Warner Bros. // 1993 // 1012 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Jonathan Weiss (Retired) // February 20th, 2006
If you're a romantic, you really shouldn't care that this man can fly.
TV on DVD is one of the fastest growing segments of the home entertainment market. Who would have thought that consumers would be so excited about plunking down their hard earned dollars on something that they first watched (and could be continuing to watch on reruns) for free?
Well, the studios for one. Some really smart suits realized that they had a veritable wishing well of paid-for product that could help inject even more life into their already prodigious revenue stream. They began by testing the waters with "classic" shows of yesteryear -- and when those went flying off the shelves they started digitizing and repackaging everything in sight. Some are worthy additions to anyone's DVD libraries; others of special interest to hardcore fans; while others still are, well, television shows.
Lois & Clark -- The New Adventures of Superman hit the airwaves in the early '90s and soon found itself a fan following. Not just superhero aficionados either. People from all walks of life were drawn to the interplay and chemistry between the two charismatic and impossibly beautiful main characters. They couldn't wait to tune in every week to see Lois and Clark dance around their feelings for each other and would sit there hoping beyond hope that these two would finally see the light and get together.
Lois & Clark -- The New Adventures of Superman -- Season Two is all about the mating ritual. Sure, there's still a guy in spandex flying in to save the day every so often, but even more than that, it's about two people inches away from finding the love of their lives with all sorts of obstacles (of the regular and super variety) blocking their way.
Clark (Dean Cain) questioned his duel life and its possible effect on family, friends, and the woman he loved. Lois (Teri Hatcher) questioned exposing herself emotionally to someone who takes off in the middle of important moments at the drop of a hat. And we question whether Lois & Clark -- The New Adventures of Superman -- Season Two deserves a place of honour in your DVD library,
Lois and Clark get the story, fight wrongdoing, travel through time, explore outside relationships, and cement their bond over 22 episodes.
Like the first season set, Lois & Clark -- The New Adventures of Superman -- Season Two comes in an annoying gatefold format with an even more annoying (and getting progressively more common) staggered disc deployment method. Otherwise what appears on screen is visually clean, colourful, and crisp -- and that holds true of the sound as well.
Where this set is suspiciously slim is in the extras department. There's a Dean Cain commentary for "Season's Greedings" -- the first episode he wrote for the series -- which is pleasant but not exactly groundbreaking or insightful in any way. There are also two featurettes that don't really add anything to the whole package. The first is called "Secrets of Season Two." It's short, sweet, and focuses on new cast member Justin Whalen replacing Michael Landes as Jimmy Olsen as well as the romance brewing between Lois & Clark. The second is called "Marveling Metropolis: The Fans of Lois & Clark," and it discusses the balance between listening to the fans and following the show's vision.
Luckily these lightweight additions don't diminish the incredibly high guilty pleasure factor as you plow through Season Two:
* "Madame Ex"
Lex Luthor is dead...but his influence continues. An ex-wife nobody has ever heard of integrates herself into the Daily Planet and the lives of Lois and Clark -- and you just know she's up to no good. Fun episode highlights include: Denise Crosby as Lex's loyal doctor; a Lois on Lois catfight; and watching Superman play word scramble.
* "Wall of Sound"
Holy Super Sonics, Superman! An aging rocker (played by Michael Des Barres) harnesses the power of sound to take it straight to the man of steel. Fun episode highlights include: Lois dancing in leather hot pants, and watching Lois get down with some serious Kung-Fu fighting.
* "The Source"
When Lois gets the inside scoop on sabotage and her source (played by Peter Scolari) is intimidated enough to change his tune, can the Daily Planet avoid a massive lawsuit? Fun episode highlights include: Lois fixing a photocopier machine, and Superman doing housework as only a man of steel could. Sadly, the ending fizzles.
