LOIS & CLARK:
As I stated in my season one review, LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN was one of my favorite interpretations of the Superman mythos. I liked how the show placed the emphasis on the romantic aspects of the relationship between Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher), Clark Kent (Dean Cain), not to mention complications of a love triangle that features Clark’s alter ego- Superman. Also in the show’s favor, was the light comedic touch that it employed, which enhanced the romantic interplay. Additionally, Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain had good chemistry together, plus I liked the pluckiness and determination of Hatcher’s Lois Lane, not to mention Cain’s Clark Kent was all Boy Scout, without any unnecessary buffoonery.
Season two of LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN retools the show’s format to some degree, as John Shea’s Lex Luthor is eliminated as the primary villain and Clark’s second romantic rival for Lois. Also, Justin Whalin is introduced as the new Jimmy Olsen and Tracy Scoggins’ character of Catherine Grant was never to be heard from again. Of course, season two does ratchet up the romantic interplay between Lois & Clark and moves into audience teasing will they or won’t they mode. The cast of LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN also includes Lane Smith as fatherly Daily Planet editor Perry White, plus K Callan and Eddie Jones as Clark’s down home parents Martha & Jonathan Kent.
LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN- THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($60) comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty two episodes that were aired in the show’s sophomore year: Madame Ex, Wall Of Sound, The Source, The Prankster, Church Of Metropolis, Operation Blackout, That Old Gang Of Mine, A Bolt From The Blue, Season's Greedings, Metallo, Chi Of Steel, The Eyes Have It, The Phoenix, Top Copy, Return Of The Prankster, Lucky Leon, Resurrection, Tempus Fugitive, Target: Jimmy Olsen!, Individual Responsibility, Whine, Whine, Whine and And The Answer Is...
Warner Home Video has made all twenty-two episodes that comprise LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN- THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. Like season one, the episodes in this collection look nice, but they are nothing extraordinary as far as TV DVDs go. Sure, there are some visual improvements over season one, but again, the image is never all that stunning. Sharpness and detail are respectable enough, but the episodes do look mildly soft in places. Colors are saturated at a fairly natural level, although the primary colors in Superman’s costume generally look quite vibrant. Blacks appear accurate, whites are stable and contrast is pretty much at the television level. The film elements from which the episodes are transferred contain some mild blemishes, as well as a bit of appreciable grain. Digital compression artifacts are generally well camouflaged.
All the episodes that comprise LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN- THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON come with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtracks. Sound quality is about all one should expect from a mid 1990s vintage television series, there are some very mild channel separations, but nothing that really calls attention to itself. Fidelity is pretty good, with the music sounding very nice and the sound effects being generally convincing. Dialogue is crisp, clean and always easy to understand. No other language tracks are provided, but English, French and Spanish subtitles have been included.
Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extras. Series star Dean Cain is on hand to provide a running audio commentary for Season's Greedings, an episode that he also served as writer. Lois & Clark: Secrets Of Season 2 is a ten-minute featurette that focuses on the highlights and changes in the series second season. Marveling Metropolis: The Fans of Lois & Clark is a fan-focused featurette clocking in at eight minutes.
As a fan of the series, I’m glad that Warner is following through by bringing LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN- THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON to DVD. The presentations aren’t extraordinary, but they are still better than a syndicated rebroadcast- plus there are no annoying commercials. If you are a fan, you’ll want to pick up a copy of this set.
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