Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Lois Clark - The New Adventures of Superman - The Complete Fourth Season|
Actors: Dean Cain, Teri Hatcher, Lane Smith, Justin Whalin, Eddie Jones
Directors: Chris Long, Dan Wilcox, David Grossman, Eugenie Ross-Leming, Jim Charleston
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Lois Lane and Clark Kent saved the best for last. In their final season, they finally get married. There are a few roadblocks along the highway to marital bliss: a worlds-at-war battle with Lord Nor; an adventure-packed en... more »
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Even married, I felt tension... me wanting MORE of them!
Lashanwya | Indiana | 09/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with Robert Moore, but disagree at the same time. I was a viewer who wanted them married, and enjoyed them married. I loved the rapport between the characters, as well as the support, trust and respect that Lois and Clark shared. I loved all the touches, the looks, the kisses, and even those dull married couple moments.... why? Because Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain sold Lois & Clark as a couple very well. The chemistry was off the charts. You'd think the two were actually dating in real life, the chemistry was so good!
And even though I only got 4 seasons, they made for better tv than a majority of the shows on tv now. Smallville doesn't even compare to Lois & Clark. I think Dean Cain made a wonderful Superman and an even better Clark Kent than Christoper Reeve (God rest his soul) and Teri Hatcher is byfar the best Lois Lane. The acting alone kept me tuning in.
I agree that the writing wasn't as great as previous seasons, but like Robert Moore said, there are still episodes to enjoy. Some favorites of mine in season 4 are Stop The Presses, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Lethal Weapon, The People vs. Lois Lane, and Dead Lois Walking.
And what I love the most about season 4 is going back to seasons 1 and 2 and watching how the relationship evolved. Lois and Clark went from competitors, to partners, to friends, to finally lovers. It's beautiful to see how far they came.
And in retrospect, it may have been rushed, but was wonderful to watch. I enjoyed the adventures, the villains, and the supporting cast of the show, and especially the beautiful Teri Hatcher and very handsome Dean Cain in their prime. I'll forever be grateful to Deborah Joy Levine for creating one of the best romantic comedy shows on television. I enjoyed seeing Clark Kent being the true personality and Superman being the secret identity.
These were good times, man. Good times.
Still fun, but a steep decline from the previous three seaso
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 08/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Season Four of THE ADVENTURES OF LOIS AND CLARK is one of the most influential seasons in the history of television. Why? The answer lies in the romance. Many television series feature romantic couples between whom there is considerable attraction, even if they are not actually together as a couple. Sam and Diane on CHEERS; Buffy and Angel on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER; Maggie and Joel on NORTHERN EXPOSURE; John and Aeryn on FARSCAPE; Veronica and Logan on VERONICA MARS; JD and Elliott on SCRUBS; Mal and Inara on FIREFLY; Kate and Jack on LOST (sorry fans of Sawyer--his only role is to provide a triangle to complicate things between Kate and Jack); Max and Logan on DARK ANGEL; Clark and Lana on SMALLVILLE; and so on through a host of shows. But anyone who has watched these shows knows one thing: the two characters, much like the lovers on the side of Keats's urn, forever pursue each other, never finding true love. Why is this? The answer comes from two shows that made the mistake of allowing the lovers to get together: MOONLIGHTING (David and Maddie) and THE ADVENTURES OF LOIS AND CLARK.
The first season of the show documented the slowly developing attraction between Lois and Clark, ending with their deciding to be friends. Season Two saw them gradually rekindling their attraction, culminating with Clark proposing to Lois in the season finale. In Season Three she turned over the proposal for a few episodes and said yes. But after they married, an interesting thing happened: the ratings plummetted. Though many fans were as interested in the show as ever, for many viewers (and most critics) the central tension of the show was resolved, and the show almost overnight lost much of its viewership. The same thing had happened on MOONLIGHTING. David and Maddie flirted forever, but once they slept with one another, the ratings collapsed and many viewers lost interest in the show. The challenge for contemporary writers is not how to get two lovers together, but how to keep two lovers obviously destined for one another apart.
