAAAADHOOOOOOOOUSE!!! (uncontrollable sobbing.)

  • May 9, 2001, 2:14 p.m. CST

    How they can use all those songs...

    by Vincent D.

    The WB is part of the AOL-Time Warner Empire. Warner Bros. records is a part of that. I imagine they get a pretty sweet discount to use label music on the network...

  • May 9, 2001, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Sounds like a digital wildfeed.......

    by Jarek

    these things pop-up from time to time, and I don't have a clue why.

  • May 9, 2001, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Don't tell me they FILMED this festering pile...

    by Insane Tiki

    I don't know, though, the circumstances around this review are iffy at best... I flipped to C-SPAN, and poof! There it was! An as-yet unaired pilot for a new WB show! Of course...

  • May 9, 2001, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Why "Smallville" was on Channel 98...

    by Lt. Torello

    Networks often test pilots and retooled shows by phoning random households, ask the occupants if they're interested in seeing a new show, then tell them what time and channel the program is gonna be on. It's usually in the upper strata of the cable channels so as to minimize exposure (they don't just send the signal to the viewers they've called). They then call the viewers back a day or two later to get their response. Lucky me, I got the pilot of Fred Savage's "Working" and a re-tooled "Men Behaving Badly."

  • May 9, 2001, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Hot Asian

    by DomisInnerChild

    Is she for real? I've had a real problem with TV shows casting "hot" Asian women. It seems like they always go for the extreme stereotype Asian look with the super slanted eyes (I.E. Lucy Lu, Ross's girlfriend a while back on Fiends, the fire chick on Angel, anybody on Real World/Road Rules, etc.) whenever any role pops up. Is it just me (I'm in the California Bay Area), or are there like a cazillion better looking Asian women walking around? Hell, I married one. It's a conspiracy by the blondes I tell ya.

  • May 9, 2001, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Sounds real to me...

    by KryptonSite

    I've been following the Smallville project since the first announcement (have a web page up at and based on what I've heard, everything this person posted does sound like it's for real. Remember the WB is very close to announcing their fall schedules so surely they'd have to have an episode ready for advertisers... well, here goes. Me, I'm just jealous I never got to see it ;) Anyone care to rectify that? ha ha ha

  • May 9, 2001, 3:42 p.m. CST


    by Cowblaster

    Okay, I'm not questioning the validaty of this review. It sounds too bizarre to be made up. But anyway, this show just sounds worse everytime I hear something about it. Smallville, KA: planetary magnet for falling objects from space. BULLSHIT!!! And, I can't believe networks still fall into the habit of casting actors to fill some racial demographic. "Okay, we need a black guy in this. How 'bout Pete Ross? And, we need another 'Non-White' actor. . . I've got it! We'll make Lana Lang ASIAN! I'm a GENIUS!!!"

  • May 9, 2001, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Retread. It's revolting.

    by superninja

    They lose Buffy and this is what we get as a replacement? God, I hope this show tanks just for the fact that I don't want them setting up THIS version of Clark/Superman in their audience's minds. This is a classic character worthy of a story of epic proportions. I would rather never see an OUNCE of celluloid from Warners again than have to live through them dragging an icon through the teen-spirt mud. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO EVER GOT IT RIGHT ARE YOUR ANIMATION DEPARTMENT. WB proves time and again they are not a studio worthy of the characters in their stable.

  • May 9, 2001, 3:53 p.m. CST

    you're absolutely right, cowblaster

    by I87D

    Because race is such an integral part of all the characters, the WB and anyone else who tries to adapt superman, should go out of their way to make sure that ALL THE CHARACTERS stay WHITE because ALIENATING 40% of AMERICA is such a great idea for a fledgling network. i'm not watching the show if it has "asians." heck, everyone knows there really isn't a place called "asia" anyway. (ps - since you sound like a bit of an imbecile, mr. cowblast, this is meant to be sarcastic)

  • May 9, 2001, 4:21 p.m. CST

    can't we all just along??

    by whomod

    1. As a memeber of a racial minority myself as well as a HUGE Superman fan from as far back as I can remeber (30+years), I have to honestly say that casting Pete Ross as black (??!) and Lana as Asian IS a slap in the face to the mythos. Why? Because theose characters are very real to me and to a lot of other people. That would be akin to um..I dunno, changing Tom Sawyer into a South American baron because you feel there wearn't wenough South American latinos represented in american literature. It is DUMB! Also, nothing grates on me more than the ridiculous slang phrase "gay". By the way, I'm a happily married man so don't go there junior. I hope this pile of manure tanks miserably. And I hope I live to see the day when Warner Bros finally gets a clue. Psst..Warner, try asking Bruce Timm what constitutes a good idea and what constitutes mental retardation.

