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Home #Hwoodtimes Superman & Lois: A Review

Superman & Lois: A Review

By Ali Mushtaq & Valerie Milano

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/22/21 – Premiering Tuesday, February 23 at 8/7c on The CW, Superman & Lois provides a modern twist on an American classic. Starring Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent and Bitsie Tulloch as Lois Lane, Superman & Lois paints a portrait of how the superhero juggles life as his alter ego, Clark Kent, and his true identity, Superman, complete with superhuman powers. However, given CW’s penchant for retelling classics with a social justice edge, Superman must now navigate the pitfalls of parenting, mental health struggles, and predatory lending. When explaining the context of the show, cast member Adam Rayner states, “You’re aware of the Elon Musks and the Jeff Bezoses and people that use the media and also represent both an opportunity and a threat to small-town America. They would claim they’re bringing opportunity, but of course, it could be considered exploitative, when you see on the ground what that opportunity actually looks like.”

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Superman (Tyler Hoechlin)

Clark and Lois navigate the pressures of foreclosure in the pilot, which introduces Superman & Lois’ main plot point: moving to Smallville and paying off a loan. The first episode details a conversation with a loan officer about how Clark’s mother took out a loan against their house to help community members. Lois spends time investigating this loan. Bitsie Tulloch mentions, “Lois’ sort of arch-nemesis in the season is a billionaire entrepreneur who is trying to destroy journalism. He would probably use a different word for it, but you know, it’s very timely. And a lot of what she is writing about is what capitalism is doing to these small towns all over the United States and Smallville in particular.” While Clark will spend time throughout the season paying off this debt, it is another conflict that Clark and Lois did not realize they had to navigate.

The first episode introduces Clark and Lois’ sons, Jordan and Jonathan. Jordan has a social anxiety disorder, and throughout the episode, Jonathan has to remind Jordan to take his medication. Additionally, Jordan’s love interest prevents him from mixing alcohol with his medication; they then bond over their mental health struggles. While mental health struggles were possibly alluded to in previous incarnations of Superman, this iteration centralizes these issues, as Jordan’s mental health strains his relationship with Clark and Lois. When the couple discusses having their kids, Lois comments that “kids with anxiety” was not something they planned on navigating. This bridges a previous generation’s Superman with one that must now navigate what was once an invisible health crisis.

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Thus, Superman & Lois offers an examination of capitalism and mental health concerns as Clark Kent and Lois Lane navigate a potential predatory lending scheme as well as an estranged relationship with their son, Jordan, who is struggling with his mental health. Ultimately, viewers will be excited to see how these conflicts play out.

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.today, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board as a chief organizer of the Television Critics Association’s press tours, held twice a year in Beverly Hills and Pasadena. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and the Desert Aids Project, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been an active member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.