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Five Thoughts on Adventures of Superman‘s “Lady in Black” and “Star of Fate”

By | August 17th, 2019
Posted in Television | % Comments

Jimmy reads a mystery novel and gets scared; no one believes a curse is real, even after they’ve seen people paralyzed by it. So, you know, two very standard episodes of Adventures of Superman.

1. More Jimmy bullshit

I’m not sure which is more prevalent on this show: Jimmy being treated like a piece of shit, or me wishing I was on the show so I could treat Jimmy like a piece of shit. I mean, yes, I feel bad for his friends/coworkers, as they have mountains of horseshit to climb just to have a normal day with Jimmy. But I also feel bad for Jimmy, because they really treat him like trash. He can’t do anything right, and they let him know.

“Lady in Black” basically plays on the presumption that everyone in Metropolis knows he’s a dingleberry, as he moves into an old lady’s apartment temporarily (?), disturbing the criminals using that building for art theft. However, instead of waiting until he leaves, or sticking to thievery when he’s not home, they essentially say “Oh, that Olsen’s a pussy. Let’s make some spooky noise and wear the world’s thinnest veil as a disguise, and he’ll be so scared that no one will believe him!”

The worst part? It almost works.

2. 2 feet thick walls?

One of the worst parts of bad TV is when something is written that is such spectacular bullshit that you know it couldn’t actually be pulled off, but no one thinks to edit it. For example, in this episode, the art thieves remark how the walls are ‘2 feet thick.’ Then, 90 seconds later, Superman crashes through the walls, and you can see that they’re not quite 2 centimeters thick. Why would a screenwriter make a claim that they had to know this cheesy production could never back up?

3. Have newspapers changed that much?

“Star of Fate” begins with Lois and Clark being privy to the sale of an ancient Egyptian box. Aside from the Egyptian man being a terrible stereotype, the show comes up with the flimsiest excuse to have them there. But this underscores something about Adventures of Superman that I think bears mentioning: either newspapers are totally different than they are today, or Metropolis is such a dull city that it can spare 2-3 reporters at any time to cover/investigate the tiniest stories known to man. So they want Clark and Lois to do a story on the deceased archeologist? Sure, that makes sense. Why do both have to go to the sale of a box associated with that scientist in order to write the story? I know I’m nitpicking, but this is what watching 24 episode of this show in short order does to the human brain.

4. An incredibly creepy puppet.

Again, for reasons that only make about 10% sense, we get introduced to a puppet section of a curio shop, along with a truly creepy Superman puppet. The puppet is then used to relay a message to Clark and Lois, which almost makes sense, though their initial reaction to it didn’t (“Why wouldn’t he open the door? Why did he keep doing his puppet show?” “Oh, you know those creative types, Lois”).

I also was watching this wondering if there were Superman puppets available in the 50s, and if this wasn’t just some clever marketing.

[Googles Superman puppet 1950s]


5. Only one bit of sci-fi allowed

I find it hilarious that this show can have nothing at all that is the slightest bit supernatural or metaphysical…except, you know, an alien from another world that saves people. But every mystery on this show has a very logical answer. A curse? Nope, a needle filled with poison. Would it be so hard to have one episode where we can have something other than cold logic? I just don’t know why you’d want to limit such a potential huge palette to simple thugs and tricks week after week.

//TAGS | 2019 Summer TV Binge | Adventures of Superman

Brian Salvatore

Brian Salvatore is an editor, podcaster, reviewer, writer at large, and general task master at Multiversity. When not writing, he can be found playing music, hanging out with his kids, or playing music with his kids. He also has a dog named Lola, a rowboat, and once met Jimmy Carter. Feel free to email him about good beer, the New York Mets, or the best way to make Chicken Parmagiana (add a thin slice of prosciutto under the cheese).


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