Man of Steel Countdown #3: Smallville’s ‘Craving’ episode with Amy Adams

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In less than fourteen days, the wait would be over. The Man of Steel countdown has officially begun last week with Superman & Me and Superman: The Movie in 1978,The Year.

Today we’ve got Bubbawheat from Flights, Tights and Movie Nights‘ review of a Smallville episode starring miss Lois Lane herself, Amy Adams. 


When I was asked to be a part of this Superman countdown, I quickly agreed but I wasn’t quite sure at first what I would do for it. I didn’t just want to do a review of a Superman movie, especially since I’ve already reviewed almost every Superman movie out there and I didn’t just want to rehash one of my old reviews.

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Amy Adams as Lois Lane

But she also mentioned that I could do something involving one of the Superman TV series and it hit me. There is a connection between the new Man of Steel movie and one of the TV series. Interestingly enough, Amy Adams who plays Lois Lane had an early role in Smallville‘s first seasons as one of the freaks of the week in the episode Craving. So I thought I would take a look at that episode and her first interactions with the man who would become Superman, Clark Kent.

I was a big supporter of Smallville back when it first came out, and I actually had to rewrite this sentence because I had forgotten how long ago it actually was when it first came on the air. I originally wrote that both my wife and I were fans of the show from the very beginning, until I realized that it’s been over 12 years since the first season first aired, and we have only been together coming up on 10 years.

Smallville_LanaClarkAs much as I was a fan of the show, she would become the die hard fan and through the years I’d forgotten that it was actually me who introduced her to the show for the first time, probably towards the end of the second season, maybe even into the third. Of course, her love of the show was mainly focused on one character: Lana Lang played by Kristen Kreuk. After Kristen left the show during the last couple seasons, we both kind of fell out of love with the show and still have yet to watch or own the final two seasons on DVD, though we did tune in for the series finale.

But I’m getting off track here, let’s bring it back to the very first season of the show where Clark Kent was still learning his powers. At this point he had only developed his X-Ray vision alongside his strength and speed, Lana Lang was still dating the football player Whitney, and Lex Luthor was still playing at being a good guy who’s just trying to help the kid that saved his life get the girl he really wants.

And while there is the start of one of the ongoing plotlines with the Kryptonite scientist Dr. Hamilton, this is very much an episodic story that revolves around Lana’s birthday and our meteor freak-of-the-week played by Amy Adams in fat makeup whose name I’ve already forgotten. She’s the “fat” girl, and I use quotation marks because when she weighs herself the first time the scale reads around 170 pounds, and while that is a little overweight, it’s a far cry from “fat”. Of course this could have been a good opportunity to be a social commentary on the fact that in high school (or beyond for that matter) a 170 pound girl is considered to be fat by our current social standards based upon the ultra skinny models, Hollywood actresses, and vapid reality stars.

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One of the worst parts of these early episodes really is the drop-in drop-out characters who are only in one episode, but during the run-time try to act as if they’ve been there all along. Here, Adams feels like she should have been hanging out with the main group of Clark, Chloe, and Pete for the whole season as close as they are for her week. There’s also the stoner looking teenager who in Star Trek terms would be considered the red shirt, who makes fun of Adams and calls Pete a “chubby chaser”. I suppose I should mention the whole freak concept. Adams has a greenhouse where she grows vegetables in soil laced up the wazoo with Kryptonite meteors, and when she makes a diet shake with them, it speeds up her metabolism just enough to make her instantly lose weight and become closer to her ideal weight. There’s always a price, and after a while her metabolism supposedly catches up to her and she has to gorge, which usually means making a mess out of all the food in the refrigerator, but when the craving hits her at night after she has just hit a deer, she becomes this comical looking “fat vampire” where her jaw drops an extra foot wide which we’re supposed to believe allows her to suck all the fat out of the deer, and later in the episode the red shirt kid.

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As far as Adams’ role in the episode, even though it’s a very cheesy concept, she pulls it off quite well. She’s great in both the scenes where she’s hanging out with the Clark gang as if she’s been there the whole time. She also handles the dramatic moments very well, whether she’s hiding the fact that she just went through a gorge-fest, she’s calling out the red shirt on his verbal bullying, or when she’s trying to save Pete from her own cravings which she can’t control. It’s a shame that she was only cast for the weekly freak as I think she would have fit in well as a recurring character and oddly enough it does make me look forward to seeing her as Lois Lane in Man of Steel in its own small way.

