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  1. So much great stuff to comment on! Whenever I read about Lois, I wonder how much of my own relative dislike of her is about Lois herself and how much is because they (IM possibly unpopular O!) had already let us get to know a character who, to me, WAS Lois Lane as I had always envisioned her---the vibrancy, boldness, energy, passion, snark, insatiable curiosity, independence, sharpness, impulsiveness, belief in truth and justice, eagerness to help even when it means interfering, the unique mixture of borderline cockiness and genuine vulnerability and insecurity, etc. So Chloe (whose name even sounds vaguely like Lois's, especially when the characters are called "Chlo" and "Lo"!) WAS Lois to me. I get that I shouldn't have let myself feel that way, but I couldn't help it. As a result, by the time the real Lois showed up, she (Lois) seemed redundant at best and unlikable at worst. Because Smallville's Lois, IMO, was pointlessly similar to Chloe in some ways yet a less likable and interesting version of her---more genuinely conceited, condescending, obnoxious, flighty, self-absorbed and even with less of a real interest in journalism and investigation than Chloe had. And while Chloe had a genuine closeness, trust and rapport with Clark, Lois and Clark had this kind of exhausting antagonism and, IMO, just an inability and unwillingness to connect on pretty much any level. As I said in an above post, I liked her introduction in S4...and, ironically, those first couple of episodes were probably the best the Lois/Clark dynamic ever was for me. If anything, it seemed to regress rather than organically evolve. I get that the show was going for a romantic comedy-esque "love/hate!" dynamic between them, but it came off like genuine mutual annoyance far more often than not to me, much more of an older and allegedly more worldly sister having to tolerate a goofy younger brother who she doesn't like or respect but is stuck with than it seemed like two potential lovers. Maybe, MAYBE, a grudging affection developed, but I never saw it as a genuinely deep connection, let alone love, and saw surprisingly little romantic passion there on either side. People talk about the imbalance between Clark and Chloe because she was the one to always feel more strongly or at least show it (and I agree with that to some extent!), but to me there was a bigger imbalance between Lois and Clark---Lois seemed to genuinely believe she was superior to him in virtually every way, and not as a cover up for insecurity, but because she just really didn't think he was good enough for her, and not just as a romantic partner. She repeatedly dismisses and blows off his advice and point of view, his skills and abilities, etc. And I can never, ever shake the feeling that if Clark hadn't happened to also be a superhero, she would never have been remotely interested. I will always love you guys for explaining Clark's blandness and seeming lack of depth and emotion by reminding me that he's an alien, so it may have been deliberate rather than the result of relatively subpar writing and/or acting. And I agree that he had to deliberately repress a certain amount of emotion, openness and candor in order to maintain his dual identity and carry through with his mission. That said, though, I ended up feeling relieved that Chloe ended up with Oliver, who was so much more vibrant, dynamic and alive. So while Chloe is, IMO, a very flawed character, I really do think she deserved better than Clark ever could or would give her, which seems to be unpopular, at least among those here who love Chloe as much as I do :) Other UOs: The more I read analysis about Lana, the more I get what they may have been going for, find her a potentially interesting character outside of her tiresome relationship with Clark and take a twisted enjoyment in her dynamic with Lex. Unpopularly enough, I will take Lana over Lois in a heartbeat. And I do think she and Chloe COULD have had an oddly touching and mutually beneficial friendship. What we actually got felt forced and pointless, IMO, but they COULD have had one :) I'll always have a soft spot for Jimmy Olsen and Chloe's relationship with him. It's been said before, but seriously, I will always love Justin Hartley's Arrow FAR more than Stephen Amell's, which seems to be very unpopular :)
  2. More UOs related to my admittedly weird love for S4, which I just finished rewatching: 1) I'm not generally a Lois fan, but I actually liked her introduction here this time around. Honestly, I'm starting to feel like my issues with Lois, Lana etc relate more to their exhausting dynamics with Clark than with them as individuals. I like Clark (for the most part!), but as I guess happens on a lot of shows, endless romantic entanglements, lovesick angst and will they/won't they roller coasters end up making most of the characters less likable and interesting to me :) This show was particularly irksome in that regard since canon dictates that Clark eventually ends up with Lois, so a lot of the rest of the stuff with Lana, Chloe etc sometimes felt like fan baiting and/or just time wasting while the writers prolonged the inevitable. (I know many of us had high hopes while the show first aired that the writers would diverge from canon, but still!) 2. I don't even want to know what this says about me, but I enjoyed the 'witch possession' stuff this time around. Blame it on me being a huge Charmed fan! ;) Whether the writers intended this deliberately or not, it sort of tapped into Lana's issues with not knowing her true identity outside of how others define her, her need for power and control over her own life and how she always seems to lack it, the way she's always haunted by the past, etc. And some of those scenes were just high energy fun in that earnest, cheesy yet somehow addictive Smallville-ish way :) 3. I actually sort of liked Clark/Alicia and Lana/Jason. Clark gallantly and idealistically but kind of stubbornly and cluelessly thinking that he can save ("somebody saaaaave me..."---great, now that's going to be in my head all day!) someone like Alicia who needs help fits the character so well. And Lana/Jason..well, it has at least two things going for it: 1. I like the actor who plays Jason and 2. It gave us a break from Lana/Clark :) Seriously, Lana actually seemed more invested in and genuinely happy around Jason than her other love interests IMO, at least until the rather grim turn of events! 4. I actually like Clark/Chloe's dynamic this season a lot more than I had remembered. While still obviously caring about him deeply, it felt like the trauma she went through at the end of S3 reminded her that there are a lot of other, non-Clark people and things worth caring about. Maybe that's just projecting on my part, but I felt like there was more mature acceptance from her this season. (And I always love Chloe and don't mean to imply that she was ever overly IMmature, but I just mean she's got a better perspective on her feelings for Clark now, or at least seems to) She still tries to uncover his secret before he's ready to tell her but as a really curious person myself, I can't ever blame her too much for that :) 5. So even though this wasn't as great a season for Lex or Lionel as S3, there's still some really awesome stuff here. Michael Rosenbaum, who I'd never really seen in stuff before or since, seriously blows me away in this role. So I guess my UO is that while there are a million reasons to love (or not love!) Smallville, MR/Lex alone would make the S1-S7 DVDs worth owning for me :)
  3. I'm trying to pick just five favorites and am having a surprisingly hard time narrowing it down! Phil is probably my special favorite and adds so much humor AND heart. I'm happily surprised by how much I've grown to love and appreciate Claire, especially since I started thinking of her as somewhat similar to another favorite fictional character of mine, Hermione Granger :) Haley is not generally my type of character, but yet she adds a type of humor and surprising sweetness that makes her one of my MVPs of the series. Alex IS generally my type of character, and while I'm not always thrilled with the writing for her, she's really grown on me. And I also really, really love Mitchell and Cam. My least favorites are probably Gloria and Lily (I WANT to like her, but I can't seem to do so!). I'm back and forth on Manny and Luke. This is definitely a show where I enjoy certain characters a lot more or less depending on who they're interacting with that episode. Jay tends to be most likable for me when he's interacting with Phil, Cam, etc. I love Claire and Mitchell, but almost never when they're interacting with each other. And I love Phil when...well, I pretty much ALWAYS love Phil :)
  4. I haven't seen every episode, but I'm currently catching up on the series and surprising myself with how much I love it. Weirdly enough, my favorite season seems to be S4. It's just such a great blend of humor and heart for me. Claire in particular seems a little less shrill and more relatable to me this season---or maybe I've finally just gotten used to her?! It's funny, because Claire can drive me nuts, but then suddenly in a given scene or episode she'll resonate with me more than any other character. I also really like S2 and what I've seen of S6...clearly I have a thing for the even numbered seasons of this show :) I love doing lists of favorite episodes but am already having trouble narrowing mine down, so I'll be back when and if I manage to pick a top 10! Meanwhile, I would love to hear other people's top 10 episodes and how you would rank the seasons.
  5. I miss you guys!!! How about if we do favorite Leo/Piper scenes? I feel like favorite sister moments gets kind of unwieldy since there are so many potential ones in nearly every episode (at least for a Charmed fanatic like I am!) Piper/Leo have a lot of scenes but not TOO many, so it might be easier for us to do...? Let me know!
  6. I tried to pick my top 10 episodes of the series. Then I surrendered and tried to pick just 10 favorites from the first HALF of the series. And I soon realized that even that was too mighty an endeavor for me, because I just love so many of these episodes to such a ridiculous degree. So I valiantly limited myself to just 15 episodes...from the first five seasons :) My list (in chronological order): 1. My Coffee with Niles 2. The Botched Language of Frasier Crane 3. The Candidate 4. Adventures in Paradise (Pt 2) (You'll notice that the Lilith episodes are heavily represented on any 'favorites' list I make!) 5. Retirement is Murder 6. The Innkeepers 7. Leapin' Lizards 8. Frasier Grinch 9. Moon Dance 10. Crane vs Crane 11. A Lilith Thanksgiving 12. Liar! Liar! 13. The Unnatural 14. Ask Me No Questions 15. Ski Lodge ...and, like, 20 or so more :) It's killing me to name just one from S5, but I ran out of room!
