Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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Name: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Abbreviation(s): L&C
Creator: Deborah Joy LeVine
Date(s): September 12, 1993 – June 14, 1997
Medium: Television series
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: IMDB, Scripts
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The title says it all. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman was the 90s TV incarnation of Superman and it focused on the romance between Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

Show and Audience

Originally, creator Deborah Joy Levine wanted the series to be called Lois Lane or Lois Lane's Daily Planet, with Clark/Superman almost peripheral to her adventures. The series as it finally appeared was about the famous pair, their working partnership, and how they became friends and finally married. The chemistry between Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher was impressive and gave Lois and Clark's mutual attraction a realistic ambiance. The show's initial target audience was adults, primarily adult women.

Levine's ideas for Clark were taken from John Byrne's concept that Superman would have thought of himself first and foremost as Clark Kent. "Superman is what I do; Clark is who I am." In fact, Levine planned episodes in which Clark would remain Clark all the way through the story.

True to established canon, Lois was highly intelligent and insatiably curious. This often led her into dangerous situations, but she was also capable of rescuing herself without Superman's help. She was physically active and daring, and a mistress of disguise. In several episodes (including the pilot) she disguised herself as a man.

Unusually for shows based on the adult Superman (but as with John Byrne's comics), Jonathan and Martha Kent (Eddie Jones and K Callan) are alive throughout the series and appear in two thirds of the episodes.[1] They are supportive of Clark's career (as a journalist and as a superhero) and of his romance with Lois. Martha, portrayed as an energetic, creative senior, makes Clark's costumes, and makes a costume for Lois when she briefly acquires Clark's powers and uses the superhero identity Ultra-Woman. Other important recurring characters are the Daily Planet staff (most notably Jimmy Olsen (Michael Landes, then Justin Whalen) and Perry White (Lane Smith), and in the first season Cat Grant) (Tracy Scoggins); Lex Luthor (John Shea); Inspector Bill Henderson (Richard Belzer); Dr. Bernard Klein, a helpful scientist (Kenneth Kimmins). Later episodes featured H.G. Wells (Terry Kiser) who has built a time machine and occasionally needs Clark's help; and a time traveller from the future, Tempus, (Lane Davies) who wants to kill Superman to prevent his children turning the world into an Utopia.

Levine was fired after the first season and the series was taken over by Robert Singer, who insisted the series should focus on "action" and "Superman-centric" stories, with an eye toward attracting teenage male viewers. Michael Landes was replaced with the much younger Justin Whalen as Jimmy, the rationale being that Landes looked too much like Dean Cain. Eccentric villains and improbable inventions were introduced, somewhat resembling the 1966 Batman live-action series.

>>I fail to see how the writers are blameless or how the network, albeit responsible for how L&C is advertised, is responsible for the L&C scripts beyond accepting or rejecting them AFTER after they are written or when a storyline is presented to them. Surely, ABC is not the ones who came up with the storyline...<< Oh, Leigh, you'd be surprised what goes on in network executroid brain pans ;) According to Deborah Joy LeVine herself, in an article about women producers, she said that executives of ABC, near the end of first season told her to dump Lex Luthor and put in more Superman. She said that was not the show she had set out to do, and so was replaced by Robert Singer. The first half of season 2 reflects clearly ABC' s mandate (or as it's known in the business 'committee banging') The one thing that allowed the show to be turned around, and to refocus on Lois and Clark was the fact that the ABC's idea of what the show should be about was a major flop in the ratings. [2]

Fandom

Lois & Clark had an active fannish presence on Usenet and continues to have a small presence on its mailing list, loiscla-general-l. There was a #loiscla chat channel on Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Fans refer to themselves as "FoLC" (pronounced "folk") for "fan of Lois & Clark".[3] The Powers That Be -- the writers and producers of the show -- were aware of the fandom, and sometimes inserted cute references to the fans and their in-jokes.

In the episode "Oedipus Wrecks", the stock exchange marquee which runs near the ceiling of the Daily Planet main office displayed "FOLCS +3 7/8". This was meant as an apology from the writers after an excessively lengthy and extremely lame story arc caused howls of frustration on discussion boards and chat channels. The episode also had Lois remarking "Well, that was pointless. Long but pointless."[4]

Clark's increasingly lame excuses for why he had to run off were referred to by fans as "cheesy excuses". Finally, in "A Bolt from the Blue", we heard Lois say "Clark, this is important! You can get your mail later!" to which Clark replied "Yeah, but I'm expecting a shipment from the Cheese of the Month club."

