So much great stuff to comment on!
Whenever I read about Lois, I wonder how much of my own relative dislike of her is about Lois herself and how much is because they (IM possibly unpopular O!) had already let us get to know a character who, to me, WAS Lois Lane as I had always envisioned her---the vibrancy, boldness, energy, passion, snark, insatiable curiosity, independence, sharpness, impulsiveness, belief in truth and justice, eagerness to help even when it means interfering, the unique mixture of borderline cockiness and genuine vulnerability and insecurity, etc. So Chloe (whose name even sounds vaguely like Lois's, especially when the characters are called "Chlo" and "Lo"!) WAS Lois to me. I get that I shouldn't have let myself feel that way, but I couldn't help it. As a result, by the time the real Lois showed up, she (Lois) seemed redundant at best and unlikable at worst. Because Smallville's Lois, IMO, was pointlessly similar to Chloe in some ways yet a less likable and interesting version of her---more genuinely conceited, condescending, obnoxious, flighty, self-absorbed and even with less of a real interest in journalism and investigation than Chloe had.
And while Chloe had a genuine closeness, trust and rapport with Clark, Lois and Clark had this kind of exhausting antagonism and, IMO, just an inability and unwillingness to connect on pretty much any level. As I said in an above post, I liked her introduction in S4...and, ironically, those first couple of episodes were probably the best the Lois/Clark dynamic ever was for me. If anything, it seemed to regress rather than organically evolve. I get that the show was going for a romantic comedy-esque "love/hate!" dynamic between them, but it came off like genuine mutual annoyance far more often than not to me, much more of an older and allegedly more worldly sister having to tolerate a goofy younger brother who she doesn't like or respect but is stuck with than it seemed like two potential lovers. Maybe, MAYBE, a grudging affection developed, but I never saw it as a genuinely deep connection, let alone love, and saw surprisingly little romantic passion there on either side. People talk about the imbalance between Clark and Chloe because she was the one to always feel more strongly or at least show it (and I agree with that to some extent!), but to me there was a bigger imbalance between Lois and Clark---Lois seemed to genuinely believe she was superior to him in virtually every way, and not as a cover up for insecurity, but because she just really didn't think he was good enough for her, and not just as a romantic partner. She repeatedly dismisses and blows off his advice and point of view, his skills and abilities, etc. And I can never, ever shake the feeling that if Clark hadn't happened to also be a superhero, she would never have been remotely interested.
I will always love you guys for explaining Clark's blandness and seeming lack of depth and emotion by reminding me that he's an alien, so it may have been deliberate rather than the result of relatively subpar writing and/or acting. And I agree that he had to deliberately repress a certain amount of emotion, openness and candor in order to maintain his dual identity and carry through with his mission. That said, though, I ended up feeling relieved that Chloe ended up with Oliver, who was so much more vibrant, dynamic and alive. So while Chloe is, IMO, a very flawed character, I really do think she deserved better than Clark ever could or would give her, which seems to be unpopular, at least among those here who love Chloe as much as I do :)
The more I read analysis about Lana, the more I get what they may have been going for, find her a potentially interesting character outside of her tiresome relationship with Clark and take a twisted enjoyment in her dynamic with Lex. Unpopularly enough, I will take Lana over Lois in a heartbeat. And I do think she and Chloe COULD have had an oddly touching and mutually beneficial friendship. What we actually got felt forced and pointless, IMO, but they COULD have had one :)
I'll always have a soft spot for Jimmy Olsen and Chloe's relationship with him.
It's been said before, but seriously, I will always love Justin Hartley's Arrow FAR more than Stephen Amell's, which seems to be very unpopular :)