Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Episode Review: Homecoming

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

"No, seriously, past me, look at me and tell me I'm not good looking". "You need help".

Well, here we are.  One day before Smallville’s ninth birthday saw episode 200, and for my money, it was well worth the lengthy wait.  In fact, this is already one of my favorite Smallville episodes ever, and I’m almost certain that it’s not because I’ve just seen it.  There have only been a handful of scenes in this series’ history that have really gotten to me emotionally (the end of “Vengeance” springs immediately to mind), but I found myself holding back tears several times in “Homecoming”.  It’s a testimony to the love and respect that the creative team has given this show, these characters, and the entire Superman legend that an episode in the tenth season could inspire such a reaction from me and, I assume, from countless other fans.  There were a few aspects of “Homecoming” that I did find a bit over-the-top, but I’ll touch on those as lightly as possible, because I don’t want to detract from the wonderful overall impression I had of this milestone episode.

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Episode Review: Supergirl

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Despite Mulder's warning, Godfrey pressed onward and inevitably fell victim to the black oil.

Now this is more like it!  As many issues as I had with “Shield” last week, it was well worth every one of them to get to “Supergirl“.  I absolutely loved this episode from start to finish.  I’ve gotten the impression that fans actually tended to like last week’s show over this one, so I’m going to defend this entry just as vehemently as I railed against the last.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to change some minds for the better.  As “Supergirl” opens, we get a very cool extension of the Darkseid moment we saw in “Lazarus”, with the black smoke inhabiting Gordon Godfrey, the anti-vigilante radio talk show host we heard from briefly on Cat’s mini boom box last week.  I will say that I had an eye-roll moment right at the beginning of this scene that – just for a moment – brought me back to “Subterranean”.  I’m not sure if the writers intended for Godfrey to be referencing superheroes when he used the term “illegal aliens”, but when I hear that phrase, I personally think of, well, illegal immigrants.  Now, obviously, this is going to be a character that we’re not supposed to agree with and who has things all wrong to the tune of being an extremist.  As such, the writers placing a comment about stopping illegal immigration into this mouth almost felt as if I were being spoon-fed that talking point as something only a man like Godfrey would say.  I’ll let this slide, though, because I’d like to think that what was actually intended here was that Darkseid was exploiting Godfrey’s concern over illegal aliens and twisting it into a campaign against all of Metropolis’s masked heroes because they’re different and operate outside of the legal system.  I could see one being a logical extension of the other if Darkseid wanted a public voice.

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Episode Review: Shield

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Clark had jokingly said the jewel of the nile was in this area. Lois, sadly, had never seen the film and took the lead literally.

Oh dear.  How exactly do I approach a review of “Shield”?  I suppose it’s best to just get the truth out now and deal with it item by item as I proceed.  I really didn’t enjoy this episode very much, and that truly pains me to say.  I’m hoping that as I watch this show again during my review that it’ll gel better for me than it did on Friday, so I’m keeping an open mind going forward.  “Shield” begins with Lois arriving in Egypt.  While there’s a few moments right at first where we think that perhaps she truly is in the middle of nowhere, the first thing Lois does is shove her smart phone in her ear and begin a long diatribe of a message to Perry about the futility of the latest story he’s evidently put her on.  Lois may be dealing with insane heat and sandstorms, but it certainly hasn’t slowed her down one bit.  And while I love that about Lois (and Erica’s portrayal), it just felt a bit unrealistic in this setting to me.  In any case, we quickly move on to Lois entering what I personally believe to be the nicest tent I’ve ever seen in my life.  I mean really, this thing is the penthouse suite of cloth-based desert dwellings (though I am, admittedly, a bit ignorant of Egyptian tent technology, and I’m told that these things actually do exist).  As it turns out, Lois isn’t alone.  With an incredibly over-the-top, grandiose entrance, in strolls Indiana Jones…erm, I mean Carter Hall.  I mean honestly, he’s got the khaki pants, the wrinkled off-white shirt, and the strap over one shoulder – just throw a hat on Carter and you’d wonder where he left his bullwhip.  I thought perhaps I’d just perceived this whole scenario as a bit more cheesy and contrived than it actually was and had every intention of giving the rest of the episode the benefit of the doubt.  Little did I know that my optimism was about to be ambushed by a character of unspeakable evil.  And sadly, I’m not talking about Darkseid.

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Smallville Nears Historic Day

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I recently asked a close friend of mine if she preferred the classic Christopher Reeve Superman films or Smallville. I sensed that it wasn’t an easy decision, but ultimately, she went with the series, saying “it’s just more my generation”. Putting aside for a moment the implications that a statement like that has for an aging Superman disciple like myself, it did get me thinking of something. Smallville truly has become more than a prequel to the Superman mythology that we’re all familiar with. As recently as the opening of Season 5 (with the discovery and construction of The Fortress Of Solitude), I was still watching Smallville through the prism of the films. Part of me was still mentally connecting the dots on the show to somehow eventually lead directly into the events of the film series that I grew up with in the 1980’s. But in recent years, this has changed, both for me and, I suspect, for many reading this column right now. I am positively ecstatic that Smallville has been renewed for one last season. But not for the reasons you may suspect.

Blame it on my anal retentive nature, but precedent and numbers mean a great deal in my world. And so it was with an acute interest that I discovered that the time period between the premiere dates of “Superman: The Movie” and “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace” was eight years, seven months and 14 days. Why dig up this piece of information? Because Christopher Reeve’s Superman defined the iconic superhero for an entire generation. And the time span between the first and final films is really the only gauge we have to go on as far as how long that version of The Man Of Steel was considered definitive. To this day, no single live-action incarnation of Superman has remained a constant thread within our cultural consciousness for as long as those films. Not, that is, until now. May 30th, 2010 will mark what I believe to be an historic milestone for Smallville. On that day, the show will have aired continuously for eight years, seven months and 14 days. As hard as it may be for some of us to imagine, Smallville is about to eclipse a 23-year-old record as the longest running single version of Superman, well, ever. As such, Smallville really can’t be seen as just a prequel to Superman anymore. Smallville is Superman, both for an entirely new generation of young adults and even the thirty-something big kids like me. What may have once started as something that many perceived as a “Dawson’s Creek with superpowers” WB melodrama has evolved and changed with the times in ways that prior attempts have simply been either unwilling or unable to accomplish.

As I mentioned a few reviews ago, I am finally simply proud to say I love this show. And whatever the naysayers will spout on various online forums, the one thing they can’t snub their noses at is the longevity that this series has demonstrated. For better (has the show ever been better?) or worse (cough Season 4 cough), this show has endured. It’s earned its place in the pantheon, as more than an “elseworlds” program as some have labeled it. Superman has always been an evolving mythology. That’s part of the reason why the character has managed to endure against all odds. The fan-base is more energized than I’ve seen it in years…and it’s easy to understand why. Smallville is no longer a guilty pleasure, but a legitimate and vital piece of an intricate tapestry that’s made Superman the world’s greatest superhero for over 70 years.

As May 31st, 2010 will mark Smallville’s first day as the new record-holder, I officially declare that Smallville Day.  Mark your calendars.

Who is John Corben?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Smallville "Metallo"In Smallville season 9 premiere, we were introduced to a John Corben who was investigating the recent monorail crash for a story. Apparently, he was brought into the Daily Planet as a replacement reporter for Clark Kent who was on indefinite family leave. But before Daily Planet, he had been doing field work in Afghanistan, and when he met Lois Lane, he expressed his desposition vigilantees, particular “The Blur”.

So, who is John Corben?

Well, in the comics (Silver Age of Metallo), John Corben was a journalist (and secretly a thief and murderer) who had just committed what he thought was the perfect murder. While fleeing from the scene of the crime, he suffered a near-fatal accident that mangled his body beyond repair. However, elderly scientist Professor Vale happened to come upon him, and used his scientific skill to transfer Corben’s brain into a robotic body covered by a fleshlike artificial skin. However, Corben discovered that his power source, a capsule of uranium, would only last a day, but was told by Vale that kryptonite would provide him an indefinite power supply.

In the mythology, he entered Superman’s life when got a job at the Daily Planet as a journalist and pursued a romantic relationship with Lois. Lois had brief feelings for him for that she claimed he resembled Superman, this of course really bothered Clark. At the same time Corben turned his attention towards Superman, the one person who might expose his criminal deeds. He set traps and he used his power to try to eliminate him. Although almost successful various times, Superman prevailed.

Currently in the comic books, Metallo is still a threat to Superman and continues to upgrade his robotic body for criminal mayhem.

Metallo as he appears in the comics

Metallo as he appears in the comics

Sources: Smallville Wikia and Wikipedia

Louis Febre Exclusive Interview

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Louis FebreLouis Febre is one of the truly unsung heroes of Smallville, ironically one of my favorite shows about heroes.  Whether you know his name or not, chances are that you’re familiar with Louis’s work if you’re reading this column.  Since the beginning of Season 6, Febre has been the sole score composer on Smallville, infusing the show with his own unique melodic flavor.  Bringing a unique understanding and orchestral interpretation to the onscreen characters that goes back, surprisingly, to the very inception of the series, Febre continues to make the series something we find dramatic, awe-inspiring, and even funny on a weekly basis.  I recently spoke with Louis in an exclusive interview about his involvement with the series.

Hey, Louis.  Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today.
Happy to do it. It’s a pleasure.

