no quiet small town life;
no happy ending to every episode;
instead, a continual sense of impending doom;
we know that friends will become enemies;
the superhero secret identity idea is developed in ways that create dishonesty and distrust;
a mystery from the past, whether from Krypton or from the Luthors, is always threatening to disrupt the present;
if Clark is to have an indefinitely extended lifespan, is this good or bad?