  • May 9, 2001, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Asian Lana Lang

    by KryptonSite

    I know people are screaming "foul" about an asian Lana Lang, but before passing any judgement, check out Kristin on repeats of "Edgemont" on Fox Family. She's a fine actress, and I don't care if she was purple, I really believe you guys will believe she's a farmgirl from Kansas. Don't judge a book by its cover -- especially when the "cover"s so far have been only a few random pictures of Kristin seen here and there. I really think Kristin Kreuk will be the highlight of the series. She's got a lot of talent, and from what I hear, really is the best suited for this role. -- Craig

  • May 9, 2001, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Remember Superboy TV show?

    by Videographer

    Anybody remember the Superboy TV show? It came and went shortly before the Superman TV series. Superboy did at least 100 episodes. Early shows sucked, but, developed into a decent show, good stories, some good sci-fi. If you'd seen the Sboy show you would be able to see the obvious similarities between it and the SMan show. I'm guessing part of the reason they're calling it Smallville is because somebody else still owns the 'Superboy' name rights for TV. But, it does sound like this is an attempt to go for the current 'youth market': 90210, Melrose Place, Roswell, Dawsons Creek, Smallville, etc. Victoria's Secret, oh wait, that's just the series I've been hoping, waiting, hoping for.......

  • May 9, 2001, 6:30 p.m. CST

    asian lana lang? COOL ,and nothing new.

    by misterscratch

    Why not? It's completely possible, and a better portrait of america today. Plus asian women are beautiful and the actress is top notch. I grew up in farm country and there were plenty of asians being welcomed into the community. Anyone who has a real problem with this has a little repressed racism to deal with and should move out of their parent's basement. Don't try to say you just want to stay loyal to the comics either. The comics were created at a time when the only faces you saw in the media were whiter than a KKK sheet. Also, how many of you knew Dean Cain, the last Superman, was part Asian? I don't think anyone complained when he donned the blue tights.

  • May 9, 2001, 6:55 p.m. CST

    It's not the race of the characters that bothers me...

    by Sgt. Bilko

    It's WB's constant mistreatment and overcommercialization of 'their' characters that breaks my heart. Superman is classic Americana, to be enjoyed by children and the young at heart. He's not hip, or with it, but the dream is that you can be strong and respected and loved without bowing to temptation, greed, or evil. And I can guarantee you, this show is a product of pure greed. It exists purely to market an existing property to the ever-growing MTV audience. It's not going to be awe-inspiring, it's not going to be magical or powerful, and in five years, no one is going to remember it. 'Smallville' is the television equivelant of that asshole that walked around in your high school with a Superman T-shirt on because he thought he was a tough guy, as opposed to the skinny nerd who wore it because he believed in Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

  • May 9, 2001, 7:21 p.m. CST

    "For some reason?"


    "For some reason?" Try greater audience and demographics appeal. And I do not believe that those who would oppose a television show with characters whose races are different than what was portrayed in the comic books are veiled racists as implied by some. That's rampant speculation and conjecture, not to mention a witch-hunt in the making. Come on, be reasonable. There's nothing wrong with keeping the original white characters white, nobody should feel guilty about this. There are plenty of shows out there with prominent chracters of other races than white that we all enjoy, there is no need to perhaps trivialize long-standing comic book history to appease those that will settle for nothing less than same-race role models in every single t.v. show. Also, Sargent Bilko, your commets before mine were very well-put and doubtless needed to be said. I am confident you feel, as I do, that the rediculous trend as started by the WB's X-Men, Batman Beyond, and now, Smallville cartoon has gotten out of hand, and needs to be put to rest.

  • May 9, 2001, 7:35 p.m. CST


    by whomod

    So wanting Pete Ross and Lana Lang to remain as they were originally is akin to racism?? My god. guess what then, I'm planning to make a historical epic. I decided to cast an asian in the role of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington will now be asian. OK?? God knows you don't see enough blacks or asians in historical movies. Maybe the Kent's need to be latino since they are the only major demographic not represented. Now just stop. Instead of changing LONG ESTABLISHED characters' ethnicities to please your p.c. sensebilities, did it wever occur to you guys that there could be OTHER characters introduced that represent america today instead of rewriting Superman lore?? No. of course not. That's because to you guys, comics and characters are trivialities that don't merit any reverence or thought. The same mentalilty that almost cast one of the Wayans as Robin. Cuz, heaven knows what modern america needed was a black "hip" wisecracking Robin.

  • I personally couldn't care less what color the people are on a show as long as they speak english I can understand- hell I'll watch subtitles if the show is good enough, and that the stories and characters don't suck( don't even get me started on Voyager). Besides isn't America the most powerful nation on Earth because it brings together and harnesses the strengths of every group into its banner-truth ,justice, and the American way, people, not the Clan way. On a related topic of stupid plots- I just caught a few minutes of Special Unit 2 and they had a fat monster that knew how to drive a car because he apparently had human DNA in there as well. Call me crazy-but I never knew that memory was encoded onto DNA. DNA encodes the physical makeup of a person and some mental proclivities. If we could pass around memories in DNA I'd remember the first time my Dad got laid as if I was there. Ordinarily I like SU2 cause the lead actor just cracks me up but this kind of crap on a sci fi show just pisses me off.

