Monday, December 27, 2010

Lois & Clark: PILOT!

Netflix Synopsis: Clark Kent, an alien being with unlimited powers, works in disguise with fellow newspaper reporters Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to prevent Lex Luthor and Dr. Antoinette Baines from sabotaging Earth's first orbiting space station.

!!!!! credits !!!! totally 90s!!!

Joe says there are no images in the credits yet because they all come from the Pilot episode. He's "pretty sure" that's true. Let's let YouTube give the verdict.

A shady-looking man is entering the offices of The Daily Planet. The man looks like Robert Downey Jr., but it's definitely not. It's actually Lois Lane, intrepid reporter and main female lead of the series.

She is greeted by Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter and the Xander Harris of the series. (Joe: "Actually, Xander Harris is the Jimmy Olsen of Buffy." Jennie: *rolls eyes*)

Lois has apparently gotten a great scoop, and moments later they flash-forward to a huge party in the newsroom, complete with balloons, noisemakers, and other time-wasting activities. Pin the Tail on the Donkey was probably in there somewhere. Also, if The Daily Planet throws a party every time they publish a story, they will never get anything done.

A bus pulls into town, and Clark Kent, farm boy in the big city, steps off. He walks down the street, suitcase in hand, when he sees another bus speeding out of control. So naturally, Clark walks out into traffic and stops the bus WITHOUT HAVING HIS SUPERMAN OUTFIT ON (Joe doesn't think he actually has the outfit at this point) and no one notices. Except some old lady who just points and says "hey! hey!" WTF? Oh well, I guess shit gets crazy in Metropolis.

Meanwhile, back at the Planet, we are introduced to gossip columnist and all-around sex whore Cat Grant. She is scary looking. WTF, Cat Grant, why the face? Seriously, your face is weird. Sorry, Tracy Scoggins.

There's more stuff going on at the Planet, but it's ultimately inconsequential. Joe thinks the actor who plays Jimmy looks like a young Clark Kent. And David Krumholtz. Also Hank Azaria. He looks like a lot of people. Also, Clark has a mullet in this episode, does that stick around? It's comic-accurate...

advsupes505vfreg
...so yes.

Jennie likes Clark's glasses. Also, Clark lives in a hole. It looks like a prison cell in a third-world country, cement walls and one small window. Is Clark poor? (Jennie: "He's Superman, why doesn't he just rob a bank?" Joe: "Um, I think you just answered your own question.")

Clark decides to call his parents and let them know how his first day in the big city is going. This show is somewhat significant in that it is the first iteration of Superman in TV or movies that includes Ma and Pa Kent as major characters in Clark's life. Usually by this time in most Superman shows/movies, Pa Kent is dead and Clark has left Smallville completely behind. Following the Superman revamp/reboot in 1986, though, Clark's parents are alive and kicking. [Jennie: "NERD ALERT."]

Clark just floated to the ceiling to fix his lightbulb and then spent some time walking up and down the walls. One time they did that in Pippi Longstocking but they had to use glue so I guess Clark wins. Anyway, he has too much time on his hands. CLARK. YOU CAN FLY. GO OUTSIDE.

After work, Lois goes home and is greeted by her sister, Lucy Lane (oh, those Lane parents love their alliteration). In a move that clearly fails the Bechdel Test, Lucy berates Lois for being too picky about men. "You've got to stop being so smart all the time!" That's right, Lois. Dumb it down. Men don't want women who can think! They want women who can cook and do laundry! Also, Lois doesn't know that Clark and Superman are the same person because CLARK WEARS GLASSES. I don't know that smart is the right word for her.

Lucy tells Lois that she wants her to "meet a super guy." BWAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAHA! I wonder if that will happen before the end of the episode?

The next day, Clark is walking down the street when he passes a theater that is set to be torn down...for some reason. He uses his x-ray vision on the theater and sees some old bat is inside "acting." A construction worker outside gets into his bulldozer and prepares to destroy the building, but Clark uses his heat vision to keep the machine from running. So, basically, Clark is committing sabotage at this point. Clark enters the theater and meets the crazy old broad. They bond over Chekov. Later that evening, Clark is in prison at home working on something, and he types so fast on his computer that it starts to smoke. We have no idea why that theater thing is in this episode. Maybe it'll make sense later but probably not. PILOT!

