WB | The CW | Release Date: October 16, 2001
CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
75
METASCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 29 Critic Reviews
Positive:
26
Mixed:
2
Negative:
1
Watch Now
Buy On
90
The Hollywood ReporterBarry GarronAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
90
Deseret NewsScott D. PierceAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
90
Season 1 Review: An earnest, soulful update of the Superman myth. [16 Oct 2001, p.55]
90
NewsdayNoel HolstonAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
90
Los Angeles TimesHoward RosenbergAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
80
Seattle Post-IntelligencerJohn LevesqueAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
80
St. Louis Post-DispatchGail PenningtonAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
80
Orlando SentinelHal BoedekerAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: Smallville is a brawny beauty in a fall packed with new series that are mostly insipid weaklings. [16 Oct 2001, p.E1]
80
Kansas City StarAaron BarnhartAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
80
Boston GlobeMatthew GilbertAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
75
USA TodayRobert BiancoAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
75
San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa TimesCharlie McCollumAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
75
Season 1 Review: 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]
75
Detroit Free PressMike DuffyAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: Welcome to Smallville. Check your cynicism at the city limits. [16 Oct 2001, p.6E]
75
Houston ChronicleAnn HodgesAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
75
Boston HeraldBrandon EastonAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
75
Chicago Sun-TimesPhil RosenthalAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: "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]
75
New York Daily NewsDavid BianculliAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
75
The Detroit NewsTom LongAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
70
Philadelphia InquirerJonathan StormAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
70
Baltimore SunDavid ZurawikAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
60
Season 1 Review: 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]
60
VarietySteven OxmanAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]
20
Washington PostTom ShalesAug 6, 2013
Season 1 Review: 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]