superman.nufacebook    
  •   forum   •   THIS WEEK'S CHAPTER: "RETRIEVAL!" •   fortress   •  
Superman Through the Ages! Forum
News: Superman Through the Ages! now located at theAges.superman.nu
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
November 17, 2019, 11:26:23 PM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Isn't it about time for a Superman series?  (Read 3905 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
JulianPerez
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1168



« on: June 04, 2007, 07:41:35 PM »

SMALLVILLE's fun and all, but it's been some years since there was a Superman animated series, and the memory of LOIS AND CLARK is starting to fade...now would really be the time for a good Superman TV series, with traditional Superman elements like flying, the Daily Planet, the costume, and so forth.

I mean, how could something like this not be a hit? It's got adventure, and a recognizable character. In other words, it's the sort of "safe" project that "suits" love.

What's really amazing is how totally cinematic television series have become in recent times. It isn't the cheesy sets and three-part lighting. The first time a friend of mine showed me an episode of LOST...until he explained it was a series, I actually thought it was a Hollywood movie. I was scratching my chin wondering how I missed this when it was in theaters...

We've come a long way from the Nintendo 64-looking pixelated dragons that Kevin Sorbo wrassled back in the 1990s. The current BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (proof positive that sometimes, something is better the second time around) looks better than just about any science fiction movie made prior to 1995. It's not a question of technology, though, as much as it is money.

Better yet, there's something of an opening in television when it comes to "warhorse" family TV shows, now that they're cancelling SEVENTH HEAVEN. Boy, did Commander Decker and that odious suburban family of his ever piss me off. If every other episode is a "very special SEVENTH HEAVEN," how the heck is it at all special?
Logged

"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
nightwing
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1617


Semper Vigilans


WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2007, 08:37:10 PM »

I'd love to see a Superman TV series.  Given that L&C focused on laughs and romance and Smallville's been about a non-suited teenager, a new live-action series done the way you describe would be the first "straight" take on the mythos since the 50s, and I think it'd go over very well.

Unfortunately I don't see this as very likely because the Hollywood suits have always believed you can't do a TV series AND a movie series at the same time.  If you can see Superman on TV every week for free (or nearly so) every week, the thinking goes, why would you pay for a ticket to see him in the theater every two or three years?  Plus, odds are whoever they got to play him on TV would be a different guy from in the movies, and the suits tend not to want to "confuse" viewers by letting more than one actor play a role at once.

More's the pity, as I think Superman is better suited to TV anyway.  There's just so many concepts, locales and characters that the movies seem unlikely to ever get around to, some of them perhaps not worthy of a big-budget film but all of them, in their way, important to rounding out the mythos into something more than "save Metropolis, catch Luthor, pine for Lois."  Superman's world is so much bigger than what the movies have shown; why not try a medium that gives you the time and space to do it right?



Logged

This looks like a job for...
Tarkas
Superman Fan
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6


« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2007, 08:53:40 PM »

Quote
SMALLVILLE's fun and all
Well, that's open to debate (I really dislike that show, right from its very premise), but it's also something for another thread -- except as mentioned below.

Quote
[...]now would really be the time for a good Superman TV series, with traditional Superman elements like flying, the Daily Planet, the costume, and so forth. I mean, how could something like this not be a hit? It's got adventure, and a recognizable character. In other words, it's the sort of "safe" project that "suits" love.
Maybe, but I can't see it happening for some years -- not until Smallville has run its course and its memory has faded and then been buried at a crossroads with a stake through its heart... Because, you see, the suits are going to do what CBS was said to have done to Gene Roddenberry when he pitched Star Trek to their suits: listen attentively, take notes, and then turn around and say, "Sorry, but we've already got a show like that." And the show in question is Smallville. Or possibly Heroes as well, but definitely Smallville. And that's assuming no legal problems; just what exactly do the makers of Smallville have the rights to, I wonder?

The movies are another complicating factor, as nightwing points out. I'm inclined to think he's right about Superman being better suited to TV than movies (SFX budgets being reasonably equal), for the simple reason that Superman has always been more than just super-brawls. It was a more-or-less accepted truism in the late pre-Crisis era that Superman comics primarily sold on "human interest" -- in other words, on characterisation -- and that's what TV can do so much better than movies for one fundamental reason: air-time.

With the best will (and actors) in the world, a two-to-three-hour movie every two years cannot compete with 44 forty-five-minute-long episodes in terms of character development, if done properly. Of course, you've got to be prepared to let the characters develop, so no Reset ButtonTM at the end of every episode, but that sort of thing is more acceptable these days. However, never underestimate the power of suits to mess up a series; ABC's meddling with Lois & Clark illustrates that as well as anything could.

