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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.

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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! 

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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 Cancelled at The CW—Here’s When the Superhero Drama Will End

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Superman & Lois Review Season 3 Episode 12 Injustice

If you’ve been following what’s been happening at The CW for the past few years, it comes as no surprise that Superman & Lois will be ending with the fourth season. 

The network has been scrapping most of its pre-sale programming, allowing only a handful of shows to return and finish out their run with a proper conclusion, the superhero drama being one of them.

The upcoming fourth season of the Tyler Hoechlin-led series will be its last, with the 10 final episodes airing sometime in 2024. 

“Over the last three seasons, Superman & Lois redefined both the superhero genre and family drama as Tyler, Elizabeth and the entire cast effortlessly portrayed these classic characters with new layers of depth and complexity that had never before been explored in the Superman universe,” CW president Brad Schwartz says in a statement. “We are grateful for the years of hard work and graceful storytelling from the show’s writers, producers, actors and crew, as well as our terrific partners at Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions. As Superman embarks on his final flight, the team is leaving us with an absolutely epic 10-episode must-watch-every-minute farewell to one of the most legendary CW families ever.”

The news was a long time coming, especially when the network renewed the show for a fourth season but reduced the cast to only a handful of series regulars, cutting everyone else loose with the possibility of guest appearances to wrap up their storylines. 

In addition to Hoechlin, Bitsie Tulloch as Lois, Alex Garfin as Jordan, Michael Bishop as Jonathan, and new villain Doomsday, played by Michael Cudlitz, will return are series regulars.

 We’ll update this post when new information about a premiere date becomes available. 

For now, you can binge Sullivan’s Crossing on The CW. 

Fates of ‘Superman & Lois’ and ‘All American: Homecoming’ Revealed at The CW

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Superman & Lois

Superman & Lois Season Finale Review – An Engagement, a Pregnancy, and Doomsday (313)

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Superman and Lois Season 3 Finale Review Episode 13 What Kills You Only Makes You Stronger

From Bizarro to Doomsday, Superman & Lois delivered an action-packed Season 3 finale that forced Superman to face his biggest threat to date.

Since getting out of prison after 17 years of being wrongfully incarcerated, Lex Luthor focused on getting revenge against those who wronged him, specifically Lois Lane. 

He made it clear that the reason Lois didn’t listen to him initially and ran with the inaccurate story that put him behind bars was because she had the protection of both General Lane and Superman. And since she didn’t heed his warning to put down the pen and retire, he knew that the only way to get to her was to eliminate the safety net. 

For the next 33 days, Luthor poured every inch of himself into concocting his master plan, which involved killing Bizarro over and over again and making him immune and indestructible. Luthor always knew he wanted payback, but Bizarro was the secret weapon that simply fell into his lap, and Luthor wasted no time taking full advantage. By the time he was done with him, the Inverse Superman morphed into a beast that set his sights on the Man of Steel in one of the most epic fights to ever play out on The CW. (And just as a reminder, with The CW doing away with most of its programming—and giving Superman & Lois a shortened fourth and final season with virtually no cast— so this fight scene is likely as good as it’s ever going to get for the network.)

Things weren’t looking so hot for Superman, but while it’s one thing to have an immense amount of power, Superman has two things that Bizarro doesn’t—brains that he can use to outsmart him and love; and the love he has for his family is what brings him back from the brink of death and energizes him. 

Superman and Lois Season 3 Finale Review Episode 13 What Kills You Only Makes You Stronger

Superman & Lois — “What Kills You Only Makes You Stronger” — Image Number: SML313a_0028r — Pictured: Michael Bishop as Jonathan Kent — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Pretty soon, Doomsday and Superman’s heads to the moon far away from any humans that can be harmed, though there’s no telling how it ends. 

