Reviewing this series may literally kill me.
1. Lois is a smart lady who does some really dumb shit
So, the first and more normal of the two episodes begins with Lois walking into an auction. She’s stopped outside by a Spanish-speaking gentleman who hands her a grand in cash and says “bid on this tapestry for me.” She does, because what could go wrong? Well, Lois gets clocked in the head, the guy that pays her gets murdered, and the tapestry is stolen. Womp womp!
This sets off a series of events that leads her to Peru, where people are only vaguely insultingly stereotyped, and there are the usual mustache twirling villains out for treasure. I know I’ve been hard on this series for a lot of things, but the lack of compelling antagonists is really the biggest mark against it. There’s no real reason to keep doing such lame villains. Across most of these episodes, all the villains are interchangeable: they all want to get rich quick, they all have no real moral compass and…well, that’s it. Maybe this is how all TV villains were in the 50s.
2. Lois hates Clark
Just about every week, Lois gives Clark some shit. But here, she laces into him a few times in really pre-planned, mean ways. She essentially calls him a chickenshit and a lackey, and all he’s trying to do is help her. Now, granted, Clark in this show is the worst, he’s smarmy, he’s a terrible liar, and he essentially doesn’t try at all to keep his secret identity, but then basically kills anyone who knows it. Here, he essentially says “I’m going to fly home without a plane.”
Now, imagine not knowing that guy is Superman – isn’t that the stupidest thing you can imagine him saying? Now, imagine knowing that guy is Superman – isn’t that still the stupidest thing you can imagine him saying?
I think I hate Clark, too.
3. Oh boy…
In “Double Trouble,” was seriously worried that there was going to be some extreme trans/homophobia involved in a story about a man posing as a woman, but that is mostly left to implication and eyebrow acting. Granted, that’s still not great, but I’ve seen some of the upcoming episodes: there are a fair amount of really dated, bad takes to come. This is not an example of the show being progressive, but rather not having time to likely address the situation too much more.
4. So convoluted
The reason there isn’t time in this episode to address the concept of a man posing as a woman to get away with murder is because the plot is so unbearably convoluted and needs just about every minute of its running time to actually dealing with the machinations of the plot. There’s a murder, stolen radium, American and German settings, a boat, the aforementioned disguise, a dead-ringer lookalike, and a kidnapping. The episode is so stuffed full of shifts that it never really establishes what the plot is. Is the plot the murder? The theft? The impersonation? I honestly don’t know.
5. I hope that’s not a joke
As I just mentioned, the show doesn’t really dig into the whole ‘dressing as a woman’ plot, but it does one thing I am hoping that I’m just projecting. Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen, was one of the first openly gay Hollywood actors, and he’s made to say this: “Right now, you’re prettier to me than all the movie stars in the world!”
Now, I get the sentiment – he’s so happy that Superman saved him, that who cares he missed out on the interview with the French movie star. But if this was a sly insult to Larson’s sexuality, fuck this show.
There’s a lot in these episodes that can be frustrating: the lack of superheroics, the lazy plots, the insanely long shots that lead nowhere. But if the show is making fun of one of its stars on the downlow, that’s even less forgivable than making a sometimes unwatchable show.