As fans joked about Clark's wildly patterned ties, the wardrobe department came up with even crazier ones.

Fanfiction

Most fanfiction is heterosexual, focusing on the titular couple. Many "revelation stories" deal with Lois finding out that Clark is Superman. Other popular topics include Clark's apparent death in the episode "That Old Gang of Mine", his amnesia after encountering the Nightfall asteroid, time travel, Lois's near marriage to Lex Luthor, the possibility that Clark's lifespan will be much longer than any human[5], transfer of Clark's powers to Lois Lane and others[6] and next generation stories focusing on the couple's children. The hurt/comfort and angst genres are well represented in the fandom, with the acronym "WHAM" ("wistful, heartwrenching, agonizing moment")[3] often being used to describe their content. There is also an abundance of fluffy or "WAFFy" ("warm and fuzzy feeling")[3] stories. L&C is notable for its production of virtual seasons.

Well-known authors include CC Aiken, Kathy Brown, Yvonne Connell, Doc Klein's LabRat, Irene Dutch, Female Hawk, Cindy Leuch, Caroline K, Erin Klingler, Meredith Knight, Carol M, Carol Malo, Chris Mulder, Wendy Richards, Sue S, Nan Smith, Shayne Terry, ML Thompson and Tank Wilson. Reccers include Pam Jernigan and Kathryn Andersen.

Independent comic book writer/artist Thom Zahl says that Lois & Clark inspired him to create Love and Capes.

Notable Stories

A small selection of well-known works include:

Archives

The Lois & Clark Fanfic Archive, an archive for G to PG-13 rated fanfiction, was founded in 1996 by Lauren Willoughby based on the earlier mailing list run by Rhen Brink. In 1997, Kathy Brown became the editor, and the archive has been managed by Doc Klein's LabRat since 2001.[7]

As of 2011, the Lois & Clark Fanfic Archive contains over 3500 stories and is still being updated. Adult-rated works, known as "nfic" ("naughty fiction"),[3] are archived at the Lois & Clark Nfic Archive (also known as Anne's Place), a passworded archive run by Annette Ciotola. As of 2011, the Nfic Archive contains around 650 stories.

Groups and Communities

  • ClarkAndJimm archive link Description "A mailing list for Clark Kent/Jimmy Olsen slash. Used from comics and the show "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman" Fanart, fanfiction and discussion is wanted and welcomed. AU,PWP,etc are allowed. You must be at least 17 years of age and/or able to handle the content."
  • Lois and Clark Fanfic Discussion List was a public Yahoo Group with 457 members at its close. The group began on October 4, 2001, having begun as LOISCLA-GENERAL-L, a listserv, that ran from August 1997 to October 2001. The group was regularly active for its first 5 years, receiving up to 928 messages in January 2002. The group began dying out by 2008 and was only receiving a few messages when the site wiped out its archives in October 2019.

Description

A list dedicated to distribution and discussion of fanfiction for the tv show "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman". Discussion topics include characterization, writing, and research questions, among others. They do not include information about the actors or other incarnations of Superman. Off-topic posts require prior list-mom approval. Stories should be rated G, PG or PG-13. No spam, no mass-forwarding, no profanity. This is a family list.

The Fanfic Discussion List was linked to the The Lois and Clark Message Boards for Lois and Clark fanfic, the series in general, and related matters such as Superman in other genres. Fanfic is often posted there before it is sent to the Lois and Clark Fanfic Archive or Anne's Place, and the same separation into genfic and nfic is used.

The Discussion List included personal conversation and discussion of other fandoms, as well as direct posts of fanfiction. It was used primarily as a digest email about recent additions to the Message Board index in its final years.

Sample Posts

October 6, 2001

Hi FoLCs!

Thanks to Kathy and her fellow moderators for finding us a new home on yahoogroups to replace the old list serve that is closing down!