With General Lane in Luthor’s possession, and Superman otherwise occupied, Luthor has Lois right where he wants her–vulnerable…or so he thinks. The one thing he didn’t account for (and how could he?) is that she’d have another asset in her corner—a son who inherited his father’s powers. Of course, Jordan is still pretty new at this and just getting the hang of his powers, but I’d say it’s enough to keep his mom out of harm’s way and stall until his dad returns. 

Clark thought he was doing the right thing by punishing Jordan and forbidding him from using his powers, but with danger lurking in every corner—and the imminent threat of Lex Luthor (Lois knew he was coming for her)—it would’ve been more beneficial to have him continue training specifically for this moment. 

Superman exchanged a telling look with his family before flying off to handle Doomsday, and in that look, he made it clear that Jordan was under no circumstance to help him. As a father, it only makes sense that he wouldn’t want to put his son in the line of danger. 

But what’s next? Doomsday is bred to kill, and he won’t stop until Superman is neutralized as those were Luthor’s orders. What’s the solution?

It almost seems as though there were two different episodes smushed into one, with the first half providing a happy and positive update on the families in Smallville, while the second half unveiled Lex’s plans and set the tone for what’s to come in the final season. 

I thoroughly enjoyed both parts—even if I’m far too skeptical when things are too good as I know the other foot is about to drop—particularly as it gave us some good momentum on all the characters that make this show so fantastic, and the ones that won’t be around much, if at all, next season. 

Lois’ recovery was tough and personal but she finally arrived at a place where she felt ready to be intimate with her husband again—and it was so beautifully captured. Clark being so soft with her when placing a hand on her chest was incredibly touching. They truly did right by her storyline this season, giving a realistic glimpse into a cancer battle rather than using it solely as a plot device.

It was also so nice to see her genuinely smile with excitement as she talked about their family vacation—Lois deserves this triumphant moment, and it’s a shame it was cut short by Lex. 

Fans who have been picking up on vibes between Lana and John Henry finally got their moment as well. Not only did the two go on a romantic first date, but they also hooked up in a hot and steamy moment as she was determined to make him regret accepting Lane’s offer to move to Metropolis. 

And yes, that’s an attempt at seemingly writing off John Henry and his daughter Nat for next season, which is a bummer, but it’s also a natural progression for the characters as they’ve always been destined to work closely with the DOD, doing what they do best and creating tools and gadgets to help them fight the enemy. Plus, it makes sense that Nat would go to the DOD Academy where Mateo just enrolled—it’s a promising future for her that allows for so much more than Smallville could ever offer someone with her brains and skills. 

Kyle and Chrissy Beppo also had quite an eventful episode as they not only found out they’re expecting their first child together, but Kyle even hopped on stage in front of the whole town and asked her to marry him. I enjoy this coupling, so no complaints, but I wish Chrissy continued to have a storyline of her own separate from Kyle instead of being reduced to his secret hookup for most of the season. Chrissy was always on the same playing field as Lana and Lois—and she deserved to stay there. 

Lana has put on a happy face throughout it all, even telling Kyle that she was happy for him and asking to spoil the baby, but it has to hurt on some level. She’s watching him become the man she’s wanted him to be for years, and that has to be so hard. Someone else got the version of Kyle that she always knew he could be, but he never was for her. 

However, Lana is right when she says that they are better as friends—and they make great co-parents, so at least there’s that. She’s tough and strong, so she’ll get through this. It may have taken her a little longer to move on than it has Kyle, but at least she’s seeing a future outside of her relationship with him.

This is also a good time to remind anyone who is online dating to just be super cautious about who they allow into their lives. 

Sam Lane was so eager to get back out there that he allowed the enemy to get too close to him, and he paid the price. 

The moment he introduced his new girlfriend to his absolutely stunned grandchildren, I knew there was something off about Gretchen and the way she was so eager to be involved in his life. 

It’s a shame because someone in Sam’s position should’ve vetted anyone he ended up meeting and pursuing for this exact reason. He works for the DOD for crying out loud—there have to be some protocols because this was just too easy. 