  • May 9, 2001, 8:25 p.m. CST


    by UCFKevin

    Well, sorry to dispel anyone's belief, but this review is REAL. And how do I know that? Because I DID IT. It's my review. I don't understand why my name isn't mentioned anywhere on this review, at all, but Hercules name sure is there, clear and plain! Don't believe I did this? Well, mosey on over to the Superman Cinema website's message board, you'll see clearly it is mine, and you'll see it's real. You see, I'm not one of you regular guys who has nothing better to do than waiting around all day for a news posting just so I can be FIRST!!! on the talkback, nor do I have the time to make up fake news stories. It's a waste of my time and everyone elses. Don't believe me if you don't want to, I don't really give a rat's ass, but give credit where it's due. This is my review. It should say so somewhere. As for the show, I don't really understand why the made certain characters different races than they are traditionally, as in the comics, other than the fact that the producers are trying to give it a more global appeal, despite the fact that it's in SMALLVILLE and it's a FARM TOWN!!! Well, whatever. The pilot was pretty good, as I said, but nothing that great. It could honestly go either way, more than likely in the "suck" direction.

  • May 9, 2001, 8:27 p.m. CST

    one more thing

    by theharm

    who the hell is Jack Ross and why is everyone pissed off that he's going to be black?

  • May 9, 2001, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Does anyone remember that god-awful superboy syndicated show?

    by SaintX99

    I give this two seasons at most. I'm being much too generous, though

  • May 9, 2001, 8:38 p.m. CST

    whoops, someone already asked

    by SaintX99

    Videofeed...the auperboy show was like 10 times worse than superman 4, except for the episodes with Myztiplyk...can't get enough of him

  • May 9, 2001, 8:54 p.m. CST

    There's nothing wrong with non-whites on Smallville...

    by superninja

    You just have to understand, the core fans picture Superman in a certain setting. He was written during a time when most of the Midwestern US *was* white. Of course that has changed, but I don't think it makes the people that grew up reading the comic racist. I admit to also wanting to see Lana as a red-headed white girl, because that's what she was in the comics, and even in the Superman movies. Lois Lane, however, is another story to me. She is a city girl, so I am perfectly happy with them casting a non-white actress in that part, because it would still jive with the original continuity.

  • May 9, 2001, 9 p.m. CST

    187D. . .

    by Cowblaster

    I think you misunderstood the message of my post, which isn't all that hard to do, because I was pretty vague. Let me clarify. I'm all for shows casting whoever the fuck they feel like to fill in certain roles. I wouldn't object if they cast a black guy to play Superman himself, so long as he did one helluva job playing the part. I don't give a shit about staying true to the comics. You want to make Pete Ross black? Fine. No problem. But, from the tone of the reviewer, it sounds as if the guy was only hired to fill in some kind of racial demographic, and NOT because he was a good actor. The reviewer even said his performance was pretty weak. I think casting people speciffically based on skin tone is racist. They didn't see this guy and say "HEY! He'd make a PERFECT Pete Ross!" They said "Well, we DO need at least ONE black guy. . . who cares if he can act or not?" But, what do I know? I'm only basing this off the reviewer's brief comments. If the guy seems like a good actor to me, then I don't give a shit. But, when it's just pain-stakingly obvious that the show's producers only hired this poor guy solely based off his skin color, then I'll be upset.

  • May 9, 2001, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Between this and the Peters/DiBonaventura SUPERMAN LIVES, it loo

    by KingKrypton

    To be frank, I'm not bothered by the casting of a black guy as Pete Ross or an Asian girl as Lana Lang. They're really just supporting characters, and as such tinkering with their ethnicity doesn't bother me (if they decided to mess with Superman's ethnicity, THEN I'd raise the roof). What bothers me is the total hatred WB feels for this character. SMALLVILLE is little more than a cheap excuse to (a) justify the planned Peters/DiBonavnetura defamation of the character known as SUPERMAN LIVES and (b) to pander to the teenybopper crowd. They're not even trying to do Superman justice. They're trying to destroy him and replace him with their own skewed vision of what he should be. God have mercy on all their souls, because I have no use for them. Down with SMALLVILLE, down with SUPERMAN LIVES, and down with WB! At this rate I wish Paramount or Disney would buy DC from WB! Maybe then Superman would be treated with the proper respect, instead of being desecrated to fit the egos of the untalented studio execs, pet producers, and hack directors who comprmise 99.9% of WB!

  • May 9, 2001, 9:09 p.m. CST

    To whomod and other racists..

    by The Riot

    Just because Lana and Pete are Asian and African-American (or anything else) doesn't mean that you're changing their characters (just their appearances). Flip through a few comics. You notice something? Everybody (with very few exceptions) is white! Now, if this was a movie about the French Revolution your point is valid, but this takes place in AMERICA where (if you look hard enough) there actually are black people and Asian people lurking about. ARCTURUS made the comment that "There's nothing wrong with keeping the original white characters white, nobody should feel guilty about this." Perhaps not, but there's nothing wrong with hiring competent actors of other races, either. Why recreate the ridiculous all-white society found in most comics, when you have an opportunity to create something a little bit more believable. Try to put your personal prejudices aside and think about character, not color.

  • May 9, 2001, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Superman WAS HALF-ASIAN

    by BrianSLA

    Dean Cain's dad is Japanese.

  • May 9, 2001, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Political correctness

    by tbrosz

    Hey, "Star Trek Voyager" decided that they needed black Vulcans, which aren't even human, so making some Kansas kids into minorities is no big deal (of course Star Trek took parallel evolution to hilarious extremes anyway.) Check out the new "Pearl Harbor" movie. I hear that they decided to make a certain percentage of all the actors playing Japanese pilots black and white for proper racial balance.