Smallville_Craving_Amy3The episode itself draws some minor parallels to eating disorders, but I didn’t feel like the connection was very strong. The B story with Lana’s birthday party falls into the same old typical routine where Clark gets his chance to be with Lana, as friends, and promises that he’ll be there for her but ends up a no show because he’s busy playing the hero to save Pete. And in the end, he makes up for it with a little help from Lex’s money.

It was fun taking a look back at this early episode of a show I watched for years, it definitely has its problems, but it was fun seeing Tom Welling play his awkward Clark Kent. The cast of the show and relationships between the characters were one of the reasons why I think the show lasted as long as it did, as well as one of the reasons why I didn’t stick with it when they lost a lot of the core cast. Michael Rosenbaum, Kristen Kreuk, Tom Welling, and even Allison Mack as Chloe just work so well together even as early as this first season and really helped remind me why I loved the show.

Thanks again to Ruth for giving me an excuse to go back and revisit the show and I know I can’t wait to see Man of Steel.


Thanks again to Bubbawheat for his awesome contribution.
Check out more comic-related musings and reviews over on his blog.

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Thoughts on Amy Adams and/or Smallville? Let’s hear it in the comments!

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33 thoughts on “Man of Steel Countdown #3: Smallville’s ‘Craving’ episode with Amy Adams

  1. Y’know, I watched ‘Smallville’ off and on through the years. Liking some things, appreciating others, but not so much to make me a steady viewer. I should give it another chance with more episodes. Although, I did catch the series finale ;-). Nice write-up, bw.

    1. I’m in your camp Michael, well I actually gave up after season 3. I’m not fond of that girl who played Lois. I did catch the finale too, but it wasn’t as great as I had hoped.

    2. My wife and I were fairly steady viewers up through the seventh season, I think we stopped in the eighth season when they introduced their version of Apocalypse. It had some great episodes, but it also had ones like when Lana joined a sorority and became a vampire for an episode.

    1. Ahah, Amy is quite a versatile actress wasn’t she? I think she probably got a kick out of her Superman connection even early in her career. Did you know she was almost cast as Lois twice before Man Of Steel?

        1. Ahah, I actually had it on the sidebar. Yeah, Superman Returns and she also read for Lois Lane in Brett Ratner’s abandoned film. When she’s asked again for Man Of Steel, reportedly Adams said that it had become ridiculous at that point that she HAD to play Lois and put her stamp on it.

  2. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Nice critique, though ‘Smallville’ didn’t register high on my radar. It kept on moving around. One of those shows where the cast and writing was better than the story(ies) and plot line.

    For “cravings”, I recommend telling your hubby to pick up some peanut butter and tacos.

    Though I could be wrong.

    1. Hey Jack, I’m not too fond of Smallville in general either. I mean as you know, I LOVE Superman and the concept definitely appealed to me initially, but after a while my interest went south. I kept thinking how pretty Tom Welling was, instead of the hunky, strong Supes I expected from watching Christopher Reeve. But mostly it’s the dialog and sub-par acting, esp. the gal playing Lois. She’s more of a model instead of an actress, I kept wishing Clark would just get it on w/ Chloe as I like Alison Mack 😀

      1. Personally, the thing that bothered me the most about the show was that it moved at such a snail’s pace as far as his progression to eventually become Superman. He was like 25 by the season finale and still never really flew. And Chloe was my favorite character too. Did you know that she eventually became a meteor freak as well?

        1. Ahah yeah, Welling’s definitely starting to show his age in the later seasons, but still he was too pretty.

          Oh, which season was that? I think I might’ve seen that episode when Chloe became a meteor freak.

          1. It was somewhere around season 7 or 8, she saved Lois from dying with her tears then appeared to die herself before reviving in the next episode, or maybe just after the commercial break. I’m not sure if she was able to develop it further than that, or if she became hunted as part of Lex or whatever villain’s plan to collect and study/use the meteor freaks.

  3. Ted S.

    Nice review of one of my favorite TV shows back in the early 2000s, I totally forgot Amy was a guest star in it. I loved the first three seasons of Smallville, thought it was one of the best TV shows around that time. I too lost interest after some of the characters left and the show became monster of the week that reminded me too much of The X-Files. I did watch the last season, wasn’t that great but it’s nice to see Clark finally becoming Superman.