So if you wonder about the real reason that Buffy and Angel couldn't get together, blame MOONLIGHTING and LOIS AND CLARK. If you listen to DVD commentaries for various shows, it is clear that people who run shows are acutely aware of the David/Maddie and Lois/Clark problem: if you allow your lovers to find true love, viewers will lose interest in the show. So, everyone in charge of a show may allow leading characters to flirt, may allow them to express desire, may put on prominent display how they feel for one another, maybe even allow them get together briefly, but they won't let them get together for good. If they are lucky, they may get together in the final episode, but not until then. Some shows are lame as they turn sommersaults to keep the lovers apart. Some--like FARSCAPE, which turned the placing of barriers into a high art form--are masterful at keeping them apart in new and inventive ways.
Indeed, Season Four is by far the least interesting of the show's four seasons. Once they got Lois and Clark married, most of the dramatic tension of the show evaporated. Yes, it was fun to see how they worked out as a couple, but that doesn't negate the fact that more than anything in the first three seasons we wanted to know whether they could be a couple. Once that happened, the show was directionless. Unfortunately, the culmination of Lois and Clark's relationship was coupled with a new emphasis on an episodic as opposed to serial format. More and more in Seasons 2 and 3 the show emphasized serial elements, allowing storylines to spill over from week to week, allowing story arcs to extend over many episodes. But in Season Four nearly every episode is stands alone. Most hardcore fans of shows want shows to become more, not less, serial. Most of the joy of shows like THE X-FILES, BUFFY, ANGEL, 24, THE SOPRANOS, VERONICA MARS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, DARK ANGEL, and LOST is following an ever expanding and developing central story. But just as LOIS AND CLARK seemed to be moving in this direction, they retreated from it entirely. No doubt this was at the demand of the network. Fans, critics, writers, and actors love long, involved, and ongoing story arcs; network execs and advertisers hate them. Why? Because involved stories require that one be aware of what has happened before. If you watch the 11th episode of the 5th season of LAW AND ORDER without having seen the show before, you won't be lost at all; you'll instantly be able to follow every nuance of the show. But if you try to watch the 8th episode of Season 2 of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, you'll be utterly lost. Too much has happened, too much prior knowledge is required to appreciate what is happening. The problem with Season 4 of LOIS AND CLARK is that while there is no question that it became friendlier to new viewers, it became less interesting to older viewers. The stories in Season 4 simply feel flat and less interesting in comparison to the previous two.
Nonetheless, although Season 4 is clearly the low point of the series, if you like the characters, the show remains fun despite the crippling changes. Lois and Clark still have great interpersonal chemistry, and even if there is no longer any tension around whether they will get together, it is still fun to see them work out the kinks in a marriage pairing an ordinary human and a super hero. Though the ongoing story arcs aren't nearly as interesting as in previous seasons, there are still a number of strong episodes. I can't imagine any fan of the earlier seasons finding nothing to enjoy in this one. And I would certainly have liked to see what would have happened in Season 5. Obviously Season 5 would have in large part centered around the child who mysteriously appeared in their home at the end of Season 4. The challenge would have been whether they could have introduced any story arcs that would have regenerated some of the romantic tension that made the first three seasons so much fun. I'm rather sceptical that they could have, and although I remained a fan of the show until the end, I will be the first to admit that the writers made a serious mistake in allowing Lois and Clark to marry and perhaps even to get engaged. Clark's proposal at the end of Season 2 and the tension for the first few episodes of Season 3 were unquestionably high points in the run of the series, but one has to wonder whether all this was justified given the tremendous loss of romantic tension on the show.
To be honest, although I give Season 3 four stars, it probably deserves less. But I enjoyed the show so much the first three seasons that I simply can't bring myself to give it less than four. In retrospect it is easy to criticize the writers for taking the show in the direction it did. They should have taken a cue from Keats and kept the lovers chasing one another. Very possible the ratings would have stayed high rather than declining. But one thing is certain: given the ratings collapse of LOIS AND CLARK in Season 4, few if any series in the future will allow the central romantic couple to experience extended periods of bliss and happiness. It is the lovers' chase that delights viewers, not their finally embracing one another."
