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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

I Fear This New Superman Show Isn't For Me... And That Breaks My Heart!

Having first really embraced him in the pre-Crisis Bronze Age, I have long loved the optimistic, inspirational comic character of Superman (not the gritty, neck-snapping iteration of recent years).

I relished his larger-then-life adventures, where he tackled villains, monsters, and situations that no other characters could.

He is, after all, Superman, the first - and most powerful - superhero.

Now, in the past, special effects limitations have meant that his outings on television were often less than stellar and his foes were, generally, of a more limited nature.

But these days, technology means we can have shows like Supergirl, The Flash, KryptonDoom PatrolTitans, Swamp Thing etc where we can see superheroes really being super.

When Teen Wolf's Tyler Hoechlin first appeared as Superman - and Clark Kent - on Supergirl, I thought he was perfect in the role, and so, when a spin-off, focussing on him and Lois Lane (Grimm's Elizabeth Tulloch), was announced I was initially excited.

But, sadly, the more I see and read about this show - which premiers in the States on February 23 with a two-hour pilot - the more I suspect I am not the target audience.

The latest synopsis from The CW for Superman & Lois opens as follows:

"After years of facing megalomaniacal supervillains, monsters wreaking havoc on Metropolis, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race, the world’s most famous superhero, The Man of Steel aka Clark Kent (Hoechlin) and comic books’ most famous journalist, Lois Lane (Tulloch), come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever – dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today’s society."
Oh my god! It's going to be a soap opera. I don't want to watch a show about the struggles of parenting, I want the part of the Superman story they skipped over.

I want to see Superman, and Lois, dealing with:
"megalomaniacal supervillains, monsters wreaking havoc on Metropolis, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race."
You're given free reign to create a show about the most powerful, and awe-inspiring, superhero on the planet (if not in the universe) and you choose to create a new Dawson's Creek or One Tree Hill, by shoe-horning in a couple of kids and moving the Super family out of the dynamic environment of Metropolis back to Smallville.

I really thought we'd now reached a time - both in shifts in storytelling as well as advancements in technology - where we could see a Superman show on television that resembled his comic book outings, but, currently, Superman & Lois is sounding a lot like Lois & Clarke: The New Adventures of Superman, from the '90s, meets the "no tights, no flights" angst of Smallville.

When you have a lead character who can move small planets through space and punch out kaiju without breaking a sweat, why are shackling him to plotlines about coping with his sons' first breakout of acne?

The official synopsis for Superman & Lois continues:
"Complicating the already daunting job of raising two boys, Clark and Lois must also concern themselves with whether or not their sons Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alexander Garfin) could inherit their father’s Kryptonian superpowers as they grow older. 
"Returning to Smallville to handle some Kent family business, Clark and Lois are reacquainted with Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a local loan officer who also happens to be Clark’s first love, and her Fire Chief husband Kyle Cushing (Erik Valdez).
"The adults aren’t the only ones rediscovering old friendships in Smallville as the Kent sons are reacquainted with Lana and Kyle’s rebellious daughter, Sarah (Inde Navarrette).
"Of course, there’s never a dull moment in the life of a superhero, especially with Lois’ father, General Samuel Lane (Dylan Walsh) looking for Superman to vanquish a villain or save the day at a moment’s notice.
"Meanwhile, Superman and Lois’ return to idyllic Smallville is set to be upended when both a mysterious stranger (Wolé Parks) and impassioned self-made mogul Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner) enter their lives."
Of course, I'll watch Superman & Lois, when it finally appears over here in the UK.

And I don't mean "hate-watch", because I have a reputation for "liking everything" and I really want to like this, but I fear it's got a steep slope to climb. 

I won't be at all surprised if, before the end of the first season, it goes the same way as other CW shows such as Black Lightning and Batwoman (both of which suffered for having the same main villain through their entire run) into the "nice try, but not for me" drawer.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I'm not sure how I feel about the series either, I'm definitely a big Supes fan though. Hey, there's a new episode of Spellfury out, would you mind doing a review? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcaO1-oz-WQ

    ReplyDelete

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