Mandatory TV Battles: Who Had the Better Pilot ‘Superman & Lois’ vs. ‘Smallville’

Life’s a little different in Smallville. For comic book fans, or perhaps just longtime fans of The CW (previously known as The WB), there’s something truly nostalgic about a mailbox labeled “Kent Farm.” 20 years ago, Smallville launched the aforementioned network’s string of DC superhero adaptations with Superman’s 10-season origin story. While Smallville certainly isn’t as acclaimed as its offspring, it’s nonetheless respected by the Arrowverse. Now, Superman & Lois brings Lois Lane (Bitsie Tulloch) and Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) back to Smallville and, coming from someone nauseated by cable’s brand of melodrama, holy blonde-haired cheerleader, Batman! is it good. So, in honor of what was and what is, we compare how different life actually is in Smallville; pitting Superman & Lois’ pilot against Smallville.

Cover Photo: Warner Bros./The CW

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It would’ve been easy allowing Superman & Lois to sweep all the above categories (which is why it didn’t)—its pilot is fucking magic; capitalizing on what people already know and giving them plenty they don’t. Feeling like the first act of a movie, the episode’s pacing earning the viewer’s investment. Even without a “Save Me” theme song, Superman & Lois’ already something special (with a ridiculously cinematic score) and a prime example of what can be accomplished on cable. Smallville will always have a place in our angsty hearts but Superman & Lois, if it can maintain the quality of its pilot, will be everyone’s go-to Superman show. Life is very different in Smallville.

Overall Winner: Superman & Lois

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