I've come to realize that Smallville might be my favorite tv show. Yes, it's incredibly gay, and the middle seasons especially are heavily aimed at teen girls, but all of that homoeroticism and teen girl bullshit is built upon actual good sci-fi plots, and some very interesting and well developed characters. Also I'm pretty autistic for capeshit, but honestly I think this show might be one of the major things that got me into the genre.
In the first few seasons it's really a family drama with the sci-fi elements, and it's very well done. The young Superman's parents are actually interesting and likable characters that do some cool stuff you wouldn't necessarily expect. The guy from The Dukes of Hazzard playing Pa Kent does an excellent job giving the character flaws, but making clear that they come from a good place. People got mad in Man of Steel when Pa Kent was so overprotective of his son, but I had watched this show, so I knew they were probably trying to have him be like he was in this series, but without as much time to develop him as a character, and with a very different tone in general, they couldn't pull it off. Now, the family drama thing is pretty goofy sometimes, but it's in a lighthearted and fun way. For example, they introduce Red Kryptonite and it's basically like drugs for Superman, so when he becomes depressed (over a complicated season arc involving his spaceship accidentally causing his mom to have a miscarriage) he takes a bunch of Red Kryptonite and runs off to be a degenerate in the city, forsaking his simple small town roots and morality. This is the season finale cliffhanger. The season premiere, then, is his dad getting matching superpowers and going to the city to hunt down teenage Superman and beat some sense into him. It's surprisingly an actual cool fight scene, and makes the dad into a total badass, and not the guy from the comics, who is generally too "good" to actually ever get the chance to be cool.
Then the family dynamic is mirrored with the antagonist and his father, who are by far the most interesting part of the show. Normally I hate when an adaptation of a long running series makes original characters be some of the most important in their adaptation, but Lionel Luthor is an incredibly charismatic character and while he begins as basically just a replacement for Lex Luthor, since Lex isn't evil yet in this series so they needed a new antagonist, he ends up developing into a much deeper character than I would have expected out of anyone in this series, let alone an OC villain created just to replace another villain they couldn't use. Meanwhile, Lionel also serves to make Lex Luthor's backstory (which we're watching in the show), personality, and motivations, a million times more interesting than it ever was in the comics, and he's already an interesting character in the comics. From the very first scene of the show, it's incredibly obvious how both of these characters will end up, but seeing them get there ends up being way more interesting than ever expected.
Now, I'll admit the worst part of the show is the high school/college stuff, which becomes more important in seasons 4-7. The homoeroticism between Superman and Lex Luthor becomes more pronounced as they fight over a girl for seasons at a time, and she gets more focus in the plot than she deserves, while being an awful bitch that the writers refuse to acknowledge. But at the same time, these seasons introduce cool shit like Brainiac, the Justice League, and some deep lore stuff in Season 7, so it evens out a bit.
By the last two or three seasons, though, they ran out of the "origin story" stuff to do, so they just give up and the show ends up becoming maybe the best live action capeshit show ever, outside of maybe The Incredible Hulk, but that's a really different type of show in general. The sci-fi plots become much more prominent, as rather than generally using monsters of the week with the season arcs being more about character relationships (family or romantic), the season arcs are about sci-fi stuff, each episode has its own monster, and the characters are mostly already fleshed out so the relationship stuff is therefore more minor. It's very different from the family drama of the first few seasons, but I like it just as much. Also, while they refuse to have him wear the costume or call himself Superman until the last episode (which is the entire point of the series. You know he won't do that until the last episode), they have pretty much every DC character ever show up, except Batman and Wonder Woman. But Green Arrow becomes a main character, and was cool enough for the same people to make another Green Arrow show right after this ended. Except it sucked even though it got a bunch of seasons and a bunch of spinoffs.Yes, a lot of the costumes on Smallville looked stupid, because it was a low budget tv show on a network nobody watched, and partially just because of the style of the time (Green Arrow wearing shiny leather and sunglasses is pretty gay) but you get used to it, and I wouldn't say it kills the show. Booster Gold's suit might look pretty cheap, but it's the only live action Booster Gold we're ever going to get, and the writing and performance are both good. Doomsday might look like absolute shit, but they try their best to only shoot him in the shadows so you can't tell. They tried, okay?
Don't let the current awful CW DC tv shows make you think Smallville was as bad as they are. It wasn't. I rewatched the whole thing and it's not SJW, for one thing. Also, all the problems Smallville does have are greatly exacerbated in Arrow and its spinoffs. For example, Smallville's original love interest, while technically a character from the comics, was drastically altered to be a major Mary Sue that ruins basically any episode where she is important. In the first three seasons this isn't so bad, but she becomes much too important in Season 4, and while they reel it in a bit, it's still a problem until Season 7, when she leaves (and the show gets immediately better). Meanwhile, Arrow would do this with a character called Felicity, a minor character from the comics who was in one episode basically as a cameo, but the writers were so in love with thee actress that they made her a main character, killed off Green Arrow's traditional love interest, Black Canary (another superhero, and therefore much more interesting), and had the whole show become about how great Felicity is. Other shows like The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow also had characters somewhat like this (though none as bad as Felicity), so when I went back and watched Smallville, remembering how annoying Lana was, I found that it wasn't as bad as I came to expect from these new shows. It still gets bad sometimes, but it's concentrated to a few seasons, and a minority of episodes in those seasons.
Let my autistic post about the show show how much I like it, but also that it is a guilty pleasure, because I don't have anywhere else to talk about it. I'd be far too embarrassed to admit in public that I like a show this gay, and which has the stigma of all these later shows which are almost spinoffs of it, but are a million times worse. On rewatch, Smallville holds up better than when I watched it in its original run. In fact, it's probably my favorite show.
Also, the Alison Mack, who played the nerdy girl that continually gets friendzoned by Superman for the entire series, turned out to be second in command of an IRL sex cult that did things such as branding members. She is now in jail. Superman's old friend that he friendzoned and then forgot about coming back as leader as a sex cult would be a cool plot for the comics. There's already a cult of Superman in the comics, and it wouldn't be any more degenerate than the time Darkseid forced Superman and Big Barda (Darkseid's son's, Mister Miracle's, wife) to make a sex tape together so he could show it to Mister Miracle and br