* "The Prankster"
Lois starts getting gifts from a secret admirer -- problem is all the gifts suck and they're from a psychotic bad boy (played by Bronson Pinchot) whom she helped send up the river. Fun episode highlights include: Clark getting jealous; Lois freaking out; Clark and Lois getting a little closer (without Big Red gum); and Lois going for a piggyback ride.
* "Church of Metropolis"
Someone's trying to buy up all the real estate on a street where Lois's Uncle owns a restaurant -- and they won't take no for an answer. Fun episode highlights include: Lois getting jealous over Mason, Clark's new potential love interest; the introduction of Intergang (headed up by Peter Boyle and his lawyer, Bruce Weitz); Clark going shirtless (oh my); and Martha Kent discussing the merits of Freud.
* "Operation Blackout"
Where would we be without technology? Find out when a criminal from Lois's past (played by the late Charles Rocket) takes out Metropolis's power grid, and Perry decides to publish the Planet the old fashioned way. Fun episode highlights include: Lois meddling; Clark getting all granola on your butt; Lois using white-out; Perry getting nostalgic about the good old days; and Lois hanging from a pole.Rating: 75
* "That Old Gang of Mine"
There's such a fine line between good science and bad science. Like when you come up with a way to clone dead tissue but use it to bring back legendary criminals (like Al Capone played by William Devane) from the past -- don't you just hate that? Fun episode highlights include: Meeting Barry, the Superman look-alike; Clark getting riddled with bullets -- right in front of Lois no less; Jimmy sucker-punching Clyde Barrow; and Lois cat fighting in a cake with Bonnie Parker.
* "A Bolt from the Blue"
Imagine having the powers of Superman. That's what happens when a poor schmuck gets hit by lightening while touching the Man of Steel. And guess what? He wants da bling, baby! Fun episode highlights include: Clark getting mowed down by an SUV -- right in front of Lois no less; x-ray vision being used the way it would be used; watching Cindy Williams play Mrs. Abraham Lincoln; Superman getting bitch-slapped by a super-broad (played by Denise Crosby, playing Lex's loyal doctor); and Lex Luthor doing his best impression of Walt Disney.
* "Season's Greedings"
Getting fired at Christmas sucks. So is it any wonder someone (as played by Sherman Hemsley) might want to take revenge on an entire city by ruining it for everyone? Okay, well every one except maybe Jewish people, Muslims, and Hindus. Fun episode highlights include: Lois acting all humbug; the Jeffersons together again (welcome back Isabel Sanford); Dick Van Patton as Santa Claus; Clark sucking snacks like a super-stoner with the munchies; Perry doing the twist; Lois having a Charlie Brown Christmas moment; Superman stealing Rudolph's thunder; and Clark earning serious brownie points with Lois.
This episode has a commentary by writer/actor Dean Cain. Here's what we learn: Christmas is his favourite holiday. He wanted to keep Denise Richards on as a recurring character but the producers didn't agree. He began his career as a writer. At first the producers were adverse to the idea of him writing a show, but after seeing the idea for this show, they relented. Teri Hatcher is fighting Dean Cain's mom over the space-rat. He's completely obsessed with fake snow -- "It's foamy foam snow. There's that foamy foam again. See that snow? Not real snow -- it's foamy snow." Okay all ready -- we get it. The ending was not what he wanted -- he wanted to show Clark in Smallville with his family, friends, and loved ones while Lois is all alone in Metropolis with her sad little tree -- until it's revealed that Clark had left Smallville to spend the rest of the night with her. "You're going to get stuffed" means something quite different in Australia. Not exactly an insightful commentary, but he obviously enjoys watching the episode and has affection for the series.
Lois's Sister, Lucy, is dating a small-time criminal punk who gets shot on a heist. Luckily his partner in crime sells his dying body to a couple of scientists who attach his living, yet dim-witted brain (head attached) to the body of a cyborg -- powered by green kryptonite! Fun episode highlights include: Scott Valentine (Malorie!) as the lead baddie; Lois getting protective about her kid sister; Jimmy begging for a raise; Clark performing some super self-surgery; and Lois starting putting "the pieces" together.
