A being with strange powers descends from the heavens, sent to Earth as a baby. He takes on the role of humanity, embracing it, experiencing everything that man typically experiences. Then he grows up to enter into a ministry to save mankind from the many dangers that mankind faces.

Sound familiar?

SMALLVILLE
2001-Present TV series
Review by
MAURICE BROADDUS

This page was created on May 22, 2004
This page was last updated on June 5, 2005


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CREDITS

Cast
Tom Welling ... Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton
Kristin Kreuk ... Lana Lang
Michael Rosenbaum ... Lex Luthor
Sam Jones III ... Pete Ross (2001-2004)
Allison Mack ... Chloe Sullivan
Eric Johnson ... Whitney Fordman (2001-2002)
Annette O'Toole ... Martha Kent
John Schneider ... Jonathan Kent
John Glover ... Lionel Luthor


PHOTOS
Links, Photos
CD
Smallville
Various Artists - Soundtrack - Television

1. Save Me - Remy Zero
2. Inside Out - VonRay
3. Island In The Sun - Weezer
4. Superman - Five For Fighting
5. Nuclear - Ryan Adams
6. Lonely Day - Phantom Planet
7. Fight Test - The Flaming Lips
8. Don't Dream It's Over - Sixpence None The Richer
9. Wave Goodbye - Steadman
10. I Just Wanna Be Loved - AM Radio
11. Everything - Lifehouse
12. Time After Time - Eva Cassidy
BOOK

Smallville - Volume 1
by Various Authors

There is a whole series of books, this is volume one

Links will direct you to other volumes

POSTER 
Search For Posters!
AVAILABILITY ON DVD

The Complete First Two Seasons (2-Pack)

The Complete First Season

The Complete Second Season
2004 SYNOPSIS
Click to enlargeBefore the legend...before the icon...there was a teenager named Clark Kent (Tom Welling, Cheaper by the Dozen). Clark doesn't wear glasses, there's no suit and he can't fly. Between the boy he thought he was and the man he is destined to become are the stories of Smallville. Someday, he'll master his powers and understand his true calling. Now in its third season on The WB, this new interpretation of the enduring Superman mythology and its classic characters blends realism and adventure into an exciting action series.

Thirteen years ago, a meteor shower burst from the heavens, raining destruction on the unsuspecting citizens of Smallville, Kansas. The intervening years have left the town's inhabitants with scars and secrets. From the ashes of tragedy, Clark Kent has grown into an awkward teen. While adolescence always brings its challenges, Clark's transition from boyhood to manhood has been particularly difficult. He must struggle to come to grips with his emerging superpowers - and the effects of kryptonite - while battling the strange things that have plagued this idyllic Midwest hamlet since the meteor shower.

Last season, Clark's search for the truth about his past and future left him with more questions than answers. He discovered his powerful ability to use heat vision, then a new form of kryptonite brought about frightening effects on his personality. In a surprising twist, the secret of Clark's true identity was revealed to his best friend Pete (Sam Jones III).

The guardians of Clark's secret identity have always been his adoptive parents, Jonathan (John Schneider, The Dukes of Hazzard, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) and Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole, Superman III, 48 Hrs.). In the aftermath of the meteor shower, they discovered his crashed spacecraft in a cornfield and took him in as their own. As a result, he often feels truly alone in the world, like an outsider looking in. Last season, Clark's feeling of isolation was eased by the joyful news that Jonathan and Martha were at last expecting a baby of their own. Clark's happiness turned to pain and guilt, however, when his destruction of the spacecraft set off a violent chain reaction that not only destroyed his parents' farm, it also caused Martha to lose the baby.

In last season's thrilling finale episode, Clark's life was forever changed by his first encounter with the spirit of the man who sent him away from the planet Krypton to save his life, his real father, Jor-El. At first, Clark was determined to defy Jor-El's message that he must leave Smallville in order to fulfill his destiny, but his guilt over the death of his unborn sibling and the devastation he caused finally sent Clark away from the only home he has ever known to start a new life alone in Metropolis. Tortured by the separation from everyone he loves, especially Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk, Snow White), Clark buried his pain in red kryptonite, the dangerous and powerful substance that alters his personality so that he uses his powers for evil rather than good. Even more shocking, Clark's adoptive father, Jonathan was granted temporary powers of his own when he makes a deal with Jor-El to bring Clark back to Smallville.

