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Mary Page Keller,
Teenager Andrew Clements gains superpowers after accidentally getting in the way of Dr. Benjamin Jeffcoate's scientific experiment. Andrew uses his superpowers to help people, but must hide them from his family and friends. Written by
Dorothy Nelder <email@example.com>
This engaging Canadian-shot series cast Jerry O'Connell (after "Stand By Me" and before "Sliders") as teenager Andrew, a superhero fan who after getting hit by a ray from his neighbour's laser machine developed super powers - flying, superspeed, impervious to pain - and took it upon himself to battle evil as "Ultraman," though his lack of a uniform and the fact that only said neighbour Dr. Jeffcoat ("Dr J") knew about his secret identity meant that he never became a household name - much as he wanted to, but as the doctor put it in one episode where Andrew saved the day without superpowers, "What's wrong with Andrew Clemens saving the world now and then?" (There was one episode where most of the main characters were trapped in a snowdrift and Andrew convinced Dr. J that it would be better for him to get them out and expose his secret than to remain there - but they were rescued just before he could do it!)
In spite of being created by "Family Matters"'s Fred Fox Jr. and "Beethoven"'s Brian Levant, the show worked because Andrew, unlike most other heroes nowadays, was positively gleeful over his abilities; he enjoyed being a hero, and the show conveyed the overall lack of cynicism. People need a break from angst sometimes, without going all the way into "Batman"-style campiness. The show also had likeable characters and actors, and some decent writing to go with them - it even succeeded in giving Andrew a little sister who wasn't a pain.
It only really slipped in the third and final series when the producers gave Andrew a new male best friend, and lost some of its appealing innocence as a result, but this was a fun show all round.
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