Connect with us

Superman & Lois

Superman & Lois Series Premiere Review – Hello, Smallville! (1×01)

Superman & Lois -- "Pilot" -- Image Number: SML101a_0435r2.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Bitsie Tulloch as Lois Lane and Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Published

on


Superman makes his epic return to television… and Smallville, once again.

The CW reintroduces the well-known superhero to the Arrowverse lineup. This version of Clark Kent and Lois Lane first made their debut on Supergirl, but based on the pilot, it’s clear that Superman & Lois will allow Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch to explore the characters outside of the rushed and compact constraints of their sister-series (or cousin-series if you will). 

And when that happens – they soar to new heights!

Regardless of whether you’re a fan or not, Superman is a character we’re all familiar with through various comics, movies, animated shows, and TV dramas. But for the first time ever, we’re meeting a Clark Kent that’s hoping to be a father first and foremost.  

With family drama at the forefront, the show offers a much different experience than the other superhero dramas while also embracing a more character-driven narrative and a raw and unfiltered sincerity that’s much appreciated. 

Superman & Lois — “Pilot” — Image Number: SML101fg_0001r.jpg — Pictured: Tyler Hoechlin as Superman — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

For this Clark Kent, raising twin teenage boys – Jordan and Jonathan – is equally as important, if not more, than his responsibilities protecting the rest of the world.

It’s a side of Clark that hasn’t been explored much, which many fans have said was a “turn off” from tuning into the show.

And I’d agree, initially. My reaction to the trailer and premise was “ugh, teenagers, because, let’s be honest, the idea of a superhero juggling parental responsibilities doesn’t seem all that exciting on paper.

But surprisingly, it works really well as, maybe for the first time, it makes Superman more relatable and down-to-Earth. Alien abilities aside, he’s just a “meh” dad who regularly misses important family events and definitely has a favorite son.

He’s also accused of abandoning his hometown and raising privileged city teens who are far removed from the harsh and bleak realities of Smallville, which Sarah (the daughter of Clark’s high school sweetheart, Lana) sums up as “a sadness” with communities overrun with drug addiction. That’s briefly mentioned but not truly tackled in the pilot, so we’ll see if it comes into play in future episodes.

After getting fired from the Daily Planet (even Superman experiences job cuts and layoffs) and losing his beloved mother, Clark and Lois uproot their lives and leave Metropolis for the small-town appeal of Smallville, his childhood stomping grounds, where they plan to restart the farm and live a more low-key life.

Clark’s desire to be more dad and less Superman might not be what fans signed up for, but the action never takes a backseat despite his desire to be more present in the boys’ lives. 

The supersized pilot episode kicks off with an efficient montage that briefly sums up Clark and Lois’ history in a few minutes. It skips from his pod crashing in Smallville to the couple meeting for the first time at the Daily Planet to their wedding, and other milestone moments.

Their established and secure relationship allows us to move past the first-love and romantic struggles that tend to be at the forefront of other Arrowverse shows, and it’s refreshing to see a TV couple defy all odds and work together through the everyday problems that arise. 

However, this is still a CW series, so those soapy high-school romances you anticipate from every teen drama are centered around Jonathan and Jordan. For now, Jonathan seems to have a stable girlfriend at home (can’t see that one lasting), while Jordan makes a few missteps with Sarah. Do I smell a love-triangle brewing? At this point, I’m conditioned.

Superman & Lois — “Pilot” — Image Number: SML101a_0729r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Alexander Garfin as Jordan Kent, Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent, Bitsie Tulloch as Lois Lane and Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The small-town, high-school aspect of the series strongly delivers on showrunner Todd Helbing’s desire to draw inspiration from shows like Friday Night Lights and Everwood, and it’s largely why it feels like a standalone series from its Arrowverse counterparts.

The twins are polar opposites; Jonathan is a star quarterback and all-around popular kid, while his brother, Jordan, feels like a loner and struggles with social anxiety disorder. 

And while they initially seem pigeon-hold into their roles, the series quickly breaks free from tired tropes and cliches as their performances gain depth and they emerge on their distinct paths.

Kent doesn’t waste any time filling in his son’s of his secret identity, though, it’s such a bummer to see the series play into the secret identity issue. I can understand others possibly not putting two-and-two together, but how inept do Jordan and Jonathan have to be in order to be fooled by some steel spectacles protecting the identity of the Man of Steel.

Parents get away with lying to their kids all the time, and with Jonathan’s extracurriculars, it’s more believable that he would be less perceptive of the situation, but since Jordan immediately picked up that something was off when they were nearly crushed to the death in the barn, you’d think he wouldn’t be fooled by a pair of glasses.

Initially, Clark isn’t interested in cluing his kids in about the truth and stripping them from their innocent childhood – after all, it’s a big secret to carry, and one slip up could cost them everything – but the barn incident is a catalyst as it establishes that one of the twins has powers just like their father. Even then, he’s hesitant about it until the twins confront him after finding the pod that brought him to Earth. 