Going back to the beginning of the beginning if you will, how did you first find out that you would be doing score work on Smallville?
I received a phone call from Mark Snow, inviting me to work with him on the pilot for a new show called “Smallville.” Soon thereafter I got an opportunity to actually see a cut, and thought “this really is an exciting show.” It really clicked with me. To say that I was delighted to accept the invitation is a huge understatement.

Now, were you actually a Superman fan before getting into this project, or is the “Smallville-verse” your only real experience with the Superman mythology?
Only in the sense that I read a bunch of the comic books as a kid. And then there was the movie. I still remember listening to that landmark Williams score and marveling at how perfectly it complemented the character. That was before I actually became interested in writing music for picture, if you will, but even so, the score had a great impact on my view of film music in general, as did “Star Wars” and “E.T.” and on and on! But the movie itself got me excited again about Superman.

What was your relationship with Mark Snow when Smallville began?  Did you two collaborate or were you two independent musical voices?
Mark and I had been friends for a while by the time Smallville came around, so our working relationship was a bit more tightly integrated than it might otherwise have been. And yet we each brought different things to the table. In general, I would concentrate on the larger, more “action” oriented cues. Having said that, our music worked together very well, which probably speaks more of our similar compositional styles than of an effort on our part to sound alike. And nothing beats working with a friend.  The two of us worked together through the end of season 6, at which time I took over the show. I did a considerable amount of writing during that last season together, so by the time Season 7 arrived, I was quite comfortable taking over.

What would you say has been the biggest change for you in how you write the score for Smallville now in Season 9 compared to how you wrote it when you first started the project?
There has not been a large shift in style or substance, musically speaking. But as one might expect, there’s been growth paralleling the show’s own. As the show and characters became more rich and unique, so did the score. I think that as we progressed into the series, and I mean over the years, we found a certain need to focus on thematic development a bit more than we did early on. As Clark grew emotionally and intellectually more complex, I found a need to comment musically on his growth, and as he drew closer to his Superman persona, it became obvious that a “Superman” theme would be required.

I sometimes feel in watching the show that the score is coaxing a specific response from me as a viewer.  For example, one aspect of last season that many fans didn’t enjoy was the Lana story arc.  But I got the impression – from the music – that you really wanted (or at least wanted me to want) those two characters together.  You made it almost gorgeously tragic.  Do you ever overtly indicate your own feelings toward certain characters with the score?
Ah! That is a very interesting question. My job really is to enhance, to amplify. I react, like anyone else might, to the drama in front of me. But the curious implication that I may have specific feelings about a character, and somehow interject my own view into the mix is both fascinating and terrifying! I would not purposely do such a thing, but in the particular instance you ask about, Clark and Lana’s final struggle, I’m not sure. I openly admit it; I found their relationship beautiful and simultaneously, deeply tragic. It touched me in a very direct way. I suppose it is possible for me to have painted my emotions musically, somehow adding, instead of enhancing.

One thing I’ve been surprised to discover is just how little time there is from when you first see an episode and when the finished show hits the airwaves, and the score is really the final piece of the puzzle.  Can you tell us about a typical week for Louis Febre working on the score, trying to beat the clock and how stressful that can be?
A typical week finds me at the Smallville production offices on a Monday morning, surrounded by the finest production team imaginable. It really is a privilege for me to be sitting next to my friend and long time music editor, Chris McGeary, the insanely talented Tim Scanlan, Emmy winning sound designer Michael Lawshe, the great Tom Flores, and the list goes on. We spend some time going over the week’s show, and discussing the music. I then race home to finish last week’s show! Tuesday through Sunday I spend writing, performing and recording. In general, there will be between 35 and 40 minutes of score each week, and it’s a good thing I’m used to it, because the task always seems a bit daunting towards the start of the week. By Wednesday I’m humming right along. As much work as it is, I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world. Writing the music for Smallville is really an incredible pleasure for me.

Is there ever a time that you submit a finished episode and you’re asked to change things you’ve written?
It speaks volumes of the tight integration and trust that we, as a team, have developed over the years, that there are rarely any changes to be made. When they are, they’re always well thought out requests, which is one of the advantages of working with such capable people. The changes always make sense. I’m only human, and having to turn around so much music each week means that on occasion, I’ll miss something that is important to someone on the production team. When that happens, I happily comply.

Louis FebreWhat would you say have been a few of the most personally satisfying musical moments for you on the series?
This is always a difficult question for me to answer, but in general, I loved the Lexmas episode. I can’t put my finger on it, not exactly anyway, but I enjoyed writing that score a great deal. Sometimes the more delicate moments bring me great pleasure as well. For example, Lionel’s funeral at the end of “Descent” was particularly satisfying to compose, although, truth be told, it was done at something like three in the morning!  I suppose those middle of the night sessions have yielded some of my personal favorites. I also enjoyed a moment in “Siren” during which we’re introduced to Dina, a.k.a. Black Canary. I wrote a theme for her that I thought worked pretty well.

On the flipside, are there any moments that, looking back, you’re particularly unhappy with or feel you could have done better somehow?
No, not really. Scoring for television is, will be, and has always been a very demanding job, due to the time restraints. I suppose there have been times when the schedule has become quite a challenge, but in the end, all the music gets written in time. Every time. All in all, the time crunch is a reality that all television composers live with.

We all know how important of an element music can be to a production.  I know you’re modest to a fault, but have you ever been given an episode that you just thought was average and managed to change your own opinion by composing a particularly effective score?
Well, no. But I have enjoyed watching the transformation of an episode with a score slightly different from what I might have normally written. I suppose that long ago I learned this simple lesson; if a show, or movie, or whatever isn’t up to a certain standard of quality, no amount of fancy composing will save it. It’s like putting a ton of perfume on Bigfoot and sending him out on a date dressed as a woman. No one is going to be swayed be the lovely scent. Fortunately, Smallville is a consistently excellent show, and my job is always a joy because of it. It needs no perfume.

Up until recently, you hadn’t been terribly well-known in the Smallville fan community.  That changed during Season 8.  What prompted the sudden interest in twitter and reaching out to your fans?  And has the overwhelmingly positive response to your work surprised you?
My discovery, yes better late than never, of Twitter is what prompted that interest. Sometimes it feels like I live in a cave, but one day I just said to myself “let’s look into this Twitter thing and see what’s what.” Lo and behold, a new universe revealed itself to me! And the positive response fills me with delight. I’m not kidding, it truly does.

For someone so integral to the artistic success of the show, though, your influence hasn’t garnered as much attention over the last several years as, say, the producers and directors.  Has that allowed you a certain creative freedom – being able to compose to please yourself as opposed to doing it solely to please the fans?
Score, in general, doesn’t draw much attention to itself, unless of course, the viewer is particularly sensitive to music, or happens to be a musician. But yes, I have always felt the freedom to explore when I need or want to. The only real obstacle is my own ability! I do strive to do the very best job I’m capable of for every single episode. I sleep well at night.

I know this is something many fans have been curious about…any chance that we’ll see a CD of these themes in fully-realized, suite form?  Or possibly even a compilation of score highlights from the series?
Unfortunately, I’m not yet in a position to say, with any degree of certainty, whether or not a score CD is forthcoming. Nothing would please me more than to see such a CD become available, naturally. I will say this; please rest assured that I will do all that is within my reach to make that happen.

Moving forward, what themes or motifs do you hope to be able to expand upon in the coming season?  Obviously, much depends on where the writers take the characters, but are there things you personally want to see (i.e., that you want to score)?
I have a feeling that Season 9 will bring the expansion of the “Superman” theme. I’ve taken some time to develop it, and it really is exciting for me to know that I’ll have a chance to continue to expand and refine it. And the relationship between Lois and Clark may allow me the luxury of refining their theme as well. Who knows what the creative minds behind the Smallville story lines have in store for all of us for Season 9! I’m looking forward to the challenges, and to the possibility of writing a few interesting themes.

Three scenes that really stick out for me musically from last season are the scene in “Hex” when Clark forgets his superpowers on the roof of the Daily Planet, the end of that same episode when Chloe announced that “Watchtower” was online (which many people didn’t even know was your work), and that heart-wrenching ending to “Requiem”.  Do you prefer scoring comedy, action, or drama, and are they very different processes?
My natural tendency is to write dramatic music, but the job of a composer is to write whatever a show requires. The range is indeed quite broad, as you know, and in truth, each and every style has a unique set of challenges and rewards. It is not unusual for me to go from a very dark and dramatic scene to a lighthearted one. And my one comment would be that the difficulty lies in shifting gears! But shift we must, and we composers do it every day.

Speaking of “Requiem”, that final piece seemed like it was almost composed as an extension of The Killers song “Goodnight, Travel Well”.  Do you ever take the commercial songs (which are already mixed in when you receive an episode) into account when scoring a scene, or was that just a coincidence?
Always. I make every effort to transition into or out of any songs in a seamless manner, always matching the key and tempo, and whenever possible, the texture and feel of the song as well. If I’m coming out of a big, action cue, then the transition may not be as imperceptible as I’d like, but whenever the opportunity arises, I do my best to match all possible elements.

I know you’re not just the series composer, but also a fan of Smallville in your own right.  Do you think being a fan makes scoring the show easier or harder for you?
Easier. No question about it. I do feel an extraordinary level of commitment to doing my job well, but loving Smallville makes my work so much more pleasurable. I get up in the morning actually excited about scoring one scene or another! And, like everyone else, I can hardly wait to see the following episode! Like I said before, I’m the luckiest guy in the world.

