Ouch. Felled by Rude Teenager Syndrome.
This update of the Superman legend features characters from The CW's superhero universe of shows spun off from Arrow—like The Flash and Supergirl—called the "Arrowverse" in fanspeak. Here, Clark is married to Lois Lane and has twin teenage sons, named Jordan and Jonathan.
But the kids don't know their dad is the world's most powerful superhero. And even though Lois thinks fessing up may help Jordan with his anxiety issues, Clark doesn't want to tell them—a position echoed by Lois' dad, hard-charging Army general Sam Lane.
To some Superman fans, this may sound like a trap worthy of Lex Luthor; the most legendary superhero in comics stuck with an overbearing father-in-law and a son who embodies every bratty teenager trope on television.
But Superman & Lois actually weaves a compelling story from the efforts of the character to balance his responsibility to the world with the time and attention he owes his family.
Many years ago, I read a quote from a science fiction writer who said that watching a superhuman man confront a problem is boring; he's going to win. But watching a regular man confront a superhuman problem is where great drama lies.
Superman & Lois has it both ways—contrasting Superman's struggle to beat a surprisingly powerful mystery villain with Clark Kent's effort to connect with his family and handle a series of surprising losses.
After one such challenge—I won't spoil exactly what—Superman prepares to fly off, once again, to catch the guy who is sabotaging nuclear power plants. Lois puts her foot down and tells him to stay for his family, only to get a lecture from Sam Lane.
"When you wanted to get married ... I tried warning you," says Lane, played with appropriate gruffness by Nip/Tuck alum Dylan Walsh. "You may have fallen in love with Clark Kent, but you married Superman. And Superman doesn't get to have a normal life, no matter how much you want one for him."
Okay, it sounds a little soap opera-ish. But The CW and executive producer Greg Berlanti have excelled in bringing characters from the DC Comics universe to TV by playing up their humanity through family drama and focusing a little less on how well they punch out bad guys.
That doesn't mean they don't make Superman look supercool in this series. In the show's two-hour pilot, producers do an amazing job of depicting Superman's powers, with special effects worthy of any big budget movie.