  • May 9, 2001, 9:51 p.m. CST

    pointless fanboy bitching

    by Chloe Sullivan

    Why don't we all wait until this thing gets released to decide if Peter Ross is a good actor, if they've cannibalized our mythology, and whether you'll ever buy a Clark Kent pez dispenser again? Then, if we dont like it, we can go back and watch shows which we already know suck ass such as ROSWELL, ANGEL, DARK ANGEL, and TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL. BTW, I live in a small town in the midwest and there are all sorts of different shades of skin here. Yes, we watch mtv and yes we've heard of the internet, you ignorant %#!$s!

  • May 9, 2001, 9:56 p.m. CST


    by Chloe Sullivan

    One question, UCFKevin: Who the f**k do you think worked on FARMS, only WHITE PEOPLE? That's a real stupid mofo statement, bi-atchi.

  • May 9, 2001, 10:17 p.m. CST


    by UCFKevin

    Chloe, have you ever read the comic books? Smallville is a TINY LITTLE TOWN somewhere, in Kansas I believe, with about as much color as my ass. I have no problem with people of other colors living in farm towns, yippiekiyay for you and them, enjoy your MTV and good ol' Carson Daly, but I know my Superman, I know the comics, and I know that that ain't how it's supposed to be in Smallville. They're screwing with the characters, and I'm a Superman freak, and that ain't cool in my book. I'm not a racist, at all, I don't care if you think I'm one, frankly I don't care about anything you say, the moment I read the word "bi-atch" I lost all existing respect for you.

  • May 9, 2001, 10:50 p.m. CST

    whomod: Imperial wizard( NOT)

    by whomod

    Geez-us Loiuse! It's funny how some people can focus with laser prescision on the fact that I object to having Lana Lang be an asian grrl and Pete roos a black guy but totally shut out my reasoning and instead replace it with the socially conveninet "oh, it's cuz he's racist". for crying out loud, I'm a frickin' minority myself!! I would object to Lana Lang being a caucasian brunette!! Point is because she is long established to be a caucasian REDHEAD. Not an asian, not latina, not brown haired or black. What is so frickin hard to understand about that??? Did I say I wan't NO minorities in Smallville because the comics were lilly white?? NO. I said that if you want minorities in the damn show, then add some. Don't go around changing the race of characters that are already established as being white. This is the wrong idiotic way of adding diversity. the correct way would be to do it like Bruce Timm is doing with Green Lantern over in the new JLA toon. He could have easily been lazy and stupid and just changed Kyle Rayner's or Hal Jordan's race to black, asian whatever. What he did though was to use an already established black Green Lantern and use him. Anyoby else thru lobbing the word "racist" around?? do u get p.c. points at the local convenieence store or something??

  • May 10, 2001, 12:13 a.m. CST

    Smallville... why?!?