So do you watch the show when it airs?
Of course.  In HD!  It looks so great!

There’s been talk of a possible tenth season should Smallville survive its new Friday timeslot this year.  Would you want to see that happen?
I would be ecstatic.

Someone like John Williams is a tough act to follow in the Superman music canon, but you’ve managed to give Smallville its own unique flavor and identity.  I know I speak for everyone when I say that your work on our favorite show has been just phenomenal.  Thank you so much for letting us in on a bit of your artistic process, it’s been really fascinating.
Thank you again for extending me the privilege of this interview. The questions are wonderful, and I’ve had a terrific time answering them. And as I sit here now, the realization that in a few days I will be spotting “Savior” is beginning to finally hit. I can hardly wait to roll up my sleeves and once again begin to work on our beloved Smallville.

Louis Febre is one of the truly unsung heroes of Smallville, ironically one of my favorite shows about heroes. Whether you know his name or not, chances are that you’re familiar with Louis’s work if you’re reading this column. Since the beginning of Season 6, Febre has been the sole score composer on Smallville, infusing the show with his own unique melodic flavor. Bringing a unique understanding and orchestral interpretation to the onscreen characters that goes back, surprisingly, to the very inception of the series, Febre continues to make the series something we find dramatic, awe-inspiring, and even funny on a weekly basis. I recently spoke with Louis in an exclusive interview about his involvement with the series.

SVPH: Hey, Louis.  Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today.

LF: Happy to do it Dan. It’s a pleasure.

SVPH: Going back to the beginning of the beginning if you will, how did you first find out that you would be doing score work on Smallville?

LF: I received a phone call from Mark Snow, inviting me to work with him on the pilot for a new show called “Smallville.” Soon thereafter I got an opportunity to actually see a cut, and thought “this really is an exciting show.” It really clicked with me. To say that I was delighted to accept the invitation is a huge understatement.

SVPH: Now, were you actually a Superman fan before getting into this project, or is the “Smallville-verse” your only real experience with the Superman mythology?

LF: Only in the sense that I read a bunch of the comic books as a kid. And then there was the movie. I still remember listening to that landmark Williams score and marveling at how perfectly it complemented the character. That was before I actually became interested in writing music for picture, if you will, but even so, the score had a great impact on my view of film music in general, as did “Star Wars” and “E.T.” and on and on! But the movie itself got me excited again about Superman.

SVPH: What was your relationship with Mark Snow when Smallville began? Did you two collaborate or were you two independent musical voices?

LF: Mark and I had been friends for a while by the time Smallville came around, so our working relationship was a bit more tightly integrated than it might otherwise have been. And yet we each brought different things to the table. In general, I would concentrate on the larger, more “action” oriented cues. Having said that, our music worked together very well, which probably speaks more of our similar compositional styles than of an effort on our part to sound alike. And nothing beats working with a friend. The two of us worked together through the end of season 6, at which time I took over the show. I did a considerable amount of writing during that last season together, so by the time Season 7 arrived, I was quite comfortable taking over.

SVPH: What would you say has been the biggest change for you in how you write the score for Smallville now in Season 9 compared to how you wrote it when you first started the project?

LF: There has not been a large shift in style or substance, musically speaking. But as one might expect, there’s been growth paralleling the show’s own. As the show and characters became more rich and unique, so did the score. I think that as we progressed into the series, and I mean over the years, we found a certain need to focus on thematic development a bit more than we did early on. As Clark grew emotionally and intellectually more complex, I found a need to comment musically on his growth, and as he drew closer to his Superman persona, it became obvious that a “Superman” theme would be required.

SVPH: I sometimes feel in watching the show that the score is coaxing a specific response from me as a viewer. For example, one aspect of last season that many fans didn’t enjoy was the Lana story arc. But I got the impression – from the music – that you really wanted (or at least wanted me to want) those two characters together. You made it almost gorgeously tragic. Do you ever overtly indicate your own feelings toward certain characters with the score?

LF: Ah! That is a very interesting question. My job really is to enhance, to amplify. I react, like anyone else might, to the drama in front of me. But the curious implication that I may have specific feelings about a character, and somehow interject my own view into the mix is both fascinating and terrifying! I would not purposely do such a thing, but in the particular instance you ask about, Clark and Lana’s final struggle, I’m not sure. I openly admit it; I found their relationship beautiful and simultaneously, deeply tragic. It touched me in a very direct way. I suppose it is possible for me to have painted my emotions musically, somehow adding, instead of enhancing.

SVPH: One thing I’ve been surprised to discover is just how little time there is from when you first see an episode and when the finished show hits the airwaves, and the score is really the final piece of the puzzle. Can you tell us about a typical week for Louis Febre working on the score, trying to beat the clock and how stressful that can be?

LF: A typical week finds me at the Smallville production offices on a Monday morning, surrounded by the finest production team imaginable. It really is a privilege for me to be sitting next to my friend and long time music editor, Chris McGeary, the insanely talented Tim Scanlan, Emmy winning sound designer Michael Lawshe, the great Tom Flores, and the list goes on. We spend some time going over the week’s show, and discussing the music. I then race home to finish last week’s show! Tuesday through Sunday I spend writing, performing and recording. In general, there will be between 35 and 40 minutes of score each week, and it’s a good thing I’m used to it, because the task always seems a bit daunting towards the start of the week. By Wednesday I’m humming right along. As much work as it is, I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world. Writing the music for Smallville is really an incredible pleasure for me.

SVPH: Is there ever a time that you submit a finished episode and you’re asked to change things you’ve written?

LF: It speaks volumes of the tight integration and trust that we, as a team, have developed over the years, that there are rarely any changes to be made. When they are, they’re always well thought out requests, which is one of the advantages of working with such capable people. The changes always make sense. I’m only human, and having to turn around so much music each week means that on occasion, I’ll miss something that is important to someone on the production team. When that happens, I happily comply.

SVPH: What would you say have been a few of the most personally satisfying musical moments for you on the series?

LF: This is always a difficult question for me to answer, but in general, I loved the Lexmas episode. I can’t put my finger on it, not exactly anyway, but I enjoyed writing that score a great deal. Sometimes the more delicate moments bring me great pleasure as well. For example, Lionel’s funeral at the end of “Descent” was particularly satisfying to compose, although, truth be told, it was done at something like three in the morning!  I suppose those middle of the night sessions have yielded some of my personal favorites. I also enjoyed a moment in “Siren” during which we’re introduced to Dina, a.k.a. Black Canary. I wrote a theme for her that I thought worked pretty well.

SVPH: On the flipside, are there any moments that, looking back, you’re particularly unhappy with or feel you could have done better somehow?

LF: No, not really. Scoring for television is, will be, and has always been a very demanding job, due to the time restraints. I suppose there have been times when the schedule has become quite a challenge, but in the end, all the music gets written in time. Every time. All in all, the time crunch is a reality that all television composers live with.

SVPH: We all know how important of an element music can be to a production. I know you’re modest to a fault, but have you ever been given an episode that you just thought was average and managed to change your own opinion by composing a particularly effective score?

LF: Well, no. But I have enjoyed watching the transformation of an episode with a score slightly different from what I might have normally written. I suppose that long ago I learned this simple lesson; if a show, or movie, or whatever isn’t up to a certain standard of quality, no amount of fancy composing will save it. It’s like putting a ton of perfume on Bigfoot and sending him out on a date dressed as a woman. No one is going to be swayed be the lovely scent. Fortunately, Smallville is a consistently excellent show, and my job is always a joy because of it. It needs no perfume.

SVPH: Up until recently, you hadn’t been terribly well-known in the Smallville fan community. That changed during Season 8. What prompted the sudden interest in twitter and reaching out to your fans? And has the overwhelmingly positive response to your work surprised you?

LF: My discovery, yes better late than never, of Twitter is what prompted that interest. Sometimes it feels like I live in a cave, but one day I just said to myself “let’s look into this Twitter thing and see what’s what.” Lo and behold, a new universe revealed itself to me! And the positive response fills me with delight. I’m not kidding, it truly does.

SVPH: For someone so integral to the artistic success of the show, though, your influence hasn’t garnered as much attention over the last several years as, say, the producers and directors. Has that allowed you a certain creative freedom – being able to compose to please yourself as opposed to doing it solely to please the fans?

LF: Score, in general, doesn’t draw much attention to itself, unless of course, the viewer is particularly sensitive to music, or happens to be a musician. But yes, I have always felt the freedom to explore when I need or want to. The only real obstacle is my own ability! I do strive to do the very best job I’m capable of for every single episode. I sleep well at night.

SVPH: I know this is something many fans have been curious about…any chance that we’ll see a CD of these themes in fully-realized, suite form? Or possibly even a compilation of score highlights from the series?

LF: Unfortunately, I’m not yet in a position to say, with any degree of certainty, whether or not a score CD is forthcoming. Nothing would please me more than to see such a CD become available, naturally. I will say this; please rest assured that I will do all that is within my reach to make that happen.

SVPH: Moving forward, what themes or motifs do you hope to be able to expand upon in the coming season? Obviously, much depends on where the writers take the characters, but are there things you personally want to see (i.e., that you want to score)?

