I'm a big fan of The CW's entire DC TV lineup—my favorite is The Flash, but I also love Supergirl and Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. But I have a confession: I haven't ever seen an episode of the network's very first superhero show, Smallville—at least not until this week.
Since that's a pretty big superhero blind spot, and because today marks the 15th anniversary of Smallville's premiere, I decided to rectify my omission and watch the Smallville pilot for the very first time. Who doesn't love an origin story, especially one for the most famous superhero ever (that would be the Man of Steel, a.k.a. Superman, duh)?
You may or may not be surprised by this fact, but the Smallville pilot TOTALLY holds up.
Here's what the show did incredibly well: For a CW (well, then it was the WB) budget and with early '00s technology, the special effects looked great. The show did a great job of establishing Anytown, USA (well, Smallville, Kansas), cornfields and all, when I know the series shot in Vancouver. You can really feel the intricacies of small-town high school life. There's sooooo much angst.
Plus, the way it set up a "bad guy of the week" formula is straight out of today's DC TV handbook. And it starts with a potentially deadly car accident on a bridge, which is coincidentally echoed in The Vampire Diaries premiere (which aired eight years later). Don't be on your (admittedly ancient) cell phone and drive, Lex Luthor!
Here's what felt dated: The music was very of its time. Is that an album cut from The Calling I heard? Yikes. It's weird to watch a show in standard definition, but Smallville still looks great.
The verdict: In addition to my newfound love for comic book shows (despite having never cracked open a comic in my life), I also have an affinity for high school stories. Smallville is the perfect marriage of the two. Why haven't I watched this show sooner? If you need me, I'll be mainlining Smallville on Hulu and lusting after Tom Welling 15 years after the rest of the world and looking for my next way-after-the-fact binge. Have you guys heard anything about Game of Thrones?