    by Toonimator

    ARCTURUS... your post seemed to indicate you think this show is animated. It's not. If the WB had been producing a young Clark Kent animated series, you bet Bruce Timm & Co. would be involved. Without their involvement, the WB wouldn't touch it. I don't quite understand your lumping the idea of Smallville in with X-Men and Batman Beyond, however... well, okay, with X-Men, since it's retelling the origins of established characters. I'm not crazy about how they've handled everything on that show, but I sure as hell like the concept much better than Fox's "X-Men" series from the 90s, which tried to cram 30 years of comic stories into a few seasons of shows, not to mention having several of those stories rewritten in the vaccuum that was the animated version (little interaction with other Marvel properties, even other X-related ones... the way they tossed Angel in as a plot device to bring out Apocalypse, and brought Iceman in only to have a "rogue" X-Man? Now THAT's messing with things). But I digress.. a bit. Batman Beyond, while also existing in something of a vaccuum (more noticable because Gotham's not quite as dark & isolated-looking as in Batman:TAS) was a totally NEW story. Not a rewrite. Not messing with history, mythos, or any of that... it's a potential extension of the myth, a passing of the torch, and in THAT, I think it succeeded. No, Terry McGuiness isn't remotely the Batman we grew up with... he's motivated, but not consumed. He's more like Dick Grayson or Tim Drake than Batman. Personally, I'd have liked to see him develop more as a detective, and not rely so much on the suit's gadgets. He took on tones of Superman, bulling his way into things cuz he's got the strength of 10 men with the suit on. More brains, less brawn... less reliance on the suit, or making a NEW suit, his own take on Batman. okay, digressing more! Back to Smallville. Someone up above wondered if some other company or person held the rights to the use of "Superboy" as a TV series title. I doubt that's the case. Calling the show "Superboy" would either bring to mind the old Superboy show, and/or make people think we'd see Clark don the tights. He doesn't wear a costume in this show. I wonder which came first, the name, or the spin for the show? "It's Superboy, only he doesn't wear the suit, so we can't call it that... hey, we named "Roswell" after the town, let's call this "Smallville"! It's brilliant!" The WB has a habit of this. Remember way back when Dawson's Creek hadn't even premiered yet? The promos for it had that WB announcer always starting off "In the town of Dawson's Creek...". Next thing you know they'll introduce an Angel promo with "In the City of Angel...s...". The casting of different ethnicities for Pete & Lana is somewhat annoying, considering the history... Lana's supposed to be redheaded! But, hey, so's Jimmy, and look what they did to him TWICE in "L&C". If memory serves, they made Lana a blonde on that show... and annoying as hell, but I think that was a dream episode or some weird thing like that. I loved the portrayal of John & Martha Kent on that series (tho every time I see those actors in other roles, they're playing criminals or mean people!), but any series needs it's own take. As for UCFKevin's comment that "That ain't how Smallville's supposed to be"... dude, did you read "Superman For All Seasons"??? Last I checked, there were some black folk in Smallville. Also, given the option, if they're just playing "diversify the cast", of having minorities in the firmly established roles of Lana & Pete, or in the new chick that joins Clark & Pete on their adventures & wants to be a reporter for the Daily Planet... well, like Orlando Jones & LL Cool J have stated in films... it's always the brother dies first! So if a minority were cast in a new role, it'd seem even more tacked on, AND a potential throw-away character. My biggest problem with Lana isn't that she's Asian... it's that she's supposed to be a couple years older than Clark & Pete. Meaning, they won't graduate together ("Superman for All Seasons", check his bedside pic in Metropolis)... prom would be awkward (Lana the senior taking Clark the sophomore, or Clark the senior taking Lana the college sophomore)... AND the fact that she's Ms. Popular, while Clark, Pete, and the wannabe Lois are best buds. Nope. Uh-uh. Clark, Pete, and Lana are the Three Amigos! That's how come after Clark moves on, Lana & Pete end up together!! Then there's the whole Kryptonite jewelry thing that Lana has going... how contrived is that? And disturbing!??! "Mom, Dad, rather than keep a memento of you, I'm gonna keep a memento of the big friggin boulder that killed you." And you KNOW it's gonna come up that, when Clark eventually tells Lana about his powers (one of the best moments in comic history, I think), she's gonna connect his arrival on Earth with the meteors that killed her folks... and blame him. OOOO! Conflict! Gimme a break. And in addition to Clark's regular teen angst, he'll hafta deal with the fact that he's got all these powers, but his arrival caused all this chaos of Krypto-mutations & deaths & stuff. Superman is not Spider-Man, he's not trying to atone for anything. He's a simple Kansas boy, raised the right way, and feels it's his obligation to help out where he can. If that's not enough, then do a show based on another hero who's got the more complicated motivations!!!! Spidey's out for redemption AND to do what he can... Batman's out for vengeance & his brand of justice... Supes is out there because he knows he can help, and sees that he's needed. When this show premieres, I'll watch it. I'll give it a shot. I just hope there's something redeemable about it, and it's not just the cash-cow another TBer up above cynically, yet accurately, makes it out to be.

  • May 10, 2001, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Chloe Sullivan rocks!

    by cold lazarus

    Look, it's a free country. If anyone thinks any adaptation of Superman should reflect nothing but the time in which it was created, fine. I've never seen so many people nostalgic for 1939 before today. But PLEASE, don't go crying about "political correctness". To all of you who are upset that Smallville is now the diversity capital of the Midwest: did you care as much when David Carradine was picked over Bruce Lee in KUNG FU? Minorities have been portrayed by white people in the movies and television since BEFORE Superman was created. So live with it. Payback's a bi-atch. As for destroying the mythos of Superman, hey, the comic itself has been revamped and updated many times, so what difference does it make? It'll probably suck, so don't watch it. I don't intend to.

  • May 10, 2001, 3:54 a.m. CST

    please for the love of God tell me who Pete Ross is

    by theharm


  • May 10, 2001, 4:20 a.m. CST

    Kristin Kreuk is half-Chinese, half-Dutch and all gorgeous.

    by SplitPleaSoup

    I was trying to catch the end of Two of a Kind the other night (don't ask) and instead there was this weird Canadian teen show on with the prettiest girl ever. With a little research I found out that she was going to be the new Lana Lang in Smallville. I watch too many shows right now just because there are hot women in them and this will be another. It should also be a little obvious that she is half-Chinese--the name Kreuk being a dead giveaway.

  • May 10, 2001, 4:58 a.m. CST

    Tonight On C-Span, Brian Lamb Interviews Several Kansas High Sch

    by RightWing Dude

    After watching the SUPERMAN DVD & the beautiful & poignant Smallville scenes, I remain convinced that nothing will ever top it, especially a weekly TV series. In fact, I was primed to watch this series until I discovered that there would be DAWSON'S CREEK pop tunes. Now the show, while sounding more appealing than the old SUPERBOY series (but less appealing than LOIS & CLARK which I eventually grew restless with, though)just sounds like a waste of time. By the way, I am all for racial diversity & the like but for jelloboy (or whatever the hell your name was) what the hell are you on when you suggest having young Clark experiment with bisexuality (in rural Kansas of all places)?

  • May 10, 2001, 5:02 a.m. CST

    My Apologies Jelloboy

    by RightWing Dude

    I skimmed through these posts &, after reading yours again, realize that you were just being sarcastic!

