Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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So, the entire series of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman recently dropped on HBOMax. I grew up with this series and when it ran for the first time I was right in the middle of subscribing to all of the Superman titles. Which, needless to say, was a very big deal back then. Oh, and of course wondering when they were going to cut his hair again.

So in the meantime, I was able to get a close cropped Dean Cain. Or I suppose a slick backed version of Superman. But wait. Cain’s Clark Kent-look kind of, sort of had an ‘I’m almost going to be a mullet’ kind of thing. Was that comic inspired? I don’t know. The hairstyles were obviously weird back then and if you can say one thing about LCTNAoS, it was puuuuuuuuure nineties. 

I finished the pilot episode, which runs for an hour and a half…and I gotta say…this thing holds up pretty well. Seriously! Go and give it a watch because this thing is actually pretty damn good. Not only the way it was shot and edited together (for ABC TV remember?!) but because it was such a damn good cast. 

Dean Cain played a great Clark Kent. He was wholesome but he also had a few jagged edges to him. This guy could get jealous and not be the ‘know it all’ in that annoying sort of way. Cain’s Clark went from I’m going to help you Lois to I’m going to control every aspect of your life Lois and spy on you from afar just to make sure I can have you. But we can forgive him for that pre-#metoo faux pas right? Clark Kent after all is trying to find his place in the world. AND he is struggling with those usual Superman thingies. “Should I or should I not save all these idiots who obviously can’t help themselves? With all this power does it also have some responsibility? Or maybe I should just do this so I can get Lois Lane to like me.” 

Lois & Clark does make you think. 

Teri Hatcher played a strong yet vulnerable Lois Lane. She was going to kick your ass and then write a story about it. Come to think of it, from the pilot alone, I could probably be safe in asserting that this is the best on-screen portrayal of Lois Lane yet. Strong, formidable, with a sprinkle of crazy. 

Lane Smith knocked Perry White out of the park with a firm but at the same time gentle persona. Which made you wonder, “is this guy going to love me like a father? Or is he going to beat me like one?” What probably helped is that Smith just had that wonderful smile.

Eddie Jones and K Callen were perfect as Clark’s parents. As a kid, watching Lois & Clark gave me that Hugh Beaumont in Leave it to Beaver feeling. Golly gee if I could have a ma and pa like that one in real life! 

Michael Landes was brilliant as Jimmy and I remember being super annoyed (and confused) on why they recast him with Justin Whalin. According to IMDB it was because they thought Landes resembled Dean Cain too much. Huh, Hollywood didn’t get any smarter did it?

Tracy Scoggins gave us, for the first time, Cat Grant in live action form and she was absolutely brilliant chasing Clark around. For a strapping young man like myself, who was constantly being chased by the ladies in class, it made me feel like I was that much closer to being Superman.

But who really stole the show was John Shea. He was brilliant as Lex Luthor and here he delivered a creepy, powerful, and believable figure who was really obsessed with the rush of winning everything and destroying everyone. He definitely projected the Bond villain vibe. Especially in the pilot when a cobra snake slithers into the room as Luthor is sipping on cognac and smoking a cigar by himself in front of a fire (go watch it).  And what did Luthor do? He turned around, stared that snake down just by pushing a tear out of his eye. You’re damn right that snake slithered back whence it came. 

Are the rest of the episodes going to be as good as this? I do know that at some point (and remember I was like 10 or so at the time) the show will go into the ultra-smoochy sexy mode that was of zero interest for people like me (despite all the chasers) at the time. 

But now that I’m an adult, will I finally see Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman for what it truly was? Time will tell dear reader.

Wait, wasn’t Howie Mandel in this thing too or am I making that up? This is going to be one wild ride. 

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