It’s also a bummer because Sam let his guard down one time, and now he’ll never trust anyone else with his heart again. 

And finally, Clark gave Jordan a pep talk that convinced him to apologize to Sarah. He admitted that his anger stemmed from them not being together, and they agreed to remain cordial but go their separate ways, which is honestly for the best considering everything that transpired between them. 

How do you think the series will continue on without Sam, Lana, Sarah, Kyle, Chrissy, John Henry and Natalie as series regulars, especially as we may never see any of them again and there were so many developments with their storylines? It seems like a huge miss for the series as they are so integral to the series and are responsible for making the small town of Smallville what it is.

And how do you think Superman will bring down Doomsday? Will Lex Luthor finally get what’s coming to him, rightfully this time around? He’s just giving Lois so much more ammo to put him away for good. 

Grade the season in the comments—we’re giving it a solid B! 

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Superman & Lois

Superman & Lois Review – Lex Luthor’s Arrival Reveals His Master Plan (312)

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Superman & Lois Review Season 3 Episode 12 Injustice

Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 12–also the penultimate episode of the season—introduced Lex Luthor in all his glory. 

As Lex was acquitted and released from prison, he set his sights on his #1 enemy: Lois Lane, before hatching and revealing his post-prison master plan. 

If the episode had solely focused on Lex Luthor’s arrival, it may have felt out of place, but it found the right balance of introducing this new yet familiar menacing figure all at once while keeping in tune with the tone of the series. Luthor’s arrival was interposed with the introduction of Smallville’s new superhero, SuperBoy, which brought forth plenty of drama with Sarah and Jordan, while also managing to deliver some parenting strifes for Clark and Lois with both Jordan and Jon.

There was even a tornado, which I was fully convinced was conjured up by Lex Luthor, hinting at a new supernatural take on the iconic character, though it turned out to be a mere coincidence. There’s truly never a dull moment in Smallville—one moment there’s an unanticipated tornado, and the next moment the scariest man on the face of the Earth is just casually walking the backroads. 

Lex’s release from prison was paralleled with his time in prison, showing that even behind bars, the CEO of LuthorCorp yielded all the power and was able to manipulate people into doing whatever he wanted through sheer force. He’s a bully in every sense of the word, but seeing how he obtained control of Stryker’s Prison is enough reason to make us fear him. 

Superman & Lois Review Season 3 Episode 12 Injustice

Credit: Superman & Lois

This version of Lex is rough around the edges; a blue-collar villain, if you will, who swaps the dapper suit for a jean jacket and freshly shaved head. 

And it somehow makes him even more terrifying. Michael Cudlitz plays him well. 

Mere minutes into his prison stay, flashbacks reveal that he managed to get his goons to show the others who was boss, and by the end of the day, he was catered to hand and foot, enjoying a fancy meal with a glass of wine. He’s a man that will get his way, one way or the other.

He’s a man who was misjudged and cast away by society only to regain his freedom—and it gives him the room to do a lot more damage than previous iterations of the character. He’s a man scorned, looking for vengeance and comeuppance for those who wrong him, something Lois is all too aware of.

She assumed that Lex would have it out for her the minute he was released from prison, but what she didn’t anticipate is that he would make a beeline for her house, simply to show her that he’s kept tabs on her and threaten her if she doesn’t agree to his terms to retire.

He also made a point by walking all the way to their house, proving that while he has men who will carry out tasks for him, he’s not above doing the dirty work when necessary. 

And honestly, Lex’s anger is justified; Lois and her words are the reason he’s in jail. It wasn’t sloppy reporting as she followed the evidence, which led her to Lex, but it was an error nonetheless. And sorry doesn’t really cut it when you’ve missed out on two decades of life, a point he drives home when he informs her that his daughter, who was 14 when he was locked up, is no longer willing to speak to him. 

