• Network: The CW
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 16, 2001
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. The Hollywood Reporter
    Reviewed by: Barry Garron
    Aug 6, 2013
    90
    Purists might balk, but for the rest of us, the latest retelling of the Superman tale is a brilliant blend of tradition and contemporary sensibility. Not only is it a Superman for a new generation, it's a Superman for every generation. [15 Oct 2001]
  2. Deseret News
    Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Aug 6, 2013
    90
    The first hour of Smallville looks fabulous. Now it's up to the producers and writers to tell good stories and mount the show as handsomely as the pilot and maintain a bit of mystery around one of the world's most recognizable characters. [15 Oct 2001, p.C06]
  3. Newark Star-Ledger
    Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Aug 6, 2013
    90
    An earnest, soulful update of the Superman myth. [16 Oct 2001, p.55]
  4. Newsday
    Reviewed by: Noel Holston
    Aug 6, 2013
    90
    The writing is intelligent, wittily playing off our knowledge of the Superman lore, and the production values are on par with top-quality fantasy / sci-fi shows like "The X-Files."...Smallville is the most purely enjoyable dramatic series of the new season. Like Clark, this baby's destined to fly. [16 Oct 2001, p.B27]
  5. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Aug 6, 2013
    90
    Yet another of fall's superior new dramas. Devoid of caricatures, this one is by far the best-ever TV depiction of the big fellow, framing him nicely as part of a coming-of-age story and treatise on little town America, before he moves to Metropolis and becomes Christopher Reeve. [16 Oct 2001, p.C1]
  6. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    Reviewed by: John Levesque
    Aug 6, 2013
    80
    Like an ice cube to the temple on a hot day, Smallville startles and refreshes the way "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" did in its early years. Though not as cleverly written as "Buffy," the new series about Clark Kent, tormented teenager, has much going for it: beautiful people from The WB's Burbank assembly line, movie-style special effects, a subtle sense of humor. [15 Oct 2001, p.D1]
  7. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Aug 6, 2013
    80
    Only the darkness of the show is disconcerting. Poignancy is great, and presumably Clark will triumph in his battles against evil. But in post-Columbine, post-Sept. 11 America, humor has never been a more valuable commodity. If Smallville can strike the right balance, the series should fly. [16 Oct 2001, p.F1]
  8. Orlando Sentinel
    Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Aug 6, 2013
    80
    Smallville is a brawny beauty in a fall packed with new series that are mostly insipid weaklings. [16 Oct 2001, p.E1]
  9. Kansas City Star
    Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Aug 6, 2013
    80
    Smallville roped me in. The most intriguing premise is that young Clark is only starting to grasp the enormity of his arriving on Earth a dozen years earlier. [16 Oct 2001, p.E1]
  10. 80
    Superman purists won't like it. People abnormally devoted to established teenage shows from which it borrows won't like it. But anyone with a flexible streak should find plenty to admire in Smallville.
  11. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Aug 6, 2013
    80
    A surprisingly stylish adaptation of a story that would seem to be played out after so many incarnations on the small and big screens. If Smallville can keep its supernatural plots engaging, and avoid focusing solely on Clark Kent's familiar teen alienation, it could evolve into a top-tier WB series. [16 Oct 2001, p.D16]
  12. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    There's talent and intelligence at work in Smallville. Given time, maybe they'll find a more distinctive voice...And that would be super. [16 Oct 2001, p.4D]
  13. San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    Reviewed by: Charlie McCollum
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    The writing is clever with sly references to the Man of Steel myths. In Welling and Kristin Kreuk, who plays Lana Lang, they have actors who are not only good but will be on the cover of every teen magazine within weeks. And Michael Rosenbaum manages to make Lex sympathetic even when you know he will end up being Superman's greatest enemy. [16 Oct 2001, p.1E]
  14. San Diego Union-Tribune
    Reviewed by: Robert P. Laurence
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    Not to quibble about issues of plausibility in a story about a boy with superhuman powers who arrives on Earth on a spaceship from an alien planet, but the star of Smallville is just too beautiful to be believed. As a geek, that is. [16 Oct 2001, p.E-3]
  15. Detroit Free Press
    Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    Welcome to Smallville. Check your cynicism at the city limits. [16 Oct 2001, p.6E]
  16. Houston Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Ann Hodges
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    Smallville's charismatic star, Tom Welling, has the right stuff to be an overnight teen idol, even without flying around in a Superman suit. [16 Oct 2001, p.1]
  17. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Brandon Easton
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    Possibly the best comic-book-to-TV-series ever made. It is a show that respects its source material without exaggerating the visceral bombast. It's a show that will entertain you in a single bound. [16 Oct 2001, p.44]
  18. Chicago Sun-Times
    Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    "No Flights, No Tights" is the mantra among the series' writers and producers, emphasizing that this show is set long before the orphan of Krypton becomes a full-fledged superhero. [16 Oct 2001, p.43]
  19. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    The idea that both Lex and Clark have a destiny, and are somewhat uncomfortable with it, is central to Smallville, and is what makes this series start so engaging. [16 Oct 2001, p.98]
  20. The Detroit News
    Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    Simply put, Smallville is super. A new spin on the modern myth of Superman, it's part action series, part teen romance and part high school drama, done with superior production values and featuring an array of new faces that could quickly become familiar. [16 Oct 2001]
  21. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 14, 2013
    75
    Over the years, DC Comics has told and retold the Superboy tale in a number of different 'origin stories,' and comic-book aficionados will have their quibbles about this new version. For the general viewer, though, Smallville is smart, tart, and tidy.
