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#252732 - 12/13/16 05:51 PM Re: The Rewatch Podcast: I Think We're A Clone Now!!! [Re: tom2point0]
ireactions Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 03/31/16
Posts: 29
Hi, again. I would like to apologize once again -- this time to PMC12, BevK and KateW for the combative and insulting tone of my posts. Not that this is an excuse, but at the time I made those posts, I was writing a script.

I was writing a series of very angry speeches for the lead character and I got a little too into character and I was still in-character when I visited this board. This was a Christian Bale in TERMINATOR 4 moment and in retrospect, I should never post on message boards right after writing emotionally charged scenes.

I should also add that one should not associate Rewatch Podcast with me or my behaviour; I am really not much more than a listener who sends them emails they read while recording. I am hoping they'll cover the script I'm writing after their run on L&C is complete, but I wouldn't hold them to it.

I would like to attempt a do-over and post my opinions the way I should have posted them, which I think would be this way:

I realize that the LOIS AND CLARK fanbase has a lot of vitriol and anger towards the Season 3 clone arc and the resulting ratings crash that arguably killed the series.

However, I think the situation is significantly more complicated than the stewardship of showrunner Robert Singer and lead writers Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner. Every TV series has far more hands involved than just the names in the credits and every show is subject to the mandates laid down by the broadcasters. The network's orders are law; the producers and writing staff are contractually obligated to follow at least the letter of it.

In the case of the clone arc -- while there is a shortage of clear information regarding the production situation, it is incontrovertibly true that Singer, Ross-Leming and Buckner intended for Lois and Clark to be married with "I Now Pronounce You." The script submitted to the network and approved for filming ends with Lois and Clark wedded.

The intention was to continue the show with Lois and Clark as a married couple. Dean Cain stated in interviews and to fans that the wedding was filmed but then "taken away" by the network. Production staff on set during the filming of "I Now Pronounce You" expressed their excitement at this milestone event.

The pages in which Lois is revealed to have been replaced by a clone are clearly a late-stage addition to the script. The manner in which this addition has been made -- using existing scenes and refilming the conclusion -- would indicate that ABC got nervous and made a last-minute directive to abort the wedding, give Lois amnesia and open the door to resetting the show to Season 2.

In terms of Robert Singer and his personal wishes for the show -- there is also indisputable evidence that he liked LOIS AND CLARK as a romantic comedy series, was in favour of the romance and the marriage, and that he was often hamstrung by the network. The evidence is onscreen in the aired episodes.

This was the case as early as in Season 1: ABC wanted to market LOIS AND CLARK as a superhero show and was dismayed that Superman only made brief cameos. They ordered changes and then fired producer Dan Levine and hired Robert Singer to work with Deborah Joy Levine and implement the network's changes. Levine was blatantly defiant to ABC; after Season 1, they fired her along with Tracy Scoggins and Michael Landes.

With Season 2, the first run of episodes are completely generic superhero versus supervillain stories. The romcom aspect is near non-existent. If Robert Singer did not care about LOIS AND CLARK's original conception as a romantic comedy, he would simply have continued the show as it was in this state. He would have received no trouble from the network for giving them the generic superhero show they'd fired the Levines to get and the network was not pushing for the return of the romcom material.

In Season 2, the romantic comedy aspects of LOIS AND CLARK made a return. Given that ABC didn't want that to happen, the only force that could or would have pushed for those elements would have been Robert Singer and his team (Tony Blake and Paul Jackson in Season 2, Ross-Leming and Buckner in Seasons 3 - 4). Which means that Robert Singer understood the show about as well as Levine and wanted the same things she did -- he just didn't fight in the same fashion.

Instead, he gave ABC their superhero versus supervillain show. Season 2 and onward features an emphasis on villains, always casting two people as villainous double acts, often engaging in stunt casting to get big name guest-stars for the villains. This was meeting ABC's mandate. But over the course of the first run of Season 2 episodes, the romance between Lois and Clark in the course of facing off against villainous duos makes a gradual resurgence followed by a total return -- alongside the villains of the week.

If the LOIS AND CLARK writers were out to upset the fans, they would never have written episodes where Mayson Drake's competition reignites Lois feelings for Clark or where Clark asks Lois on a date or the Season 2 finale where Clark proposes marriage. ABC didn't want any of that -- but once placated with their supervillains, they were more willing to give the LOIS AND CLARK team some leeway -- until the wedding at which point ABC panicked.

The fact that LOIS AND CLARK's clone arc ends with Lois getting her memories back is also a tribute to the creative team -- because I believe (admittedly speculatively) that if ABC had gotten its way completely, the clone arc would have ended with Lois losing all memory of Clark's dual identity and forgetting the marriage. That's the only narrative purpose for the clone arc, a purpose that is abruptly sidestepped and dodged by its finale -- and I believe (again, speculatively) that Robert Singer's appeals to ABC eventually convinced them to let the clone arc end and end the way it did.

What is not speculative, however, is that the writers were subject to serious interference from ABC where ABC did not want romance or the marriage. The writers made determined efforts to keep LOIS AND CLARK's romantic side and Lois and Clark's relationship intact in the face of ABC being against it.