Lois and Clark Still Flying High In Their Final Season
Jonathan Griffith | Owensboro, KY USA | 09/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have heard many opinions on various sites about season 4. Many have said it was the downfall of the show and quote bad ratings as an example. Now I understand some fans had a problem with the show after they got married saying that the drama was gone and bad plots etc. Well IMO those people couldn't be more wrong. I was a fan of the show from the very begining I was 11 when the show first premired and never missed an episode. I grew up on every little drama and peril they always seemed to find themselves in and really wanted to kill that DEA agent. When Clark proposed i found myselef counting the days till i could hear the answer, and loved the direction season 3 took with them desperatly trying to stay together and the conceren of Supermans enemies finding out the truth and even loved the whole Clone arc. I felt the same way for the season 3 finale as I did season 2 and couldn't wait for season 4. I wasn't disapointed. I loved every moment and was very excited to see them deal with the trials and tribulations of a married couple. I don't see that the show declined one bit after they got married. I among others were extremly ticked when abc yanked the show without even showing the final episodes till like six months later. I know alot of fans don't like the ending but I think it was the perfect way to end the show and I wouldn't have it any other way. Lois and Clark is a excellent show from start to finish and any fan of Superman and Lois and Clark should not miss the final season. You won't be disapointed."
Go into season 4 with unbiased eyes & make the most of/and e
R.A.G | UK | 11/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently rediscovered this series through UK reruns and buying the DVDs. I quickly realised why it had been my favourite TV show of the 1990s. I didn't think it would stand the test of time, but I was wrong. Except for the give away chunky mobiles and the budget restricted special affects, you could be fooled into thinking this series was made just yesterday. You could put it on now as a fresh show and with the right marketing it could still find an audience who would be none the wiser. Whatever the story of the week was, it didn't really matter. The characterisations were the main draw as it told a timeless lale of two people maturing and falling in love. However this series also offered a lot more than romance. Escapism at its best without being too wacky (well most of the time). When I first tuned in all those years ago it was because of the Superman angle. However I ended up falling in love with the series because of the subtle humour, drama, suspense, action, adventure, mystery, mixed with a blend of Superman and Sci-Fi to keep the genre fans and kids happy. Of course there was the romance, its character driven plots - all the cast, not just the leads, you could fall in love with or relate to their characters. It had a lovely, gentle, Jazz oriented musical score which wasn't too loud or brash to interfere with what was going on in the screenplay. All these elements were used in equal measure to offer something for everyone, whether you were 5 or 65, a hopeless romantic or a Superman fan. It pulled off something quite unique. Most of all for me I liked it because the characters evolve and you follow them on a journey of self discovery of themselves, each other and life itself. All things I can relate to especially as I get older.
Now I come to Season 4. If you are just coming to this series for the first time or rediscovering the show, then be prepared. It pains me to say it but without doubt season 4 is the weakest. However don't let that put you off. Don't believe all the misconceptions that have been put out there about it. If you go into season 4 expecting the worst you might come out finding it wasn't so bad after all. Yes, it has more than its fair share of bad episodes, but there are also some very good ones thrown in. Some of my favourites of the season were: Brutal Youth; The People Vs Lois Lane; Dead Lois Walking; Lethal Weapon; Sex, Lies & Videotape; also Tempus (though not at his best) was always good for a laugh.
Other episodes such as Stop The Presses; AKA Superman; and Bob & Carol & Lois & Clark put forward interesting concepts but had been placed in the hands of the wrong writers. If some of the earlier writers had been handling them maybe they would of worked as the imaginative ideas were still quite clearly there. Lord of the Flies/Battleground Earth are perhaps more fun for the Sci-Fi fans and some Superman fans, however could be guilty of losing the casual viewer but they are still very well made.
The 'Lex Files trilogy' (episodes 17-19) provided high drama and intrigue and reintroduced suspense and mystery as well as an ongoing story arc that had been lacking in some Season 4 episodes. It also set up some interesting feelers for a Season 5. Without a Season 5, I think Voice from the Past, while not the best episode, would have been a perfect place for the series finale. As it is just opinion, I don't think I am spoiling anything by saying this episode has a nondescript ending suggesting the characters were happy and would just carry on living as they did with Superman saving the day. After all the viewer knows from a Season 2 episode what ultimately becomes of our heros even if they don't yet know themselves. So if you don't want disappointment with the final 3 episodes, then Voice From The Past would be a good place to switch off the DVD. Otherwise you are going to be left with an unsolved cliffhanger and unresolved issues.