* "Chi of Steel"
Superman goes Zen as he attempts to track down and fight a mystical martial artist who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Fun episode highlights include: Brian Doyle-Murray playing Perry's financial advisor; Lois standing up for equal rights; Jonathan and Martha Kent switching to-do lists; meeting the Chinese Clark Kent; a cross-dressing Lois infiltrating a men's only club; Jimmy becoming Perry's new financial advisor; and Superman in one of the lamest kung-fu fights you're ever going to see.
* "The Eyes Have It"
While trying to regain a piece of technology he can use for nefarious reasons, a scientist creates a device that robs Superman of his sight. Fun episode highlights include: Lois channeling Rain Man; Mason propositioning Clark; a cross-eyed Superman; and a touching moment between Martha Kent and Superman.
* "The Phoenix"
Lex Luthor (John Shea) returns from the grave with the help of his loyal doctor (Denise Crosby), and he wants to pick up exactly where he left off. Fun episode highlights include: Lex channeling his inner Dracula; Clark asking Lois out on a date -- a real date; Lex starting his descent into Hair Club for Men territory; Clark enjoying a silhouette that pops his cork; and Lois enjoying a silhouette that leaves her dripping.
* "Top Copy"
Raquel Welch plays a hot TV reporter who also happens to be a former Intergang assassin, learns Superman's secret identity, and tells the world. Fun episode highlights include: Robert Culp as the head of Intergang; Clark screwing up his second chance at a date with Lois; Superman succumbing to Ms. Welch's kryptonite charm; Mason and Lois admitting that they don't like each other; and seeing Clark and Superman in the same place at the same time with Lois looking on (and not completely buying it either).
* "Return of the Prankster"
The Prankster (Bronson Pinchot) is back and he's after the President of the U.S. of A. Fun episode highlights include: Lois being flash frozen in her living room for the second time this season; Lois crashing on Jimmy's couch; Jimmy exploring the joys of cross-dressing; and Lois pulling the pants off the Prankster.
* "Lucky Leon"
Jimmy is accused of murder. Superman steals nuclear weapons from the U.S. Government. And none of it really matters because Lois and Clark go on their first real date -- with explosive results! Fun episode highlights include: Robert Culp back as the head of Intergang; Clark and Lois getting ready for their big date; Clark pulling a Jim Carrey; one of the sweetest first dates you ever did see; Superman making the biggest, most gullible, utterly moronic and totally illegal mistake you could ever imagine; and Lois and Clark finally sucking face. To Be Continued...
Continuing where the last episode left off, Lois and Clark begin to investigate and find a heinous plot that includes escaped convicts and faked deaths. Fun episode highlights include: Curtis Armstrong playing sniveling minion to a crazed scientist; Lois waking the dead; Lois considering another prospective suitor; Lois going to prison in a trashy red outfit; Lois going to a cemetery dressed like Herb Tarlick from WKRP; Lois's prospective suitor really starting to screw up her burgeoning relationship with Clark; and Lois walloping a little person.
* "Tempus Fugitive"
If you watch only one episode this one should be it. H.G. Wells drops by the Planet and takes Lois and Clark on a whirlwind ride into the past to save baby Superman. Fun episode highlights include: Lane Davies playing a snarky villain from the future; Don Swayze (yes, Patrick's bro) playing Jesse James; Clark meeting his 19th century ancestors; seeing baby Kal-El in his space ship; Clark meeting his parents before they found him (truly touching); Lois opening up a can of some serious whoop ass; Superman showing Jonathan and Martha Kent the way; and, of course, Lois saying the word "shmutz."