And thanks to Zoom for finding us a new board home! The new/old boards at lastson finally became too much, and Zoom has tirelessly worked to set us up a new home at bluetights! Authors, please be sure to check your story links and tocs to make sure they are up to date! Wendy has also provided helpful instructions at http://www.bluetights.com/cgi-bin/boards/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=7&t=000101

A new story, a new vignette, lots of new parts, three completed stories, a new toc, and several new additions to the archive for this week! Links on the L&C Message Board Index and Links page at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Meteor/7378/lnc.html

New stories this week: AN EXTRAORDINARY MAN (REVISED): CHRIS CARR LOVE, MOM COMPLETE VIGNETTE SUPERMOM

New part(s) posted: DUET: SHAYNE TERRY FEAR OF DISCOVERY IV: YVONNE CONNELL HEARTS DIVIDED: PAM JERNIGAN IMBALANCE: PHIL ATCLIFFE AND WENDY RICHARDS IN CAT'S CORNER: IRENE DUTCHAK LONELY IS THE MAN: JONWOLFFE SECOND THOUGHTS: WENDY RICHARDS SHADES OF GRAY: CINDY LEUCH SISTER SWITCH: CAROL MONCADO UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES: NAN SMITH WOUNDED ANGELS: KESTREL73

Completed stories this week: PURPLE CHAOS II: EMILY M. HANSON UNDERCOVER AT THE BUREAU: SARAHLDY UNIVERSAL UNION � BOOK 3: JENNI DEBBAGE

New TOC's POINT OF NO RETURN: KAETHEL

Added to the Archive this week: Campaign, The by Shidrati Ali Fashion Dictates of a Super-Man, The by Marnie Rowe Transfer, The, part 2 by Pam Jernigan

Enjoy! Dawn & the Index Crew

October 8, 2001

One of the features of Yahoo!Groups is that we have a place to list related websites. There are a lot of L&C websites out there, but as far as I know there's not a centralized directory. Maybe we can fill that niche here. Any member can add a URL/description, whether it's one you host or just one you love to visit -- just go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LCFic/links/ and click on "Add Bookmark". It will want a page title, URL, and short description -- I've added a link to the archive already. We have a bias towards fanfic on this list, but any L&C related site is more than welcome.

October 10, 2001

I tried, but I just can't resist this one. Kathy wrote:

<< Ah, what tender sensibilities we have around here ... guess it's a good thing that slash fic is almost nonexistent in L&C-land. LOL! >>

Yeah, but you know what really makes me chuckle over this one? Instead of me thinking "ewww", in my head I'm too busy seeing both Worf and Riker having that reaction. Big time. They might not say it out loud but they'd both definitely be thinking "Ewwww. Ewww!" At least in MY head. <BG>

Which sort of gets back to keeping the characters in character in fan fiction and what my biggest objection to even reading slash fiction would be most of the time in the first place (meaning as opposed to any moral reasoning I might personally have on the related issue). And that's basically that sometimes some of the strangest combinations end up together that I do think the characters themselves would object to the very idea. It would be and is completely different if a character shows leanings that way, but when they don't the idea is just so out of character plain and simple to me that that's why I wouldn't want to read it.

Much less imagine it.

Ewww. <G>


October 11, 2001

> The two fandoms that I know of where slash is prevelant is "Emergency!" > and "Starsky and Hutch". I have a friend who was/is into those shows, > and talking to her about how her fandom experiences are the same and > different from mine always interests me. In the area of slash, it's > fascinating for me to listen to her explanations of why the writers > feel the characters *do* feel that way about each other. For these > writers, it's honestly not unlike the passion we feel about Lois and > Clark being meant for each other. You could debate whether or not the > facts/characterization supports their belief, but you can't deny that > they wholeheartedly believe it.

I got into slash through "Highlander" and "Due South". Unlike some fans who *only* read slash, or who won't read *any* slash, I've found that there are an incredible number of great stories written in both slash and non-slash genres. I must admit I rarely see any slash subtext in the show, but I can easily accept slash fanfic as an alternate-universe story. But then, I read fanfic to see different interpretations of the characters, not just to have my own views reinforced, so it's not totally abhorrent to me if the fanfic characters are not exactly in line with what I see on the screen. And many of the slash stories are, let me say again, really good, in terms of plot and character. (And lots of them are really bad -- but that's the way with most fanfic, isn't it?)

