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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Maybe it is that Superman is truly indestructible or that the Man of Steel, who was picked recently as one of the Top 10 American pop culture icons, is so respected that not even Hollywood would dare tug on his cape, because "Smallville" is another successful small screen version of the strange visitor from another planet. Of course, the great irony is that this time around there is no cape to tug on because this television series is about Clark Kent, years before he put on the suit with the big red "S," when he was still in high school, his powers were just starting to kick in, and the girl in his life with the double L name was Lana Lang.
Keep in mind that when Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the Man of Steel in 1939 there was no Superboy until 1949, when he began part of the futuristic Legion of Super-Heroes. All we knew about the early days is that just before the doomed planet Krypton exploded to fragments, a scientist placed his infant son within an experimental rocket ship, launching it toward earth. When the vessel reached our planet, the child was found by an elderly couple, the Kents. They adopted the super tyke and with love and guidance shaped the boy's future. As he grew older Clark Kent learned to hurdle skyscrapers, leap an eighth of a mile, raise tremendous weights, run faster than a streamline train, and that nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin. When his foster parents passed away, Clark decided he must turn his titanic strength into channels that would benefit mankind.
The key part of "Smallville" is that creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar go back to the simple beginning, with young Clark (Tom Welling) growing up on the Kent farm with Martha (Annette O'Toole) and Jonathan (John Schneider). From the "Superboy" comic books the series borrows the characters of girl next-door Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) and best buddy Pete Ross (Sam Jones III). But in addition to covering the basics, Gough and Millar come up with a key triad of additions to the original Smallville mythos.
First, they add young Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) to the mix, knowing that he and Superman are fated to be (im)mortal enemies, but that for the present he and Clark are friends (after Clark saves Lex's life in a car accident that should have killed them both). The key thing is that they truly are friends and that "Smallville" is as much about how Lex would become a super villain as it is about how Clark would become a super hero. Throw into the mix Daddy Dearest in the form of Lionel Luthor (John Glover), and Lex would have already pulled all of his hair out if it were not for what happened that fateful day in Smallville.
Second, is the brilliant reconceptualization of Superman's arrival on earth where the small spacecraft shows up in the middle of a shower of glowing green meteors that are all that remains of the planet Krypton. As much as the little boy in that spaceship, those meteors change Smallville forever, turning a little girl into an orphans and a young boy bald, and the small Kansas town into the self proclaimed meteor capital of the world. More importantly, those little green rocks will have continue to have an impact as they cause a series of mutations with which young Clark will have to contend. This also accounts for the great in-joke that Clark always becomes a bumbling idiot around Lana because she wears a locket made of kryptonite.
Third, there is the multi-purpose character of Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack). The driving force of the Smallville High School student newspaper her "Wall of the Weird" documents all the strange things that have happened around Smallville since the meteor shower, making her the show's resident mistress of exposition. But she is also the tragic figure who longs for Clark the way he casts puppy dog glances at Lana, creating a nice example of teenage love triangle pathos.
Overall, Miller and Gough had created an extremely solid premise for their series, which creates multi-dynamics for all of the plotlines. The first season (2001) is book ended by some great special effects, with the devastating arrival of the meteors in the pilot and the three twisters becoming one in the thrilling cliffhanger finale. My only serious complaint is that Schneider's Jonathan Kent has too much of an angry edge, which takes away from his font of parental wisdom. Martha really needs to mellow him out so that he cuts Clark some slack. I understand that Jonathan is motivated by fears and concerns about his son, but I always liked the gentle influence personified by Glenn Ford in the first Christopher Reeve "Superman" film. Turning adolescent traumas into mutant monsters of the week is a hit and miss proposition, but that was true of the first season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as well, and look at how well that series turned out.
Yes, we can also throw into the mix that Clark and Lana are played by a couple of cute young actors. Welling is not too serious as the kid who is going to grow up to be the hero who stands for truth, justice, and the American way, and I was going to say Kruek was the WB's new Katie Holmes except after her soft-core Lana scene in the school swimming pool goes way beyond the world's biggest collection of midriff revealing tops. But the bottom line here is that either the Clark-Lana or the Clark-Lex would be enough to make this a good show and "Smallville" has both of them and a lot more, including the brilliant metaphor of the scarecrow immortalized in the DVD collection's cover shot.