LF: I have a feeling that Season 9 will bring the expansion of the “Superman” theme. I’ve taken some time to develop it, and it really is exciting for me to know that I’ll have a chance to continue to expand and refine it. And the relationship between Lois and Clark may allow me the luxury of refining their theme as well. Who knows what the creative minds behind the Smallville story lines have in store for all of us for Season 9! I’m looking forward to the challenges, and to the possibility of writing a few interesting themes.

SVPH: Three scenes that really stick out for me musically from last season are the scene in “Hex” when Clark forgets his superpowers on the roof of the Daily Planet, the end of that same episode when Chloe announced that “Watchtower” was online (which many people didn’t even know was your work), and that heart-wrenching ending to “Requiem”. Do you prefer scoring comedy, action, or drama, and are they very different processes?

LF: My natural tendency is to write dramatic music, but the job of a composer is to write whatever a show requires. The range is indeed quite broad, as you know, and in truth, each and every style has a unique set of challenges and rewards. It is not unusual for me to go from a very dark and dramatic scene to a lighthearted one. And my one comment would be that the difficulty lies in shifting gears! But shift we must, and we composers do it every day.

SVPH: Speaking of “Requiem”, that final piece seemed like it was almost composed as an extension of The Killers song “Goodnight, Travel Well”. Do you ever take the commercial songs (which are already mixed in when you receive an episode) into account when scoring a scene, or was that just a coincidence?

LF: Always. I make every effort to transition into or out of any songs in a seamless manner, always matching the key and tempo, and whenever possible, the texture and feel of the song as well. If I’m coming out of a big, action cue, then the transition may not be as imperceptible as I’d like, but whenever the opportunity arises, I do my best to match all possible elements.

SVPH: I know you’re not just the series composer, but also a fan of Smallville in your own right. Do you think being a fan makes scoring the show easier or harder for you?

LF: Easier. No question about it. I do feel an extraordinary level of commitment to doing my job well, but loving Smallville makes my work so much more pleasurable. I get up in the morning actually excited about scoring one scene or another! And, like everyone else, I can hardly wait to see the following episode! Like I said before, I’m the luckiest guy in the world.

SVPH: So do you watch the show when it airs?

LF: Of course.  In HD!  It looks so great!

SVPH: There’s been talk of a possible tenth season should Smallville survive its new Friday timeslot this year. Would you want to see that happen?

LF: I would be ecstatic.

SVPH: Someone like John Williams is a tough act to follow in the Superman music canon, but you’ve managed to give Smallville its own unique flavor and identity. I know I speak for everyone when I say that your work on our favorite show has been just phenomenal. Thank you so much for letting us in on a bit of your artistic process, it’s been really fascinating.

LF: Thank you again, Dan, for extending me the privilege of this interview. Your questions are wonderful, and I’ve had a terrific time answering them. And as I sit here now, the realization that in a few days I will be spotting “Savior” is beginning to finally hit. I can hardly wait to roll up my sleeves and once again begin to work on our beloved Smallville.


Chris Levy Exclusive Interview

Friday, May 22nd, 2009
Chris Levy

Chris Levy's record is "Never Fear"

After the episode “Beast”, Smallville fans went high and low trying to find information about the song featured on the episode. Lucky for us, we got an exclusive interview with Chris Levy, the guy behind “What You Feel”.

Tell us something about yourself. Who is Chris Levy?
Chris Levy is someone who feels very deeply, who thinks very deeply, and who believes that each moment we have to live is a gift given to us so that we can make the best with the best we have been given.

How did you get into music?
I grew up in a musical family.  When I was twelve, my Dad introduced me to the music of The Eagles. I was truly inspired by not only the music, but the stories that were told by the artists. It made me want to write my own stories. I got my first electric guitar and started playing and singing, and not too long after that I began writing songs of my own.

What is your favorite part of being a musician?
I did not necessarily choose music; it chose me. Music was the only way I could process what I saw in the world around me in a clear way. Whenever anything important would happen to me it was music that would help me to release what was going on inside of me and articulate it in the form of words and music. My favorite part about being a musician is that music not only helps me to connect with myself, but to everyone around me who amazingly enough seems to identifiy with the thoughts and feelings I’ve expressed.

Who or what inspires your music?
The stories and the content of the music are inspired by the circumstances that I have lived through. Whether it be something happy, or a great tragedy, if it moves me in a profound way, it is bound to end up in a song.

What have you been up to before you were featured in Smallville?
Before I had the privilege to be featured on Smallville I have been diligently working on finishing my album and going to school.

How did Smallville find out about you? How were you asked to be on the show?
When my album “Never Fear” was nearing completion my producer asked me if he could put it in his music library.   I agreed, and a little while after that I found out they had used my song in the “Beast” episode.  Pretty exciting!

For Smallville fans, “What You Feel” will always be about Davis and Chloe and their doomed love. Can you tell us what the message of the song is for you?
It is actually similar in a way to the relationship that is portrayed between Davis and Chloe in that episode. “What You Feel” is about when you are living your life and you have dreams and aspirations and you try to make them happen on your own, only to realize that you have to let go of them in order for them to come to pass, and when you finally let go of trying to control every little thing, you will be at peace. Sometimes we focus so intently on the future, that we miss the gift that is presently right in front of us…today. We only get one shot at living each day.

Are you working on your album now? When will it be released?
The album just came back from mastering.  It should be done very soon.  Everyone has been working around the clock to push up the release date. It is released now, click here.

Any upcoming shows/gigs?
Once the album gets released, we will announce some show dates.

Who is your favourite character in the show?
I have always identified with Clark Kent’s character in that he always feels he has a special assignment and calling, as I feel I do.

Did you get a chance to watch the episode “Beast” yet? Your thoughts?
I did watch it and I thought that it quite interesting, you can really see how the song expressess the tensions and frustrations of the characters throughout the episode, in that they are torn between decisions and paths that must be made and taken.

When you were a child, did you like Superman? Who was your favourite superhero?
As a child I did like Superman, but I have always been a fan of Batman.

Did you expect this kind of reaction for “What You Feel”?
I never expected this amount of energy to be shown for my song “What You Feel”. I really appreciate how this song has touched people.  The response has been amazing.

What has changed since the song was featured on the show?
Life is different and now I have a lot of reasons to focus on finishing the album and getting it out there so people can hear the rest of my music.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Of course I am always inspired to write new songs and I am really focused on getting the record released and doing live appearances.

Message to the fans who discovered your music through Smallville.
Thank you for welcoming me into the Smallville world, and I really hope you enjoy the rest of the music that is soon to come!

chris_levy_never_fear_album

We would like to thank Chris for having this interview with us. We really appreciate the time he took to answer all these questions. Also, we would like to thank Jon LaCroix and Susan Munao for making this possible.

Smallville: The Official Companion Season 7 Review

Monday, October 20th, 2008

smallville_comp7

I have always seen myself as a huge Smallville fan and I get the bulk of my information from the web and from the Official Companion books. You would be amazed at the information sandwiched between the pages of it. There are in depth analysis of each episode, character development and looks at behind the scenes and those that help make the show what it is: great. By having these things to show us what the show is like, we see the people as being real people who enjoy their jobs.

The very beginning of the book we have an introduction by Laura Vandervoort who we know played Kara, Clark’s cousin. She talks about how Tom helped her with her scenes and loved when they were learning about Kara’s powers and they threw watermelon pulp all over Tom and Laura had to stifle a laugh. I thought it was sweet that they wrapped up Kara’s bracelet and gave it to Laura to take with her. Even though we know it will not be her last episodes, Laura will take her experience with her always.

There are pages upon pages of detailed information about each and every episode. You get to see why they came up with each one, what they were thinking and my favorite, what song was in each episode. They have comments from the writers, the directors, designers and the cast. You get a sense of what Lana was thinking when she left Clark the good bye video, Lionel’s feelings on his transformation, and Lex’s confrontation with Clark. One of the best parts in the section is how they commented on Michael Rosenbaum’s last day of filming. They say he bought everyone sushi and it was like he looked at the camera on his last shot and sad “Goodbye, Smallville” and then he and Tom hugged. It was a sad moment for everyone but beautiful as well.

The companion is not complete unless you have the character analysis. These show how each character has grown and changed over the course of the season. But they also let us see into some of the guest stars like Helen Slater and Michael Cassidy just to name a few. The same thing that rings true in all of the guest stars comments are how it seems like family and that everyone who has been on the show for years is always willing to help you and make you feel like you have been a part of the show from day one. The extra added touch to John Glover’s, Michael Rosenbaum’s, and Kristin Kreuk’s section about their departure was nice. I enjoyed reading how Kristin’s good bye to Clark was filmed by James Marshall’s assistant. He actually went to Thailand to film her and it came off beautifully. It is nice to hear these people talks so wonderful about each other after all these years.

I like that they give a section to the crew. It was cool to learn that Kara’s bracelet was not something that they planned on from the start. But something Aleya Naiman, the property manager, had to design along with fake newspaper, comics, and jewelry for the Veritas keys. The costume designers enjoyed being able to do some new things with Kara’s clothes and Grant’s suits along with Bizarro Clark’s clothes which went away from the traditional red and blue to black and purple. And of course, we had the switch of the executive producers from Al Gough and Miles Millar to Brian Peterson, Kelly Souders, Todd Slavkin, and Darren Swimmer. They felt like they had been taught well and could take up the reigns where their teachers had left off.

