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Warner Home Video presents
Clark: You think it was easy for me, sitting there watching you swoon over Superman, at the same time ignoring me?
DVD ReviewAt the end of Season One of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, the marriage of Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher) and Lex Luthor (John Shea) had been thwarted, and Luthor had supposedly died. Clark Kent (Dean Cain) had confessed his love to Lois in a last-ditch attempt to keep her from marrying Luthor, and then told her he was only joking. So, the beginning of this second season set, which covers the 1994-95 season, sees things between the pair of reporters back at square one, essentially, with Luthor initially out of the picture. The overall arc of the season remains the relationship between Lois and Clark, and the writers did their best to drag it out as long as they could, since there was no real reason why the two shouldn't get together. So, rival love interests were introduced for each; for Clark, it was district attorney Mayson Drake (Farrah Forke), and for Lois, DEA agent Dan Scardino (Jim Pirri). Eventually though, the fans would get their wish, as the characters were slowly brought together to admit their feelings for each other, though even this was stretched as Clark would have to leave to be Superman at the most inopportune times (of course). Fans would be forced to wait until the third season to see the pair really hook up as a couple.
The first episode picks up where the Season One finale left off, as Luthor's ex-wife (Emma Samms) arrives to claim revenge on Lois and Superman, using her background in subliminal techniques to try to turn public opinion against our hero. Despite revealing that Luthor isn't quite as dead as he seemed, he would only appear one more time during the season. Without Luthor as the main threat to contend with, Superman would run up against numerous small-fry villains throughout the course of the season, some lamer than others. Take the second episode (Wall of Sound), which sees Michael Des Barres as a rock 'n' roller using extreme sound to manipulate people and blackmail the city. Somewhat better was the Prankster (Bronson Pinchot), a bitter arms dealer hot for revenge against Lois, whose first major story put him in prison. He would appear twice during the season. Another recurring villain is Tempus, first appearing in the 18th episode, Tempus Fugitive, which remains one of the most popular episodes with fans. Tempus Fugitive provides a prime example of what many dislike about the show, filled as it is with cheesy humor at the expense of dramatic punch, but I would imagine many fans would argue that's what makes the show good. The season finale (And the Answer Is...), in which Clark tries to reveal his secret, uses humor sparingly in what is an enjoyably suspenseful epsode, leading into the more substantial events of the third season.
The lead performances remain engaging throughout, largely due to the excellent casting work. Cain and Hatcher retain their chemistry established during the first season, and the supporting work of Justin Whalin as the new Jimmy Olson and Lane Smith as Perry White are equally good, not to mention K Callan and Eddie Jones as the Kents. Not approaching the performances are the special effects, which looks even cruder after so many subsequent television series and movies, superhero or otherwise, with much better effects work. Still, if you come to Lois and Clark for the action, you've been misled. Character work and the romantic angle between the leads are the show's dual anchors, and generally, they do the job well enough.
Part of the appeal of the series is seeing the numerous guest stars who appear throughout, and this second season has bunches of them. Bronson Pinchot plays a role thankfully miles aways from the atrocity that was his in Perfect Strangers, while Scott Valentine, as Metallo, unfornunately plays a very similar role to his Family Ties gig as the dumb guy dating Justine Bateman. Other guests included Adam West and Frank Gorshin in Whine, Whine, Whine; Peter Boyle and Bruce Campbell as father-son crooks; and Robert Culp, J.T. Walsh, Bruce Weitz, Charles Rocket, William Devane, and Cindy Williams to name a few more. Everyone seems to be having fun with their roles, and the show never takes itself too seriously, something that probably rubbed many Super-fans the wrong way—this series has plenty of detractors. However, the beauty of a good character is the ways in which he or she can be re-interpreted to fit the times or the stories at hand, and Lois and Clark certainly has a unique spin on the Superman universe. Really, there seems to be a Superman for every taste; there's this show for those more interested in the love story of Lois and Clark, the current Smallville for those who want the early days of Superman, with all the teen angst, the original serials, and Adventures of Superman for those who want the old-fashioned heroics without the complications, and of course, the movies have their particular slant. And that doesn't even get into the animated series.
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B
Image Transfer Review: The image quality of this set looks merely okay; like the previous set, this one is also flagged for interlaced playback. Colors are generally solid, and detail level is a bit soft, much like the previous set. It's like watching it on regular television, more or less, which somewhat defeats the purpose of having the superior quality of DVD, I would think.
Image Transfer Grade: C
Audio Transfer Review: Dolby 2.0 is the one and only option, and it sounds fine. The show, for all it's comic book action, doesn't push the envelope too much in the sonic department, and given the emphasis on dialogue, that isn't a surprise.
Audio Transfer Grade: B-
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 154 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Dean Cain, on "Season's Greedings"
Packaging: Cardboard Tri-Fold
Extras Review: A small array of extras on hand, highlighted by Dean Cain's commentary on Season's Greedings, the second season episode that he wrote. Cain stays away from play by play for the most part, and gives some explanation as to how he got to write the episode, and so on. It's breezy and amusing. Two featurettes are on Disc 6; the first is Lois & Clark: Secrets of Season Two (10m:16s), which briefly runs through the work done on the second season and includes interviews with Cain, Whalin, and Denise Crosby, as well as three of the producers. Not bad, but not especially nourishing either. The other is even flimsier, as Marvelling Metropolis: The Fans of Lois & Clark (08m:30s) briefly covers the show's enduring fandom, although apparently not at the level of a Star Trek. Several fans are interviewed, and the participants from the other featurette also speak here, in addition to K Callan and Eddie Jones. The most amusing bit is two brief question and answer sessions with the fans answering questions from the pros, and then Dean Cain answering questions from the fans.
Extras Grade: C+
Final CommentsIf you enjoyed the first season, then you're bound to enjoy the second, as it continues to heat up the romantic tension between the two leads. The mix of sometimes silly, sometimes corny comedy and romance may rub hardcore fans of Supes the wrong way, but for others it will be just the ticket. The four-disc set gathers the complete 22-episode run, and throws in a couple of decent extras for the fans.
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