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VINE VOICEon 12 January 2004
For all Smallville fans, this is a must buy keepsake of the first season. For those not so familiar, Smallville, is a modern day version of Superman the early years. Clark Kent is a High School student in Smallville, he writes for his School paper and is adored by Chloe Sullivan editor of the newspaper and his best friend. When not in School he is down on the Kent farm helping his parents Jonathan and Martha Kent. Although he knows he has some special abilities, he hasn't got them all and we see him develop new ones as we go through the season, which sometimes help and sometimes hinder him. But Smallville is no ordinary hick town..... after being bombarded with meteorites filled with pieces of Kryptonite Rock from Clarks homeworld, when Clark landed on earth, some of the residents of Smallville develop strange abilities, that lead to trouble. Clark is in love with Lana Lang, who is untouchable, since she is dating Whitney, the School's Football Team Captain. Like Lois Lane in the original Superman, Lana is always getting into trouble and Clark is always there saving her. For anyone who loves the Superman fantasies and enjoy's a good bit of x-files type strangeness, then this is for you.
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Maybe it is that Superman is truly indestructible or that the Man of Steel, who was picked this year as one of the Top 10 American pop culture icons, is so respected that not even Hollywood would dare tug on his cape, because "Smallville" is another successful small screen version of the strange visitor from another planet. Of course, the great irony is that this time around there is no cape to tug on because this television series is about Clark Kent, years before he put on the suit with the big red "S," when he was still in high school, his powers were just starting to kick in, and the girl in his life with the double L name was Lana Lang.
Keep in mind that when Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the Man of Steel in 1939 there was no Superboy until 1949, when he began part of the futuristic Legion of Super-Heroes. All we knew about the early days is that just before the doomed planet Krypton exploded to fragments, a scientist placed his infant son within an experimental rocket ship, launching it toward earth. When the vessel reached our planet, the child was found by an elderly couple, the Kents. They adopted the super tyke and with love and guidance shaped the boy's future. As he grew older Clark Kent learned to hurdle skyscrapers, leap an eighth of a mile, raise tremendous weights, run faster than a streamline train, and that nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin. When his foster parents passed away, Clark decided he must turn his titanic strength into channels that would benefit mankind.
The key part of "Smallville" is that creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar go back to the simple beginning, with young Clark (Tom Welling) growing up on the Kent farm with Martha (Annette O'Toole) and Jonathan (John Schneider). From the "Superboy" comic books the series borrows the characters of girl next-door Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) and best buddy Pete Ross (Sam Jones III). But in addition to covering the basics, Gough and Millar come up with a key triad of additions to the original Smallville mythos.
First, they add young Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) to the mix, knowing that he and Superman are fated to be (im)mortal enemies, but that for the present he and Clark are friends (after Clark saves Lex's life in a car accident that should have killed them both). The key thing is that they truly are friends and that "Smallville" is as much about how Lex would become a super villain as it is about how Clark would become a super hero. Throw into the mix Daddy Dearest in the form of Lionel Luthor (John Glover), and Lex would have already pulled all of his hair out if it were not for what happened that fateful day in Smallville.
Second, is the brilliant reconceptualization of Superman's arrival on earth where the small spacecraft shows up in the middle of a shower of glowing green meteors that are all that remains of the planet Krypton. As much as the little boy in that spaceship, those meteors change Smallville forever, turning a little girl into an orphans and a young boy bald, and the small Kansas town into the self proclaimed meteor capital of the world. More importantly, those little green rocks will have continue to have an impact as they cause a series of mutations with which young Clark will have to contend. This also accounts for the great in-joke that Clark always becomes a bumbling idiot around Lana because she wears a locket made of kryptonite.
Third, there is the multi-purpose character of Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack). The driving force of the Smallville High School student newspaper her "Wall of the Weird" documents all the strange things that have happened around Smallville since the meteor shower, making her the show's resident mistress of exposition. But she is also the tragic figure who longs for Clark the way he casts puppy dog glances at Lana, creating a nice example of teenage love triangle pathos.
