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YMMV / Lois & Clark

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • There is a serial killer living right under Superman's nose and he never even notices. Jimmy Olsen may seem innocent at first glance, but by the end of the series he has a substantial body count going on. In pretty much every episode, Jimmy is professing his love for a girl and by the end of the episode he'll have won her over only for her to vanish without a trace in the next episode. Even plot armored characters aren't safe from him, Lois's sister goes from a central storyline to never heard from again! (To be fair, this could just mean he's a shit boyfriend who can't keep a girlfriend worth his life.)
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    • Tempus's description of the boring, pacifistic future (coupled with how easy it is for him to get loose because everyone's a pacifist) can make you wonder if the utopia Superman will usher in would be a good thing or not.
  • Arc Fatigue: From the first attempt at the wedding, to the actual wedding finally happening, takes eleven episodes. While annoying on DVD, this must have been intolerable in 1996.
    • It was, particularly since the first attempt at the wedding had been intended and promoted as the actual wedding. Scheduled for Valentine's Day Weekend, beautiful heart-shaped wedding announcements had been printed and distributed, including to ABC News anchors who displayed them on the air. At the last minute the network insisted that they change it, for fear that people would stop watching after Clark and Lois finally tied the knot. Say "frog-eating clone" (or just "clone") to a FoLC (Friend of Lois & Clark) and watch what happens.
  • Bizarro Episode: "Soul Mates", which involves Lois & Clark jumping between Hollywood History time periods. Each time, Clark is a heroic rogue with a mild-mannered alter-ego, while Lois is trapped in a Shotgun Wedding by Tempus.
  • Complete Monster: Lighthearted as this show is, it still packs in numerous nasty villains:
    • Tempus, one of the most recurring villains of the show, is a witty criminal mastermind who originates from a utopian future created by Lois and Clark. Considering this future tedious and longing to tear it down and replace it with a hellish dystopia, Tempus tries various schemes to make this happen, attempting to murder an infant Superman with Kryptonite and leaving Lois stranded in a time period where she'll have no legal rights in his first appearance, and trying to frame Superman as a hostile alien invader before trying to leave a building full of people to blow up with a bomb he's activated in his second. In Tempus's last appearance, Tempus traps Superman outside of time and mindwashes America into voting him in as President; personally murders or disposes of various loose ends who might compromise him; tosses his bodyguard to his death for a cheap laugh; and ultimately tries to trigger a global nuclear war to annihilate the entire planet while gleefully attesting he simply wants to murder billions for the fun of it now. Even Tempus's snarky demeanor fails to mask the utter lunatic he truly is, and he stands above even Lex Luthor as Superman's most vile enemy.
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    • Thaddeus Roarke, from season 1's "Honeymoon in Metropolis", is a tycoon who runs a company called Apocalypse Consulting. After losing a military contract to Lex Luthor to develop a coastal defense system for the Navy, Roarke plans to sabotage Luthor's system so that the Navy will pick his system. Roarke is working with a Congressman Ian Harrington who works on the House Subcommittee on Defense and is giving Roarke information about Luthor's system. Roarke eventually reveals his scheme to Harrington, that he plans to cause a massive disruption in Luthor's system that will result in it creating a giant tidal wave which will destroy Metropolis and several cities on the coast, which horrifies Harrington. When Roarke discovers Lois Lane and Clark Kent have been spying on him, he tries to kill them by putting a bomb in their hotel room.
    • "Anonymous", from season 3's "A Chip Off The Old Clark", is a mercenary who works for the highest bidder. Anonymous is hired by terrorists to destroy an ongoing peace process between two countries, Tanzor and Fostonia. Anonymous learns of a young boy named Jesse who has some of Superman's powers and kidnaps him. Anonymous hires a hacker to hack into Tanzor's nuclear defense system and then shoots the hacker so he does not have to pay him. Anonymous has Jesse kidnap the President of the Tanzor and uses truth serum to force him to reveal Tanzor's nuclear launch codes, planning to launch a nuke at Fostonia's capital city. Lois Lane arrives and tries to trick Anonymous into surrendering by pretending to have a gun, but Anonymous tricks Jesse into pressing the launch button. Discovering that Jesse has lost his powers, Anonymous decides he is no longer useful and tries to use poison gas to kill Lois, the President and Jesse.
    • Steve Law, from season 3's "Super Mann", is a Nazi who awakens from suspended animation in present-day Metropolis to help lead the world into the Fourth Reich. Establishing himself as the nastiest of his three compatriots, Law tries to have a Western sympathizer in his inner circle murdered when he tries to renege and unflinchingly executes his own associate when he tries to abandon the mission as well. Law spearheads the mission to crush the world himself by threatening to detonate bombs in Metropolis, Washington, and LA if America's government doesn't surrender, trying to detonate the bombs as soon as he's able and even dismissing all of his own men who will be caught up in the explosions as "martyrs to the cause".