The end wraps up with a section on the Smallville phenomenon and how it keeps growing by leaps and bounds. Michael Cassidy got to experience this by being at the comic-con in San Diego this year. Then we had a farewell from the creators, Al and Miles, saying that they thanked everyone for all their hard work and they really appreciated all the fans. Nothing made Al realize the impact of Smallville more than hearing 3000 French fans singing “Save Me.” They had done all they set out to do and now leave it up to the new writers. The companion would not be done unless it ended with some last minute thoughts from Chloe. It was lessons that she had learned. Really it was a recap of the last season.

I can’t do a review without being critical. Although there are pictures in here it is not any that we have not seen before. It would have been nice to get some nice behind the scene shots rather than the usual screen caps and press photos. In their defense, they may not have been made available to them. Also in the character analysis, every actor or actress speak for themselves except Tom and Kristin. Kristin actually only contributes something on one occasion. Tom never adds anything, other than what people say about him, which is always nice. It would have been nice to hear what he had to say. And they made an error. That said that Lois did not react to the Grant being murdered thing because she did not know. Yes she did. It was in the Daily Planet and on the news. Unless, Lois does not read the paper or watch TV, she knew.

On the whole, this is a must have for a Smallville fan. It is chocked full of all sorts of information. There is tons of trivia, lots of little insights, and a good look at each character. If you love Smallville, you need to buy this book. And if you don’t have Season 1 through 6, you need those too. How else will you become the ultimate Smallville fan, like me!

As a guide to being a true fan: 100%

VAST’s new album ‘April’ Special Offer

Monday, March 31st, 2008

VAST's April albumWhat Jon Crosby has to say about “April”:

“All the touring we did in early 2007 got in the way of finishing the album on time. The version we released two months ago didn’t seem right to me so I spent all of June and July mixing the album again. The only song I had mixed on previous albums was “Lost” on “Nude”. Some other VAST records have a more commercial sound but the sound on this record reflects how I want the songs to be heard.

The theme of “April” is loss. Some people may think all VAST albums are about loss but I would say the first album was about conflict, the second about longing for freedom, and the third about beauty. These songs were written during a time in my life were I was going through the deep loss of my lover and the loss of all my money from bad deals and bad labels. The result was that I was down and didn’t treat myself very well.

I put all those feelings into this record and it’s something I’m very proud of. While it’s true that I will always feel most proud of my latest effort, I do however feel that this record comes from my heart and that in itself makes it a success if only artistic. I only have a few albums like this in me. This and my first album are my favorite albums to date.

Tracklisting:

  1. You’re Too Young
  2. Dedicate (A Place For Me)
  3. Everything Passing By
  4. Sunday I’ll Be Gone
  5. Frog
  6. One More Day *
  7. Tattoo Of Your Name
  8. Is It Me
  9. I’m Too Good
  10. She Visits Me
  11. I Am a Vampire
  12. Take Me With You

* Featured in Smallville episode “Veritas“.

Please know that when you buy from this site, you are buying directly from the band VAST.
This is a special offer from Smallville PH. We thank you for your support.

ON SALE Price: $3.99
Availability: Instant Download
Format: MP3 320kbps

Please read “How This Works” below before buying.

This is an 85MB file. Please have a high-speed broadband connection for best results..

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How this works
With the VAST system for selling digital music you get the entire album for $3.99. We use Paypal as our payment system. You can still buy this without a Paypal account. Paypal is now accepting credit cards and/or checks for payment. (Please Note: A check payment will take 3 days to clear and your download link will not be sent until it does.)

After you have paid, a link will be sent automatically to the email specified when paying. The link lets you download an 85 Megabyte .zip file (compressed file). Once you unzip (extract) the .zip file you will have the entire album. If you do not have a .zip or extracting program (most pc’s now come with them), you can download a trial version here or you can google “.zip.” to find and extraction program.

Important!
Because this album purchase is digital, there are no refunds! If there are any problems with your download, or the actual files, we will be happy to get the music to you in any way that we can.

As a band, VAST has sold 20,000 Albums or 200,000 Songs. We would rather sell you a discounted album, than sell you an individual song. If you would like to buy just one song, we recommend Amazon.comPlease click here to buy “One More Day”.

VAST ‘s music has also been featured in the following; The Beach (Trailer), Step Into Liquid, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, CSI, One Tree Hill and many more.

About ‘April’
Recorded entirely in Austin Texas, VAST tracked much of the album playing together live. Many of the vocals and instruments were recorded in one take giving the record a much more human feel. However, the signature melancholy VAST melodies and themes are here, as well as the sonic and instrumental experimentation that has garnered the band it’s underground fan base.

“I tried to create a more acoustic record, one that sort of took a page from the older roots of rock and even country music but still felt like new territory,” says VAST front man Jon Crosby. “I think there are songs here that have a wide appeal, but these songs were meant to be part of an album, so it’s not about selling singles. I really want fans and even people who are new to the band to get a complete musical picture.”

“April”, more than any previous VAST album, is about the songs and shows what a dedicated band can accomplish by steering clear of trends.

Visit VAST’s website!
Buy VAST’s ‘April’ album for special offer of $3.99!
Buy mp3 of “One More Day” which was featured in the Smallville episode “Veritas“!

VAST other albums

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Smallville: The Official Companion Season 6 Review

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Smallville: The Official Companion Season 6When I first got my hands on this book (which I first thought was going to be a magazine) I didn’t really think much of it. Thanks partly to my bloated ego of knowing a lot about Superman and because we run this website, about Smallville. But as I have been in the past and admitted, I was wrong. This book is the most comprehensive, entertaining and informative collection of writing you can find about Smallville. Besides, I’ve always been interested in what goes behind off camera, the backstage clips, the bloopers and the interviews out of character. It is because we always look at the actors as the characters themselves, but the actors themselves are different people. It always amuses me how Michael is the funniest guy on the set, seeing how he plays the villain of the show. This and much more is all present in the companion.

At the very beginning, there is a foreword by Justin Hartley who was a guest character on the show but left a lasting impression on many viewers. He recollects the time he had working with the crew and even shares some anecdotes about how much it was working with Michael (I guess everyone does like him!).

Then the book goes into detailing every episode, how it happened, what happened and the storylines branching from the episode. The episode recaps show how much thinking goes into the plot development (even though I’ve cribbed so many times, that there isn’t any development), there are comments from the production crew and the writers on how they felt a certain scene would be received by the audience. I have a new found respect for the writers (just kidding, I still think they butchered Superman). One of the biggest things in the companion and rightly so is Justice. There is an extensive coverage on it, from cast interviews to intital costume designs and in fact they even talked about the rumored spin off! If you loved Justice, you need to get your hands on this one. If that’s not enough, the companion is loaded with extras such as articles written by Lois Lane which she was working on in the episodes (yes she actually writes them) and blog posts by Chloe on her thoughts about Clark’s behavior and her and Jimmy’s relationship. Last but not the least, there are references to comics! It was such a pleasure to see it there in the book, it makes me feel that all my posts about comics haven’t been a waste of time. During Hydro when Clark became the Green Arrow, they actually mention how in the comics Batman and Superman have often posed as each other to assure Lois that Clark and Superman or Bruce and Batman are different people. I am impressed, and it is hard to impress me.

The companion wouldn’t be complete without a deeper focus on the characters that make the show. We already know what happens to the characters and some of the emotions that they go through, in fact Smallville is famous for its big heartbreak scenes especially between Clark and Lana, however a lot of focus on the emotion was on Lex Luthor this season and although it was to a point that it made me start to resent the weak character in Lex, but after reading through the very detailed and in depth character guide that the companion holds, you actually might want to reconsider that. Michael Rosenbaum clarifies some of Lex’s emotions in fact stating that Lex did indeed love Lana deeply and it wasn’t something to hold against Clark in order to “get back” at him in some crazed way. We will all remember a memorable scene between Lex and Impulse in Justice, where there was a certain ponytail in question. Michael recalls how the producers mentioned that it wouldn’t work, but he had to convince them that it would give some dry humor to Lex who was known for some witty lines (Its not just Chloe who can have classic one liners).

The last few parts of the companion actually surprised me, especially the Production part. One of the shows’ execs had already thought of the “Lana clone” angle and so by special request, the final shot of Prototype which showed Lex’s army of clones, if you notice closely, you can see one of the clones with long hair! Just reading that gave me a new sense of respect for the show because I didn’t expect them to follow such intricate details especially with the plot holes! Way to go Smallville!

There is a section discussing the Smallville Phenomenon (as we know it), because from its beginning Smallville brought in a whole new generation of fans and introduced them to Superman, and most of those fans have stayed loyal, making Smallville one of the most popular shows on the CW and the companion covers it all. For all you Clana fans, you should be happy to know that there is a big mention to your efforts to get back the Clana ship, and the producers do sadly acknowledge that. They were aware of the reactions they would get from breaking them apart and then getting them back together. So all your campaigning actually worked!

Lastly, this wouldn’t be much of a review if there weren’t any complaint and I am surprised there aren’t too many. The companion does have pictures galore, however only in the middle are the nice glossy colored pictures and although it does sound a bit demanding, I would’ve liked more color pictures, especially the on set ones. The colored pictures are the ones we’re already seen in promo shoots. Also, one of the first things that I looked for was a pull out poster, but there wasn’t any. It would’ve been nice to have one just to pin up somewhere. (I’m a poster freak). Apart from that I couldn’t really think of anything that would’ve made this companion any better than it already is.