Oh wait, it turns out Clark was writing a story about the old lady and now he's going to get a job at The Daily Planet. Perry is easily impressed by Clark's writing, I guess, but Lois is not impressed because the story wasn't "serious" enough. Also, because she's kind of a bitch. She has a point, though. Clark's story is a total fluff piece, and the way it's written is more like an essay than a news article. Based on the strength of this piece, Clark Kent, apparent fluff writer, would never have been paired up with hard-hitting investigative journalist Lois Lane.

So Clark has a job at the Daily Planet now. Back in the newsroom, they all watch a space shuttle preparing to take off. Before it does, though, it blows the eff up on the launching pad. Oops. (Joe: "Did that space shuttle explode?" Jennie: "Too soon.")

Platt, who wants to...like...do something...and cure diseases. Also, apparently he lives in an abandoned warehouse or something. It's weird. Anyway. They talk to him for a while and it turns out his daughter can't walk and his dream is for her to go to some space station where they have magic so that she will be able to walk again. He used to work for Dr. Baines and she's doing some shady stuff so Lois and Clark visit her secret underground lair that is not underground, really, but it should be. She's uncooperative until Clark flirts with her. It's a little known fact that one of Superman's powers is panty-dropping.

Back at the Planet, this power is definitely working on Cat Grant, although a) Clark's not really trying to use it on her, and b) It's probably a safe bet that Cat's not wearing any panties. She hits on Clark and Lois gets jealous ALREADY because Lois loves Clark duh. Cat offers to show him around (her ladybits), but Clark isn't really interested.

Clark: That's very nice of you, Miss Grant.
Cat Grant: Cat...
Jennie and Joe: Call me...KITTY CAT.

Lois invites Clark to go to Lex Luthor's ball (heh). Well, really she berates him into going with her because she doesn't know how to act like a normal person. Apparently she can't go to this thing herself, despite being an empowered woman who doesn't need any man. Except for right now.

[Thirty minutes in, Joe and Jennie realized that Clark hasn't become Superman yet and doesn't even have his costume, which is why he's randomly using his powers in the most useless situations.]

Anyway, they go to the ball, and Lois is using her feminine wiles to get information out of Lex Luthor, who is not bald even though he should be. Because this is a TV show, Clark gets all moony when he sees Lois dressed up with fancy hair, because no one can tell that she's gorgeous in her every day clothes EVEN THOUGH SHE'S TOTALLY GORGEOUS. I forgot how pretty Teri Hatcher was before she turned into an overly-Botoxed Praying Mantis.

Clark and Jimmy (who is also at the ball as Cat's date) are watching Lois hit on Lex Luthor and Clark can't control his powers or something? So he almost starts flying? (Jennie: "He's floating in the middle of the party!" Joe: "He has a flight erection!")

The ball is an opening day celebration for "The Lex Luthor House for Homeless Children Who Don't Have Homes And Also Need Somewhere To Sleep Good Too" "The Luthor House for Homeless Children." HAHAHA.

On a side note, this episode is an hour and a half long. Sigh.

Cut to a while later in the Luthor mansion. The party is over and Lex is lounging on the floor in front of a fire. A snake comes sliding through the door. So there's a snake roaming around Lex Luthor's house? OK? It's...being controlled by a guy in a turban who is sneaking around Lex's house. Sim sim salabim! WHAT THE FUCK. I think manatees wrote this episode. As the snake (which entered the room as a garter snake but has suddenly turned into a cobra or something) slithers up behind Lex, he quickly turns to face it. Lex stares down the snake and it goes away. Lex lies back and puffs on his cigar, laughing about his snake-repelling powers or something. Sure. Fine. Whatever.

Totally out of context, Jennie wonders how Superman has sex with humans, being the man of steel and all. (Joe: "...there's actually a theory about that.")

Also, Lex is banging Dr. Baines. Because of course he is. He's also wearing an ascot. Because of course he is. The ascot is vaguely reminiscent of something that Gene Hackman would have worn as Luthor in the Donner Superman film. Surely the similarity is not on purpose at all, as that would have required forethought on the part of the makers of the episode.

Back at the Planet again, and Lois and Clark are in the office, working hard, or at least shuffling papers around and LOOKING like they're working hard. As long as they look like they're working hard, no one will bother them. That's the Costanza way! Lois complains about wanting some Chinese food and now I want some Chinese food. The show uses some pretty sweet Indiana Jones-style map graphics to illustrate Clark going to China to get Lois some food, because Clark is nicer than he should be to Lois. Lois is actually sort of nice to him when he gets back. Kind of. Well, nice for Lois. So, basically, she doesn't make him cry as hard as usual.