In retrospect was Season 4 so bad? Was its main problem that it followed hot on the heals of 3 fantastic years that had consistently delivered? After all what series doesn't have its stronger or weaker seasons? Sadly for Lois & Clark it didn't get the chance to redeem itself in a fifth season as other series' do. It was only meant to have 5 seasons anyway and episodes 12-19 of season 4 in particular showed that it still had some life in it.
The final analysis, don't believe all what your read about the rise and fall of this series, go into season 4 with unbiased eyes and make the most of/and enjoy these final adventures of Lois & Clark.
DISPELLING THE MYTHS.
I know I'm going on but people always ask the following and the answers are vital in understanding general misconceptions of Season 4 and the rise and fall of Lois & Clark. Firstly SO WHY DID THE RATINGS TUMBLE? People will forever blame the wedding and yes there is no escaping the fact once they were married, your casual viewer who just dipped in and out had seen all they wanted and turned to the newer competition. However there were many other reasons why Lois & Clark's ratings tumbled in the 4th season in the US, and not all were the show's fault. Here are the three main ones: -
1) Network politics: In 1995 ABC was the most watched network in the US, in 1996 Walt Disney bought it and by the end of the 1996-1997 season ABC was struggling to maintain itself as 3rd most watched network in the US. Lois & Clark was just one of many shows failing on this network during that particular TV season. You got to ask yourself was bad management going on with the new bosses or was it just bad luck? Whatever it was, it wasn't good for many shows on ABC. In fact ABC would suffer years in the wilderness with the irony that it wasn't until 2004 and Teri Hatcher's new show 'Desperate Housewives' that the network's fortunes turned around. Pure coincidence I might add. Back in 1996-1997 Disney were also keen to use ABC as an advertisement or show case for their own brand. ABC have also been accused of no longer being so favourable to other TV makers, most notably Warner Bros. - the makers of Lois & Clark. As Lois & Clark's ratings began to slide for varying reasons, rightly or wrongly ABC has been perceived as doing nothing to help the situation. They started to decrease advertising it. Then instead of perhaps letting the season run its course, ABC removed Lois & Clark from a time slot it had been in for 3 and half years showing just two new episodes in a slot that was barely advertised. They then took Lois & Clark off the air for two months without warning (Jan-March), bringing it back briefly to take it off again for weeks on end. Finally they moved it to a whole new day and time before pulling it off the schedule yet again. By season's end with 3 new episodes still to air, only a few die-hard fans had managed to keep track of new episode airings and schedules. Casual viewers and even some fans had long since lost touch with where it was.
2) Most notably Lois and Clark critics and doom speculators regularly forget, especially when comparing it to the likes of Smallville, what type of network it was on and the audience it was looking for. No offence to Smallville, but critics can say all they like but these two series cannot be compared. Although both are about Clark Kent and come under the category fantasy, they fit two different genres and they are being projected to two entirely different markets. There is one thing Lois & Clark has always had over Smallvill, is that it reached a wider audience? It was on mainstream TV. Young or old, male or female, Sci-Fi fan or romantic, it had to please everyone and this was its ultimate goal and and its ultimate downfall! You can't please all the Superman fans, the romantics, the children etc all the time without disappointing others.
While Smallville airs on the 5th most watched network in the US and minority channels world-wide, Lois & Clark aired on one of the big US three. Lois & Clark was watched by all different walks of people world-wide, many of whom perhaps have never watched a Superman thing before or since. It wasn't meant to be high drama, it was meant to be light-hearted family viewing. This was a tall order to ask of any fantasy series. However it pulled it off. In countries such as the UK, Canada, Australia & New Zealand it was a smash hit. It also was shown in over 90 countries world-wide while in production (not to mention how many since). In the over competitive US market, Lois & Clark steadily built an audience from 1993-1994, seeing off the competition in 1994-1995 and finally consistently winning its time slot in 1995-1996. The nature of Lois & Clark meant it would never be a top 10 show in the US, but in 1995-1996 it managed to make the top 20. Again this marked the series' downfall.
By 1996 Lois & Clark had overstepped the mark, it had got too big for its boots and as Season 4 rolled around, it was time for the other networks to fight back and fight back they did. CBS and NBC moved in Top 10 shows that Lois & Clark would of had no hope of beating even in its earlier years, never mind with the weaker Season 4. ABC should of seen it coming and made allowances.
