Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Entry updated 7 October 2019. Tagged: TV.
US tv series (1993-1997). December 3rd Productions/Warner Bros. Developed for television by Deborah Joy LeVine. Executive producers David Jacobs, Robert Singer; co-executive producers Deborah Joy LeVine, Jim Crocker; coproduced by Philip J Sgriucia, Jim Michaels, John McNamara; supervising producers Randall Zisk, Tony Blake & Paul Jackson. Writers include Crocker, Bryce Zabel, Robert Killebrew, Thania St John, Dan Levine. Directors include Zisk, Gene Reynolds, Mark Sobel, Robert Singer, James R Bagdonas. Cast includes Dean Cain as Clark Kent, Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane, Lane Smith as Perry White, Michael Landes (first season) and Justin Whalen (second season and onwards) as Jimmy Olsen, Tracy Scoggins as Cat Grant (season 1), K Callan as Martha Kent, Eddie Jones as Jonathan Kent, and John Shea as Lex Luthor. Two-hour pilot followed by 87 one-hour episodes.
The third of four live-action television versions of the Superman story (followed by Smallville [2001-current], which imagines Superman as a teenager), Lois and Clark focused, as its title suggests, on the relationship between Lois Lane and Superman's human alter-ego, Clark Kent, in fact arguing that Clark is the real man while Superman is a persona. In its early seasons the two develop a winning rapport – Lois is an ambitious, fast-talking reporter with a take-no-prisoners attitude and a not so well hidden host of neuroses while Clark is the bemused small-town reporter she originally looks down on and then comes to appreciate. The supporting cast is mostly a waste of space, with the exception of Shea as Lex Luthor, here envisioned as Metropolis's most eligible bachelor, whose philanthropy acts as a mask (which only Clark sees through) for his villainous deeds. A love quadrangle develops between Lois, Clark, Superman and Luthor, which is reduced with the latter's unmasking at the beginning of the second season and Lois's choice of Clark over Superman at its end, at which point she learns the truth about his identity. As the romance between Lois and Clark deepens, however, Lois's IQ and her role as a mover, rather than an object of rescue, in the show's plots diminish, and those plots become more and more absurd, eventually sinking into supernatural soap opera. The entire second half of the third season is taken up with Lois and Clark's abortive attempts to marry, which are stymied first by Lois being kidnapped and replaced by a frog-eating Alien, then by her developing Amnesia, and finally by her being brainwashed by her lovestruck psychiatrist (one of the hallmark's of the show's devolution was that every man who encountered her became obsessed with Lois Lane and usually resorted to criminal acts to possess her). A merciful cancellation after the show's fourth season happily cut short the insanity. [AN/PN]
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