If it did happen, though, the one thing that I would want more than anything else, the one thing that could make the difference between a good Superman series and another SNAFU is this: let Superman be super. STAS was the most marked example of this in recent years: Supes spent a good half to two-thirds of each episode being knocked about and screaming in pain from the attacks of some of the lamest villains imaginable. He wasn't Superman, he was Slightly-Above-Average-Man, and it was soooooo tedious. Epic battles against Darkseid are one thing, but Volcana? Give me a break!

L&C had its problems that way, too, and it boils down to consistency; if Superman can flash around the world and back in five seconds or less, then there should never be a plot in which he can't get somewhere in time. Get somewhere too late, yes -- have the bad guy do his evil deed before Superman knows about it (the speed of sound is the writer's friend here; by the time Clark hears something, it's already happened), but otherwise let the Man of Steel be super-powered.

This is easier these days with the advent of CGI, but it requires a story editor/producer to make the effort to be consistent. Do that, and the potential is there for a live-action Superman to be the godlike figure he was meant to be in a way that only animation (and not much of that; probably only the Filmation cartoons of the 60s have really let Supes cut loose) has allowed until now.

I'd like to see it, but I don't expect it for some time, if ever.
Logged

Ping! Ping! Ping! -- Mother Box
She's such a chatterbox sometimes...
Permanus
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 875



« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2007, 12:03:44 AM »

I think it's a great idea, but the complexities of creating a television series mean that it won't pan out, or if it does, it will be a studio executive's "vision". The only Superman TV series that really tried to establish a firm continuity (as far as I know) was Lois & Clark, which ended up having a rather curious idea of what that continuity should look like, and included clones that ate frogs and that sort of thing.

I suppose that any adaptation inevitably grows into its own reality: it's worth noting that what little continuity has been established in the Superman movie franchise detracts almost diametrically from the comics (in the comics, Clark and Lois are married but childless; in the recent film, it's the other way round), or is sometimes considered so unimportant that it's okay to contradict it (Martha Kent was dead in Superman III, but seemed to be doing fine in Superman Returns).

Beyond that, notwithstanding the films and the frankly abysmal Smallville series, American television already seems to be jam-packed with variations on the superhero theme, what with Heroes and all that, as Tarkas points out. Having said that, in the astronomically unlikely event that anyone ever asked me to come up with a Superman TV series, then I would want to do it in a 25-minute sitcom format set in the WGBS offices in the 1970s, with only passing reference given to the hero himself. The actual story would be about Clark defending himself against Steve Lombard and making Josh Coyle's ulcer worse by always being late, with Lois and Lana squabbling and Lola Barnett as mother hen, and Jimmy Olsen as a youthful, enthusiastic foil. Comedy gold.
Logged

Between the revolution and the firing-squad, there is always time for a glass of champagne.
Uncle Mxy
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 809



« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2007, 04:43:51 AM »

Quote
(Martha Kent was dead in Superman III, but seemed to be doing fine in Superman Returns).
Was she *dead* in Superman III or just missing?  I could've sworn her being dead was more a Superman IV event.

Quote
I would want to do it in a 25-minute sitcom format set in the WGBS offices in the 1970s, with only passing reference given to the hero himself. The actual story would be about Clark defending himself against Steve Lombard and making Josh Coyle's ulcer worse by always being late, with Lois and Lana squabbling and Lola Barnett as mother hen, and Jimmy Olsen as a youthful, enthusiastic foil. Comedy gold.
My only question is -- do you cast Patrick Warburton as Clark Kent or Steve Lombard?  Smiley
Logged
Ruby Spears Superman
Superman Family
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 135


« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 10:52:20 PM »

By doing a Superman TV series every decade you run the risk of falling into the Star Trek trap where people get so tired of a new series every few years they get get burned out on the character. This is the last thing we would want. Ironically, before they put him in Smallville, I thought a Green Arrow series would be cool. If DC really wants to keep it's presence in the culture, it could do something like a Wonder Woman series. Since she already had a successful series before there is a track record to sell to executives and it might be her time to shine again.

That having been said, I was sorry to hear that Joss Weadon walked away from the movie, I loved his X-Men writing!   
Logged
DBN
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 274



« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2007, 12:56:07 AM »

I don't know about Wedon, he's always been a good character writer. But, as far as plotting goes, every season of Buffy except Season 2 followed the same formula: Big Bad is established in the premiere and dealt with in the finale.
Logged
Permanus
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 875



« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 07:27:27 AM »

I don't know about Wedon, he's always been a good character writer. But, as far as plotting goes, every season of Buffy except Season 2 followed the same formula: Big Bad is established in the premiere and dealt with in the finale.

Well, you can't really do it the other way round, can you?
Logged

Between the revolution and the firing-squad, there is always time for a glass of champagne.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

CURRENT FORUM

Archives: OLD FORUM  -  DCMB  -  KAL-L
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM
Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
Return to SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!