It is 2001, the film and television universe for superheroes is dead. It was just in the late 90's with "Blade" and 2000 with "X-Men," that they had really made a name for themselves again, and still, those were only Marvel properties. DC had been run into the ground with 1987's "Superman: The Quest for Peace," and they only made things worse for themselves by releasing 1997's "Batman & Robin." It was time for a major revamp and what better way then to bring back the character of Superman for a television show, taking place throughout high school and college years? Everyone from ages 12-20 were loving this show from day one, and for good reason. It is a very exciting and fun look at the character in his younger years, with a very satisfying payoff after it's very lengthy ten year run. By the time the show had ended in 2011, the superhero craze was already back in full force, leaving this show slightly in the dust. What people seem to forget is that shows like CW's "The Flash" or CTV's "Gotham" would have been a much riskier move if shows like "Smallville" or even "Lois and Clark" had never seen the light of day.
The superhero formula on television nowadays is all about characters and villains. Most shows follow this pattern of bringing in a villain of the week, planning on how to take them out, while staying true to the characters and having fun moments between them. They always seem to choose actors with tons of charisma in order to charm the audience when the action is not happening. I love the current shows of "The Flash, Arrow, Gotham, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow." Sure, they all have their cheesy moments and they are far from perfect, but superheroes are supposed to be fun to watch and that is exactly what these shows do, namely "The Flash." I personally think that as far as entertainment values go, "The Flash" is one of the best primetime shows on television period. Again, this would not have been possible without the craze and popularity of "Smallville."
While it is not the most viewed show of all time, it did have an audience that stuck around and made it possible to create ten whole seasons, all of which had great episodes. Like most shows, of course there is filler here, due to the fact that 218 episodes is a lot of time to spread out character development. Each season they would cast new characters to keep it interesting and Clark Kent would always give it his all in his fights, and he did not always win them. That is also a page that most of the shows borrow from today. Everyone who enjoys these new shows so much, need to look back on what was and what is now. Superheroes are one of the biggest things in cinema right now and everyone seems to call out films like "X-Men, Spider-Man, or Blade" for getting it all started, and while that may be true, I personally think that "Smallville" had a much bigger impact than those did, for DC at least.
Not only was it able to spark all of these things, but it was a very fun show on it's own and not too many people seem to reference it anymore, which is upsetting. Back in the early 2000's, this was one of the best shows for teenagers (aside from Disney shows) to watch. "Smallville" is a huge landmark for television that most people overlook today. After looking back on some of the best episodes, it really does hold up. Sure, the cheesy effects are funny to look at and some of the cultural references are outdated, but in ten years from now, so will todays shows. "Smallville" was great television for the CW at the time and we would not have as many of these shows today without it.
Thoughts By: KJ Proulx