I had never seen an episode of Lois and Clark until the folks at Movieweb gave me Lois and Clark: The Complete First Season to review. Having attended Comic-Con recently and been privy to all the interesting things Bryan Singer is doing with Superman Returns, I had a nice primer with which to watch this show. Add to this that Lois and Clark: The Complete First Season is a TV show, and information isn’t being thrown at you as fast as it is in a 2 hour movie, I was able to sit back and very much get caught up in all the characters of the show.
I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging this show was. When it originally aired in early 1990s, it just seemed sort of hokey to me that they could actually be making a TV show out of Superman. Flash forward to 2005, and this show has a certain charm. At first I was wondering how they could ever make Dean Cain look like an outcast, but that is precisely this show’s strength. They very much made it a show of it’s time. Cain is bespectacled but he doesn’t come across as a bumbling idiot. He plays the role of Superman/Clark Kent with a very straitlaced feel. Contrast this with Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane, a career women with ideals but no time for a life, and you have a mix of natural chemistry. It is this chemistry that oozes out of every scene that they play together.
Rivals to Romance: The Making of Lois and Clark
A look at how this show ended up making it to the small screen. I really liked hearing from Deborah Joy LeVine talk about how she got involved with the show. Also, it never occurred to me what a potential scandal it could have been to have a show about Superman be called Lois and Clark. The fact that it in turn became a romantic comedy, I am sure didn’t sit well with a lot of the fans. Yet, despite all of these changes the show ended up being a success and running from 1993-1997. Everything about the making of this show, from the original seed of the ideas, to the casting to the actual nuts and bolts of the production is interestingly on display here.
Taking Flight: The Visual Effects of Lois and Clark
Okay, these aren’t that hot. I know that they talk about how much work went into pulling these off, and I don’t doubt that there were many meetings in which these issues were discussed, but overall these effects aren’t that great. Whether Superman is deflecting an asteroid, flying through the Daily Planet with Lois in his arms, bending a sword or even looking through a wall to see what’s going on behind it, these effects just don’t look good. The thing is, I am not sure how much that matters mainly because all of the effects look equally as bad. This way, as far as this show is concerned, we don’t have a reference for anything better and also because it’s TV we don’t expect ILM anyway, right?
Commentary on the Pilot by Dean Cain, Executive Producer Deborah Joy LeVine and Director Robert Butler
I love that Dean Cain and Deborah Joy LeVine don’t remember the opening of the pilot episode not having any pictures. I think it’s also interesting that these shows were shot on 35 mm film. I know that many of today’s shows shoot in a more high-end video form, film is dead and all that other jazz, but I think you will really see the richness of film in a show like this. I think it’s also cool hearing about how choices were made early in the show, that ended up having a ripple effect on the entire show as a whole. Little things with all the characters that ended staying with the show throughout it’s run.
Original Pilot Presentation Introduced by Deborah Joy LeVine
Deborah Joy LeVine really took a big risk when she made this show because she could have very easily have alienated her fans. She was bold, innovative and put a new spin on something that many people consider an institution. In doing so, she made the show appeal to more then just the fan base, but also got the fans on board which I think ultimately ended up making this show the success that it was. Had she not taken the chance that she took, she may very well have ended up with a show that satisfied nobody. After this were a series of shots strung together from the show. Before each shot is a title card which lists out what the main point of the dialogue is from that scene.
Standard Version presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio of it’s original television exhibition. Full Frame aspect ratio. There is a glistening quality to this show that seems to sort of update the whole Superman myth. Everything is very much in the time with which it was created. This isn’t to say that it has completely dropped all the lore that surrounds Superman. In fact, this is hardly the case. More to the point it seems as if they took the entire story and updated it but in a fun way. Nothing is ever taken too seriously, but by the same token nothing is ever done in a careless manner. The look of the show seems to be almost timeless. It seems like it could be in the 1990s, but yet characters like Perry White (Lane Smith) have have a 1950s quality to them. As a result, you have a show with subject matter that appeals to a lot of people, but you also have a show that looks like it could be happening at almost any time. All of these little production things end up playing in Lois and Clark: The Complete First Season’s favor.
Dolby Digital. English: Stereo. This show certainly has the spirit of Superman. The theme music for the show feels big and as a result you get the reverence you need to watch the episodes in their proper context. I had no problem with any of the sound on these DVDs. In fact, I was able to keep all of the levels in the same place without having to adjust anything for all 6 disks. When you consider that this spans 21 episodes I think that a lot of credit has to be given to the people who made this DVD set. There is a sort of His Girl Friday-type banter between Lois and Clark, and this really deepens their relationship. When you contrast this with how Lois treats Superman, I feel that it shows another facet of the male/female relationship.
This 6 disk set is neatly packed into a decent sized piece of packaging. You’ve got Teri and Dean on the cover, with Teri ripping open Dean’s shirt to reveal the famous Superman S. The back features some shots from various episodes, a brief description of the show, a nicely detailed extras listing, a cast list and some brief tech specs. Inside, all 6 disks fold out in a somewhat lumbering piece of packaging. There are pictures of Lois and Clark, some of which just seem like Hatcher and Cain from outtakes on a photo shoot. Each disk has a picture on it featuring one of the characters, with pictures of the characters laid out behind the disks as well. It seems like they could have made this boxset a tad smaller in size (maybe using plastic covers?), but with the colors of the Superman suit shining off of it everything looks exactly how you think something Superman related should be.
Lois and Clark: The Complete First Season is decent bit of TV. It doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously and is paced in such a way that the various episodes move quickly. It isn’t that the effects on this show are horrible, or that the acting is below par, it’s just that they have really added a human element to Superman. In my opinion I think that Lois and Clark: The Complete First Season is a romantic show with a decent amount of action. It isn’t the best thing I have ever screened, but as far as fun TV shows go it gets a lot more right then it does wrong.
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman was released .