Roush Review: ‘Superman & Lois’ Caught in a Parent Trap

Superman & Lois Lane Clark Kent Tyler Hoechlin Elizabeth Tulloch
Dean Buscher/The CW

If you found out your dad was Superman, wouldn’t you be excited? Even a little?

Not so much on Superman & Lois, where joy is Kryptonite to the angsty twin teens raised by Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch). Maybe the super-popular Jonathan (Little Fires Everywhere‘s Jordan Elsass) and anxiety-prone Jordan (Alexander Garfin) will grow out of it — though impulsively moving the young lads from the big city of Metropolis to sleepy Smallville, Kansas, may only alienate them further. When do CW kids ever embrace the brighter side of life? (Look what happened to the Archie gang on Riverdale.)

Admittedly, when I first heard about this latest twist on the most enduring of superhero legends, I was kind of hoping for some of the screwball fizz and fun of ABC’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman series from the 1990s. But this terribly earnest drama, opening with a 90-minute premiere, skips past the romance and honeymoon period to more domestic concerns, often moving slower than a spent bullet when Superman isn’t flying off to some calamity or tangling with a mysterious alien.

Though he looks barely older than his offspring, handsome Hoechlin is equally appealing as nerdy parent and dashing superhero, even when you wish he’d grow a spine of steel as he frets that he hasn’t lived up to his Superdad goals. (Like Queen Latifah’s maternal new take on The Equalizer, Clark is often torn between saving the world, even if it means averting a nuclear crisis, and being there for his boys.)

As for star reporter Lois, whose hawkish General dad (Nip/Tuck‘s Dylan Walsh) regularly drops by with serious boundary issues, the more severe Tulloch has her own mission: to investigate unscrupulous robber baron Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner), who’s got Smallville in his rapacious sights. But so far, they haven’t given her much of a character to play.

Superman & Lois Pilot Jordan Jonathan Ken

(Dean Buscher/The CW)

I just wish they could rekindle that thrill of first love. I’d be there for that.  

Superman & Lois, Series Premiere, Tuesday, February 23, 8/7c, The CW