The irritation and exasperation that fans express towards the clone arc is legitimate. But to hold the writers responsible for that distress is contrary to the facts: the network dictated the cancellation of Lois and Clark's marriage after it had been filmed, along with Lois getting amnesia. The original script for "I Now Pronounce You" is definitive proof of this.

In this situation, producers and writing teams do not have the option of simply writing the opposite of what the network has demanded. Aside from a resignation, their only choice is to take all the notes and requirements and execute them in a script that is as professional as they can make it, as filmable as they can write it and as timely as they can deliver it. (Well. I suppose there's the SLIDERS option of hacking out unprofessional material, but that's a different show and a different podcast series.)

It is very easy to assume that the names in the credits bear sole responsibility for the final product, but the reality of television production is that credits only reflect the contractual obligations that see someone hired to perform a certain task they may or may not have performed. For example, Deborah Joy Levine is credited as executive consultant on every Season 2 - 4 episode. She barely consulted and has disowned all of it.

Credits also do not indicate how the person may have been subject to supervisory orders and instructions as to how they were to perform and what they were to produce. It is beyond question that Robert Singer and his team wanted Lois and Clark married and ABC did not. It's simply untrue to say they were sabotaging their show and their relationship with the fans.

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#252849 - 01/17/17 12:14 AM Re: The Rewatch Podcast: Back from Break! [Re: tom2point0]
tom2point0 Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 02/26/16
Posts: 77
It's been a long break for us here as we have been traveling and spending time with the family and friends but we are back and ready to finish up our Rewatch with Season 4!

Cory and I discuss Lord of the Flys and Battleground Earth right here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/rewatchpodcast/episodes/2017-01-16T14_38_59-08_00

Go check it out and let us know what you think about what we thunk!

P.S. I know it's supposed to be "thought". I'm just being goofy. Just worried about grammar Nazis!


Edited by tom2point0 (01/17/17 12:14 AM)

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#252875 - 01/24/17 07:23 PM Re: The Rewatch Podcast: Back from Break! [Re: tom2point0]
ireactions Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 03/31/16
Posts: 29
Tom and Cory have posted the latest installment where they discuss "Swear to God This Time We're Not Kidding" and "Soul Mates" at http://rewatchpodcast.podomatic.com/ -- and I have nothing to add on "Soul Mates." However, regarding "Swear to God" -- Tom and Cory make good points in that having already done a wedding episode in "I Now Pronounce You," the writers were at a loss for how to do it again, hence this highly offbeat storyline of breaking the fourth wall.

There is actually one thing the writers could have done -- in that the original script for "I Now Pronounce You" had a completely different version of events leading up to the wedding. The rehearsal dinner was held at the Daily Planet with takeout food instead of the upscale hall that had been intended. The Season 4 team could have used the original version of "I Now Pronounce You" and written the Wedding Destroyer into the story and had the wedding unfold at the Daily Planet.

However, they chose this reality-bending route where a mysterious man named Mike whom Lois and Clark recognize without retaining any memory of him apparently twists and folds space and time to give them their wedding. Tom and Cory theorize that Mike is a guardian angel, perhaps the archangel Michael. Uh. To put it plainly... no. Mike cannot be explained literally in the context of Lois and Clark's fictional reality.

Mike represents the writing staff of Lois and Clark who have inserted themselves into the story and are speaking through this avatar. This theme is present in the Wedding Destroyer and Voyle, who represent the ABC network executives who prevented the original wedding in "I Now Pronounce You," and they are presented as people who thrive on pain and suffering. The tabloid journalists harassing Lois and Clark represent the press who mocked L&C for the publicity disaster that was the clone storyline, some of whom wrote articles mistakenly describing Lois-2 as a "lizard eating clone," hence Lois angrily correcting them that the clones ate frogs, damn it.

"Clark. I'm just here to help you both get what you've wanted for so long -- what everyone's been waiting for so patiently and praying for so hard," says Mike. "Sometimes it takes us a while, but we're always listening."

That's not a guardian angel. That's not an archangel. That's Robert Singer, Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner having stepped inside the universe of L&C for one episode and chosen Mike as their skin. When the characters remember Mike, they're remembering how the writers have always been on their side, while Mike acknowledges that sometimes, he hasn't always been able to give the characters and fans what they want.

I love "Swear to God." But it's a terrible episode; Mike is played by an actor who lacks the screen presence and weight to sell his earnest otherworldliness. The scoring is awkward and clumsy. The performances reacting to Mike are shockingly poor as is the scripting to convey the offbeat familiarity. But I love it because "Swear to God" is a rough draft for the meta-episodes of SUPERNATURAL, a later show Singer, Ross-Leming and Buckner worked on (and still do).

SUPERNATURAL, a show about two brothers who travel across the US fighting monsters, started doing metatextual, fourth-wall bending episodes -- first with Season 2 where the boys end up on the set of a horror movie, and then explicitly with Season 4 where the brothers discover that there is a series of novels called SUPERNATURAL.