Clark becomes a sort of mentor while the superpowers become a bit of a foil to “life’s lessons” for the teens finding their place and purpose in the world. 

Jordan struggles more than Jon, who can’t seem to figure out if being special is a good thing or if it makes him more of a freak.

Though, I do enjoy the idea of someone struggling with mental health and social anxiety disorder being painted as having superpowers. Heroes are always portrayed as flawless, but it’s about time that we explore the idea that a hero might not always wield confidence and courage right off the bat. 

Amidst the family drama, there’s a subplot that focuses on Superman’s latest armored foe, Captain Luthor. 

The action and fight scenes between these two deliver a blockbuster experience that almost feels too mature for The CW at times. There’s no denying that the visual-effects far excel what we’ve seen from other Arrowverse shows, and it elevates the experience to the point where it almost feels like you’re at the movies (if movies survive in the post-COVID world). 

While there’s nothing new about the Luthor and Superman rivalry, this Luthor is unlike the ones we’ve come across before. For starters, he’s traded in his tux for a metal suit that allows him to compete with the likes of Superman. What do you think his deal is?

Superman & Lois — “Pilot” — Image Number: SML101a_0153r2.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Alexander Garfin as Jordan Kent and Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Embracing a longer-form arc with a compelling villain rather than doling out the disposable case-of-the-week villain is refreshing, as is avoiding the “group of computer nerds waiting to help the hero” trope.

It’s yet another way the series aims to carve a distinct path. 

Sam, the general at the DOD, seems to be the only one in Superman’s corner, and that’s because he’s personally connected to him – he’s Lois Lane’s father and Clark Kent’s father-in-law. Let’s keep it in the family!

The series is called Superman AND Lois for a reason – Lois is a hero in her own regard. 

She’s not just in her husband’s shadow or reduced to taking care of the kids in his absence; she has her own career as a successful and inspiring journalist.

After Morgan Edge buys the Daily Planet and sets his sights on Smallville, something doesn’t smell right to Lois and she vows to do something about it.

Edge and Kyle, Lana’s husband, both strike the note of “villain.”

Despite being a necessary counterpoint to Lois, Kyle defends Edge and believes his interest in the town will provide some necessary job creation. It’s a socio-economic sub-plot that I find myself engrossed in considering how it relates to our current realities. 

The pilot isn’t groundbreaking, but it does leave plenty of potential for the future by introducing compelling and dynamic characters and villains, stunning visuals, and a relatable family that just so happens to have superpowers.

The mature yet simultaneously teen-focused approach is a nice change of pace and sets the scene for a series that’s grounded and knows exactly what it wants to be – something entirely different from what we’ve seen thus far in the Arrowverse orbit.

Superman’s mass appeal and the rural setting, reminiscent of the previous Smallville (originally on The WB before going to The CW), will also work in its favor. 

Alert the Smallville Gazette – we have a hit on our hands! 


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Superman & Lois

Superman & Lois Review – Embracing Krypton’s Heritage (1×02)

Published

on

Superman & Lois Heritage Season 1 Episode 2 Review

After a solid pilot, Superman & Lois Season 1 Episode 2 picks up with the Clark, Lois, and the family putting down their roots in Smallville. 

And despite trying their best, they’re having a hard time flying under the radar – pun intended.

If they keep this up, Clark Kent’s glasses won’t be able to hide the “S” on his chest for much longer.

Initially, the twins brought attention to themselves by surviving two near-death experiences in a short period of time. Jonathan’s first day at his new high school doesn’t go any better as the football team is hellbent on destroying his life and making him pay the price for his brother’s decision to smooch Sarah.

It’s all very juvenile, which is the point – this is high school, and high school kids are mean bullies. 

Jonathan has made plenty of sacrifices for Jordan, the biggest one is uprooting his whole life and moving to Smallville. I’m surprised he didn’t make a bigger fuss about it, but it seems as though we may have misjudged Jon a bit at first. He wants his brother to succeed and find his place in the world, even if it pains him to see him get to go flying with dad while he gets the short-end-of-the-stick. 

However, it’s Jordan’s time to shine, and for a while, it seems like he’s genuinely embracing the idea of his new abilities. 

Clark struggles to figure out what his son needs. Parenting stumps the best of us – even superheroes don’t have all the answers when it comes to raising their kids and doing right by them.

But he’s trying, and that has to count for something.

Clark takes him to the fortress so that he can learn all about his Kryptonian heritage, but when the hologram of his grandfather (hologramp!) informs Kal-L that Jordan doesn’t have the strength to manifest his powers on command, it sets Jordan back again. 

