Latest iteration of “Superman” takes a look at Clark Kent’s life with children “Albuquerque Journal

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Tyler Hoechlin as Superman in “Superman & Lois”. (Courtesy of The CW)

Jerry Seinfeld had an early career routine about the 1950s TV show “The Adventures of Superman” and how George Reeves, as a Man of Steel, held his hands on his hips without even flinching when a villain opened fire, but when the villain threw his empty gun at Superman, the big guy would dodge.

In a related vein, I’ve always wondered why the various iterations of TV and movie Supermen through the decades almost always looked like bodybuilders. After all, Superman didn’t get his strength and superpowers by going to the gym; Wouldn’t it be easier for him to blend into the role of “Clark Kent, Mild-mannered Journalist” if he wasn’t all bloated? With that in mind, kudos to the new CW series “Superman & Lois” for picking Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent / Superman, because while Hoechlin certainly looks to be in good shape, he looks more like a little kick turner than he is. to an outside linebacker.

Then again, Superman always deceives people into wearing glasses to hide his secret identity, so some things never change.

Premiering with a 90 minute pilot, “Superman & Lois” is a spin-off of the CW series “Supergirl” (entering its sixth and final season) and exists in DC Comics TV-based “Arrowverse”, and if you can. keep track among all the superhero universes and multiverses, reboot worms and derivative verses, then your superpower must be the ability to last more than 24 hours a day, so congratulations. One of the good things about this new world created by Greg Berlanti and Todd Helbing (“The Flash”) is that if you even have an understanding of Wikipedia’s first few paragraphs of Superman’s origin story, it’s easy. to slide right into this series and follow the storylines, whether it’s the domestic drama within the House of Kent or the latest existential threat from a megalomaniac villain with a booming mechanical voice and far superior powers. to those of Superman.

Bitsie Tulloch as Lois Lane and Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent in a scene from the “Superman & Lois” series. (Dean Buscher / The CW)

Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch have warm, natural chemistry as Clark and Lois (they’ve starred in these roles over half a dozen times on other DC shows on The CW), who have been married for a decade. and a half. , work journalists in the sprawling city of Metropolis and have 14-year-old twins: popular and outgoing Jonathan (Jordan Elsass), who was just named the first quarterback of the high school football team as a rookie, and Jordan (Alex Garfin), who suffers from social anxiety disorder and spends his time locked in his bedroom playing punk rock and playing video games. (“You make a really good Superman,” Clark says as his son plays a game. “Superman is boring,” Jordan replies; he plays the bad guy.)

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Clark has a kind of daddy-friend thing with Phil Dunphy with the boys (especially Jonathan), while Lois has to do most of the heavy lifting of the parenting, with Clark’s other job requiring him to don the cape and fly to God knows where in the middle of the night to save the world. When a family tragedy (which hardly ever occurs in early superhero stories, Cough-Cough) calls on the Kent family to return home to Smallville, we find that this once-idyllic slice of the American Dream has fallen into disarray. hard times, with farms in foreclosure and a wave of crystal meth addiction plagues the city. Marvelous actress Emmanuelle Chriqui is Clark’s former high school flame Lana Lang, who is essentially the Mr. Potter of the city as a loan officer who communicates the grim news to landlords and landowners and makes deals. super dodgy, while Erik Valdez plays the former – school husband Kyle, who is the town’s fire chief and clearly resent these Kent townspeople, especially Clark. You can tell Kyle just wants to ram Clark in the jawbone, which probably wouldn’t end well for Kyle’s hand.

The Kent boys, as bright as they seem, never found out their father’s true identity until the pilot, when it appears Jonathan has a developing latent superpower and they confront their parents. . Clark / Superman takes off the goggles considerably, lifts a van over his head, and floats upwards, which seems overkill, as lifting the truck OR the theft would have made the point. Suffice to say that the guys are baffled by this development.

At least in these early stages, “Superman & Lois” is far more compelling as a national soap opera than a superhero adventure. Apologize for the #SuperHeroDadJoke joke, but we see that even though your dad is Superman, that doesn’t mean he’s always great, man.

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