  • May 10, 2001, 6:55 a.m. CST


    by The Founder

    Why Arcturus where are all these PROMINENT minorities(particularly blacks, and asins) that's shown all over television? I believe ABC's The Practice, and CBS's The District has some blacks on them, but they're not prominent characters, and besides Lucy Lui on Ally Mcbeal, where the devil are these promonent asins characters?Before you spit out the word prominent look it up man, these minorities are supporting characters, and not the main WHITE PROMINENT characters that's on most of these shows, and please don't refer to black shows on UPN and the one black show on the WB.Now I could be wrong about this, because I don't watch the main networks at all, but save for the one's I listed above, oh wait their is one I don't know his name off hand, but he's the principal on FOX's Boston Public.

  • May 10, 2001, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Smallville's Pete Ross

    by Chocolate Gawd

    Oete Ross first showed up in DC's Superboy comics back around 1962. He was blonde, blue-eyed, and unlike most of Clark Kent's peers, didn't pick on him and treated him decently. One day, while walking in the woods outside Smallville, Pete saw Superboy fly out of a hidden tunnel that he used to avoid being seen flying from the Kent's home. Pete entered the tunnel, followed it back to the Kent's and realized who Superboy must be. Pete never told Superboy he knew his secret identity, but helped provide diversions and excuses whenever Clark Kent felt the sudden need to 'disappear' to handle an emergency. Pete Ross was later made an honorary member of the 30th century Legion of Super Heroes, who knew of his helping Superboy/man through historic memoirs. In modern-day Superman comics, Ross was elected Kansas Senator, and recently was elected Vice President of the US as running mate to .... President Lex Luthor!?

  • May 10, 2001, 7:10 a.m. CST

    The Casting Of Minorities In White Roles on Smallville.

    by The Founder

    To be honest I don't see the reason or the need for the change of Pete Ross and Lana Lang's race. They should be left the way they are in the comics.Since Warners wanted to be diverse in the show they should have just cast two of the new supporting characters as minorities.The guy said that their was this Willow type girl that helps out Clarke, why not cast her as asin since she's apparently going to be a new character created for the series, and the same goes for the black actor in the the role of Pete Ross.Oh by the way I'm BLACK, and for the most part I hate chracter changes when a comic is translated into a tv show or movie without a valid reson for making the change, and their's no valid reason for doing so here.You guy's no what I don't know why we're getting all worked up over this when the show sounds like it's going to sh*t anyway.

  • May 10, 2001, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Superbpy: The Series, Smallville, and ethnic diversity

    by Blok Narpin

    Superboy the Series had a BAD first season, but went on to become the best TV version of Superman. It was written by the writers of the comics and they did a decent job. I still have several episodes on tape. Gerard Christopher was REALLY good in the role, and ACTUALLY would be a damn fine choice to play the Man of Steel In Superman V (IF it ever actually happens). I'm all for ethnic Diversity but NOT on established characters. I'm NOT racist, so don't even play that game with me. Pete Ross is WHITE. Lana is a REDHEAD. If you want to introduce a black kid and an Asian girl I'm fine with that but make them NEW characters. There is nothing wrong with adding new characters to the mythos. Jimmy Olsen first appeared on the radio show and Harley Quinn made her first appearance on the animated series but both characters now appear regularly in the comics. Look at it this way: If Paramount had cast Tom Cruise as SHAFT last summer there would have been quite an outcry. Its the same thing, only in reverse.

  • May 10, 2001, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Pete Ross, the modern version...

    by Toonimator

    ...while Pete may have been helping out Clark in pre-Crisis Superboy tales, I think when Superman was revamped up through today, Pete doesn't know Clark is Superman. I'm not a regular reader of Supes, but I've read several issues with Lana and/or Pete in them, and while Lana usually makes some comment that shows she knows, Pete seems oblivious. They named their kid "Clark" after Martha Kent's maiden name (same way Clark Kent was named!), and there's been this underlying jealousy bit, since Clark Kent was Lana's first love. If Pete knew Clark was Supes, he'd feel worse! In any case, I don't THINK he knows (seeing as there never was a Clark Kent/Superboy in current continuity), but I could be mistaken. Clark told Lana before he left Smallville, because they loved each other & he wanted to share that... if Pete does know, it's probably Lana who told him. Again, I'm not entirely sure.

  • May 10, 2001, 11:34 a.m. CST

    thanks to Sixtyfoot, Chocolate Gawd, and Toonimator

    by theharm

    Thank you guys(and/or gals)for the info on Pete Ross. Personally all I care about is Supes and the Kents-if people are really that worked up then I'm with Blok Narpin- they should just introduce different characters to help out Clark. What's probably gonna happen is that the show will either be about precocious self obsessed moping teens a la Douchebag's Creek or about pretty drugged out actors that think brooding and squinting equals depth-a la Beverly Hills 90210. Pete Ross will wind up being some Puerto Rican Gay guy who has a crush on Clark and indulges in Crystal Meth or Ecstasy "on a very special Smallville".

  • May 10, 2001, 2:43 p.m. CST

    I love asian women

    by akirax4

    Now i'm a white guy and i'm not saying this because i'm white but in the comics as in real life people in kansas are just white its the truth. The WB just uses minorites to meet qoutas and try to have an edge over decent networks.

