I didn’t get onto Smallville until last spring, when I saw the last several episodes from Season 6. Since then, I have been able to catch reruns from Seasons 1 and 2, as well as season 6.
I think the writing on the show has been excellent. I watched “Superman Returns” on HBO HD yesterday with my teenaged grandson. We had also seen it in the theater. We loved it both times. As we were watching the movie, I was reminded of how much subtlety there is in Smallville.
Instead of Lex Luthor being an over-the-top comic madman, as he was wonderfully portrayed as being by both Kevin Spacey in the latest film and by Gene Hackman in Superman I, he is a much more nuanced guy on Smallville. I also think that Clark’s anguished attempts to hold the secret of his powers close in order to protect his friends have been well handled on the series.
I have also enjoyed the Clark-Lana-Chloe triangle. Clark’s anguished pursuit of Lana while he cluelessly ignored that the lovely Chloe was pining for him was kind of sad. That was made more understandable, though, when Chloe threw Clark under the bus by supporting his opponent for class president because of her “journalistic ethics.” In some ways I think this guaranteed that Clark would never reciprocate Chloe’s romantic feelings because Clark feared her driven careerism would always manage to come between them.
Unlike some others, I thought that a lot of Season 6 was the equal of what I have seen of earlier seasons. I particularly appreciated the delicious irony of Lana’s false pregnancy and marriage to Lex, which she entered into only to protect Clark.
In short, Smallville is a surprisingly smart and subtle series with more than its share of ambiguous characters and relationships.