As Jordan doubts himself, Jonathan promises to help him figure out what’s going because he believes he’s different. And it’s a good thing that they aren’t giving up because personally, I wouldn’t take the word of a hologram. 

This is also the first time we see the brothers get along despite their contrasting personalities; the progress is promising. 

We’ve already seen two instances – both of which Jordan was put into fight or flight mode – where he’s activated his powers. 

Maybe they’ll only bubble up to the surface when he’s in distress or worried about someone he loves? Whatever it is, it’s going to be exciting to explore what exactly it is that makes Jordan special. 

For now, he’s back to navigating the complex realities of being a teenager while crushing on the popular girl that’s just beyond his reach. 

To be fair, he didn’t get the wrong impression as Sarah continues to give off the vibe that she’s smitten with him. 

Jonathan was right when he asked her what she sees in a bully like Sean… especially when she’s clearly formed an emotional attachment to Jordan. They have a lot in common and their conversations flow naturally. 

It’s hard to root for her and Sean when we haven’t seen much of him or these redeeming qualities she speaks of.

The bullies were out in full swing in the second installment as Superman continued his battle with Captain Luthor, who we now know is Alex Luthor. 

We learn that he wants Superman to pay for destroying his Earth the way he did Krypton.

At first, it’s unclear what he means by that considering Superman literally drops everything to save the people of this Earth, but once he reconnects with General Sam of the DOD, we see that Luthor believes this Earth’s Superman is just as dark and dangerous as the Evil Superman on his planet who tried to kill him and that reality’s General Sam along with other soldiers.

Will the series explore multiple worlds and Earth’s? 

Lois and Edge’s rivalry comes to a head in a gripping way, and honestly, I’m more invested in this storyline than I am Superman vs. Luthor. 

Superman & Lois Heritage Season 1 Episode 2 Review

Superman & Lois — “Heritage” — Image Number: SML102d_0009r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Bitsie Tulloch as Lois Lane and Adam Rayner as Morgan Edge — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Edge is hailed by locals as a hero – including by Lana’s husband Kyle – because he’s one of the few who have taken an interest in a withering town by promising to bring back jobs. Yet, Lois remains unconvinced by the “broken promises” and calls him out publicly during a City Hall meeting, which again, alienates her from the locals and paints her as a villain.

Kyle is of the mindset that any job is better than no job even if it’s underpaid, but Lois isn’t a fan of the Edge’s blatant attempt at hiring desperate people for cheap labor. 

These days, you can see both sides of the coin. People who have been out of work will take any income and any job even if it’s demeaning, but there’s nothing wrong with Lois trying to fight for a better life and better wages. 

She’s not against the people of Smallville. In fact, it’s the opposite as she wants better for them and believes that the town shouldn’t be wrapped up in a greedy man’s plans. 

But Edge knows all the right things to have people hanging onto his last word, especially a group of people who want to believe that there’s someone out there who has their best interest at heart. Plus, Edge is the only one delivering “solutions” at this point. 

And Kyle still holds a grudge against Clark for “abandoning” the town. 

Of course, we’ll eventually hit a point where Edge rips off the mask and his true intentions begin to show.

Lois’s decision to publish her scathing piece of Edge in the Smallville Gazette likely won’t sit well with her neighbors either.

It’s telling how money controls the media. After Edge bought out the Daily Planet, her unbiased reporting wasn’t welcome anymore and she had to find independent sources to report the truth, which should actually tell Kyle everything he needs to know about the kind of man Edge is. If he has nothing to hide, why not allow your best reporter to publish her piece and prove her wrong?

When Edge rewrite Lois’s piece to paint himself in a “better light,” she one-ups him and quits as the series emphasizes that’s she’s every bit the unshakeable badass that her reputation would have you believe.

She’s going to be a great addition to the Smallville Gazette, and I’m eager to see what she and former one-woman show, Chrissy, are able to accomplish. 

These days, the journalist/reporter job falls into many cliches that include inaccurate and glamorous portrayals on shows like The Bold Type and even Supergirl at times, though they did make a valid point by showcasing that these money-hungry companies truly only care about pageviews and focus on clickbait. 

However, it’s refreshing to see two women who care about journalistic integrity lead the charge and restore the belief that media can make a change when it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. 

The moral of the story? Don’t mess with Lois! 

Do you think her role will cause problems for the family as they settle into town?

And in a side-note, am I the only one that found it weird that Lois has to continuously explain to the twins that their dad had to go take care of something? Now that they know he’s Superman, they know he’s out saving the world. Why would they be mad he skipped a barbecue to do something meaningful?

He can’t just abandon the world. Shouldn’t they be proud instead of constantly thinking they’re the ones being abandoned all the time?

What did you think of the second episode? Are you hooked on Superman & Lois? What do you think of Luthor?

Let us know in the comments below! 


