Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Submitted for Your Approval: Emmy Nomination for John Schneider

Primetime Emmy Award:
Outstanding Guest Supporting Actor
2010 Nominee:  John Schneider as Jonathan Kent on Smallville

Okay…I admit it; I’m a John Schneider fan.  But, it doesn’t take a fan of John Schneider to see that his performance on the season opener of Smallville was a great performance.  And it wasn’t the first great performance by John Schneider on Smallville.  As a life-long fan of Mr. Schneider’s work, I was ecstatic to see that he was finally given a role where he could flex his acting muscle. Granted I realize that John Schneider is not Bo Duke, but he made the southern, hard-driving Romeo look so easy that most of the world still thinks that he was born and bred in southern Georgia.  Other extremely talented, seasoned performers like James Best, Denver Pyle and Sorrell Booke received no credit for the solid performances they delivered week after week on the Dukes of Hazzard so it is no surprise to me that John Schneider was over-looked as an actor and seen only as a pretty face.  I have no delusions about the world giving him any credit for the skill he developed on the Dukes, but to ignore his ability to bring to life the incredible scripting of Jonathan Kent is just plain stubborn. 
I grew up with Christopher Reeve as Superman, saw George Reeves play the Man of Steel on reruns and was the first person to say what a mistake Smallville was going to be.  I wasn’t interested in the story of Clark Kent before Superman had his powers.  How could that be interesting or even matter?  Thankfully for me, with John Schneider in the cast, I could not stay away.  I’m so glad I didn’t.  Not only does Tom Welling solidly add his name to Superman franchise but the core of the story is not just how Clark Kent becomes Superman, but what in his life made him the man who would be Superman. The what—or who—are his adopted parents. Mainly, Clark Kent’s relationship with his dad, Jonathan Kent, is the entire reason why he is the world’s hero and not a super villain.
All Jorel gave Superman were genes and a planet that would make him safe, super human, as he grew up without his biological parents.  What Jonathan Kent gave Superman was a conscience and a sense of duty.  Trying to teach a son such lofty ideals is hard enough in the real world, try making it believable and entertaining on television.  Well, that is exactly what John Schneider did.  He took words that would seem corny and sappy and made them true and honest.  He delivered them with such simple elegance that most people watching the show wish Jonathan Kent were their father.
Smallville’s creators know this, with Lazarus they made us wait until nearly the end of the episode to get what some long lost Smallville fans have been waiting for: the show’s heart (pun intended). In one scene the emotional center of the show was restored.  Good acting doesn’t require a mental breakdown or wrist to forehead preening, but a delivery that is so simple and quiet that you forget for one moment that you live in a world where Superman doesn’t really exist and Jonathan Kent isn’t back on the farm tending a broken fence.
If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend you go to CWTV and check out Smallville: Lazarus.  John, I can't wait to see what you do next.
Fan For Life

No comments: