17 February 2004 | d_knyte
...BRILLIANT CASTING...IT'S ALL IN THE CASTING...
I'm wholeheartedly convinced that what makes Smallville work so well is the virtually flawless casting/direction on this show. Tom Welling and Kristin Kreuk in my personal opinion are **sinfully** (and seemingly effortlessly) attractive individuals. They were the "bait" that initially had me interested in Smallville (after seeing them in fall previews for the show in 2001), as evolutionary biology compels us to naturally pay more attention to beautiful people. Then there was the Chloe Sullivan character, whose quirky and cerebral personality I was instantly drawn to. Allison Mack seems perfect for the role - she plays it with sass, intelligence, vulnerability, and a dynamic form of bubbly charisma. And I keep rooting for Chloe and Clark to make it happen (although I imagine something tragic might eventually happen to her character - guess there's always cousin Lois). I absolutely *adore* John Glover as Lionel Luthor...the cold, refined way he speaks, and the manner in which he carries himself is essential to the role. It was/is cool to see Annette O'Toole from Superman III show up as Clark's mother. And John Schneider really is the perfect dad for Superman in my view. Initially, I wasn't sure what to think about the adjustment to the Pete Ross character (it does wreak of "tokenism"), but as a person of color myself, I nevertheless *enthusiastically* applaud the show's efforts at more accurately reflecting our world by including Sam Jones III, and the multi-racial Kreuk. I just wish they gave poor Pete more to do. Let's not forget Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor. What I like about his involvement with the show is that in actuality he seems to be a science-fiction/action guy in real life with his voice-over work. And I respect that immensely.
Tom Welling turned down the Clark Kent role twice -- but the show's creators knew that Smallville wouldn't fly (pun intended) the way it needed to without Welling; and that speaks volumes about how important casting decisions were to the show's creators. And it wouldn't be working as well without Michael Rosenbaum. Or Allison Mack. Or John Glover. Or John Schneider and Annette O'Toole. Kristin Kreuk is an incredibly refreshing presence on television, and I hope to see more of Sam Jones in the future - maybe in a role that will allow him to shine more than can as Pete Ross. Not since "New York Undercover" have I been as enthusiastic about a television show as I am about Smallville. I am now a huge fan of Brian Robbins and Michael Tollin, and was thrilled to learn that they have been behind some pretty slick productions, including the 1995 Russell Simmons-affiliated Rapumentary, "The Show." I feel enriched and invigorated with youthful energy every time I catch a new episode of Smallville (I'm a now "ancient" 27 years old), and I can only imagine how special it must be on that Vancouver set. Smallville is a great show that has assembled a nearly flawless cast, features great music, notable guest stars, fantastically fun plotlines, and a fearless approach to taking chances. Bravo.