Overall, Miller and Gough had created an extremely solid premise for their series, which creates multi-dynamics for all of the plotlines. The first season (2001) is book ended by some great special effects, with the devastating arrival of the meteors in the pilot and the three twisters becoming one in the thrilling cliffhanger finale. My only serious complaint is that Schneider's Jonathan Kent has too much of an angry edge, which takes away from his font of parental wisdom. Martha really needs to mellow him out so that he cuts Clark some slap. I understand that Jonathan is motivated by fears and concerns about his son, but I always liked the gentle influence personified by Glenn Ford in the first Christopher Reeve "Superman" film. Turning adolescent traumas into mutant monsters of the week is a hit and miss proposition, but that was true of the first season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as well, and look at how well that series turned out.
Yes, we can also throw into the mix that Clark and Lana are played by a couple of cute young actors. Welling is not too serious as the kid who is going to grow up to be the hero who stands for truth, justice, and the American way, and I was going to say Kruek was the WB's new Katie Holmes except after her soft-core Lana scene in the school swimming pool goes way beyond the world's biggest collection of midriff revealing tops. But the bottom line here is that either the Clark-Lana or the Clark-Lex would be enough to make this a good show and "Smallville" has both of them and a lot more, including the brilliant metaphor of the scarecrow immortalized in the DVD collection's cover shot.
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on 12 December 2003
A meteor shower over the town of Smallville, Kansas brings a blight in the form of unusual green rocks which are capable of affecting lifeforms exposed to them. However, the shower also brings to Earth a spaceship and, within it, the boy who will grow up to be Superman.
As is usual for the first season of any show, ‘Smallville’ takes a little time to find its footing – stumbling through season one and the early part of two. This set contains episodes which range from superb (notably ‘Leech’, ‘Zero’ and ‘Tempest’) to dreadful (‘Metamorphosis’, ‘Craving’). The strength of the show lies in its characters, and episodes which are driven by those characters and their personal struggles are those which really excel, whilst others which balance this aspect with a freak-of-the-week B-plot often end up either mediocre or ridiculous.
In general, the dialogue in the show is excellently written from the word go. The writing occasionally falters, however, and clanger-lines are not uncommon, especially in exposition scenes where the characters are forced to spout hypotheses which would leave even Agent Mulder feeling a little foolish, had he to suggest them. Indeed, many ideas here have been pilfered from ‘The X Files’ and other shows, and as there simply isn’t enough time in each episode for emotional-turmoil scenes and a strong sci-fi plot, the former shines at the expense of the latter.
Overall, ‘Smallville’ season one can be forgiven for its failings, as so much of it is so enjoyable. The extras on this set are fairly meagre, consisting only in those made for the Canadian release of the Pilot/’Metamorphosis’ ‘mini-movie’, but the extras are unimportant when it’s the episodes you really want to see. Climaxing in the fantastic ‘Tempest’, we are left holding our breaths for season two.
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on 19 July 2005
Season 1 is a great start to the Smallville adventure. It succeeds in laying down the groundwork for the series. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. If your looking for an ground breaking box set to add to your collection then get season 2 as it has a lot more depth to both the characters and the plot. In S1 Lana can be a bit cringeworthy at times during the early stages as Kreuk's acting can be sketchy as she seems to be getting into character. The writers don't really have much of a role for Lana yet, except for Clark's love interest and the Damsel in distress on multiple occasions.
Another flaw of this season is the repetitiveness. Person gets effected by kryptonite in some way, clark figures out what is wrong with the help of Pete & Chloe, Clark saves day in the nick of time after overcoming some form of struggle.
This is a great introduction to what is an amazing series; I would highly recommend it. If you don't like this then don't be put off as Smallville is about to get a whole lot better. It is worth every penny, believe me.
Season 4 is especially awesome, watch out for it this October on DVD.
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on 14 July 2003
Season One of Smallville is by all accounts, excellent. It's not perfect and a lot of promise goes untapped, but the majority of the 21 episodes contained on this set are really very good stuff indeed. Admittedly the show is still finding its feet, but many of the first few episodes are very strong - it helps the show immensely that it has a spectacular pilot episode, that introduces all the characters in style and sets up the formula for the following six episodes: someone is infected with Kryptonite, gets powers, Clark defeats them. It's a solid formula, but one that could easily drag and get very boring very quickly. A good thing then that the subsequent episodes change gear slightly and go off in their own direction.
The characters first. There are some great ones, like Clark obviously, played to perfection by Tom Welling who, to his credit, is slightly beaten by Michael Rosenbaum's Lex who I can't praise enough. Chloe Sullivan is a very likeable girl, and Lana Lang the perfect foil for Clark. Pete shows a lot of promise but doesn't get enough screentime, whilst irritating jock Whitney Fordman is terrible, with not a single redeeming feature.