    • Professor Jefferson Cole, from season 4's "The People vs. Lois Lane" and "Dead Lois Walking", is a narcissistic, brilliant mind expelled from S.T.A.R. laboratories after he attempted to sell weapons technology to those who would misuse it. Breaking out of jail years later and possessed of a vendetta toward the people who locked him away, especially Lois Lane, Cole frames Lois for murder by rigging a gun to go off in her hands and kill his own henchmen, later using his illusory technology to further discredit Lois until she's sentenced to death. Cole murders one of his own minions who tries to clear Lois's name in remorse and reveals his trump card is to rain down hybrid-Kryptonite on Metropolis to horribly kill its entire populace, all out of petty spite for the city having "shunned his genius".
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Everything about Tempus's bid for President, from naming himself John Doe to mind-controlling everyone with a phone, declaring war on the Amish who don't have phones, shoving a bodyguard out a window while proclaiming that even Reagan couldn't get away with this, and naming a convicted criminal who killed his parents at age 3 Secretary of State.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: In the DVD commentary on the Episode "Season's Greedings", writer and actor Dean Cain said that it was really fun for him and the rest of the cast to act like greedy children. The message he intended to send is that it is a bad thing to be greedy (or at least a bad thing to be very greedy). It did look very fun being greedy, and the character did not suffer any penalty for greed because their greed was a result of the Toy Man's evil toys. So the overall plot has the characters having fun by being assholes, and getting away with it because they have an excuse. The episode was entertaining.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Tempus is a fan-favorite villain.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Particularly fans of The Adventures of Superboy TV series, which was probably axed by Warner Bros. to avert the possibility of two competing Superman shows. While nobody will claim that Superboy was a milestone of television, it left a bad taste in many fans' mouths which still persists today.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Mindy Church was never caught onscreen; many fanfics have her receive comeuppance in some way, whether it happens between Seasons 3 and 4 or in stories beyond Season 4.
    • What became of Cat Grant.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "The Night Before Mxymas", Mr. Mxyzptlk (Howie Mandell) asks Superman, "So, are we ready to make a deal?"
    • In "Resurrection", Lois and Clark disguise themselves as greasers in order to sneak into a prison visitor's area. Their aliases? Angel and Spike.
    • Fred Willard makes guest appearances as a U.S. Presidential candidate. We all know how well that went...
    • In "Don't Tug On Superman's Cape," Lois has an Imagine Spot where Clark acts like James Bond and she's stuck in the role of a Bond Girl. Teri Hatcher would actually go on to play one not long after the show ended.
    • In "Church of Metropolis" to get around Intergang's threats if he seen in the south side Superman disguises himself as a police officer. Twenty-four years later his actor is now a police officer.
    • The Final Episode aired on June 14, 1997, the same month and day that another Superman adaptation would come out 16 years later.
    • Kevin Sorbo originally auditioned for the role of Superman. Jump two decades, he ends up playing a Decomposite Character to Lar Gand/Mon-El (who usually substitutes Clark Kent/Superboy), in a story arc ripped clean out of the series.
    • In "Strange Visitor (From Another Planet)," at one point Superman says, "I am a man, Lois."
    • In the pilot episode, Clark expresses doubts about wearing a cape.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Tempus is such a charming, funny villain it's easy to forget he's also the most evil villain in the show, casually establishing this in his first episode by leaving the infant Kal-El to slowly die from Kryptonite exposure as part of a plan to dismantle the utopia Superman creates in the future.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The government agent from "Double Jeopardy".
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Seasonal Rot: The fourth and last season is generally considered as weak due to the aforementioned Arc Fatigue and Denser and Wackier plots.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The D.A. Mayson Drake dislikes Superman but is in love with Clark Kent. In her first appearance Superman asks her why she dislikes him and gives several legitimate reasons for a clean official to dislike him:
    Mayson Drake (to Superman): "Do you have a license to chase criminals? Do you read them their rights? If you injure someone are you insured?"
    • She also discusses how Clark is standing up for the law despite the inherent risks, and says how she'd like to see Superman do that without his powers. To her, Superman isn't a real hero because he's not human, or at least is not with all human weaknesses. Sadly, the last thing she learns is they're the same person.
  • The Woobie: Alternate!Clark, who's bullied by Lana Lang, never became Superman, and had his Lois disappear.


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