Many have tried to duplicate their success but have failed and to the ones who has grown a large following over the years, it’s due to studying and watching how the king of comic book TV shows was able to pull it off for 10 years. Smallville never claimed to be the best show on TV, the Emmy’s and Golden Globes were out of its reach but to be honest, Smallville was just ahead of its time.
The world is in love with superheroes now. That’s the craze nowadays but what they lack is the originality that Smallville provided. 1o seasons of Superman. There have been countless Superman movies, not to mention the Louis and Clarke show but what Smallville offered to the masses was pure genius.
Smallville was based on Superman’s teenage years. Right when he was fully understanding his powers but at the same time dealing with being a kid. There was school, friendships, girlfriends, being a son, learning how to keep secrets, all the while trying to fight evil. To many, the show lasted too long, but it gave you insight into Superman/Kent’s upbringing.
I was never that invested in the comic world but I was always intrigued by Superman and how he came to be. His relationship with his earth parents was vital to the show, as well as his friendship with Chole and Lana. But the heart and soul of Smallville was the bond between him and Lex Luthor.
We identify with them through their rivalry and while the movies and other shows jump right into their feud, Smallville told a different story. Clark and Lex were friends from Clark’s early years. Lex was the heir to a powerful throne but their connection, in the beginning, was one of admiration for one another.
When others tried to warn Clark of Lex’s crude intentions, Clarke stood up for Lex. Lex didn’t start evil, he was forced to become who we see him as today. Lex would’ve killed for Clark and the Kent family but his father, Lionel, early on was the one pulling the strings and as much as Lex tried to fight it, the aura of Lionel’s evilness was just too much.
In 10 years there were classic scenes and lines, but Lex summed up their friendship and the path of the show in the first season with one line:
In the middle of fights with beast, wanna-be-Gods and demons there was another important gem that went unnoticed until now. Smallville broke the mold with crossovers and set the stage for the DC/Marvel universe that we see today. The world had given up on Superheros by the time Smallville aired, but DC Comics had a plan. Maybe their plan was just to introduce characters into the storyline but in doing so, they set the stage for something bigger.
My early childhood was spent watching the Justice League, the cartoon version but to see a young Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, Supergirl and others it opened the door to possibilities we didn’t see at the time. While Marvel has had its success, with movies and shows, DC still owns the success on the small screen. Smallville gave birth to the Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, all huge success on TV but there wouldn’t be a hero universe to talk of if it wasn’t for Smallville.
For 10 years fans sat in front of their TV for an hour and watched. There was no Netflix or Hulu binge watching programs, just 218 well-written and acted episodes of our favorite hero saving the day. So, when you’re watching Arrow, Flash, Thor, Avengers or any new craze that’s getting ready to hit the theaters, stop and give special thanks to DC and their excellent portrayal of Superman as he did what a leader is supposed to do.
Smallville opened the door, set the standard and proved that every adult still has some kid in them.