These novels relate in exact and accurate detail the brothers' adventures. The brothers are astonished to discover the books have a massive fanbase of readers, fanfic writers, cosplayers and websites.

The boys confront the writer -- who reveals that he's been publishing his psychic visions of the boys' adventures and apologizes for some of the worst episodes as well as the physical beatings. The boys use the writer now and then to provide them with foreknowledge of future events while the writer is plainly an avatar of the SUPERNATURAL writing staff.

In subsequent episodes, the boys attend a convention of SUPERNATURAL readers and are distraught by the fans re-enacting some of their more traumatic memories and outraged by some of the shipping. At one point, a manic fangirl kidnaps one of the brothers and uses magic to coerce him into marrying her. In a later episode, the brothers are appalled to see a musical version of their lives conducted by a theatre troupe of high school students.

These episodes are the most popular installments of SUPERNATURAL -- and all this metatextual humour originated with "Swear to God," an early draft, an experiment -- which goes to show how the first time you do something, you'll probably suck at it.

Notably, SUPERNATURAL learns from all the screwups that Tom and Cory note in "Swear to God." The writer of the SUPERNATURAL novels makes recurring, small appearances after his initial introduction to properly establish the character.

When he then starts making an impact on the show's myth-arc, his presence has been established. Rather than make him omniscient, the show presents him as a ne'er do well drunk. Rather than make him exist outside the show's universe, he lives within it with his reflections on the writing process giving voice to the writers without making them intrude on the series' reality.

"Swear to God" is a rough sketch of something wonderful to come -- on a completely different TV show by the LOIS & CLARK team.

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#252876 - 01/24/17 11:52 PM Re: The Rewatch Podcast: Not Kidding, Mates is UP! [Re: tom2point0]
tom2point0 Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 02/26/16
Posts: 77
As ireactions said, the new episode is UP!

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/rewatchpodcast/episodes/2017-01-23T18_01_51-08_00

I remember thinking that I liked Swear To God but yeah after watching it with the thoughts of a reviewer, I really didn't like it as much as my memory thought I had!


Edited by tom2point0 (01/24/17 11:53 PM)

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#252877 - 01/25/17 01:11 AM Re: NEW Rewatch Podcast: Not Kidding, Mates is UP! [Re: tom2point0]
AnnieL Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 02/05/16
Posts: 39
I think the key to liking this episode is learning to enjoy all the crazy things about it. I always look forward to it just because Mike's so weird!
Despite all of its, um, quirks, I did like the wedding vows a lot.
I'm a little behind on listening due to the new year, but I'm glad you're back up and running!

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#252885 - 01/26/17 07:39 PM Re: NEW Rewatch Podcast: Not Kidding, Mates is UP! [Re: tom2point0]
ireactions Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 03/31/16
Posts: 29
Interestingly -- Tom and Cory speculated that Mike is the archangel Michael -- which is amusing to me since the archangel Michael is a recurring character on SUPERNATURAL whom the Singer/Ross-Leming/Buckner team would write.

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#252894 - 01/27/17 09:00 PM Re: NEW Rewatch Podcast: Not Kidding, Mates is UP! [Re: tom2point0]
tom2point0 Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 02/26/16
Posts: 77
Yeah the vows themselves were good! We just weren't Mike fans. Overall though, we have been enjoying season 4.... well... that is... we just recorded an episode this past week and we do have some choice words about Professor Cole's Hallucination Machine. Ugh!

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#252927 - 02/04/17 06:15 AM Re: NEW Rewatch Podcast: Not Kidding, Mates is UP! [Re: tom2point0]
tom2point0 Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 02/26/16
Posts: 77
So we mention in the latest episode about the mess in Clark's apartment and shared a screenshot on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LoisAndClarkRewatch/?ref=bookmarks

What the heck is that? A harp? A big glass tube? What kind of stuff did Lois own?

Anyway, catch that episode discussion here:
https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/rewatchpodcast/episodes/2017-01-31T04_31_22-08_00

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#252928 - 02/04/17 10:15 AM Re: NEW Rewatch Podcast: Not Kidding, Mates is UP! [Re: tom2point0]
AnnieL Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 02/05/16
Posts: 39
I could be wrong here, but I think the big glass tube is supposed to be Lois's fish tank!

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#252962 - 02/12/17 11:44 PM Re: NEW Rewatch Podcast: Walking Bob is up! [Re: AnnieL]
tom2point0 Offline
Lane and Kent

Registered: 02/26/16
Posts: 77
Originally Posted By: AnnieL
I could be wrong here, but I think the big glass tube is supposed to be Lois's fish tank!


Nope you were right! Others confirmed it too! As well as the episode were talking about this next week where Superman's out of control powers end up leaving the fishtank broken on the floor!

Anyway... The new episode is up, has been up, this whole week! Hop to, y'all!

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/rewatchpodcast/episodes/2017-02-07T03_55_14-08_00

We talk about Dead Lois Walking and Bob and Carol and Lois and Clark and Cory and Tom and You and Me and... well you get the picture!

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