Lois & Clark: The Complete First Season (DVD)
Casting a fresh look on a timeless legend, this exciting, action-packed update of Superman captures the daring exploits of the mysterious visitor from another planet and brings the city of Metropolis to life.
Lois & Clark was one of the sweetest surprises of the 1993 television season, and while it certainly enjoyed a devoted following until the series jumped the tall building in its later years, we can probably thank the Phoenix-like rise of Desperate Housewives' Teri Hatcher's career to thank for its arrival on DVD. The premise of Lois & Clark is one fraught with peril, particularly for core fans. This incarnation of the Man of Steel saga recasts Superman as romantic comedy. One of the series creators once described this series as "basically, Moonlighting, only Bruce Willis can fly." This is overstating the case by leaps and bounds. Clark Kent (Dean Cain) has not been reinvented as a wisecracking street-wise hipster. The chemistry between the new Metropolis arrival and rookie Daily Planet scribe and ace investigative reporter Lois Lane (Hatcher) is not as sexually charged as David and Maddie, and their banter is not as sharp. But as with Moonlighting it would be a few seasons before the two lovelorn characters consummated their attraction.
The dramatic arc of this inaugural season is "the fall of the house of Luthor," but at its heart is the triangle between Clark, Lois, and the charming snake Lex Luthor (John Shea), who, in the pilot episode, Superman vows to bring to justice ("Let the games begin," Luthor responds). Further complicating matters is that Superman has literally swept Lois off her feet. But until the episode "Barbarians at the Planet," in which Lex proposes to Lois, Lois professes her love to Superman, and Clark confesses his love to Lois, Lois & Clark breezily tweaks the touchstones of Superman iconography. "I've never noticed it before," a "drunk with love" Lois observes to a bespectacled Clark in "Pheremone, My Lovely," "You look a lot like Superman." Though special effects have progressed since the 1990s, Lois & Clark has lost little of its sparkle and panache, thanks to its super leads, whose fledgling careers soared to dizzying new heights. --Donald Liebenson