Today marks the 15th anniversary of one of the most popular superhero television shows that have aired in recent memory: Smallville.
Smallville premiered on October 16, 2001 on the now defunct The WB network. It was the story of Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and focused on his early years prior to becoming the legendary Superman. When the series started, Clark was a sophomore at Smallville High with a huge crush on cheerleader Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) who was dating football star quarterback Whitney Fordman. In addition to suffering the normal teenage angst, Clark was fully coming into his powers and was trying to understand who he was and his place in the world. His supportive adopted parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent (Annette O’ Toole and John Schneider) helped to guide him on his journey on becoming the man (and hero) he was meant to be.
When Clark saves Lex Luthor’s (Michael Rosenbaum) life, the two embarked on a friendship but later followed their destiny towards ending up as enemies. Smallville introduced a character who wasn’t part of the mythology, Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack). Chloe was a friend of Clark but harbored a romantic interest in him. Although the two never became a full couple, their affection for each other and strong friendship remained throughout the series run.
Adopting a “No tights, no flights” motto, the writers of Smallville wanted the series to be more of the origin of Clark Kent instead of the traditional story of Superman. Viewers did see Clark make numerous life-saving rescues using his Kryptonian abilities and also met many characters from the Superman saga. And before the conclusion of Smallville, Clark Kent and feisty reporter Lois Lane (Erica Durance) were the Lois and Clark coupling that was expected.
The pilot of Smallville received an impressive 8.4 million viewers making ratings history for the network. Upon Smallville’s move to The CW in 2006, it continued to be one of the network’s ratings draws. Smallville ended its run of May 13, 2011 with an impressive ten seasons and 218 episodes.
The series is now available on Hulu to relive the adventures of Clark Kent again.
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