  7. For me the plotting was often a lot better than I expect from most sitcoms, but this is also one of the only shows ever where I could literally just watch the main characters have a rambling conversation over coffee for the full 22 minutes and enjoy every second of it. (And that does come close to describing the "plot" of a couple of episodes!) I just love them---particularly Niles and Frasier---so much that I just enjoy being in their company. They even make me wish I had done more with my psychology degree ;) What would people name as their very favorite episodes of the series?! Are there any episodes you dislike or are just a lot less likely to ever rewatch? I love that other people still care enough about this show to talk about it. I'm listening :)
  8. 14. The whole time travel mess from the series finale (Forever Charmed) We have our winner!!!! Excellent choice :) What are we doing next?!
  9. Okay, so 18 is history! I actually was hoping that would win, but a bronze medal in our own olympics is not too shabby :) Our final two: 2. Piper, Prue, and Phoebe go to the year 2009 to stop Future Phoebe's death from coming true (Mortality Bites) 14. The whole time travel mess from the series finale (Forever Charmed)
  10. You guys, I've finished the series! It's a bittersweet feeling. In my pitiful world, finishing the whole series counts as an accomplishment :) This is one of my all-time favorite shows for life. It's one of the few sitcoms ever that I actually find funny. I'm insanely attached to the characters--most notably the Cranes themselves. And it's actually well-plotted, insightful and even thought-provoking sometimes. That said, I have to say that I'm in the category of people who felt Niles/Daphne were a little disappointing as a couple once they finally got together. Maybe some of that letdown is inevitable? The storyline about Daphne suddenly being fat might have been the show's most cringe-worthy for me, by the way! And Daphne just seemed to really change as a character those later seasons---and not, IMO, for the better. She seemed a lot more subdued, somber, and even genuinely bitter. The borderline insufferable storylines with her family members didn't help! And while I LOVE frasier himself, some of the endless issues with his love life felt kind of stale and repetitive after awhile, but that may be a product of devouring the series in such a short period of time rather than spreading out my viewing across months and years like the show's original viewers did. Beyond that, though, I have only praise and love for ths show! Frasier and Niles are easily two of my favorite TV characters of all time---and I've watched A LOT of TV :) Their relationship with each other and Martin are priceless. Overall, I would say S2-S5 are the peak of the series for me, but every season had episodes that I loved and surprisingly few that I would skip when rewatching...and we all know I'll be rewatching A LOT, though probably not in order :) As rambled about in an earlier post, the Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes tend to be among my very favorites. I'm also hugely fond of those rare episodes where we get to see Lilith, which leads to my most shameful unpopular opinion about the series: I really, really would have loved to see Frasier and Lilith reunite. I have ridiculous taste :)
  11. And then there were three... 2. Piper, Prue, and Phoebe go to the year 2009 to stop Future Phoebe's death from coming true (Mortality Bites) 14. The whole time travel mess from the series finale (Forever Charmed) 18. Centennial Charmed
  12. Our fabulous final four! 2. Piper, Prue, and Phoebe go to the year 2009 to stop Future Phoebe's death from coming true (Mortality Bites) 3. Phoebe travels back to the 1920s to stop her past life from killing her (Pardon My Past) 14. The whole time travel mess from the series finale (Forever Charmed) 18. Centennial Charmed
  13. How would you guys rank the seasons from your favorite to least favorite? And have your opinions about any of the seasons/storylines/characters etc. changed with time and repeated rewatches?
  14. 2. Piper, Prue, and Phoebe go to the year 2009 to stop Future Phoebe's death from coming true (Mortality Bites) 3. Phoebe travels back to the 1920s to stop her past life from killing her (Pardon My Past) 7. Paige and Leo go back to Paige's teenage years to help Paige's guilt (A Paige From the Past) 14. The whole time travel mess from the series finale (Forever Charmed) 18. Centennial Charmed I love all the time travel episode, so this one was ridiculously hard for me from pretty much the first round :) I'll reluctabtly vote against 9 this time---18 is one of the most memorable and interesting episodes of the series for me, and I love the message that even going back in time to take a different path wouldn't have changed the ultimate outcome between Phoebe and Cole. My next painful vote: 7
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