However, he can’t overlook the fact that he’s seeing the light of day once again because Lois chose to do the right thing and clear his name, ignoring every warning from Peia about how he’s the devil incarnate and the world is better with him behind bars. Lois knew that setting Lex free would likely unleash evil onto the world—including herself as he’s had two decades to plan his perfect revenge—but her journalistic integrity couldn’t let him sit behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. She had to do the right thing and set the record straight. 

And now, with her decision to give in and give up her career in journalism, she’s making herself a target for Lex. 

As for Superman, well, he’s clearly someone that Lex has in his line of sight as well, otherwise he wouldn’t be risking it all to get his hands on Inverse Superman, who has really evolved into a creature of the night type monster thanks to Mannheim’s experimentation.

When Lex and his buddy Otis make their way down to the underground bunker once occupied by Mannheim, they find Inverse Superman literally gorging on rats—and he doesn’t waste time turning Otis into dinner. 

What’s Lex’s plan for Inverse Superman? Will he try to coach him into killing Superman?

Superman & Lois Review Season 3 Episode 12 Injustice

Superman & Lois — “Injustice” — Image Number: SML312fg_0018 — Pictured (L-R): Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing and Alex Garfin as Jordan Kent — Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Other Memorable Moments

  • Superhero or mere mortal, parenting teenagers—and all their raging hormones—is hard, and it didn’t go so well for Lois and Clark when Jordan disobeyed them and decided to go public with her alter-ego. He helped his dad stop a tornado, but instead of whizzing away before anyone saw him, he stuck around for a photo-op, proving that he’s absolutely careless about protecting his identity and superpowers. He doesn’t realize the weight of what he’s doing and rather, chasing the clout and trying to stroke his ego, which makes sense considering he’s always been pushed aside by the popular kids. However, I’m with Sarah on this one–he’s letting it get to his head and he’s losing the charm he once had in the process, including the level-headedness. Even his parents are stunned by his behavior and realize they have to rein him in before it’s too late. 
  • Jordan thinks that he’s so much smarter than everyone, but he failed to realize that the two Smallville encounters will prove that Superboy has a connection to the small town. If Junior put two and two together, it won’t be long before everyone else does. And then what? 
  • Can no one really see past the goggles? I know, I know, goggles are better than glasses! 
  • Clark, however, overstepped by going to talk to Kyle about treating Jon differently. He may have noticed his boss’ behavior changed upon learning the truth about his father’s identity, but if he wanted his dad to handle it, he would’ve asked him to. Clark’s decision to head over to the firehouse and ask Kyle to treat Jon like all the other guys simply proved Jon’s point about his father controlling his life. And, naturally, Kyle felt offended and took it out on Jon. Overall, it was messy and would’ve been better if Clark just let Jon handle his own problems. But what will come of it? At this point, it seems like the show doesn’t really know what to do with these two characters.  
  • The parents of Smallville are all really busy, but they still manage to meddle in their children’s problems all too often. Case and point: Lana telling Jordan’s parents that he was letting the powers get to his head. It further drove a rift between Jordan and Sarah, though, at this point, they really just need space from each other. 
  • Sarah decided she was over this version of herself, including the one who lied to everyone to keep Jordan’s secret, and she asked her mom to dye her hair, which was a cute bonding moment. I can’t wait to see how she changes it up.
  • Lois may be taking on a new villain in her life (an unwelcome distraction), but she’s still very much in the healing process from the cancer as it’s a full-time job. Maybe Lex is the push she needs to get back to her old self and regain the confidence and the fire. She was the Lois Lane when she didn’t even wince when confronting him on her front porch—a very targeted move on his part as he encroached onto her personal territory.
  • It’s also nice that amid all the drama and chaos that the series is introducing as it barrels toward a season finale, it isn’t losing sight of Lois’ health journey that’s been so crucial to the plot this season. 

What did you think of Lex Luthor’s arrival? Should Superman and Lois be scared? And who do you think his daughter is? How will she play into all of this?

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