Writing real and honest parents for a television show nowadays is almost impossible. More often than not, parents play little to no role in the lives of their onscreen children and when they do, they are annoying, passive and completely unbelievable. In the case of Smallville, the writers got Jonathan and Martha Kent absolutely right. They struck a perfect balance of strict but doting parents who gave young Clark Kent a childhood and growing up experience that was nothing short of idyllic.
In the Superman mythos, Jonathan and Martha only play a small role in as Clark's adopted parents, but Smallville completely fleshed out both characters by giving them both deep and emotional backgrounds that play into the storyarch of Clark Kent's growing up. When I first started watching Smallville, Jonathan and Martha were immediate favorites. I loved how they were written as just ordinary people who were also very good people and how their simple moral lives heavily influenced, not only their son, but everyone they came in contact with. Throughout the show people are always remarking the hardworking and honest Kents, they're respected in their community and even the Luthors have a great deal of respect for them.
|Jonathan and Martha|
I think I enjoyed the Kents so much is because Jonathan and Martha reminded me of my parents and the Kents household wasn't too different from my own household. The Kents struggle financially and because of that, Clark isn't always able have what he wants. While Martha and Jonathan aren't able to give their son material wealth, they are able to provide him with a great deal of love and nurturing, as well as discipline and wisdom.
Jonathan Kent is just a great character and is probably the best television dad I've seen (and I haven't seen a lot). It's abundantly clear that he loves his family and will do whatever it takes to protect his wife and son. However, the show didn't make Jonathan perfect; he has a beastly temper and can be judgmental with people he doesn't trust. There were times even I felt that Jonathan could lighten up on his son and on other people, but that was the reality of Jonathan. He does what he thinks is right, not based on the opinions of others. The most human aspect of Jonathan Kent is truly found in his deep moral nature and how he passes these moral characteristics on to his son.
Martha Kent was amazing from beginning to end! After Jonathan died in S5, they could have just wrapped up Martha's story by having her stay at home as a widow, but instead they created a whole new story for Mrs Kent. Martha becomes senator of Kansas and then went off to the U.S. Senate which then left Clark free to leave Smallville and move to Metropolis. By the end of the show, the Martha at Clark's wedding is very different from the Martha that was getting her son ready for his first day of high school. Yet, she is still Clark's mother whether a homemaking farmer's wife or the head of the Senate.
A story that portrays parents in a positive, but honest light is a story that is probably worth looking into. Smallville made Jonathan and Martha Kent two characters worthy of respect and not for any great deeds done, but rather as two decent people who loved deeply and never compromised in whatever situation they were in. Jonathan and Martha raised their son to be a good man, an honorable man who would one day change the world.