Superman and Lois Review: Is it worth watching?
Superman and Lois Review: Is it worth watching?
Superman and Lois is the latest show spinning out of the Arrow-Verse. It was announced after last year’s crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. This is the second show to premiere as a part of the CW’s DCTV programming this year, the first one being Batwoman.
“Superman and Lois” follows Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane as parents to their twins Jonathan and Jordan Kent. The Kent family has moved back to Smallville after spending many years in Metropolis. The show is about them adjusting to farm life and coming together to navigate through new, complex circumstances. While one of Superman’s most formidable foes comes back as a bigger threat than ever before.
Audiences were first introduced to the Arrow-Verse version of Superman all the way back in the second season premiere of Supergirl. Right from the get-go, Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman became a fan favorite. His version of the character has already been Superman for quite a few years when we meet him. This allows for a fresh take on the character. Where he is shown to people not as some young adult discovering his powers. But instead, as a mentor and guide that the other characters can rely on in times of need.
While the first few outings of Superman were mainly cameos in other shows, mainly the second season of Supergirl and the Elseworld’s crossover. The character made a striking impression and it’s no surprise we see him getting his own show today. Lois Lane was introduced later in the Arrow-Verse, she also did play as large a part as she could in both Elseworld’s and Crisis on Infinite Earths, making it clear that she has a lot more to offer and doesn’t simply fall under the “girlfriend character” archetype.
What I think is one of the most important factors in this show being as good as it is, is that Superman and Lois is a new kind of Superman story. As someone familiar with most of the characters’ comic book adventures, animated series, and live-action adaptations. I am relieved to say that I haven’t yet come across this kind of a Superman story yet.
It feels great to watch one of my favorite characters being accurately depicted while going through challenges and storylines that he hasn’t faced before. This isn’t to say that they’ve changed a lot of things about comic book mythology or anything. The Superman here is still the one that fans know and love. It’s just that the setting of the world around him is very original as compared to anything seen before.
Smallville was a show airing in the early 2000s. This show was also about Superman, it followed the extremely early stages of Clark Kent’s life before he finally became Superman. “Superman and Lois” is almost like a reverse Smallville. While Smallville was a story about Superman right at the beginning of or before the start of his career as a hero, “Superman and Lois” shows us a Clark Kent who has been living as Superman for quite a while now, he is a husband and father with two teenage boys and is trying to be a good parent while also splitting his time between the Daily Planet and saving the world. Then events of the first episode cause him to move back to Smallville with his family and try to be closer to his roots, at the same time having to face off against a new powerful villain.
How it is different?
“Superman and Lois” is different from other Arrow-Verse shows in that it is actually about more than just Superman and the challenges he faces, both in his personal life and as a hero. The show is actually about family and small-town America. With a side of Superman and all the alien awesomeness that entails. While the first episode does plant the seeds for a more traditional comic book mystery, it is very much also about the characters. And how life can have many different chapters. Some of which take place in a city like Metropolis. And others in a farm town like Smallville.
While all the Arrow-Verse shows do have a decent budget that manages to pull off all of their special effects needs, something about Superman and Lois really feels a class apart. Right from the production design to the cinematography, it is clear that the people behind this show have actually spent a considerable amount of money on making it. As a small example, whenever other CW shows have characters travel outside the US, any audience member can spot that the studio is just trying to save money.
Like when the Flash or Supergirl travel to Russia or China or something, but they just so conveniently happen to be standing in an open grass field that could very conveniently be shot on some location in Vancouver. (No shade against the other shows) At one point in Superman and Lois, Superman finds himself in another country (that’s all I can say without getting into spoilers), but it actually feels like he is in this other country. As if the cast and crew really went there and shot on some local street. While it doesn’t change a lot story-wise, the added effort does improve the overall experience of watching the show.
I’ve already stated before that Superman and Lois, i.e the title characters, are great. Both Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch are the perfect actors anyone could find for these roles. But their kids are also responsible for making this show enjoyable. Both Jon and Jordan Kent are unlike the everyday teenage boys that are so often seen on TV.
They are complex characters with a lot going on in their heads that make the audience want to get to know them better. There are certain developments that help the audience get invested in their story. And make them want to continue seeing them grow and progress through the show, these are Superman’s kids of course.
The final few scenes of the first episode set up quite a nice mystery that will keep many comic book fans hooked. The tease at the end isn’t really based on any existing Superman storylines. So it will be worthwhile to see where the writers are going with this. And how some heroes and villains will cope with all that is to come ahead.
I like to say that every show should have an identity, something that sets it apart from the others. And makes it more than just a generic episodic procedural. Most of the Arrow-Verse shows have successfully achieved this, what The Flash offers is quite different from something you might see on Supergirl or Legends of Tomorrow, and that really helps all these shows from becoming too taxing for the audience to watch. “Superman and Lois” definitely has its own identity. This show tells a story about a very unique family under equally special circumstances, and that has never been done in the Arrow-Verse before.
“Superman and Lois” has something for everyone, four-quadrant appeal as they like to say. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to watch something new, even if they aren’t really big comic book fans. I think that these characters are really interesting. And seeing them work together in this story will prove to be really great television.
Acting – 5/5
Direction – 5/5
Background Score – 3/5
Overall Rating – 8/10
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