Well, it took a while, but it’s finally time to look at a somewhat fond TV show from my childhood: Lois and Clark – The New Adventures of Superman. The show came out when I was in 2nd grade. If I had to pinpoint where my fandom began with Superman, it would have to be around this time. I think I had seen a couple of the Christopher Reeve movies by now and read some of the comics, so I already knew about Superman. The show aired on Sunday nights after America’s Funniest Home Videos. I think I watched all of the first season. I know I saw the pilot in full and I vividly remember only seeing some of the Season 1 finale. I think we had a long service at church or something.
Since I vaguely remember this show changing throughout the four seasons, I’m looking at this show by season instead of the whole series. Don’t worry, Amy, I’m not stealing your format. It’s just that I got the first two seasons for really cheap a while back and I’ve been going through them. I’m currently watching Season 2 and I may get to it this month.
The overall premise of the show is that it would mostly focus on Lois, Clark, and the Daily Planet staff instead of showing Superman constantly fighting that never-ending battle. The show borrowed a lot of stuff from the Byrne reboot. Clark Kent is a fully-realized character instead of a disguise and Superman is essentially the job and nothing else. The Kents are also still alive and Clark doesn’t really learn of his origins until this season. There are plenty of villains for the first season but only one of them is from the comics: Lex Luthor. Luthor is really the only recurring villain for the first season.
There are a lot of good things about this season. I really didn’t know what to expect since I hadn’t seen the show in a long time. I can honestly say that Dean Cain played a good Clark Kent. His rendition of Kent is probably one of my favorites. While there are times where Kent will have to put on an act, the rest of the time he’s just a normal, mild-mannered type of guy. He’s a capable reporter and will stand up for what’s right. Terri Hatcher as Lois was also pretty good. She was a reporter and a woman who was capable of taking care of herself… unless she really needed saving. The banter between the two was also really good.
Dang. Mark Waid didn't do this first? I'm shocked!
Then, we have John Shea as Lex Luthor. Yes, he may have been younger, leaner, and flowing with locks of hair, but Shea brought his A-game to the role. This version of Lex was also based off of the Post-Crisis rendition. Luthor was definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing here. While the public and Lois saw the nice side, Clark and the audience knew that Luthor was an evil man. While he wasn’t around for the whole season, Shea was good even when the episodes themselves weren’t. His interactions with Lois, Clark, and Superman were also pretty nice. While the finale was a little lackluster, Luthor was still cool.
The rest of the cast was also good for the most part. Lane Smith played an awesome Perry White. While he could be loud at times, he could be quiet too. He was also pretty funny with his fascination with Elvis Presley. Michael Landes was a good Jimmy. He was quirky and pretty funny was well. He and White worked really well together. Tracy Scoggins was fine as Cat Grant, but there was something about the character that was off. I’ll get to that later. Eddie Jones and K Callen did the Kents justice. They provided Clark guidance when he needed it.
The episodes themselves were pretty good. You may have had some lackluster episodes, but the show remained strong during the season. A lot of the episodes revolved around stories for the Daily Planet. We get to see Clark and Lois grow as friends and as a team. We only get a couple of episodes that center on Clark and his alien side and they are some of the best episodes in the show. The effects were good for the most part. It’s a TV show budget, so I can let some effect slide.
While the first season was good, there were some issues. While Dean Can played an awesome Clark Kent, his Superman was not that good. You could say that it took a while for Clark to get Superman down, but I still think Cain’s Superman wasn’t good. Something just felt off about it. It could have been the ever-changing suit. His suit also went through noticeable changes in the first season. There were times where it looked good and there were times where it kind of sucked. Luckily, they did get the suit consistent towards the end of the season. I was actually more a fan of the suit from the pilot and wish they kept that one throughout the season.
Man, Clark! Pick a cape!
I also wasn’t a big fan of Cat Grant’s character. She was just the comic relief and really was just stuck in that role. Now, I didn’t have a problem with Scoggins since she did what she could do. Still, this version of Cat was so unlike the version in the comics at that time and that kind of sucks. Still, she had a couple of moments to shine. There were also some effects that looked pretty bad. I can let some of it slide since it was a show on a budget, but I can’t let it all slide.
Lastly, there were just some really lackluster episodes in the season. Even the two-part season finale felt lacking in some areas. The episodes weren’t all-out bad, but they were pretty “meh.” I think they were definitely lacking in some knock-out action. We get a Bizarro-like episode in the season and that episode was pretty bad. It might actually be one of my least favorite Bizarro stories since Superman and his clone have a really lame fight. Other than these things and a couple of other nitpicks, this was a good season.
Definitely not one of my favorite episodes.
One other thing… what was up with Clark’s glasses in the pilot? It’s something I noticed when watching it again. While they explain his disguise, they don’t explain why he was wearing glasses right at the beginning. He was wearing them before he created Superman and that’s pretty weird. Maybe he wore them to look smart or something. Oh well… it’s still a good season!
TOP SIX EPISODES
Finally here are my favorite episodes from the season.
1. All Shook Up – in this episode, an asteroid is coming towards Earth and Superman is the only one who can stop it.
2. Pilot – Clark Kent comes to Metropolis for the first time, gets a job at the Daily Planet, and becomes Superman.
3. Neverending Battle – Lex Luthor decides to put Superman’s abilities to the test by placing Metropolis in danger.
4. The Green, Green Glow of Home – Lois and Clark head to Smallville where he gets exposed to Kryptonite for the first time. Also, shadowy government agents find out about Clark’s other side.
5. Foundling – Superman learns of his Kryptonian heritage. He also has to stop Lex Luthor from learning about his origins as well.
6. Honeymoon in Metropolis – Some shady government business is going on, so Lois and Clark have to pose as a married couple in order to get the story.