Superman & Lois

Superman & Lois

A surprisingly touching and emotionally intelligent superhero drama with excellent lead performances


TV Show

United States of America
Action & Adventure, Drama, Family, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Alex Garfin, Chad L. Coleman, Dylan Walsh
44 min


Proof that you don't need endless cameos, grating fan service, and babies in microwaves(?) to make a DC project work.

What it's about

Having returned to Superman's hometown of Smallville with their teenage twin sons, Clark Kent and Lois Lane balance family problems, married life, and the occasional world-ending threat.

The take

You just wouldn't expect yet another superhero show from The CW to carry the sort of emotional weight typically reserved for prestige melodramas, but Superman & Lois gets close. In contrast to recent darker portrayals of the Man of Steel, this series allows Clark Kent to remain a nerdy, wholesome dad, whose greatest challenges come from the problems he can't solve with his powers. In fact, some of the superheroics only slow the show down from doing what it does best: navigating different relationships within the Smallville community, exploring various conflicts that can still pop up in a loving marriage, and looking at how Clark and Lois's kids deal with the secrecy around having (or not having) powers.

Strong, character-focused writing and mature, measured performances help put Superman & Lois above a number of its superhero contemporaries. It still falls victim to cheesy situations and occasional stretches of monotony (especially in the second season), but its dedication to human drama over action set pieces and expanding its lore makes it easy to be moved by their most personal problems. This is what DC has needed all this time.

What stands out

Tyler Hoechlin may not be most people's first image of Superman when they think about the character, but his sincere take on the hero is just as charming—perhaps even more so—than many other recent portrayals. But arguably even more interesting than Clark and his one superpowered son Jordan (Alex Garfin) are the non-superpowered members of the family. As Jon, the twin who didn't inherit any powers, Jordan Elsass (replaced by the equally affecting Michael Bishop in season 3) becomes a portrait of selflessness despite feelings of jealousy and isolation, as he makes sure to stick his neck out and take the fall for Jordan's often destructive adjustment to his powers. And as Lois, Elizabeth Tulloch becomes the glue that holds the family together, shouldering some of their biggest burdens with stubbornness and determination—leading to a handful of tearjerking moments of vulnerability.

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