    I thought the Clark and Lex storyline was superb, here there were still young and “friends”, Rosenbaum was great as the young Luthor. I wish they continue with that storyline instead of cheesy romance and monster of the week.

    1. I agree Ted, the Lex & Clark storyline is far more compelling, though Rosenbaum constantly out-acted Welling who’s not a strong actor. I can’t stand Lois & Clark in the series as that girl playing Lois looks like she’s posing all the time and she is not believable at all as a journalist, let alone an award-winning one!

      I’m just glad Henry Cavill has the charisma and gravitas to go against Michael Shannon. In fact, I just read somewhere that the reason Shannon signed on was he had a great reading w/ Cavill, so the chemistry must’ve been strong. Man, can’t wait for that movie already… it’s less than 14 days away, yay!!

    2. I think it’s funny that you say it became a monster of the week, when it actually started as a monster of the week and veered away from that in later seasons with season-long villains like Lionel Luthor, the Teagues, Lex-as-Zod (though I don’t think that was a full season arc), and Apocalypse.

      Rosenbaum pulled off the friendly with an air of suspicion/darkness so perfectly it was kind of a shame when he finally did turn down the dark side and become a full on villain. It made him less interesting.

      1. Ted S.

        LOL, yeah I guess a lot of episodes in the early years were more monster of the week. I think the show lost me when Lex got married and then his new bride tried to kill him, forgot which season that was, 2 or 3? I actually watched every episode of the last season, some were good but mostly forgettable. And yes @Ruth, that actress who played Lois Lane was quite annoying, don’t even know why they brought her into the story so early.

    1. Hi Chris! Yeah, I’d have loved it if it weren’t so campy and too soap-opera-ish. I mean there were some glimmer of hope w/ the two strong villains, Lex and his dad, but the romance made me cringe!

    2. It did have some pretty dark episodes in the early seasons. I remember one great one was when the episode opened with Lex battered, bloody, and held hostage by someone from his past. It was either called Club Zero, or revolved around it.

  4. I can’t say I’ve watched any Smallville episodes. BUT Amy Adams is the perfect choice as Lois Lane. I look forward to seeing her on the screen next to Henry. She is the female version of Christian Bale, for me. High quality actress who has proven herself and will bring substance to the new reboot. God, I hope the script is good. What female wouldn’t want to play Lois Lane?

    1. Hi Cindy! “…She is the female version of Christian Bale” Oooh I’ve never heard that before but you’re right, she is quite versatile, though I don’t know if she’s ever done the crazy diet like Bale did for a role.

      “What female wouldn’t want to play Lois Lane?” I know, right?? Esp. when the Superman is Henry Cavill!! That is one beautiful man, he’s like the 8th Wonder of the World! 😉

  5. Ha! I had no idea that Amy Adams was in Smallville, Ruth. That’s news to me. In all honesty, I didn’t watching of that series bit a lot of friends and family always recommended it.

    I have to say, it’s the cast of Man Of Steel that’s has me intrigued the most. I’m a big fan of Adams, Crowe and Michael Shannon and even though I’m not big on superhero stuff, that’s a cast that can’t be ignored. Plus the fact that I loved what Zack Snyder did with the Watchmen. It’s looking promising.

    1. Oh I can’t take credit for this Mark, this is Bubba’s writeup 😉 Yeah she apparently had many Superman connections prior to being cast in Man of Steel, must be fate, ahah.

      Yeah I know, me too Mark! Well starting w/ Henry Cavill of course as the casting of Superman himself is crucial IMO. But then they built such an amazing cast around him too, I love Crowe, Shannon and also Kevin Costner & Laurence Fishburne! Glad you like Watchmen too, though of course I also like 300 😉

  6. Great write-up! I’ve seen this episode a couple of times, and I’ve always liked the show, even if it was hit and miss. Though, I’ve only seen the first six seasons, so I need to finish it at some point.

  7. This was very fun to read!

    Last year I watched all ten seasons again, and while not the best show (it had some major flaws, and season seven was so bad), it was a decent watch. Michael Rosenbaum blew me away, he was the epitome of what I expected Lex Luthor to be. He was so good, so when he was gone, a lot of the show crippled for me.

    1. Hi Zoë! Yeah I think Rosenbaum is the best actor in the series, well along w/ the guy who played his dad. The good guys are just so vanilla, but I guess that’s kind of to be expected from CW actors, ahah.

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