Saturday, September 24, 2011

Role Reversal in Smallville

Since it was mentioned earlier this semester in class, Smallville has become my new obsession. I started watching about two and a half weeks ago and already am about to start season 3. As I was watching Episode 19 of Season 2 (Precipice), I felt parts of it really connected to what we had been talking about in this class. In the episode, Lana Lang gets assaulted by a group of drunk customers in the coffee shop she runs. As always, Clark is there for the rescue. But Lana is finally not okay with always having to be saved and tells Clark, "You're always there to save me, I just wish for once I could have saved myself." So she decided to start learning self defense and karate. At the end of the episode she gets back at her assaulter by beating him up all on her own. The roles are reversed for them and Lana, feeling good about herself says, "It's not every day that Lana Lang gets a chance to save Clark Kent."
I liked seeing Lana finally start to be able to take care of herself. Throughout the rest of the show, she is in constant state of needing to be saved- always the damsel in distress. But one thing that really bothered me was that Clark was annoyed that Lana wanted to learn to take care of herself. He was worried that she would get overconfident and get herself in trouble. I thought it was really offensive that he would want to keep her in a state of such dependance for protection. He should be happy that she is learning to take control and protect herself and become more independent. Another thing that bothered me was after this brief blip of girl power, Lana goes right back to being a defenseless girl in the next episode, needing to be saved by Clark. She doesn't retain any of the new control had had gained. Though I was really happy to see Lana finally become a stronger character in this episode, I was disappointed to see how it all ended up.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to get into Smallville, seeing as we have a surplus of time with the non-existent workload at Cornell. (I hope the sarcasm is blatantly obvious!) However, I do like how you describe that Lana is proactive about saving herself by getting lessons in self-defense and even helps Clark with her newly acquired skills. However, I can see why the show would revert back to the image of Lana being the damsel in distress. While it would be nice to see Lana save herself all the time, it is Clark who has the super powers and having to save Lana almost gives him purpose in the plot. If she continually saved herself as a lay person without any powers, perhaps Clark and his powers may be interpreted as useless if his help is never necessary.


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