In contrast Smallville is really a cult show aimed at a select few. It is only required to win over a few Superman fans and a youth audience and the Sci-fi minded. It isn't expected to win round the masses and it doesn't either in the US or internationally. Smallville does very well in its niche. Smallville can take risks that Lois & Clark never could. Put Smallville on ABC, NBC and CBS would it of lasted a season? Would it of ever made it to the top 20 in the ratings? A resounding no. It wouldn't because it wouldn't of been Smallville as you know it if it had. Put Lois & Clark on minority television and it probably would of run for years as it would of been able to find its own market without having to worry about pleasing everyone. At its lowest, Lois & Clark got more viewers in the US and world-wide than Smallville does now at its highest.
3) Finally there is no escaping also that Season 4 had weaker writing: Was this down to network dictates or just a new team of writers who didn't grasp the vision and ethos of the series? One of the biggest draws to Lois & Clark for many viewers, across the spectrum, myself included, was the Will it Won't it happen concept. In the earlier seasons we had a) will they won't they become partners and friends b) will they won't they fall in love c) will she won't she figure it out and d) will they won't they get married. Lois & Clark had to get married eventually, it is what the viewers wanted and it was the point of the show. It was a question of when? If they had dragged it out, no doubt viewers would of lost patience. I think the wedding came too soon, however it was going to have to happen in Season 4 somewhere otherwise the casual viewer would of still wondered off.
Once the wedding happened the writers forgot the Will it Won't it concept for a few episodes so there was nothing to keep casual viewers watching. These few episodes were crucial to setting up Season 4 and finding its new place in the market. There is only so many times you want to see Clark and Lois hopping into bed with each other and him saying Honey I love you in almost every scene. For those who were able to stick around, as Season 4 progressed the guessing game concept was reintroduced and would of set the series up nicely for season 5.
A) How much longer could Clark hide his Superman identity from villains? People were starting to ask questions more and more as the series progressed.
B) Were Clark's friends about to work out the truth just as Lois had previously? There is a train of thought amongst fans that Perry may of known since the pilot but now in Season 4 on more than one occasion you think Jimmy has worked it out but it turns out he hasn't - yet!
C) Could Superman and Lois maintain a marriage/Was Lois really cut out for domestic bliss/Was her head going to turn at every new tycoon in town?
D) Did Lois really want children as she restless with this through the latter part of season 4?
The writers also seemed to lose sight of who their audience were in Season 4. Or were they trying to recreate an audience? Where it had always balanced all its components with equal measure in each episode of previous seasons, making the show appealing to all ages of diverse interests. There was now an overdose of Sci-Fi, which might of sat well with the Superman fans and fantasy genre however there are only so many alien invasions, a ghost possessing Lois, body switching and angels the casual viewer can stand. There were episodes such as Toy Story that were quite clearly aimed solely at the children. This was counteracted with way too many love scenes. At times these got too mushy for words and others bordering on too steamy for family viewing. However that aside it still had something to offer and the series as a whole is remembered fondly by many.
Finally WHY WAS IT AXED/CANCELLED? Lois & Clark was going to have its 5th and final season despite dwindling ratings. ABC had signed on the dotted line before the 4th season had aired. People now forget that this series still had a strong fan base by season 4's end. Internationally it was still a hit (albeit dwindling but not to the extent of the US fall) and in the US there still would of been a market for it in syndication or on cable even if ABC had dumped it. However once Teri Hatcher became pregnant, it gave ABC the out they were looking for and left no opportunity for anyone else to pick it up. Her doctor's had advised Warner Bros. that she could not continue work. It would of been cruel to of expected her to film the extremely long hours this series required by its nature without posing a risk to herself and her unborn child. Even if she could of carried on working, a season took 9 months to film and she would of had to take time off in the middle. It was called 'Lois & Clark' not The Clark Show. So it wouldn't of been possibly without Lois. Not only was a child a blessing to her (as it is to any parent). In many ways it was a blessing to this series because at least it went out on a relative high quality wise if not ratings wise. I always say Quality is better than Quantity. Over the four years and 87 episodes, I can truly say there are only two I can't abide. 75 of them achieved what they set out to do and were super in every way. I can't give that ratio of high quality for many series."