A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this superhero origin story series is frequently bloody and violent. While the program deals with a wide range of topics and good eventually overcomes evil, gory fight scenes and evil villains are commonplace. The show also contains some iffy vocab ("hell," "bastard"). As the characters have aged, sex and drama have been introduced to spice up story lines.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
It's been 18 years since a meteor shower rained down on Smallville, Kansas, dropping off little Clark Kent (Tom Welling) in a spaceship and altering the small town forever. SMALLVILLE tracks Clark Kent and friends -- including pretty Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) -- through high school and into college. During these young-adult years, Clark discovers details about his own history, as well as the fate of his home planet and his biological parents. Better yet, he furthers his journey toward fully realizing his super powers. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum), once Clark's best friend, gives into the dark side. Kent’s later move to the big city of Metropolis leads to a budding relationship with Lois Lane (Erica Durance), interactions with the Green Arrow (Justin Hartley), and the introduction of new foes, including Lex Luthor’s half-sister, Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman).
Is it any good?
The series revives the superhero genre in an intelligent, if often mature, action series. One of the best aspects of the series, and the most fun for young viewers, is watching the young Clark slowly come into his powers; he's super fast, can see through walls, and has acquired super hearing. Older fans will also appreciate the evolving storylines about the relationships that develop throughout the years.
Early episodes of Smallville emphasize the values of family and friendship, but later ones introduce more mature plots that some may find a little strong for early primetime. And unlike the Superman movies and previous television series, its tone is serious rather than playful. But fans who enjoy well-developed actions series will definitely find it entertaining.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teen sex on TV using as an example Lana and Clark's decision to have sex. What do kids think of their actions? How did the show handle the topic -- responsibly, realistically? Does the drama of relationships gets in the way of the superhero themes?
Families can talk about how television shows evolve over time. Do TV shows have to add racier material to keep it interesting for viewers? How else can shows remain interesting over time?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love superheroes
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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