  22. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Aug 6, 2013
    70
    Imagine how much fun that discovery will be for a high school lad. And then imagine the anguish and guilt, as he quickly looks away from all those girls, naked beneath their clothes. That's pretty much Smallville in a nutshell: Not super. No boy. [16 Oct 2001, p.D01]
  23. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: David Zurawik
    Aug 6, 2013
    70
    An example of television getting it right. The themes -- teen angst, coming-of-age, puberty, loneliness, intimacy, connection and lack of connection to parents -- are skillfully woven into an engaging story line that reinterprets the 63-year-old mythology of Superman for a new generation...There is a major downside to Smallville -- the acting is pretty bad. [16 Oct 2001, p.1E]
  24. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 27, 2013
    67
    Entertaining, though short of super.
  25. Cleveland Plain Dealer
    Reviewed by: Julie E. Washington
    Aug 6, 2013
    60
    There are lots of reasons to like visiting Smallville. Welling scores high on the hunk-o-meter, and he and the rest of the young cast are fine actors. Schneider and O'Toole are hipper, younger Kents, and they ooze the love for Clark that's needed from their characters. The writing and production values are first-rate...But, just as Clark runs really, really fast but doesn't yet know how to fly, Smallville never soars up, up and away. [16 Oct 2001, p.E5]
  26. Variety
    Reviewed by: Steven Oxman
    Aug 6, 2013
    60
    Ultimately, though, the familiarity of the story might work against the show. As with last season's decent entry "The Fugitive," people may feel they've already seen this before and know where it goes. [16 Oct 2001]
  27. Washington Post
    Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Aug 6, 2013
    20
    This entire personification of Superman is so whiny and self-pitying that it's really an insult to the comic book mythology. [16 Oct 2001, p.C01]
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 131 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 131
  1. Feb 7, 2013
    4
    As most will know by now Smallville follows Clark Kent, played admirably by Tom Welling, during his teenage years as he starts his evolutionAs most will know by now Smallville follows Clark Kent, played admirably by Tom Welling, during his teenage years as he starts his evolution into Superman. Throughout this first season we follow Clark as he gradually begins to discover the true extent of his powers whilst struggling to come to terms with the reasons behind them. In a clever twist on the mythology Superman's future nemesis, Lex Luthor, is also to be found living in Smallville and the show is certainly at its strongest when focusing on these two men and their struggles to avoid having their futures written for them.

    A huge problem with this opening season however is the over reliance on the 'Monster of the Week' scenarios. Far too many of the episodes followed a similar pattern in which an (un)fortunate teen was affected by the Kryptonite meteorites endowing them with special powers and invariable one or more of Clark's friends and family would find themselves in trouble. These characters are introduced solely for the purposes of just one episode giving a perfect example of lazy writing. The script also lacks energy and humour when compared to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural with far too much emphasis placed on the types of dull teen angst storylines seen on TV countless times before.

    Despite all these faults there often were glimpses that the show could become something better and I will certainly give the show another chance in what is rumoured to be an improved season two.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 30, 2012
    5
    Smallville was the best example on comic-based series could work in the first 4 seasons. The solid cast also delivered good performances, withSmallville was the best example on comic-based series could work in the first 4 seasons. The solid cast also delivered good performances, with Tom Welling playing a believable young Clark Kent, Michael Rosenbaum as an intriguing and ambitious Lex Luthor, Allison Mack surprised us with her original and very interesting character and Erica Durance, who joined the show as a sassy Lois Lane. However, the show went downhill from the season 5 onwards with absurd storylines (Theroux's storyline, anyone?) and too much dwelling on Kristin Kreuk's character, Lana Lang, who turned out to be the show's achilles heel. Not even the addition of JLA references covered up the immense downturn on quality with the departure of most of the main cast members (Michael Rosenbaum's absence hit the show hard, from then on there wasn't a single decent villain to anchor it). It ended as an example of how bad a show can get due to bad writing and planning, dragging storylines for several seasons and adding nonsensical plot elements to further them. Full Review »
  3. Aug 5, 2012
    6
    The acting is so bad in the first episode that it's patheticly laughable but it progressively gets better through out the season but it hasThe acting is so bad in the first episode that it's patheticly laughable but it progressively gets better through out the season but it has still reached a level that I think it's capable of reaching. The story lines flip flop far too often between good and bad stories and I honestly think the show would benefit quite a bit with a shorter season (21 episodes is a killer for any series). It has a ton of potential though and it's a very likeable show. The first episode may turn you off it but you should give it 3 episodes because it does get better. Full Review »