If you’re a Smallville fan, you NEED to have this companion, pick it up, read it and keep it in your collection. If you have a DVD set, or a copy of the episodes on TiVO, then you’d love to watch the episode and read about it in the companion or vice versa. It is definitely a must-buy for the average Smallville fan since it not only expands your collection but it will make you see Smallville in a whole different light. As cheesy TV commercials say “Try, it! I did!”

Design: 8/10
Information: 11/10
Extras: 10/10
Price: 9/10
Lasting Value: 9/10

In stores on March 25!
Get a copy now and support Smallville PH!

Big thanks to Tom Green for letting us do this review!

Under Marié Digby’s Spell

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

“I’ve put a spell over you”

Those were the words with which Marié Digby (pronounced Mar-yeah) entered into the hearts of Smallville fans. However before her song “Spell” was seen on Wrath, Marié was known as the girl who had covered Rihanna’s smash hit and much played single “Umbrella” on Youtube. The video was very popular and it boasts of over 3 million views to date. Marie’s charm and talent wowed millions of viewers and it even captured the attention of MTV who offered to feature the song in the season premiere of “The Hills”.

Marié was frustrated with the lack of promotion and so she turned to Youtube to help her do that. To this day she continues to add covers and original songs on her Youtube account, the recent one being “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park. Her warm musical style also reflects on her personality in her videos as she shows us her home in Japan while thanking people for the support they have shown her.

Taking a popular song and simply with the help of an acoustic guitar and her enchanting voice, she turns that club favorite into a rather heart warming track that you could listen to over and over again. That’s the spell of Marié Digby, a spell that enchanted a lot of Smallville viewers and we all here at SvPH hope that she continues to weave her magic around millions others.

We are greatly thankful that she took off some of her valuable time to speak to us and we hope you will enjoy reading it.

Interview by Carlo Esperat

Interview by Carlo Esperat

Everybody wants to know, how did Smallville find out about you? And how did you get your music included in the show?
Sometimes music supervisors directly contact me on YouTube or MySpace. For instance, with The Hills, the supervisor emailed me and that’s how I got the placement. But with Smallville, the music supervisor contacted my record label and acquired the song through them.

How did you get into music?
Music is my lifeline… I listen when I’m happy, sad, bored, angry… Couldn’t imagine living without it. I began writing my own music when I was about 15 because I was going through some rough times in school. A lot of people choose to go to therapy or write in journals, I just turned to songwriting instead.

Your acoustic version of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ was featured in the third season premiere episode of MTV’s The Hills. Did any other show feature any of your other songs?
The music supervisor for The Hills has been very supportive of my music! He’s already used two songs and there’s a chance he may use more. I feel very lucky because that show has a huge audience. Other than that, the only other time my music has been featured is in a Lifetime movie called Dive Off Clausen’s Pier.

Your tour will ended at a sold-out show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles last November 16th. Any more shows after that?
I’m sure I’ll be doing TONS of shows through the rest of the year and into the new year. I love performing.. I believe the next goal is to do a small west coast tour hitting the cities where I have started to create a fanbase.

Your EP “Start Here” features four songs including your smash hit ‘Umbrella’. Why did you choose to do ‘Umbrella’? Tell us the about the other songs in the EP.
A lot of people ask me why I chose to cover Umbrella and my answer is, there wasn’t too much thought behind it ! (laughs) I just heard it on the radio one day and decided to see if I could play it on the guitar when I got home… just out of curiosity. Once I figured out the chords, I made that video.. and I never expected it would have this kind of reaction!

On the EP, I also have two original songs of mine ‘Unfold’ and ‘Stupid for You’. The whole EP was recorded very simply and almost every song is just one take of me singing and playing at the same time. The goal was to make the EP sound pretty similar to my videos so we recorded them they way I make my videos.

We heard your debut album is scheduled to be released February 2008. Is it already done or are you still recording? What can we expect from the album? Will ‘Spell’ be in the album?
The record is slated to be out early next year… Most of it is finished. There are a few final touches we are working on and the artwork for it still isn’t finished. Spell will definitely be on there.. it’s one of my favorite songs!

Marie Digby

Do you write all your songs? What instruments do you play?

I do write all of my songs but I have no problems with singing songs that I haven’t written as long as it speaks to me… My primary instrument is the piano but I also love playing the acoustic guitar.

The videos you post in YouTube, are you the only one who records them or you got a camera guy? Where do you usually take the videos?
It’s just me when it comes to the Youtube videos! One time, I got my sister to help me out.. that’s the ‘Stupid for You’ video where my dog comes into the shot in the beginning. I have a Macbook which comes with a built in camera so all I have to do is press record in my iMovie.. it’s just so easy for me to make these videos.

Did you get a chance to watch the episode yet? What do you think of it?
I haven’t had a chance to see the whole episode but I did see a clip that a fan sent me on YouTube. I thought the placement for ‘Spell’ was incredible! The scene couldn’t have been more perfect..

Did you watch the show before your music got featured in it? Who is your favorite character in Smallville?
You know, I’m embarrassed to say that I have never seen ‘Smallville’ before. I hardly watch television in general! But my dad likes it.

When you were a child, did you like Superman? Who is your favorite superhero?
I think that Superman is a superhero that a lot of young boys look up to, mine was JEM. It was a very popular TV show when I was a kid, I thought she was amazing – maybe that’s the secret inspiration for me to become a musician.

Oh and, where can we get your EP?
My EP is only available through iTunes but my album will be available everywhere!

We hope you all enjoyed reading the interview as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. Smallville PH would like to thank Marie for sparing us some of her time to talk to us even though she was already at the airport and about to board the plane at that time. We would also like to wish her great success on her tour and upcoming debut album.

If you would like to know more about her and watch her videos, please visit her official MySpace and YouTube pages. And to purchase her EP “Start Here”, click here.

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Please do not repost any part of this interview without asking permission from the administrators.

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Album Review: Lifehouse’s Who We Are

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

lifehouse-sitting-05-2007300

The guys who brought us Smallville’s massive tunes (“You and Me” and “Everything”) are back with a brand new album full of potential hits (and possible Smallville featured music) that are sure to please fans (yes, Smallville fans, too!) and make new ones. If you enjoyed their previous albums (or the songs that were featured on Smallville), you definitely won’t be disappointed with this one.

  1. Disarray – the album kicks off with this great rockin? start. This is one of the best songs in the album.
  2. First Time – definitely a great choice for a first single. Listen to the pre-chorus part because it is highlight of the song. Another hit for the band.
  3. Whatever It Takes – one of the fan favorites. A great song that can definitely be featured in Smallville as it deals with some emotional stuff.
  4. Who We Are – one of the upbeat songs with a catchy chorus.
  5. Broken – Wade has proven himself again to be a great writer with this song. Nice lyrics! A sad song which will make great background music to an episode of the show. Definitely a potential Smallville featured music.
  6. The Joke – one of the highlights of this album. It has great beats and vocals that will surely get the fans on their feet and nod their heads
  7. Easier To Be – a feel good song with a great melody that will easily become one of the favorites
  8. Make Me Over – a nice song with great chorus
  9. Mesmerized – a sentimental song with an emotional appeal
  10. Bridges – the upbeat rock song in the album
  11. Learn You Inside Out – has a very sad piano accompaniment and unique vocals
  12. Storm – definitely a treat for the fans. A song from their previous album that has been re-recorded with Jason’s vocals. A beautiful song and a great way to close the album

Lifehouse "Who We Are" album

Though “Who We Are” leans towards the upbeat side but is still a solid rock album. This album is definitely something fresh and different from the band yet it still has their unique and distinct sound. Definitely a great album and a must have for every music fan.

Other Lifehouse songs featured on Smallville are Breathing, Take Me Away, Undone, Come Back Down and Blind.

Buy Lifehouse’s Who We Are and support this site!

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A Real Smallville Promise

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

angie_wedding1It was a wonderful day in Smallville. The sun was shining and the air was warm and filled with love. It was to be the day of the most anticipated weddings of all times. Clark Kent was finally going to marry the woman of his dreams: none other than Lana Lang.

Wait! That sounds more like one of my fan fictions, doesn’t it? Actually, last March 2nd, at around 7:45, something very similar occurred in my life. I married Jeremy Hobbs. Now, I know you are wondering “why in the world is this an article worthy thing?” We all know that people get married every single day, right? I will have you know that he and I are a very special case.

See, we didn’t have your typical big or small church wedding. And we didn’t have a low key or ultra fancy outside affair. No, what we did was all about who we are and what we love; and that would be Superman and Smallville. The streamers were red and blue. The table was decked out in red and blue. All the guests and the dogs? You guessed right, in red and blue. I didn’t wear a wedding dress. I had on blue jeans and a black Superman T-shirt with a pink Rhinestone symbol and Jeremy? He had on jeans and a black ‘Superman Returns’ tee. Instead of flowers, we had the Clark and Lana figures. We also had the meteor rock necklace, drifter Joe’s key, the Kryptonian space ship key, and Clark’s class ring sitting around the room. Tom Welling looked on from his usual place on our fridge and ‘You and Me’ by Lifehouse was playing in the back ground. We said our own vows which included things about Smallville and Superman in them. And then we kissed. It was magic. And it was us in a nut shell.

