The hype. The promos. Movie theater trailers. The five-minute preview that ran right before the show itself. It must have worked, because a damn lot of y'all watched Smallville.
The Primetime Television Event opens, naturally, in space. In space, nobody can hear you hype. There's the sound of electronic-like chittering as if it was the opening of a Yes album. A cluster of nicely computer-animated asteroids are twirling toward Earth. My years of study in front of the Wing Commander computer games make my thumb twitch absently. Amid the asteroids is one yellowish-green pod with its own little propulsion system. Awww, look at the l'il propulsion system! Maybe there's a baby inside! The pod sails past the moon, managing not to get smacked around by asteroids. I think this baby has played some Atari back on Krypton.
Suddenly, a blue sky. A circle of light. And a helicopter passing overhead. The orchestral music that should by all rightful means be the opening theme to Enterprise comes up as we see the helicopter fly over a large corn field. "October 1989," the titles read. Wanna hear something sad? In 1989, Milli Vanilli were on the charts. Though you'd never know it from this show's soundtrack. We pan to a sign that says "Welcome to Smallville Kansas. Pop. 25,001. Creamed Corn Capital of the World." David Lynch just had an orgasm somewhere. We see the front page of a newspaper in the helicopter. On the front page, there's something about a CEO presumed missing and dead, but we don't see much more than that. The newspaper is pulled back to reveal a goateed, hairy John Glover, my absolute favorite actor who played Satan besides Al Pacino. "This has got to stop," he says in his snarky Broadway voice. "Open your eyes, Lex!" Lex is revealed to be a round boy with fluffy fake red hair. His eyes are squinched shut. "I can't!" he says, pathetically. Dad tells Lex that Luthors are not afraid. "We don't have that luxury," he says. "We're leaders," Magnate Luthor says, before putting an arm around Lex, leaning in, and saying, "You have a destiny, Lex." In Kansas? On a chopper? "You're never gonna get anywhere with your eyes closed," Magnate Lex concludes. I won't normally be transcribing all the dialogue of this show, but it's John Glover and I'm just giving the man his due. Redheaded Step-Lex still has his eyes closed. He's not buying this "destiny" business. Aerial shot of a small town in the heartland and a water tower. Did anyone live in a place like this in 1989?