  • May 10, 2001, 9:16 p.m. CST

    I just realized something...

    by Toonimator

    ...the reason Smallville's got the diversity, is they're the last show up. The WB realized that, besides the various sitcoms, there's hardly ANY diversity on their top shows. Buffy, Dawson's Creek, Roswell, etc... all a bunch of white people running around (similar to Bruce Timm's take on using the John Stewart Green Lantern, and using Hawkgirl instead of Hawkman, in the JLA toon. "Otherwise it's just a bunch of white guys running around in tights!"). Okay, "Angel" has Gunn, and Dawson has had, off & on, Brody. But that's it. Roswell's set in NEW MEXICO for cryin' out loud, yet Liz is the only main character that looks like she may have some non-Caucasian blood in her. So, being the newest teen drama/adventure on the block, Smallville gets stuck with the ethnic card, and it just so happens to have a pre-existing stable of characters that get rewritten all over the place. To be fair, the WB isn't so much responsible for the cast makeup of some shows like Buffy et all, since those are Fox shows, but Smallville IS a WB show. Too little too late, no offense to the actors involved. They'll probably do just fine... the second Jimmy Olsen of Lois & Clark did pretty well, even tho he didn't have Jimmy's cocky streak (which the first Olsen, now Mr. Special Unit 2 lead, had way too much of) or red hair. I must agree that the show has fairly limited appeal, since we KNOW Lex goes bad, Clark becomes Supes, dates Lana, Lana & Pete get married, etc etc. That's the trouble with prequels... while the idea of seeing how they got there is neat, it wears thin after awhile. Star Wars has a bit of that... we KNOW Anakin becomes Vader, but due to the nature of the way George made the classic trilogy, there's a lot we DON'T know (mostly cuz he didn't really think about it) so we get to see all this stuff. With Superman, we know how everyone gets everywhere. Well, okay, I'm a little muddy on exactly why Luthor became a power-hungry businessman bent on getting his way & ruling Metropolis. Being pissed at your dad only holds water for so long... throwing all these curves in it is a bit silly. I guess any argument comes down to how well they pull it off. Ultimate Marvel titles are rewriting everything... I love Ultimate Spidey (except for the Goblin's appearance... a bit silly), but they aren't saying Peter had a bunch of adventures with his powers BEFORE donning the costume or anything. The core of the story is still intact. Smallville's kinda trampling that core... not to mention mixing things up with pre- & post-Crisis continuities. A fresh take on SUPERMAN would be fine. Lois & Clark did that (but tried to play down the Superman aspect, which lead it astray into silliness). A new take would go better, I think. The Bruce Wayne series that's been tossed around has MUCH more possibilities than Smallville. We KNOW Bruce traveled the world, trained, and probably had plenty of adventures... heck, he may have even donned a few different "masked" disguises before his ultimate emergence as Batman (I'm not saying he ran around as "Ninjaman" or anything, just different covert ways of fighting crime while keeping his face a mystery). We'd see the growing of the bat within him, and the transformation of Bruce Wayne from a serious-minded youth to merely the millionaire playboy disguise. We'd even probably see some of the classic Bat-villains... Ra's Al Ghul, for example. The Ninja, definitely, more as a rival than a villain quite yet. Killer Croc might be around, or maybe some of the lesser known villains that've been dropped by the wayside over the years (EGGHEAD!!!!... or, not). Smallville, you got the krypto-mutants (ugh), and good-guy Lex Luthor who has a darker edge to him (aforementioned bein' pissed at his pops) & the emergence of his goal of proving himself better than his father & making Metropolis a better place, his way. Maybe I'm being shortsighted, but that's about it. We know Clark probably had it rough, but emerges one of the stars of Smallville High by senior year, gets with Lana, goes to prom, then decides he needs to use his powers to help the world. Lois & Clark implied Clark did much like Bruce, and traveled the world... tho, Clark did more learning than training. The one thing Man of Steel & Superman for All Seasons is vague on, is exactly WHAT Clark does after Smallville. Both make it seem pretty much like he just hops over to Metropolis & becomes a reporter right away, skimming right over college (he's gotta get a journalism degree, right?). Lois & Clark, and even the Superboy series, addressed that gap. Superboy attempted to make it interesting even tho it went against Crisis (with his realization of his responsibilities to the world, would Clark REALLY wait 3-5 years to start helping people? Doubtful.) while L&C just glossed it over, implied he used them surreptitiously while studying, & once establishing his base of operations, figured he needed a new identity. I think my mind's gonna close some more if I start typing my theories on how setting Smallville in a sleepy Kansas farming town, while Supes' abilities make him a metropolitan & global hero, is a mistake... so, with that, I'm out.

  • May 10, 2001, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Christ Toonimator!

    by ArchDiver

    Leave some bandwidth for the rest of us! You fanboys need to lighten up on all this 'messing with the mythos' crap. The heros we know and love will always be the heroes we know and love. And when someone serves up a plate of bile in one of their names, it doesn't change the hero, and the mythos is not overturned. L&C took a number of liberties with the Supes myth, and it turned out pretty well...and if you didn't like it, the comics are still the same. Get something fresh to get riled about for pete's sake!