The episodes range in quality, from the absolutely amazing (Crush, Tempest) to the downright terrible (Craving, Reaper) and the average, unremarkable fare (X-Ray, Shimmer). But even the worst episodes display great acting and jaw-dropping special effects that must rank as some of the best on TV at the moment. Season Two may have more classics than One, but then One has episodes like Cool - an excellent episode where a jock is turned into a heat-vampire after falling into an icy Kryptonite lake and goes after Chloe; Zero - the season's darkest episode where a old friend of Lex seemingly returns from the dead seeking revenge; Nicodemus - a marvellously entertaining piece where some of the regulars get to act out of character after being squirted by a malignant flower; Leech - in which Clark's powers are transferred to another student at his school; Hourglass - where an old man gets a second chance at life thanks to meteor rocks and a woman predicts the futures of Clark and Lex; Crush - an unsettling tale of obsession and a lot of Chloe; Obscura - a disturbing episode where Lana sees through the eyes of a serial killer after a gas explosion and the marvellous season finale Tempest. And I haven't even mentioned Rogue, Stray, Jitters or Drone.
The season does slip up. The ridiculous four-episode arc with the atrocious Kelly Brooke in, whilst the Lana/Whitney relationship becomes tiresome quickly, but this is a recommended set of episodes. Sadly, you have to wait until next season to see some truly astounding stuff, but I haven't seen any other show besides The X Files to have such a strong and highly watchable first season.
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on 17 February 2015
As a big fan of Superman I was one of the ones who was always going to watch the series without having to read much reviews or need much persuading to give it a go.

The summary of the First Season is, A meteor shower brings a young boy to Smallville, Kansas. At the age of fourteen, he already exhibits invulnerability, super strength and super speed. Season One tells the stories from his first year in high school. Almost every week, he battles a new villain with super powers bestowed from exposure to the meteors. Clark also negotiates his friendships with Lana, Lex, Pete and Chloe. Lex has come to Smallville to manage the fertilizer plant. He is curious about Clark and the meteor shower, but his investigations threaten to expose Clark.

Season One takes place during Clark and his classmates' freshman year at Smallville High School.

It is a good series although some episodes can be a bit similar but all in all I would recommend it for any Superman fans and anyone who likes Arrow, The Flash etc
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on 16 August 2003
If you're a fan of the Superman stories this box set of the hit series Smallville is a must have! And if you've never heard of Superman it's still a must have! The series originally shown on the WB and Channel 4 follows a teenage Clark Kent coming to terms with his growing powers and an increasing search for his identity! The series is full of action, adventure and as always teenage angst and romance! I will say that although I personally prefered the second season, the first certainly does cover quite a bit of groundwork, such as Clarks love for the lovely Lana Lang and in turn his best friend Chloe's love for him. We meet his best friend Pete, his parents Jonathan and Martha Kent, and of course Lex Luthor! What makes this series stand out from all the others isn't that it has the gorgeous Tom Welling playing Clark but rather that because we already know Clarks future, the hatred between him and Lex and essentially where he'll end up down the line, it's interesting to see how it all started off! The series portrays the early years if you will. And for me what's more interesing is the fact that Lex and Clark start off as friends, just how will they wind up as arch enemies in later life?!
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on 2 August 2003
Hi everyone,
This is a must buy! Its really great tv watching with excellent acting and a pretty famous cast. Clark Kent is played by Tom Welling (former model) and Lex Luthor is played by Michael Rosenbaum (Urban Legend). Its focuses on their teenage years and on how Clark comes about all his special abilities, while him and Lex are still friends. Whether your a superman fan or not you'll love it, its excellent!
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on 24 March 2014
After ordering series 1 thru to 7 secondhand from Zoverstocks and being let down by the condition promised and the non appearance of series 1 and 3, I decided to pay a little more and get them new. Fortunately the order was delivered promptly thanks to Prime and because it was new it was in perfect condition, Not ripped, torn and scratched while being called as New (Thanks for that Zoverstocks). So I got the first season of what I personally consider to be the best re-imagining of Superman that's yet to be filmed in New condition and on time so I'm very happy with the purchase.
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