LOIS & CLARK:
LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN had an impressive freshman year, as well as nearly as good sophomore season. However, as the series progressed into its third year, the plot lines seemed to be getting a bit silly, which brought us to the fourth and final season, a season of less than inspired episodes that brought down The Man Of Steel, as surely as kryptonite. Now don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed watching LOIS & CLARK, although it was more for of looking at Teri Hatcher than anything else.
Sure, all of the actors on the series displayed a great deal of chemistry together, plus I got a kick out of watching how the familiar premise was reinvented in the guise of light romantic comedy/drama. The series dramatic structure excelled with its characterizations and character interactions; I especially liked how Clark Kent (Dean Cain) and his relationship with Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher) was made the focus of the show, instead of Superman zipping off to save the day in action-hero mode. Even during season fourís campiest capers, LOIS & CLARK had a whole lot of heart that kept fans coming back for more. 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 Clarkís down home parents Martha & Jonathan Kent, plus Justin Whalin as Jimmy Olsen.
LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN- THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON ($60) comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty two episodes that were aired in the showís final year: Lord Of The Flys, Battleground Earth, Swear To God, This Time We're Not Kidding, Soul Mates, Brutal Youth, The People Vs. Lois Lane, Dead Lois Walking, Bob And Carol And Lois And Clark, Ghosts, Stop The Presses, 'Twas The Night Before Mxymas, Lethal Weapon, Sex, Lies And Videotape, Meet John Doe, Lois And Clarks, AKA Superman, Faster Than A Speeding Vixen, Shadow Of A Doubt, Voice From The Past, I've Got You Under My Skin, Toy Story and The Family Hour.
Warner Home Video has made all twenty-two episodes that comprise LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN- THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. Like the preceding seasons, the episodes that are offered here are pretty nice looking, but they certainly donít rank as demonstration quality material. Image quality is good for a mid 1990s television production, with the levels of sharpness and image detail appearing quite respectable. Of course, mild softness creeps in across the episodes, plus some of the special effects work is a bit visually inconsistent. Hues are rendered with fairly natural saturation, and again, the primary colors of Supermanís costume generally pop with a nice level of vibrancy. Blacks are fine, as are the whites. Contrast is television caliber, but otherwise no complaints. The film elements from which the episodes have been transferred do display modest blemishes and grain. Digital compression artifacts are generally well camouflaged.
All the episodes that comprise LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN- THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON come with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtracks. Sound quality is fairly solid for a mid 1990s television series. Channel separations are rather mild, with nothing about the sound design standing out. Fidelity is more than respectable. The music sounds nice, although not particularly full bodied, and the sound effects render in a fairly convincing manner. Dialogue is clean and easily understandable. No other language tracks are provided, but French and Spanish subtitles have been included.
Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as Kyptonian Kronology, an interactive Superman timeline hosted by Dean Cain.
Season four isnít representative of LOIS & CLARK at its best, but it does offer a good deal of goofy fun for fans. Warnerís presentations are solid for a mid 1990ís television production, so there is nothing to complain about on that front.
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