Smallville s1e1: Pilot

Rating: 6/10

A meteor storm causes great changes in a small town in Kentucky. One of which is transporting a small boy from another planet, who is immediately adopted by Ma and Pa Kent, a 9-year-old Lex Luther loses his hair forever, and a boy tied to a post as a high school prank is rendered comatose but also given superpowers. Fun!

Well, this is a show that I completely ignored for its entire run on television. Why? Two reasons, one, I really didn’t like Superman at the time for reasons that I’m still not entirely sure about. And two, I thought putting Superman in High School was a stupid idea. Of course, I also wasn’t as into reading comics throughout history and if only I’d known that they’d been making “Superboy” at least since the 1950s then…I’d probably still think it was a bad idea. Not to be confused with modern-day Superboy, who’s a completely different person, this was chronicling Superman while he was growing up in Smallville (much like this show is), it also involved Krypto the Superdog a lot if I remember correctly, I guess we’ll see if this Kryptonian Canine makes an appearance on the show.

Pilots are always a bit harder to grade in terms of the rest of the show. Often they are filmed on a limited budget without any idea if they’ll be picked up or not and between the time the pilot is filmed and the rest of the first season is can be years of difference. You never know how things will change between then and now. The biggest difference is usually the cast, some might have gone on to do other projects, others the studio just thinks the person in the role just isn’t right for the part and/or has someone else in mind. Outside of that, the other biggest difference is production quality which can sometimes take quite a jump as everything is being backed by a large studio. Another giant change can be in the storytelling as they realize the audience responds better to different types of plots than others, though this is usually a bigger difference between the first and second seasons than the pilot and the second episode.

But, with all that in mind that this episode, as many pilots are, is quite possibly the worst episode. I don’t know, this is all I’ve seen, this was still fairly entertaining and interesting. There are points I kinda wanted to skip, the dialogue in the graveyard scene between Clark and Lana was somewhat cringeworthy, for example, but it was something I pretty much expected for any show taking place in high school that any boy and girl talking to one another is going to be more awkward than not, but it’s weird when it feels both awkward and fake.

SCORING:

+7.5: Not bad, for a pilot

-1: Awkward dialogue, and some stereotypical high school plotlines which, as long as it keeps up, I just don’t believe really belongs in Superman stories, even if they did do it in the comics first

-0.5: The villain as a side plot was alright but I felt he was defeated too easily when it felt he was going to be set up for the next episode it was just like “okay, now he’s dealt with, never mind”

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