On Friday, we told you about the new Hub Network cartoon series, SheZow, about the exploits of a boy who leads a double life as a superhero. A lady super hero. The creator of this unique children’s show is Obie Scott Wade, who was kind enough to answer some of our questions about the show’s inception, its place in superhero mythos, and the controversy that’s already brewing over it.
NERDIST: How did you come up with such a unique idea for a TV show, much less one aimed at kids?
OBIE SCOTT WADE: I first had the idea when I was a kid. I grew up loving superheroes, and one day was struck with the question “What would happen if I put on a superhero power ring that was meant for a woman?” Would I get her powers? Would I suddenly be dressed in her super clothes? And I assumed the answer was yes. As a kid, I was a huge fan of TV in general and I especially loved Bewitched. From a very young age I dreamed of growing up and creating my own TV show about somebody with a magic secret, and it became SheZow.
N: In the first episode, Guy is actively against “girly” things; at what point in the idea process did you decide to comment on gender roles in society?
OSW: I didn’t decide to comment on gender roles. I just set out to make a comedy. Commenting on gender roles was never my goal. I just wanted to make a TV show that I’d imagined as a kid. I did, however, need Guy to be a rough-and-tumble boy in order for the conflict to be present in the story when he changes into SheZow.
N: What was your pitch like to The Hub and how much of the concept changed from conception to now?
OSW: We originally pitched the series to Ted Biaselli at The Hub. He was our biggest supporter there. Ted’s advice was invaluable. The concept never changed throughout the entire production process but the execution and the approach to storytelling did morph over time. And that’s a good thing. We stayed fluid during the story development phase and tried new things. Some things worked, some didn’t. It really developed as we went along.
N: There’s already some controversy brewing over the show; how do you react to some of the fervor around it?
OSW: I would just ask that people actually watch the show before they develop an opinion about it.
N: At some point, will Guy’s sister, Kelly, get to be a superhero? Maybe one that’s traditionally a dude?
OSW: Good question. I want to say “yes” but you’ll just have to wait and see.
N: Do we get to learn about the history of the SheZow persona a bit more? More of Aunt Agnes and her adventures?
OSW: Yes, we do. There is a time travel episode in which Guy meets some of the SheZows past including 1920’s Flapper SheZow, Wild West SheZow and the original SheZow whose name is She-anderthal.
A hero needs good villains, so who are some of SheZow’s rogue’s gallery people can look forward to seeing? I think we have a great group of comedic villains like Candy Rapper, a rapping candy bar, and Mocktopus, a silly sea monster with a tendency to mock people. But one of my favorites is Tattoozala. He’s the world’s oldest tattooed villain, who possesses the power to bring to life the creatures tattooed on his body. By uttering the phrase “Inkubate!,” he summons these monsters and they attack SheZow.
N: What do you hope audiences, and maybe specifically young male audiences, get out of watching the show?
OSW: Laughter. The best times in life are those filled with laughter. SheZow’s just a comedy that’s finding its place in the superhero universe, and I’m happy to learn that it’s appealing to both boys and girls.
SheZow airs Saturdays at 12:30pm ET/9:30am PT on Hub.