Before Smallville gave us a window into a hero’s pubescent angst; before Superman Returns gave us the answer to what happens when aliens and humans mate, the Superman saga took us down a markedly different road with Lois and Clark.
A series that combined the quirkiness of Moonlighting with the action and suspense of only a superhero twist would bring, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman showed all of us Superman fans the sexy and sometimes all-out hokey side of the man-of-steel. Though it ran for four seasons on ABC, the show had its ups and downs. But the chemistry between Lois (Teri Hatcher) and Clark/Superman (Dean Cain) was what made the show a fan favorite among the discerning superhero crowd. .
The show’s fourth season would unfortunately be its last; problems, including the network changing time slots, removing it from the crucial sweeps period, and just lack of support in general, led to a downward spiral of the ratings and left the series with a great cliffhanger that would never be resolved. But the episodes themselves never disappointed, which is why I was excited to see Season 4 finally released on DVD.
Great episodes/arcs featured on these discs include: Lois and Clark’s wedding; a team-up with H.G. Wells; a fun Christmas episode with Mister Mxyzptlk (played by Howie Mandel); a rematch against the time-traveler Tempest, whom Superman defeated in Season 2; and a dramatic set-up for the never filmed fifth season. This set is as fun to watch now as it was in 1996-1997 when the series originally aired.
I always liked this series; I thought that Dean Cain was a worthy successor to Christopher Reeve’s Superman. Teri Hatcher captured the spunk/independence of the Lois Lane I liked reading about in the comics that Margot Kidder never quite got right. Plus, she was fun to look at. And best of all, the series was never about just Superman, but about the dynamics between the title characters. While some of the actors that portrayed villains weren’t that great, it was the interaction between Lois/Clark/Superman (especially the quippy/sarcastic banter between Lois and Clark) that kept the episode interesting and the plot flowing.
As for extras, this set is a bit lacking, only offering “Kryptonian Kronology,” an interactive history of the Superman timeline hosted by Cain. What would’ve been a great addition to this set is a resolution to the last-episode cliffhanger, to let all of us fans know what happened in the end. Or even something akin to Season 1’s additional features, which included a retrospective documentary about the making of the show, commentary from Cain, interviews with the stars and more. But as the DVD releases progressed, the bonus features have become less and less.
For fans, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Season 4 is a worthy addition to your collection especially if you have the first three seasons.
– By Robin Kavanagh and Blake MatthewsPowered by Sidelines