Some time later, Clark and Lois go to visit Dr. Platt, who is...pretty much dead. He was electrocuted, and pretty obviously murdered, but the cops randomly decide that he committed suicide. One cop makes a joke about it and Clark gets upset because he's just a small town girl and isn't used to gallows humor.

Clark goes home and is sad. He wishes he could have saved Dr. Platt, so he asks his mom to make him a costume. Sure. He's talking to her on his prison phone, all wet from the shower and wearing a towel around his waist. Oooooh yeeeaaaaah. There's a knock at the door and it turns out to be Lois. Great. Still in his towel and dripping wet, Clark answers the door half-naked so Lois can see what she's missing. (Lois: "I said nine, I thought you'd be naked.") Why does Lois show up here? Are they going on a date or something? Does it even matter?

LONGEST. EPISODE. EVER. Some other stuff is happening but it's probably not important. UNTIL...Lois and Clark hug! Shippers, write this down. It's a big moment. LOIS AND CLARK 4EVA!!11!!!11! Why do they hug? Probably because Clark is sad. Honestly, it doesn't matter anymore.

Lois is going to dinner with Lex Luthor. Before she meets him, she insists that she's not going to sleep with him. She's probably going to sleep with him. She doesn't, though! They just have besos. Besos means kisses in Spanish. You're welcome. Later that evening, Lois and her sister talk about men and love and Clark floats outside the window and eavesdrops. That's creepy, dude. Not quite as creepy as Superman lurking around in the shadows, spying on Lois and Richard White in Superman Returns. Still pretty stalkerish, though.

After a meeting with Lois and Jimmy in his office at the Planet, Perry White randomly pulls out a box of leaves and shoves some in his mouth.

Jennie: WTF?
Joe: IS HE EATING A FROG?
Jennie: No, not yet. /spoilers

Lois and Jimmy break into Dr. Baines's lair and Lois, of course, gets caught. But not before she kicks some guy's ass with her purse and some standard self defense moves. Unfortunately, Dr. Baines shows up with a gun and Bullets > Purse.

Clark realizes that Jimmy and Lois might be in trouble so he sneaks out of a staff meeting. He somehow finds them and bursts through the door. He "gets caught" because he doesn't want to use his powers in front of the stupid humans and Lois berates him because that's what she does. Once she removes the sand from her vagina, they bond over some story about how Lois banged a French guy named Claude when she started at The Daily Planet and that's why she's a stone cold bitch now. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Also, at this point, Clark has broken his chains, and now he's just hanging out with Lois while she bares her soul to him instead of, you know, rescuing Lois and Jimmy. You're a helluva superhero, Super-dick.

So basically, Dr. Baines is going to kill all of them but Clark saves them all. Yawn. BOOM EXPLOSION! They fall in some mud but they're OK. Hey Clark, if you hadn't taken your sweet-ass time rescuing them, maybe you wouldn't have all fallen in mud. Just a thought. As the building explodes, a helicopter (presumably carrying Dr. Baines) is lifting off, when it 'SPLODES! Oh no! Lex did it. Of course. Back at the Planet, they're having another party. The Daily Planet balloon budget must be HUGE.

Lois is finally being nice to Clark, probably because he saved her life. Oh wait, now she's being mean again. And she's wearing a dumb party hat, so that doesn't help. They're finally shooting the rocket into space which should work now that Dr. Baines isn't around anymore but WHO CARES because it's time for a MUSICAL MONTAGE! Clark tries on different hideous superhero outfits to the tune of I NEED A HERO. From Short Circuit. Just...here. Just watch it.

Well, now that the outfit situation is taken care of, everyone focuses on the rocket launch. Clark settles down to watch the launch with Ma and Pa Kent. He's still wearing his Superman outfit. Conveniently. It's really more like loungewear than a superhero costume.

Lois sneaks onto the rocket because of course she does. She finds a bomb while she's hiding and OH NO what will happen?!? No one worry. Superman is saving them in the least tense scene ever. Clark I MEAN SUPERMAN eats the bomb and Lois, for some reason, is not all, "Clark, wtf are you doing? Why are you wearing tights?" because she's an idiot.