I went to a slash convention last spring. It was primarily a multi-fandom fan convention, with plenty of non-slash discussions about shows, but it was definitely slash-friendly. It was almost all female, and we had a great, if somewhat raunchy, time. There were an enormous number of fandoms represented. "Starsky and Hutch" and "Emergency" were both there, as was "Highlander," "Due South", "X-Files," "Wiseguy", "Buffy", "West Wing", "Sentinal","Forever Knight", "ER" and plenty more. I was surprised to find myself talking about L&C more than once that weekend. There was even an L&C slash music-video (Jimmy/Clark), which didn't work much for me, since I could identify each episode each clip came from, and I knew that when Clark had that longing look he was thinking about Lois, not Jimmy, not matter what the vid cut away to. The vid was well received at the con, though.

It seems to me that Nigel and Luthor would both slash very nicely, though. Nigel's a character I'd like to know more about.

October 2, 2019

Hi FoLCs!

Here is the update of new fic (gathered typically through Thursday evening). Links at Lois & Clark Fanfic Message Board Index

New Stories:

Asian Story Structure Poems by Various

Butterfly by Millefeuilles

Street Fair by Morgana

Werewolves of New Orleans by Terry Leatherwood


New Parts:

Hate Myself For Loving You by Folc4evernaday

The Return of Kal-EL by LadyTpower

Stolen Crane by LadyTpower


Completed Stories:

Asian Story Structure Poems by Various

Butterfly by Millefeuilles

Street Fair by Morgana


New TOCs:

Butterfly by Millefeuilles

Street Fair by Morgana

Werewolves of New Orleans by Terry Leatherwood


Added to the Archive:

A La Kent by Folc4evernaday

Bet on It by Deadly Chakram

Born to Fly by Deadly Chakram

Brown Eyes by Folc4evernaday

Cursed by Julie Gastler

Gone by Folc4evernaday

House Call by Deadly Chakram

Love Without End, Amen by Cuidadora

Rubber Ducky by Cuidadora (posted under Rubber Duckie and Counting Blessings)

Strange Things by Deadly Chakram

This is Our Story by Folc4evernaday

We're All Alone by Cuidora

Dawn & the Index Crew


Awards

In the series, the Kerth Investigative Journalism Prize is a prestigious award, like the Pulitzer. Lois has won several of them in the past, and finds herself in competition with Clark when one of his stories is nominated. Sometimes a series they work on as a team is nominated or wins.

The fan fiction Kerth Awards were named for this contentious piece of crystal. They were founded in 1998 by Leanne Shawler and Pam Jernigan.[8] They are voted awards for fanfiction which take place annually, with an awards ceremony on IRC. The nKerth Awards are voted awards for adult fanfiction which first ran in 1999. They occurred annually from 1999 to 2003 and subsequently every two years. The Merriweather Awards were judged fanfiction awards which ran in 2005.

The Alt-Kerth Awards were awards for videos, fanart, websites and other fanworks excluding fanfiction. Founded in 2001, they subsequently ran at irregular intervals until 2007.[9]

Fanzines

Further Reading

Clay Geerdes talks about Lois & Clark and the use of disguise in his article "Batman Was A Woman". You'll have to do a search on that title once you're on his blog, or scroll nearly all the way down the page.

Tumblr

Tumblr tags: lois and clark: the new adventures of superman, Lois and Clark

References

  1. A text search of scripts shows that Martha has dialogue in 58 out of 88 episodes; since Jonathan and Martha usually appeared together it's assumed that the statistics for him are much the same.
  2. Zoomway, Reply to 'I guess I'm in the minority, BUT I LOVED THIS EPISODE!!', 24 Feb. 1996.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Lois & Clark Fanfic Message Boards: Frequently Asked Questions (Meredith Knight, 2003) (accessed 13 January 2011)
  4. This refers to an inexcusable bait and switch ploy by the network regarding Lois and Clark's wedding]. Say "frog-eating clone" to a L&C fan and watch what happens.
  5. This is canon for the series, but some of Clark's life-force was drained to save Jimmy's life soon after this was discovered. How much remains is a matter of fannish speculation
  6. This occurs at least three times in the series, usually as a result of Clark being struck by lightning
  7. Lois & Clark Fanfic Archive: The History of the Lois & Clark Fanfic Archive (Kathy Brown, November 2003) (accessed 12 January 2011)
  8. Kerth Awards: Kerth History (Kerth Committee, 2005) (accessed 12 January 2011)
  9. Alt-Kerth Awards: History (accessed 13 January 2011)