Review by MAURICE BROADDUS
Website: www.MauriceBroaddus.com Email: maurice@mauricebroaddus.com
Holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology (with an undeclared major in English) from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. He works as an environmental toxicologist by day and is a horror writer by night. Obviously his areas of interests includes religious studies, folklore, and myths. He is a notorious egotist who, in anticipation of a successful writing career, is practicing speaking of himself in the third person. Oh yeah, he's married to the lovely Sally Jo and has two boys: Maurice Gerald Broaddus II (thus, retroactively declaring himself "Maurice the Great") and Malcolm Xavier Broaddus.
Smallville: Jesus Christ, the Teen Years

Click to enlargeA being with strange powers descends from the heavens, sent to Earth as a baby. He takes on the role of humanity, embracing it, experiencing everything that man typically experiences. Then he grows up to enter into a ministry to save mankind from the many dangers that mankind faces.

Sound familiar? That's because the story of Superman draws a lot from the story of Jesus
Click to go to SUPERMAN(see review of Superman The Movie elsewhere on this site). The movie, Kill Bill Vol. 2, makes note of the mythology surrounding the superhero, singling out Superman in particular. What that movie notes is that most superheroes, like Batman or Spider-Man, are actually people (Bruce Wayne or Peter Parker, respectively) who have alter egos that are superheroes. Not so with Superman. "Superman" is who he is, with Clark Kent being the alter ego.

What's the difference? "Clark Kent" is a disguise to blend in with us. Clark Kent is him taking on humanity, to be like us. If you think the comics are unaware of this parallel, or that somehow I am reading into things, consider the following. A few years back, DC Comics, the publishing house of the Superman comics line, had a mini-series entitled DC One Million. The premise of the series was to take a look at the DC canon of superheroes one million years from now. But what did the story revolve around? Superman, at some point in the future, ascends into the heavens to live a glorified life within the sun. It had been "prophesied" that one million years from now, he comes back to bring lasting peace.

Which brings us to Smallville.

Click to enlargeSmallville, named for the small town that Clark Kent landed in and where he grew up, works under and within, its own metanarrative, its own overarching story: that of the Superman mythos. The show is also not unaware of the Christ comparisons: the pilot featured the image of Clark on a wooden cross (a freshman hazing tradition known as "scarecrow"-ing). The premise of the show is simple: what did Superman, then only Clark Kent, do from the time we see him as a child until he fully becomes Superman. Again, to draw Biblical allusions, we see Jesus as a child teaching in the synagogue (the story of him being lost was the inspiration for the movie Home Alone), but we don't know what he was up to until he comes on the scene as an adult. So what Smallville explores is a concept known as "the Messianic Consciousness."

Click to enlargeNot all scholars believe this theory, but the principle works nicely for my Superman comparison. Basically, the Messianic consciousness works like this: Jesus gradually grew into his knowledge and role as the Messiah. The same idea is at work in Smallville. Clark Kent (Tom Welling) is a teenager. And his body is undergoing the same growing pains process as any other teen. The kicker is that in addition to the usual brand of awkwardness that accompanies the teen years, he also has to adjust to the responsibility of being very different. And not just different in the way all teens think they are different (although, in the context of the show, he's not that different): he has budding powers to deal with. So, over the course of the series, he has been learning who he is and coming to terms with that fact and its implications. Imagine Beverly Hills 90210 mixed with The X-Files, The O.C. with super powers and you have an idea of what the show is like.

Click to enlargeClark Kent has his gang of teen pals: Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) his childhood love that remains just out of reach; Pete Ross (Sam Jones III), who, along with Clark's parents, shares his secret; Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack), budding investigative reporter and cousin to Lois Lane (the woman destined to be Superman's love). But the most intriguing relationship is the one that Clark shares with Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum). While Clark Kent is learning what it means to be good and selfless, we watch Lex slowly walk the path to the dark side. It adds another layer of subtext to the mythos.

Click to enlargeOne of the main themes of the 2004 season (though it started in the middle of last season) is that of fathers and sons. It is Lex's father Lionel (John Glover) that is screwing up his moral bearings as he tries to shape his son into his own image. And there is a battle over Clark, as his biological father, Jor-El, tries to mold him into a world conqueror while his adopted father, Jonathon (John Schneider, yeah, from the Dukes of Hazzard) tries to shape him into world savior. The show has been in "monster of the week" mode, lately (the meteor shower that accompanied Superman's arrival to Earth also showered Smallville with kryponite, which not only weakens Clark but has varying affects on humans), but it still has the promise that it showed in the first season.

If you like teen angst mixed with creepy adventure, with a coming-of-age, messianic subtext, this show's for you.
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