4. Season 1
I remember watching Smallville‘s first season in awe and enjoyment, excited about everything that was happening and even more so for what was to come. So the fact that it isn’t at the top of this list is just indicator of how it really did reach new highs throughout its incredible run.
The first season was naturally focused on Clark’s awkward teenage years at Smallville High as he struggled with his love for Lana Lang, and began to learn more about where he came from. The teen drama element of the show made for a stark change from anything we were used to seeing in the superhero genre and that’s probably what allowed Smallville to survive an era full of teen dramas.
There’s a beauty and nostalgia about the show that is at its strongest in season 1. Smallville is warm, family-focused and very, very enjoyable. It blended superheroes with many of the TV conventions at the time, making it fit right in during an era of television dominated by high school dramas.
Clark discovered he was from Krypton, he formed an unexpected friendship with Lex Luthor, and just tried to survive High School while keeping Smallville safe from meteor-infected threats. There were maybe a few too many standalone villain-of-the-week episodes in hindsight, but that’s perfectly natural for a show’s debut season.
It was a strong start that showed us the sky was the limit for Smallville, and it really would go up, up, and away from here.