I bet you wonder how we met. Well, I met him online. Not in a dating website. I met him on a Clana website. He is a fanfic writer and I was reading his stuff. It turns out that he was also reading mine. We became friends this way. And from that very friendship, a love grew. It grew to be so big that I uprooted myself and all I had and moved to Florida to be near him. We were engaged on September 10th 2006 and we were going to get married July 7, 2007 but we decided that the small wedding we longed for was becoming this monster. So, we went crazy and bought a license on Tuesday and got married on Friday. That way, we had the small wedding that we wanted which it was fun and simple, like us. We still love watching Smallville. But now it is so much better because we can watch together. He listens to my reviews and usually helps me name them.

I have to say that I am glad I found Smallville last February 25, 2003. Not only did it save my life but it helped me find the love of my life. So, thanks to Miles Millar and Al Gough for creating this wonderful show. And thanks to Tom Welling and Kristin Kreuk for giving life to the Clana we love so much. All I can say to all of you is that your dreams can come true. I found my own Clark. Maybe you can find yours.

We at Smallville PH would like to send our best wishes to the newly weds – Jeremy and Angie. Angie is like family to us.. so Jeremy, welcome to the Smallville PH family! Enjoy your new life together and love each other always!

The Sweet Smooches of Smallville

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Valentine’s Day is here and thoughts usually turn to love and relationships. It is no different on Smallville through out all 6 seasons. There have been many different relationships in varying degrees of amore. Who were the best and worst kisses? Was it love or just Kryptonite induced passion? Or was it a platonic sort of thing? Smallville smooches are a plenty and not just on Valentine’s Day. They happen all the time and everywhere in Smallville and Metropolis.

(Left) Chloe & Justin share a hot kiss in the episode 'Crush' (Right) Jimmy kisses Chloe while waiting for a scoop in 'Wither'.

(Left) Chloe & Justin share a hot kiss in the episode 'Crush' (Right) Jimmy kisses Chloe while waiting for a scoop in 'Wither'.

Let’s look at Chloe first. She has never had any long term relationships which makes no sense. Chloe is smart and funny and not to mention pretty as well. But she has had her share of kisses. Unfortunately a lot of them have been meteor freaks. For instance, there was Justin in ‘Crush’. He had been the cartoonist for the Torch and he was involved in a hit and run accident. While he was off from school, Chloe was the only one who kept in touch. When he came back to school, Chloe was at a point in her life when she was looking to make Clark a little jealous and Justin was there. They shared a kiss in the Torch where Justin used his telekinesis to make everything float around them. Romantic huh? Well, he turned out to be the one who killed Principal Kwan and then he tried to kill her. That was pretty much the end of that. Chloe had also shared some kisses with Clark. Some were meteor rock induced and a few that weren’t. The best one would probably be at the end of season 5. Chloe kissed Clark because she thought that she may have never seen him again. It was nice and sweet. Not unlike when she and Pete kissed during the episode called ‘Truth.’ Pete reveals to her that he loves her, again Kryptonite induced. But it was nice to see Pete finally admit his feelings for her. Now there is Jimmy; they have had passion and they are cute together. They look like they should be couple but that may be because they share history. Maybe this is her long termer, but I doubt it.

(Left) Lois and Oliver in one of their make out sessions (Right) Lois kisses Clark dressed as the Green Arrow

(Left) Lois and Oliver in one of their make out sessions (Right) Lois kisses Clark dressed as the Green Arrow

Lois is a super sexy woman who has had her share of super sexy kisses. With the way she looks, it is hard to resist her. But she is tough and opinionated. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But it can make it hard to get close to her. But there have been men that have. Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, was one of the first to taste her lips. And then she told him that he needed a breath mint. But there was some serious smooching going on. But then he went out to save the seas and left her all alone. Next was Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow. Now there was passion and heat. Their kisses could set fire to the TV screen. But more than that, there was love between them. Unfortunately, Ollie had to leave with the Justice League to save the world, and was forced to leave Lois behind. But not before Ollie and Clark pulled a fast one on her because she was about to discover Ollie’s secret. Clark was dressed as the Green Arrow and she came up and kissed him. Ollie shows up and Lois is confused. She later tells Chloe that she knew the Green Arrow wasn’t Ollie because Ollie had never kissed her like that. Whoa! I honestly don’t think that was the last of Lois and Clark’s smooches. I think there is much much more where that came from.

(Left) Lex kisses Desiree Atkins, the new teacher in Smallville High (Right) Lexana started with this kiss in 'Fragile'

(Left) Lex kisses Desiree Atkins, the new teacher in Smallville High (Right) Lexana started with this kiss in 'Fragile'

Well, we can’t leave the men out of this now can we? Lex Luthor has had an abundance of female companions and there have only been a handful of meaningful ones. There was Victoria Hardwick, Desiree Atkins, and the mystery girl at the opera who switches another dead girl into the bed with Lex the next day just to name a few. And then there was Dr. Helen Bryce. Lex honestly loved her and there was passion and fire when they kissed. They shared many kisses before Helen’s attempt to dispose of Lex backfired. In the end, Helen was forced to jump out of the plane at gun point. That was the last we ever heard of her. And yet there is one more love of Lex’s life, which is now carrying his child. That would be Miss Lana Lang. Their lip lock is different. Is it love or something else? I am not quite sure yet. I sincerely think that Lex loves her in his strange way. He plans to marry her because he wants to spend his life with her. Or is it something else?

One of the all time wonderful couples on Smallville has to be Jonathan and Martha Kent. Now there is a love to last the ages. From the first time we ever saw them, you knew the way these two felt about one another. Theirs is a sweet and timeless love. The kisses they share are warm and heart felt, deep and meaningful. There was never a couple more wonderful and kind to one another. They seem to work together as a one. They were fantastic parents and marvelous pillars of the community. Their kisses were always of joy and happiness, always real, always from deep down in their hearts. Kisses to warm your very soul.

(Left) Lana kisses her then boyfriend jock, Whitney Fordman (Right) Lana kisses boyfriend, Jason Teague, the guy who swept her off her feet in Paris

(Left) Lana kisses her then boyfriend jock, Whitney Fordman (Right) Lana kisses boyfriend, Jason Teague, the guy who swept her off her feet in Paris

Lana Lang has shared many lip locks with many guys. The first we were privy to was Whitney Fordman, the jock. Theirs was a rocky relationship but they had some major smoochage. At dances, at football games, in class, in the Talon, and many many other places. Their best kiss would be when he was going off to join the Marines. But sadly, he never came back. Kevin from ‘Magnetic’ was able to seduce her with his magnetic charms to do all sorts of things that she would never do of her own free will. Once he lost his powers, she left him and ended up having to do community service as her punishment. Then Jason Teague came on the scene. It started out romantic and passionate. The hottest kiss they shared was when they were in Paris. And then they sort of began to cool off. Considering he was sent to help his mom kill her. Nice having a psycho for a love. Speaking of nuts, Lex is completely evil and untrustworthy. But at the moment, he has Lana. And they have shared some serious kisses. Their most passionate was the night they consummated their union in ‘Wither’. And they continue to show us some serious lip lock. What is to become of them?

Left: At school, Clark kisses Alicia Right: Clark and Simone are all over each other in the loft.

And lastly is that gorgeous farm boy slash resident hero, Clark Kent. Besides smooching Chloe and Lois, there has been Kyla, the girl that could morph into a wolf. This was the first person who knew part of Clark’s secret. And he felt that he might have loved her. But she died trying to save the caves, but at least it was in Clark’s arms. Then again Clark has had his share of Kryptonite induced psycho women. And that would be Alicia and Simone. Both of these turned out to be a major problem. One he was married to and the other broke him up with the Lana. But there was hot and sexy kisses going on with these two women. Some how they each got him out of his clothes, but I have no problems with that.

(Left) The lingerie kiss - Lana under the influence of the Nicodemos flower kisses Clark (Right) Clark passionately kisses Lana in the episode 'Red'

(Left) The lingerie kiss - Lana under the influence of the Nicodemos flower kisses Clark (Right) Clark passionately kisses Lana in the episode 'Red'

But the main and most wonderful lip lockage has to be Clark and Lana in my opinion. They have shared so many kisses over the last 6 seasons it would be hard to list them all. You have Lana’s ‘Nicodemus’ inspired lingerie attired kiss. Of course, who can forget that oh so sexy and delicious kiss in ‘Red’. Oh my God, that was way hot! Do they have chemistry or what? Then they were dating and those kisses they share. A memorable one was the birthday kiss in the loft during ‘Calling’. The cake’s candles weren’t the only things providing heat that night. Later in that same episode, also in the loft, after Lex’s rehearsal dinner and the next day under the tree at the farm in the episode entitled ‘Exodus’. It was one of the most awesome moments in Clana history. And how about that kiss they shared in the Atlantis club in Metropolis with Clark under the Red K influence? Can you say wow? I loved the kiss in ‘Spell’ when Lana was a witch. Well, he was shirtless and tied up! Then there was the kiss at the end of season 4 when she thought she may never see him again when they met in the barn. That was a wonderful moment in the new beginning of Clana. And then all those amazing times in the first few episodes of season 5! It was sweet, it was innocent, it was love, and it was perfection. There are so many I just have trouble picking my favorite. What about the kissing in ‘Mortal’ where they had first made love? What about when he came back from the dead in ‘Hidden’ and she was so happy to see him again alive? How about when she told him “Yes” to his proposal in ‘Reckoning’? That was so fantastic; so absolutely stupendous. I thought that they would always be together. That was until he had to go back and change things when she died. The last bit of kisses they have shared recently was only in Clark’s mind. And that was in ‘Labyrinth.’ But, is it the end of their time together? I don’t think so.

