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Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman - The Complete Second Season

Warner Bros. // G // January 17, 2006
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted January 17, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

Over the years there have been several actors to don the red cape of Superman. The character has seen something of a James Bond-like representation where every few years somebody different gets a turn. From Christopher Reeve to the newest Kent, Brandon Routh, each actor has brought something different to the table. During the 90s it was relative newcomer Dean Cain's turn to slip into the tights.

I always enjoyed Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The first couple of seasons were a very enjoyable modern spin on a classic story. Dean was not the best Superman for my money and watching the man try to act was downright painful at times, but you do have to admit that he looked the part in just about every regard. One thing that really saved the show from his limited theatrics was the cast that surrounded him. Lois Lane's shoes were expertly filled by Teri Hatcher, Jonathan and Martha Kent were played by the loveable Eddie Jones and K Callan, and the late Lane Smith portrayed the best Perry White ever caught on film.

In regards to the casting chair there were a few changes afoot this year. Michael Landes role as Jimmy Olsen was replaced by the much superior Justin Whalin, who seemed to be much better suited for the role. "Cat" was also axed from the script so in this second season don't expect to be seeing Tracy Scoggins slinking around. Also, if you watched the first season then you know that at the cliffhanger ending Lex Luthor wound up as a sidewalk pancake. However, don't be surprised if you see his character pop up again sometime this season. True evil never dies I suppose.

Aside from Lex Luthor taking a nosedive from a skyscraper, what else happened last season that you may need a recap on? Well, basically not a lot. The first season of Lois & Clark was really all about character and relationship development. There weren't a lot of plots in those episodes that really affect stuff this time around, but it sets up more of an appreciation for the content here. The biggest thing that carries over for much of this season is the lack of the Luthor character. Every hero needs a nemesis so without Lex wheeling and dealing the show had a gap that found itself filled by random villains; the biggest of which was a crime syndicate known as Intergang.

Intergang was lead by a gentleman named Bill Church (Peter Boyle) who first appeared in the episode "Church of Metropolis". His son was portrayed by cult favorite Bruce Campbell, who really added a lot of personality to the organization. Some other minor villains that pop up this season are the Prankster (Bronson Pinchot), Metallo (Scott Valentine), and even the ex Mrs. Luthor. While all these characters do make for some good television the "challenges" that are faced this season are more romantic in nature as Lois and Clark's relationship gets more serious. Of course there are still plenty of good stand alone episodes as well.

"Tempus Fugitive" was an episode that I would definitely categorize under the word "interesting". While playing with his time machine H.G. Wells managed to get himself in a bit of a bind with a guy named Tempus. It seems that he landed in the future where Lois and Clark crafted a world where there was no crime or violence. In other words it was a pretty boring place and nothing good was ever on TV. This drove Tempus to the point where he wanted to kill Superman and prevent the timeline from ever happening. Wells travels back to current time in order to warn Lois and Clark about the imminent threat. This episode was about as campy as it can get, but you have to take everything into consideration here. I mean this is a superhero show, so there's going to be a lot of goofy stuff.

In another suspension of disbelief episode, "The Phoenix" brings Lex Luthor back from the dead. After the jump that he had he really should have looked like a bowl of Wendy's chili, but super Dr. Gretchen Kelly (Denise Crosby – yes… Tasha Yar from Star Trek) puts Humpty Dumpty back together again. It's never really explained how, but I guess that's probably a good thing. Going through Luthor's resurrection was something that the show needed at this point, since you can't really have Superman without the Lex. That's kind of like Batman without the Joker; it's just not meant to be.

Another notable episode from this season is "Individual Responsibility" which features a lackadaisical Clark after he was exposed to red kryptonite. "Whine, Whine, Whine" was an interesting one as well and focused on Superman being sued after saving a person's life for breaking their wrist in the process. For the most part the rest of the season does feature some very worthwhile episodes, but it certainly has its fair share of stinkers too. I suppose you could say that about any show, though having your executive producers change between seasons is a sign of trouble.

If you remember the show, you probably recall it as a superhero laden soap opera. For the most part that's an accurate assessment, especially for the second season. Throughout the twenty two episodes here we see Lois and Clark stare and fawn over each other. Some of the stuff is handled delicately while other bits are far too sappy for their own good. My biggest complaint revolving around the two of them came at the end of the season. I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty details, but let's just say that things moved too quickly for their own good and from that point on it pretty much put a bullet in the show.

Just like the first season, the second one offers a lot to love. The humor is sometimes subtle, sometimes forced, but the show will keep you laughing more often than not. The whole love angle gets old after a little while, but as the show progressed I found myself rooting for them to get together and Clark to tell Lois his true identity. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman is an example of a show from the 90s that had a great concept and did a lot of stuff right, but eventually got too corny for its own good. This season is about as good as the first, but most anything after this is borderline embarrassing.

The DVD:


Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman is presented with the original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio that it was broadcast with back in 1994. In the first season the biggest quality offenders were a load of grain and some soft images and for the most part those problems have diminished slightly for the second season. Don't get me wrong, the show doesn't look "great", it just looks better. Sure it still has all of the complaints we had about the first set, but the later production date has seemed to help the quality of this release.


English is the only spoken language that is selectable for the show, though there are subtitles for English, French and Spanish as well. The presentation comes across in the form of Dolby Digital 2.0 so you should pretty much know what to expect from the stereo track. There's a certain lack of directionality and impact, but for what it is the show sounds decent enough. I didn't encounter any technical issues during my viewing so things in that sense seem to be smooth sailing.


The DVDs are presented in exactly the same fashion as the first season box set. The six discs overlap each other in the case and episode information is printed on the sleeves. Most all of the bonus material has been placed on the sixth disc in the set though a random commentary does appear for the episode "Season's Greedings". That particular episode was written by Dean Cain so it seems only fitting that he talk about it. The only problem is that he basically just narrates certain points of the episode and it really boils down to "that was really fun" and "oh yeah, that's Dick Van Patten". Needless to say as far as commentaries go, this one is really boring and rather pointless.

On the sixth disc there are two features. "Lois & Clark: Secrets of Season 2" clocks in at just over ten minutes and is full of some Cain, Whalin, and some producers talking about the show and the changes in this season. There's nothing groundbreaking about the feature and it's nothing that you won't learn from watching the episodes here anyway. Don't expect to see Teri Hatcher though; she apparently was too busy with Desperate Housewives stuff to pop in for this special feature. At eight and a half minutes "Marveling Metropolis: The Fans of Lois & Clark" is a cute little extra that pays homage to fans of the show. There's a little Q&A video between the fans, the producers and Cain, but it appears that they never got to meet each other for it.

Final Thoughts:

Sure Smallville may be what's hot on TV right now and there's a new Superman movie on the horizon, but back in the 90s this show was about as good as it got. It may not have been exactly the type of material that comic book fans wanted, but it certainly had its appeal, especially to those rooting for the romance. The second season offers a bunch of good episodes with only a few not so good ones and is a must have if you liked the first season. Just keep in mind for the future that seasons three and four were nowhere near as good as one and two. Recommended

Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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