We love much of the CW’s DC Comics output for being so willingly, earnestly embracing of the goofy, fun roots of its source material, and its takes on Clark Kent and Lois Lane have been no exception. But our first good look at the Metropolis power couple’s new show is like being hit with a heat vision blast of subverted expectations.
Spinning out of Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch’s appearances across Supergirl and the CW/DC crossover events of recent years, the series follows Clark and Lois as they move from Metropolis. They leave the Daily Planet behind—seemingly under less-than-ideal circumstances—to begin a chapter of their lives daunting for even the Man of Steel: raising kids.
Honestly, while that seems to be enough of a problem, it’s not the only one facing the couple. There’s elements of the usual Superman stuff there, like dangerous new foes, Lois’ distrusting father General Lane, and, of course, Kryptonite shenanigans. But there’s also the fact that in this show at least, Lois and Clark are going through some pretty grim times. The older Kents have passed, and Lois and Clark’s teen sons Jonathan and Jordan are going through all the sorts of things you’d expect young, surly teenagers to be dealing with emotionally. Their sons’ already emotional years are compounded by the fact that their father thought that at the height of their anxiety was the perfect time to tell his sons that their dad’s Superman, which, hoo boy! It all paints a rather bleak picture, even as Clark and Lois find strength in working through it all together.
It’s kind of wild that our first look at the CW’s take on a Superman show involves the chipper Man of Steel we’ve come to know from past appearances joke that he wishes he could drink himself out of social situations, or questions his capacity to be a good father. And while yes, that’s arguably something we’ve seen a lot of in other Superman adaptations and “fresh” takes on the character before—this idea that someone as superhumanly perfect as Superman is not interesting as is, and therefore must be glum and dour and, gasp, gritty—it’s not something we’ve seen the CW typically angle toward for many of its DC shows (outside of the beloved dramatic sourpuss Oliver Queen).
We’ve known this version of Superman as the bright, optimistic ideal, but it’ll be interesting to see the show challenge both him and Lois to become that once more as they overcome their family’s very unique flavor of drama. Superman & Lois kicks off its debut season with a super-long episode on the CW on February 23.
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