Superman and Lois (S01/E1-5) (2021)
Lois and Clark have twins now?
If you’ve even just casually browsed this blog, you’ll know that I’m a Superman fan. I’m also a fan of the Arrowverse shows on the CW. But I never thought I’d be happy to see Superman get his own CW show. After all, quality isn’t what the Arrowverse is known for. Instead, DC’s CW shows are generally enjoyed for their cheap, cheesy campiness. So naturally, I was pretty nervous when Superman was announced as the latest addition to the Arrowverse. Superman is a member of DC’s Holy Trinity and deserves a bit more effort than what the CW normally gives the DC properties. Fortunately, it looks like HBO Max might have pitched in with the budget for this one. Superman and Lois, it turns out, is actually well-written and looks great too. Well, the first five episodes are, at least. The show is currently on hiatus until May 18 as a result of Covid-19 affecting production.
Lois and Clark move from Metropolis to Smallville after a series of events affects the family. Their twin sons, Jonathan and Jordan, each have their own unique difficulties adjusting to the move. While the family adapts to small town American life, the boys are at an age where their Kryptonian heritage might manifest physically. Beyond the Kent household, Smallville itself is struggling to survive. Superman and Lois is a new take on the Superman story that reflects some current real-world events.
Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman and Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois Lane both appeared in the CW’s Arrowverse previously. They were each decent fits for their respective characters. But some of the early promotional material for Superman and Lois had me concerned the show was going to follow the typical Arrowverse formula.
Fortunately, the first episode blew me away. It might have been because my expectations were low. Regardless, the show impressed me. The production value, writing and acting were all a notch above the rest of the CW’s DC material. In fact, the emotional tones and cinematography of Superman and Lois are reminiscent of Man of Steel. Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of this Zack Snyder movie, its visuals were undoubtedly breathtaking. To get Man of Steel vibes from a CW show is a massive feat.
What I liked
A synopsis for Superman and Lois was released by the CW long before the show actually debuted. In it, we learned that Lois and Clark have twin teenage sons in this iteration of the story. This was obviously a surprise to anyone who’s followed Superman’s journey in the comics, on tv or in movies. Jonathan Kent is certainly not new. He and Connor Kent (a clone with DNA from Superman and Lex Luthor) have each been Superboy at different times. But Jordan Kent is a brand new character. I wasn’t sure what to make of him but honestly, I think he’s great. He’s a messy character and there’s clearly a lot to unravel in the story.
After the first five episodes, it’s clear Superman and Lois is about the Kent family struggling to keep it together during hard times. I really enjoy how the story isn’t shying away from character’s financial struggles. It’s usually just the emotional turmoil that makes for good TV but here, economic hardship is pushing the story forward too. I also really like that Lois and Clark come across as a married couple that has grown together and really know each other. The petty drama is saved for the teenage characters.
What I didn’t like
Apart from Jonathan and Jordan’s latent powers, the supernatural elements of the show feel distant. It’s only been five episodes so far, so there’s a strong chance that the show could turn this around when the show airs again in May. But as of now, X-Kryptonite, Captain Luthor and all of the new superpowered individuals don’t quite fit the show’s style. Superman and Lois has a mostly grounded tone to it – despite the over-the-top history of the characters in DC Comics. Shifting to the more superhero side of the story without losing its hard-earned tone will be a real balancing act. I hope the showrunners can do it…but I’m concerned.
After the first five episodes, I can honestly say Superman and Lois has become a must-watch for me. If you’re a Superman fan, my guess is that you’ll feel the same way about this show. It’s a much needed live-action TV version of the character after Smallville ended a decade ago.
Source: Superman and Lois (CW) (Warner Bros. Television) (DC Entertainment) (2021)