  • May 10, 2001, 10:52 p.m. CST

    St Buggering

    by cold lazarus

    I've got no problem with Denzel playing Bond. Cruise as Shaft? Fine. Hell, I wanna see Chris Rock play Supes. To anyone who does have a problem with that: remember the position of that great left-wing advocate Charlton Heston. A few years back, when the Broadway play Miss Saigon cast whiter-than-white Jonathan Pryce as the Asian lead, Chuck was in the forefront criticizing the Asian groups who were demanding that an Asian actor be cast instead. And you know? He's right. So whether it be because of the changing demographics in America, or because of marketing or "political correctness", race should have NO BEARING on acting, because, you know, it's ACTING. So if you have a problem with Pete Ross being black but not with Kwai Chang Caine being white, you're not a racist, just a hypocrite.

  • May 11, 2001, 12:16 a.m. CST

    Sorry for the long post...

    by Toonimator

    If only all those essays in high school were as easy to write as a pointless rant about a show that ain't even out yet. Not to mention I just wanted to make the brief statement of the belated diversity on the WB. Whoops! Also.. painful though it is to remember, there was a pretty big racial-switch character recently... Will Smith as Jim West!!! He did okay there... just the movie sucked. AND took away valuable marketing resources from the far superior film, Iron Giant (okay, I'm an animator, so I'm biased... but it's still a much better film!!!!).

  • May 14, 2001, 7:29 a.m. CST

    Miss Saigon

    by kylerayner

    FWIW, I'm quite sure the character played by Jonathan Pryce was Eurasian, the child of a Western soldier and a Vietnamese woman. It wasn't a case of a white man playing a clearly Asian role; it was more political, a case of those protesters who believed Asians are underrepresented in theater (and they are) and here was a perfect opportunity to cast an Asian actor in a major Broadway role. Fair enough. Equally fairly, however, the producers' choice of a white man is also defensible--people of mixed race often look more one way than the other.

  • May 14, 2001, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Dean Cain

    by kylerayner

    Oh, and btw, I never liked Lois & Clark, never thought Cain had the right look. This is not, however, because of any multi-ethnic background--I never knew he was part-Asian, just thought he looked boring and soft and not tall enough. But I'm shallow like that. (And that's self-deprecation and a bit o' sarcasm all wrapped into one comment, kiddies.)

  • May 14, 2001, 9:14 a.m. CST

    My little Supe's TV connection

    by Led Gopher

    Remember the older Superboy series, in which Lois was portrayed by Staci Haiduct (sp?), who was also on Sea Quest DSV, and Kindred:The Embraced? Well, a long time back, when I was a freshman in highschool, I had a gym teacher with the same last name as the actress, he also had an autographed photo of her in his office. Turns out he is her father! So that was kinda cool, seen as how right at the time DSV was on the air, and I thought she was hot. I never got to meet her as she was busy working, but he did tell me a few (now forgotten) stories she had about working on Superboy. Just thought I'd gloat a little, not much to be thrilled about be interesting.

  • May 14, 2001, 6:25 p.m. CST

    It aired here as well...

    by spooie

    ...Caught about 10 minutes of it on TimeWarner Cable's Government/Educational/PBS station (channel 16) last tuesday in Albany County, NY. Now, I shall bore everyone with moderate details... Saturday morning we get a call asking to take part in watching a test pilot for a new hour long gameshow called "Kiss the Bride" with Chuck Woolery. I had nothing better to do, so I watched along with my mother. 20 minutes later she gets a call asking to critique it... and end of story it would seem. Then, tuesday I'm fliping by the channels at around 5:30 and stumble across this show on the same channel with 2 guys fencing. I had clue what it was at the time, only knowing that it looked crisp, clear and have a sountrack... 3 things you'll almost never see on a Government Access channel. Of course, as soon as I put "bald guy" and "clark" together, it all works out. Anyway... 2 guys are fenching and in walks Clark, who is almost decapticated by a sword which is accidently knocked out of the opponent's hand. Lex greets him and they have a conversation about Lex apparently owing Clark something (for saving his life I read). Clark responds mentioning that Lex's father and his father had bad ties in the past, and that they should stay apart. Lex rebuts commenting that people had been prejudging him by his father, ever since the time he turned bald at age 9. By now, I run upstairs figuring I can find a tape to keep the rest... which did not work out for the best. When I come back... I find Clark and someone having a car fight, trying to run him over I guess. The driver gets electrocuted and goes unconscious. Clark runs over and yanks to door off, pulling him to safety. Moments pass to the aftermath with Clark and his father in a barn talking. Clark comments on him having his mysterious powers. His father responds with something like "We didn't find you Clark, you found us." and then walks off. A second or 2 pass and Lana arrives. The two start dancing together (which SEEMS to be in Clark's dreamstate mind). Clark walks to the window, peering out across the street to see Lana walking to her door. She looking back at Clark's direction. And... that's pretty much it. Anyway... I thought, of the few minutes that I saw, that is was better than the average Teen, Comic adaption, Action Drama stuff I usually catch. And It's probably not much info, but I'm sure someone will get something out of it.