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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman: The Complete First Season (review)

Comic books started growing up and having serious fun with this enchanting series in which the romantic saga of the Man of Steel and Lois Lane takes center stage and gets a screwball-comedy spin… and it’s pulled off with such elegant, witty panache that you can’t believe this isn’t the way the Superman story has always been told. Dean Cain (Christmas Rush) is charming as the gosh-darn boy from Smallville making his way in the big city but puppy-dog lost around his whip-smart smart-aleck coworker at the Daily Planet newspaper: Teri Hatcher’s (Spy Kids) star reporter has a Katharine Hepburn scalpel edge and a Rosalind Russell sparkle. Together, they’re a combustible pair… or they would be, if Lex Luther weren’t only the clandestine bad guy but also the smooth romantic competition for Lois’s affections; the indomitable John Shea (Heartbreak Hospital) plays the mogul villain like Donald Trump’s bewitching younger brother. All 21 episodes from the 1993-1994 debut season are here, drolly reinventing Clark Kent’s life story — his wonderfully frank relationship with his adoptive parents (Eddie Jones: Seabiscuit, and K Callan) is particularly delightful — and humanizing the man from Krypton, his lonely predicament, and the burden of his secret like few tellings of his tale have achieved before. Extras include a retrospective documentary, a behind-the-scenes featurette, interviews with Cain and Hatcher, and commentary on the pilot by Cain, creator Deborah Joy Levine, and director Robert Butler.


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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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