* "Target: Jimmy Olsen"
It seems that the United States government was experimenting on infants in order to turn them into the perfect covert assassins -- and one of those infants was Jimmy Olsen. Fun episode highlights include: Michelle Phillips playing a nympho; Erick Avari (The Mummy) playing a would-be dictator; Lois dismissing the merits of modern art; the Chief laying down some fatherly advise; Lois beginning to choose between chocolate and rocky road; Jimmy going psycho on Lois; Clark screwing up yet another chance with Lois; and Lois finally deciding to try Rocky Road.
* "Individual Responsibility"
Green K kills Superman. But what does Red K do? Well, it seems to take away his will to help people -- which is a real bummer when Perry gets kidnapped right before the big guy's eyes. Fun episode highlights include: Bruce Campbell hamming it up as the new leader of Intergang; Superman talking himself out of stopping an armoured car hold-up; Clark getting increasingly jealous over Dan, Lois's prospective suitor; Superman flirting with a ditzy blonde; Superman consulting a shrink; Jimmy running the Planet while Perry's away; and Clark finally verbalizing his emotions to Lois.
* "Whine, Whine, Whine"
Superman saves a guy, and the ungrateful bastard decides to sue him. Fun episode highlights include: Martin Mull as a TV nature host; Ben Stein and Frank Gorshin as stereotypical lawyers; Adam West as a Jerry Springer-like talk show host; Lois visiting a shrink; Jonathan and Martha Kent's unconditional love; Lois giving Dan the boot; and the kiss you've really been waiting for.
* "And the Answer Is..."
A criminal learns the secret of Superman's secret identity and uses it to blackmail him into stealing for him. Not a big enough reason? Okay, then how about kidnapping Ma and Pa Kent just to be sure. When Lois steps up to the plate to help, Clark can't believe he's waited so long to pop the question -- and does! Fun episode highlights include: Clark practicing the "I'm Superman" moment; the future and the past coming back to bite Clark in the ass; Clark telling Lois his secret -- almost; Superman sniffing his way across Metropolis; Lois feigning a healthy mental attitude; Clark breaking into a vault to steal a mess o' diamonds; Lois standing by her man -- big time; and Clark getting down on one knee.
For a large part of the population, Lois & Clark -- The New Adventures of Superman will always be about a guy who wears his underwear over his pants and not give the show a moment's notice. That's just a shame. The fact is, Lois & Clark -- The New Adventures of Superman truly comes alive when the cape gets folded away, the tie goes on, and the glasses come out.
The chemistry between Dean Cain as Clark Kent and Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane is palpable no matter what kind of scene they're in. As actors they may be playing in a world where a man can fly, but their emotions are definitely grounded in reality.
The rest of the cast does an equally bang-up job. Lane Smith's Perry White is as three-dimensional as they come, especially in his scenes with surrogate son figure, Jimmy Olsen, played with zeal by newest cast member Justin Whalen. And there's just no way you could find two better actors than Eddie Jones and K Callan to play Clark's beloved Jonathan and Martha Kent.
These characters and the relationships they have with each other just work. You care about them when they're in each other's company. You are about them when they're in physical or emotional danger. You care about them when you can see a plot device coming a mile away. Hell, you even care about them when the scripts get downright silly.
The point is here's a fun show about friends and family where one of the characters just happens to be a legendary comic book figure from 1938 who can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Of course there are times, like in " Tempus Fugitive" where the two conflicting identities come together in perfect unison to produce pure magic. If there is one episode in the entire run of Lois & Clark -- The New Adventures of Superman that best illustrates the reason why this show inspired the legion of fans that it did, it has got be this one.
So to all those people who can't see farther than the big red "S," there's only one thing to say: there's always Batman.
If Lois and Clark are guilty I don't ever want to be innocent.
Review content copyright © 2006 Jonathan Weiss; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 1012 Minutes
Release Year: 1993
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Commentary by Dean Cain, star and writer of "Season's Greedings"
* "Lois & Secrets of Season 2" Featurette
* "Marveling Metropolis: The Fans of Lois & Clark" Featurette
* Lois & Clark at KryptonSite