As you can see, there are so many kisses in Smallville and many more to come and even some I have probably not even mentioned. Life is all about love and happiness. Nothing is sweeter than seeing a loving couple locked in a passionate embrace and a tender kiss. How can one not feel a bit of passion themselves when they see a loving Smallville couple together? As Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle once said in a conversation “Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it. But a kiss can be deadlier if you mean it.”

Any opinion that is expressed by the author is her own opinion and may or may not be the opinion of the entire site staff.

The Many Women of Clark Kent

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

In one’s life, you meet people who end up molding you into the type of person that you will one day be. Each person gives a bit of themselves to enable you to be a better, more rounded individual. Clark Kent is no different. He has come in contact with many different kinds of people, some friendly and some not. Some who were helpful, while others hurtful. But out of all of these, none have been more influential than the many women that he has met thus far in his life’s journey.

If you have to pick a point to start from, it has to be Lara, his Kryptonian mother. As the world around her was destroying itself, she was only concerned with the safety and well being of her infant son, Kal-El. With a gentle touch and the love of a mother, Lara sent her baby hurtling through the stars, never to be seen again. Clark has only heard his real mother?s voice, but he knows how much he was loved. What Lara worried about the most was if any one would love him. Her ultimate sacrifice allowed her only child to have a better life than she could provide.

(Left) The Kent family - Jonathan, Martha & Clark (Right) Martha in the episode "Arrow".

(Left) The Kent family - Jonathan, Martha & Clark (Right) Martha in the episode "Arrow".

The next woman in Clark’s life is Martha Kent. She first laid eyes on this precious child on the day of the meteor shower in Smallville. She and Jonathon, with the help of Lionel Luthor, adopted Clark as their own. From the beginning, it was Martha who tried to help her son to have a normal life. She was the go-between with his Earth father when it came to dealing with more “human” matters. Martha has always helped and cautioned him when it came to his love life. She has always been there to offer advice, love and support to his son. Being strong and smart, she has aided him to be a better man by helping him to understand the ways of the heart by showing him with examples of her love for Clark’s dad, Jonathon Kent. Now that she is a Senator, Martha is showing him how to help others by looking out for others’ best interests. Clark loves his mother and his mother would do anything to protect her son. Many times, Martha has been the one to rescue Clark. When he came back as Kal-El after being missing for three months, it was she who separated Clark from Kal-El. Martha Kent would die to save her son, she loves him that much.

Since Clark was 5 years old, he has been in love with one girl. Her name is Lana Lang. For many years, she lived in the house nearest to his. They went to the same high school, and even shared some classes together. She is his beautiful raven haired girl next door, and it was love at first sight. For so long, Clark pined after her, only to be denied because she had other boyfriends. They have tried to work as a couple only to have his secret ruin them. Lana has proven to be a smart, independent woman, to a degree. She still allows herself to be manipulated by a man. Now it is Lex Luthor, Clark’s enemy. It has broken Clark?s heart that Lana went to Lex. But, Clark was unwilling to let her all the way in because he felt she would be in danger. Where will they go from here? It is a guess. One can only hope that they could go back to better times of innocence, a sense of purity and love. Clark Kent will always have a place in his heart for Lana Lang, no matter what happens in the end.

The three women of Clark's teenage life. Chloe and Lana in the episode "Lexmas" and Lois in the episode "Wither".

The three women of Clark's teenage life. Chloe and Lana in the episode "Lexmas" and Lois in the episode "Wither".

Chloe Sullivan entered Clark’s life when she was eight years old. She was his first kiss ever and carried a crush for him for many years. Clark and Chloe dabbled briefly in a romantic relationship but it was soon abandoned when Chloe realized that Clark only loved one woman: Lana Lang. So they allowed themselves to go back to being friends, and Chloe has become one of his closest friends. She was his editor at ‘The Torch’ and helped give him the journalism bug. They have had many crazy Freaks of the Week adventures and she helps him solve them with her vast resources through the computer and friends in all types of jobs. Once Chloe found out about his secret, she has been an even bigger asset by helping him to keep it and to warn him of any danger that she comes across. She has become the Robin to his Batman, the Mr. Watson to his Sherlock, Donkey to his Shrek. She has always tried to help Clark realize his full potential, whether he wanted to see it or not. Their love life may be long gone, but she has always been the sister he never had.

If you are going to mention Lana and Chloe, you can not forget to mention one of the biggest pains in Clark?s life at the moment. None other than Lois Lane. Most of the time, Clark and Lois tend to pick on each other. She gets on his nerves being so bossy and over bearing. She thinks he is a wimpy, goody-goody farm boy whom she calls ‘Smallville.’ There is no love lost between them. She busts his chops most of the time and doesn’t give him much credit for anything. But there are times when they have their moments. It is like a brother/sister relationship at the moment but is there more slightly under the surface? Is her rough exterior crumbling ever so slightly and is she warming up to that Clark Kent charm? Maybe not yet, but some day she will.

You can’t mention the women in Clark’s life with out mentioning two women that helped bring out two of his powers. The first is Tina Greer, a shape shifter who was in love with Lana Lang. When she appeared, Clark developed his X-ray vision. She even went so far as to morph into Clark to try and win Lana over. Ultimately her plan to get Lana failed, but her appearance still managed to bring out a rare ability in Clark.

(Left to right) Tina Greer and Desiree Atkins are two of the women who helped bring out Clark's powers. Kyla Willowbrook and Alicia Baker are just two of the women who diverted Clark's hear away from Lana Lang.

(Left to right) Tina Greer and Desiree Atkins are two of the women who helped bring out Clark's powers. Kyla Willowbrook and Alicia Baker are just two of the women who diverted Clark's hear away from Lana Lang.

Another woman who helped him gain one of his powers is Desiree Atkins. She controlled men by using pheromones. She had control of Lex and they ended up getting married. When Clark first saw her, he developed a more hormonal power; heat vision. Clark had to learn control it, so he wouldn’t send the whole place up in flames. He defeated Desiree in the end and saved Lex and Jonathon from killing each other. Even if she was a Freak of the Week, she still helped Clark to gain a super power.

There have been a few girls that Clark has met along the way whom have momentarily diverted Clark?s heart away from Lana Lang. The first was Kyla Willowbrook. She was a Native American who could change into a wolf. She was trying to keep the Luthors’ from destroying the Kiwatchie Cave. Kyla also figures out part of Clark’s secret for she believed that he is “Naman.” Clark develops a relationship with her for a brief time but she died before anything else could happen.

Clark then met Alicia Baker, who was a teleporter. He told her some of his secrets and he fell in love with her. The first time they met, she tried to kill Lana but was stopped and sent to Belle Reeve. When she got out after being supposedly cured, Clark again started a relationship with her. It got him in trouble because she gave him Red Kryptonite and they ran off to Las Vegas where they got married. Fortunately it was annulled, but they continued to date. Soon after, Alicia was accused of attacking Lana and a few other people. She was killed by a Freak of the Week in the end, leaving Clark extremely depressed. This was the first time that Clark was able to be free to love someone, and be himself. Even though they had a warped relationship, it still was a good thing because he could be who he truly was.

Lastly, in the “Diversionary Girls” department, we have Simone. She was able to hypnotize Clark into falling in love with her. He even made out with this girl in front of Lana. And Simone had him try to kill Lex as well. He breaks free from her clutches but the damage of what Clark had done to Lana had already been done. Through Simone, Clark realized that if there was one thing that was hurting Lana, it was him. He decided to tell her that he no longer loved her; his first successful job at lying to her, and ended their relationship. Is Clark doomed to be alone for ever?

There have also been two women that were Kryptonians. Actually we find out that the first one he meets is not actually a Kryptonian after all. Jor-El had just used this woman who called herself Kara as a vessel. She was there to make sure Clark started his training. She kept telling him that everyone would leave him, and betray him. So, he relents and goes with her to the Kiwatchie Caves where Jonathon reveals that she is not this Kryptonian named Kara, but an actual Earthling. It didn’t matter actually because Clark allowed himself, to save Jonathon, to be sucked into the portal where Clark was to be reborn. Kara briefly showed him that he would never be one of them. He was different and maybe he needed to learn about his true heritage.

Raya with Clark in the Fortress of Solitude in the Season 6 episode "Fallout".

Raya with Clark in the Fortress of Solitude in the Season 6 episode "Fallout".

Then Raya appeared. She was the true Kryptonian who helped him escape from the Phantom Zone. It seems she was an assistant to Jor-El and maybe something more. At Clark’s escape he thinks she is killed but she returns to Smallville to help him since there were other Zoners who escaped with him. She tells Clark that he was not only sent to Smallville because his father had been here before and knew he would be cared for. The main reason in because he was to be Earth?s protector. The reason that he never known this was because he had not completed his training. Raya shows him how to reanimate the Fortress of Solitude and helps him to embrace his destiny. Through her death, Clark is more eager and accepting of the fact that he is different and that he needs to answer the calling that he has. He is ready to pick up the mantle and become a true hero.

As you can see, it takes a lot of different kinds of women to make Clark Kent the man he is right now. Some have been great assets and others have been nothing more than trouble. But he has learned something from each and every one. There will be more women, and men for that matter, in Clark’s life that will impact his journey in some way. To be great, you need others to lean on and to learn from. Clark is just beginning to make that step towards greatness; there are a lot more acquaintances to make and knowledge to gain. But we must never forget the first women who have made and impression on his life.