Point of No Return: Once the show’s limitations became blatantly obvious.

More closely resembling the late-1980s Superboy than anything in the modern superhero TV landscape, The CW’s Smallville featured nearly 100% less direct ties to the Superman universe, and kept baiting viewers for ten seasons with a lukewarm plotline that still felt like a high school drama even in the years after the characters had moved onto Metropolis. A lot of your favorite DC characters appeared on Smallville in their most watered-down form, and the show’s budgetary restraints kept even the most potentially badass sequences on the level of half-hearted fan film. Its 10-season lifespan obviously kept a sizeable audience, but presumably few of them walked away with compliments to spare.

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