Friday, September 12, 2014

TV Talk - Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Season 2

You know, it really didn’t take long to get through Season Two. Luckily, that’s not a bad thing as you will find out. My memories of the second season of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman are a little fuzzy. I remember some episodes but not all of them. I do remember the somewhat big cast changes. I also remember a supporting character getting killed at the end of an episode. Finally, there are the final moments of the season finale where something big happens.

For the second season, the show itself went through some changes. The major changes were that Michael Landes and Tracey Scoggins were gone. John Shea also left but the finale easily gave an answer for that (Lex dead, ya’ll). Justin Whalin replaced Landes in the role of Jimmy Olsen. Apparently Cain and Landes looked too much alike… Grrrrr. Anyway, the show also started to focus more on the growing relationship of Lois and Clark. They went through the usual obstacles like other love interests and the fact that Clark has a double life.

Another change was that stuff from the comics began to show up. Professor Emil Hamilton was in a couple of episodes. Some of Superman’s villains even showed up. We got versions of the Prankster, Toyman, Metallo, and even Doctor Light. Intergang, a crime organization from the comics, played a large role in the season. We unfortunately didn’t get Morgan Edge or Manheim though. The season started also gained a tighter grip on their continuity. It had more of an ongoing narrative instead of the episodic format Season One had. There’s also a little more action in the season as well.

Aw! Isn't baby Kal-El so adorable? Just watch out for his punch!

This season is pretty much on par with the first season. Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher are as good as ever. While I railed on Cain’s portrayal of Superman last time, I don’t have to do that here! It was definitely better than the previous season. He was good as both Clark and Superman this season. Hatcher was also at good at being Lois this season. The long arc on their relationship was pretty good especially towards the end of the season. Lane Smith was still good as Perry White. Eddie Jones and K Callen were still awesome as the Kents. They really got to shine this season.

While Landes was really good as Jimmy, I thought Justin Whalin was pretty decent. While he didn’t get a whole lot to do, he played the role well. His relationship with Perry was still pretty good. John Shea did come back for an episode since you can never really kill Lex Luthor and he still brought his A-game to the role. There were also a few guest stars in for this season. You had folk like Bruce Campbell, Frank Boyle, Denise Crosby, Adam West, Bronson Pinchot, and Frank Gorshin playing roles. Sherman Hensley and Isabel Sanford from The Jeffersons were even in an episode.   

The love interests for Lois and Clark were just okay. Mason Drake (Farrah Forke) and Dan Scardino (Jim Pirri) tried to stir the relationship pot as best they could. Most of the villains were your standard fare. Some were good and some weren’t. The villains from the comics were a bit of a mixed bag. My favorites were the Prankster (Bronson Pinchot), Toyman (Sherman Hensley), Bill Church Jr. (Bruce Campbell), and a villain who didn’t appear in the comics: Tempus. The Intergang plots was actually pretty cool for the most part.

The second half of the season was just all around good with some pretty good episodes. The suit itself stayed consistent throughout the season and looked good. While you had some effects that were subpar, the effects for the overall season were good. It’s a television show, remember? Overall, this was a good season.

Hey, it's the gangster episode where a few gangsters from the 30's think they can take over a city from the 90's... yay...

My main issue with the season is that the other cast members don’t get a lot of cool things to do. With Lois and Clark’s relationship being the main focus, the rest like Jimmy and Perry didn’t have a lot to do. I miss Michael Landes in the role of Jimmy. While Whalin is doing a decent job, I thought Landes sold it for me. The love interests for Lois and Clark also didn’t add a lot to the show. They were just there to get in the way of their growing relationship and not much else. I will say that Mason’s death towards the end of the season was a big bummer. I thought was kind of hot in that 90’s way.

Some of the villains were a little lame. We had an episode where Emil Hamilton created clones of dead gangsters like Al Capone. It’s definitely my least favorite episode of the season. While I liked Sherman Hensley as the Toyman, his plan was kind of lame. While the episode “Metallo” was pretty good, I couldn’t stand Metallo himself. I’m guess I’m spoiled on the versions from Superman: The Animated Series since those versions were awesome.

There were also some really subpar episodes in the season. I already mentioned the one about the cloned gangsters. They’re mostly spread out throughout the season. They weren’t horrible (well, that gangster one was close), but they weren’t really good either. I guess this is something I’ll be expecting with the last two seasons.

1. Tempus Fugitive – Lois and Clark must travel back in time when a man from the future wants to wipe Superman away from existence.
2. The Phoenix – Lex Luthor returns. That’s all that needs to be said.
3. Top Copy – A talk show reporter tries to find out Superman’s secret identity.
4. Whine, Whine, Whine – Superman gets sued and hilarity ensues.
5. And the Answer Is – A businessman tries to blackmail Clark into doing crimes by kidnapping his parents. Clark also pops a question to Lois at the end.
6. The Prankster – An ex-con wants revenge on Lois for getting him locked up a few years ago.

Even though the season isn’t perfect, I really did like it. It took the Lois/Clark relationship to the next level. It still brought the comedy, the drama, and the action. The latter half of the season also had some really good episodes. Check it out if you’re missing the 90’s. I don’t know when I’ll get to the later seasons. I know that stuff starts to get weird in the 3rd season. I think clones, other Kryptonians, Tempus, and other things may be involved. Until then, Peace, God Bless, and “remember to look up!”

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