The CW audaciously tells a new Superman story that seems to be working
Existing on the intersection of surrealism and being a comicbook adaptation, it’s easy to see that S & L has the will to live. And that will was manifested in the hour-long pilot episode that delivers the bouncy-ness of The Flash’s pilot and the entralling escapades of Arrow’s. Meaning there’s not been a better DC-CW pilot since 2014. Superman and Lois, if the rest of the show is as good as the pilot, is an impressive iteration of the comicbook legend that dwells in the same phantom zone as the 6 big screens offerings that have dropped over the course of 40 years.
As a feature length movie, it works. Tautly told around a very experienced Superman who’s fought his toughest battle and is raising a family with his wife Lois Lane, it presents itself as a decisive family drama that addresses mental illness, fatherhood and corporate crime. Coming from a network that has produced low-budget superhero dramas that barely live up to their first season (besides the magnificent Legends of Tomorrow, of course), this was incredible. And time will tell if they didn’t play all their cards in the auspicious premiere.
In a Voice Over narration, we’re all caught up with Clark and Lois and the Kent family. And the rest of the premiere episode is laced with easter eggs that’d make Smallville fans shriek while delivering unexpectedly cool superhero entrances and action. How this is of feature length quality baffles me – the music, the special effects, the shots we saw a suited-Superman from every time. Worse is how it manages to make Superman a marvel after 6 movies and 500 plus episodes of TV episodes, dozens of animated films and Henry Cavill. This Made-In-Vancouver version features Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch as the titular characters, who are a far cry from the grumpy-fantasy couple who made appearances across the arrowverse shows.
Admittedly, Hoechlin’s first appearance in Supergirl’s second season premiere in 2016 was universally acclaimed but his Infinite Earth turn was underwhelming, and that it served as some sort of backdoor pilot to this show didn’t promise much. But Hoechlin is a great Superman. One of the coolest. Now, we have to see him navigate fatherhood as a clueless Kansas man(and Kryptonian). As if that’s not enough, he wears a sweet suit.
I cannot wait for the stories to be unpacked – the trials and tribulations of Superman. But I’m also glad that I’ll never see those stories because Superman and Lois is moving on from the boy found in an alien pod who learns how to use his powers and becomes enemies with Lex Luthor. S & L wants to talk about how hard it is to father two boys who are polar opposites, migrating a wife who’s the most famous reporter in the world to start working on a farm, discuss the loss of one’s parent and deal with a villain who’s seemingly unstoppable, whose last name is Luthor, on top all of that. Okay, I take it back… maybe they are not moving on from Luthor yet. But what’s Superman without Luthor? Better question, what’s a pilot episode that defies all expectations and prohesies about its mother’s longevity? Superman & Lois
A little side note,
I’d personally want better actors in the roles of Jordan and Jonathan Kent, and less teen drama if it’s gonna be about love triangles and social media.
More Lois driven episodes. It’s lopsided.
And shorter seasons. If it’s ten, keep it ten. 23 episodes is the beginning of sudden death.