Continue Reading

Superman & Lois

5 Biggest Moments from The CW’s ‘Superman & Lois’ Premiere

Published

on

5 Biggest Moments from The CW's 'Superman & Lois' Premiere

Superman & Lois took flight at The CW and gave fans an in-depth look at the characters previously brought to life by Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch on the sister-series, Supergirl.

You can read our full review of the supersized two-hour premiere here. 

We’re breaking down some of the biggest moments below:

 

1. Be a Better Dad 

After Clark Kent gets fired from the Daily Planet and his mother dies (all in the same day), he and Lois make the conscious decision to leave their busy and bustling lives in Metropolis and move back to Smallville to live in his childhood home.

The decision largely stems from Clark’s desire to be a more present and involved father in his twins’, Jonathan and Jordan’s, lives. 

5 Biggest Moments from The CW's 'Superman & Lois' Premiere

Superman & Lois — “Pilot” — Image Number: SML101a_0360r2.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent and Alexander Garfin as Jordan Kent — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

2. Jordan’s Powers Manifest

Following an accident in the barn where both the twins miraculously walk away with a “mild concussion” after being crushed by steel pipes, they begin to question how they survived. As they begin to look into the barn that their father told them to stay away from, they unearth the pod that brought him from Krypton to Earth.

With the pressure mounting, Clark decides to tell them the truth about his alien abilities, which changes the family in profound ways, many of which we’ll see in future episodes. 

Jordan blames his father for lying and making him feel like he was crazy, which further drives a wedge between them, especially since he believes Jonathan aka “Superboy” wields alien powers like his father because of his exceptional display of strength on the football field and for shielding him from the steel pipes.

However, when Jordan, the self-described loner with social anxiety disorder, goes to a party with Sarah, it’s revealed that he’s the one with the powers instead.

The duo connect while opening up about their struggles with mental health, so he decides to kiss her, completely unaware that she has a boyfriend named Sean.

And as you can imagine, Sean doesn’t take well to someone moving in on his girl. While Sarah tries to diffuse the situation, Jonathan comes to his brother’s defense and a brawl erupts. Seeing his brother get his butt kicked, Jordan snaps and unintentionally activates his heat vision causing an explosion. Thankfully, no one is hurt, but for the first time ever, he tells his parents he “felt in control.”

Clark seems to be at a loss on how to handle the situation as Jordan’s powers are manifesting differently than his ever did.

 

3. Captain Luthor

Amidst the typical family drama (if you can call finding out about your alien roots “typical family drama”), an armored villain emerges and sets his sights on destroying Superman. And Superman is concerned by this ominous figure because the man knows all too much about him and his existence, including that his weakness is kryptonite, which he attempts to use against him. 

By the end of the episode, the villain is revealed as Captain Luthor. The Luthor and Superman rivalry is nothing new, this Luthor looks quite different than the powerful supervillain in a suit. What does he want with Superman?

5 Biggest Moments from The CW's 'Superman & Lois' Premiere

Superman & Lois — “Pilot” — Image Number: SML101c_0294r.jpg — Pictured: Bitsie Tulloch as Lois Lane — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

4. Lois vs. Morgan Edge

Lois is just as much the star of the show as Clark. After all, the title is Superman & Lois. As a highly-respected reporter at the Daily Planet, Lois is known for her unapologetic reporting. Whereas Superman fights with his fists and laser-vision, Lois fights with her most powerful weapon — her words. And her latest mission is protecting the people of Smallville from business tycoon, Morgan Edge, who has recently taken control of the Daily Planet and is involved in some shady bank loan scams in Smallville.

What does he want with small family farms in Kansas? We smell another villain, but this one walks amongst the people.

 

5. Normal Isn’t Always Overrated 

Showrunner Todd Helbing previously said that he wanted the show to be a hybrid superhero show and family drama, and you can definitely see the Friday Night Light’s inspiration at play when it comes to the twins and their high school experience. 

At the beginning of the episode, Jonathan is the star quarterback and popular kid, while Jordan is more of an outcast that struggles to fit in. While it initially seems like they’ll be typecast in these roles, they gain more depth as the episode progresses. The casting is superb, so it’ll be great to see what else they bring to these roles. 

With the decision to move permanently to Smallville and restart the family farm business, how much will Jonathan sacrifice for his brother?

And what will living a low-key life mean for Jordan? He doesn’t have much of a social life to begin with, but how will he find his footing as a kid hiding alien abilities?

And there’s bound to be some fallout from that kiss! Clearly, Sarah is smitten with Jordan and definitely gave off the impression that she was into him. It couldn’t have been a coincidence that she forgot to mention she had a boyfriend!

 

For a superhero show that often feels more mature than its Arrowverse counterparts,  it all somehow feels very normal, relatable, and CW-esque.

 

What did you think of the Superman & Lois premiere? 


Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

Sign up for the CraveYouTV Newsletter