Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman: Season 1
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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
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Lois & Clark was easily one of my must-see, must-tape-commercial-free shows back during its first-run on ABC. Updated with a 90s sensibility, Lois & Clark brilliantly re-examined Superman through his relationship with Lois Lane, which evolved naturally during the course of the show's 4-year series run. The writing, performances, action and effects were always consistently effective. However, the main reason I faithfully tuned in to the show was for the interplay between Lois & Clark. The idea of Superman struggling thru relationship issues, like any other guy, while still doing the "superhero thing" was very appealing. Just look at the Spider-Man films for clear proof. No matter how weak some of the villains may have been regarded, the writers gave them just enough "menace" to justify Lois & Clark's investigative attention as the reporters sorted thru their personal stuff while in the process of "getting the story." Their chemistry & banter, like that of David Addison & Maddie Hayes in "Moonlighting" (another ABC hit and also available on DVD), are what viewers fondly remember most about the show.
Teri Hatcher ("Desperate Housewives") & Dean Cain ("Ripley's Believe It, Or Not!") star as the unbelievably "real" title characters. They not only look great as Lois & Clark, they simply are great. Dean Cain pulls off a decent Superman with easily the best build of his predecessors and an even cooler Clark Kent, who sports great suits and designer eye-frames, making him more appealing to women. Teri Hatcher, who recently won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Desperate Housewives, clearly should've received an Emmy for her performance in Lois & Clark. Hatcher really BECOMES Lois Lane in this show - encompassing her beauty, intelligence, independence, tenacity and heart with incredible talent. Though, some viewers & critics did initially mock the sound of her voice and her progressive thinness as the show went on. However, Hatcher's beauty and sex appeal were never questioned as TV Guide once proclaimed her as "The Sexiest Woman in Cyberspace" (most downloaded), dethroning then-reigning queen Cindy Margolis.
I'd be remiss to not mention John Shea ("Mutant X") as the charasmatic yet deadly Lex Luthor. His exceptional performance rates up there with Murder One's Richard Cross and Alias' Arvin Sloane as standout TV baddie. The rest of the supporting cast are a delight as well including Lane Smith ("V") as Elvis-lovin' Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White; Michael Landes & Tracy Scoggins as photographer Jimmy Olsen & columnist Cat Grant, respectively - both only appearing in this season one set; and of course Eddie Jones & K Callan as Jonathan & Martha Kent. I loved those cute scenes like where they first meet Lois: Martha leads Lois out of the room to freshen up, looks back at Clark and Jonathan and silently mouths to Clark "I love her!" to which Clark dismisses her with a playful "get outta here" wave. I also liked how the writers addressed common Superman issues such as "the glasses" in the pilot where Clark (wearing the final suit) is checking himself in a mirror when Martha, looking on, quips "Well one thing's for sure, no one's going to be looking at your face." An embarrassed Clark snaps "Mom!" Martha retorts "Well, they don't call them 'tights' for nothing." Great stuff.
Lois & Clark - The Complete First Season is a 1034 min. 6-disc set, which features all 21 episodes in full frame (1.33:1) picture, and stereo sound. The super extras include: "From Rivals to Romance" series retrospective, visual effects featurette, Dean Cain Pilot commentary, original pilot presentation and one bonus DVD containing "Crusade," the season 4 premiere of Smallville, the other popular Superman-related show, which no doubt influenced the release of this Lois & Clark DVD. So don't "skip Smallville and fly to Lois & Clark" as another reviewer advised, but instead add it to your Superman collection along with Smallville. Treat yourself to one of the most anticipated TV DVD releases this side of "Roswell!"