Superman flies the rocket to the space station (which was the point of the episode, apparently) and everyone is happy and they all love him. Superman's got it so much better than Spider-Man because some people think that he is a MENACE. Some people sometimes don't like Batman because they think he's a bad guy. Also, he has a stupid voice, but that's not really Batman's fault, that's Christopher Nolan's fault.

Having saved the day in non-spectacular fashion, Superman flies Lois back to The Daily Planet (from the space station? Because Lois has changed clothes at this point) because he doesn't understand keeping a low profile. Which explains the outfit. Also, NO ONE RECOGNIZES HIM. Ugh. Anyway. Lois named him Superman, did you know that? I didn't, but Joe did. That's because Joe knows everything about comics. She named him in the movie, too. It was actually pretty lame.

That evening, Superman confronts Lex Luthor about being a bad guy. There's some sexual tension. Do you think they'll ever make out? The episode ends with Lois being mean and stupid to Clark again. STANDARD.

The end.

REVIEW: Oh, holy Hell was this awful right from the beginning. It hurts to say that because we love this show so hard but...wow, was that bad. Dean Cain is acceptable as Clark Kent/Superman - he's got a nice face and a winning smile, though Tom Welling could totally take him in a smile-off. Teri Hatcher is very pretty, but she's also a terrible, terrible actress. She's somewhat reminiscent of Phoebe Cates in this episode. It's partly her hair, and partly her delivery. Jimmy Olsen does his job as a likable character and a competent hostage. Cat Grant is an awful, awful character, made worse by Tracy Scoggins's horrid acting. Perry White's characterization is pretty solid. He's a professional newsman, and he's played pretty straight, save for the weird leaf-eating scene. John Shea is somewhere between 'scenery-chewing' and 'okay' in this episode. If memory serves, he improves as the season progresses. We love this show. We really do. It was the first TV show that either of us ever got completely obsessed with. BUT THIS EPISODE IS TERRIBLE AND MAKES NO SENSE.

But it's the pilot episode. We'll cut it some slack. It will probably get better. Because it pretty much has to.

13 comments:

Ashley said...

It's a little known fact that one of Superman's powers is panty-dropping.

I love you guys.

And I heart this show, too. So hard. It was my first love. (The X-Files was my second.) It's pretty bad. I did a rewatch a couple years ago and it was good times. If I recall correctly, season two is the best and then it just gets more and more ridiculous, which should be awesome for these reviews, but is sad for the show. Teri Hatcher never should have cut her hair.

Jennie said...

Ashley, our first and second loves are the same. I'm almost afraid to watch this again because I have such fond memories.

Josh said...

I don't really know the saddest part about this blog: That you sat down and wrote it, that I carefully read the entire entry, or that I so badly want to watch this series along with you.

Josh said...

Was Cat Grant considered attractive, even by early 90s standards? Or did everyone on the show just pretend?

Jennie said...

I think they must be pretending. I find her TERRIFYING. And she does NOT dress in office appropriate attire.

Joe G. said...

Josh, you should definitely watch it with us. All four seasons are available to stream through NetFlix. That's how we're watching it.

And I agree with Jennie about Cat Grant's non-existent attractiveness.

Heather Anne Hogan said...

I can't even tell you how I am excited I am about this blog! Lois and Clark was my first love too! And oh, man -- I'd totally forgotten about Cat Grant, even though I just rewatched this show like a year ago. She's just so forgetab--wait, who were we talking about?

Anonymous said...

Guys keep it up I enjoyed your review I had never seen the pilot...Its hard to be to harsh about anything with Superman in it!

Dennis

Ashley said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! I also wanted to point out that that Dr. person Lex is banging is totally Tasha Yar from TNG. Denise Crosby, man. What an awful career she's had.

librarygirl said...

you guys are hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe and Jennie,

Please lay off Tracy Scoggins. I'm sure Ms. Scoggins remains mortified by the scripts she did not write and the wardrobe she did not pick out. I certainly hope she doesn't hate her own face as much as you seem to.

Apparently, Tracy's mother, Lou Cille, is so sweet that she could cuddle a fearsome Tasmanian devil until it fell asleep in her arms. That is one special lady.

Check it out:
http://www.tracyscoggins.com/

Sincerely,
John Han

Jennie said...

Hi John! You are correct, we never should have said her face was weird. Her outfits are ridiculous, but you're right, that's not her fault. Thanks for commenting! :)

Eric Shonborn said...

I just wanted to say hi and to prove that I'm reading this.

Also, you reminded me of why I hate Lois Lane so so much. Even more than Super-Dick.