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A Talk With “SheZow” Creator Obie Scott Wade

SheZow 1

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.

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12 comments

  • To Mr. Obie Scott Wade,
    Kudos for having the guts to ‘think outside the box’!

    You never can tell what specifically will ignite that spark of creativity in kids these days. But, I’d be willing to bet something that stands out from the rest of what’s out there, would be what does it.
    Just how many of today’s top creators wouldn’t be doing what they do, if it weren’t for something they probably saw or read as a kid and thought…”That’s what I want to do someday!” Or, at the very least made them stop and think for a minute, “Oh, so that thing is OK?” (Thing being just about anything.)
    I’d really hate to see a world where everything was the same. We have the gift of being able to ‘Imagine’. I, for the life of me, can’t think of any good reason to tell someone they’re too imaginative.

    Think about it for a minute. A world without sci-fi…. Without people imagining worlds where things are (sometimes), or at least could be, better. We might not have sooo much of the stuff we do have today, if it weren’t for people who were inspired to imagine a better tomorrow.
    I just hope some of these people will stop to consider what it really does to society when they try to ‘censor’ creativity and free thinking.

    I can’t say I really watch the HUB network much or that it’ll be on my permanent ‘to watch list’. But, I will make a point to watch this coming Saturday.

  • I know that the basic concepts are different enough that there’s no copying going on, but I’m still sort of surprised that I don’t see Ranma 1/2 mentioned more often in discussions of Shezow. It seems like the links to an earlier, successful manga and animated series about a boy with special (martial arts) powers who regularly changes into a girl would be made more clearly . . .

  • @Nate,
    Do you happen to remember how many times Ranma shows his chest while in ‘Girl’ form? Although tastefully done, and hillarious to boot.
    Probably not a show they’d want to in any way be associated with what is clearly a kids show.
    Even though there’s not much more than an occasional boob, it’s not something you’ll probably ever see on American TV. Or even ‘referred to’ very often.

  • Am I the only one who thinks this show is offensive TOWARD Trans people? I mean, they wanted to make it like older cartoons, and they make it like a comedy…I don’t know…I do need to watch it first, but I can’t find it online, and I am never home when it’s on t.v., so this isn’t my final judgement…However, isn’t this like making trans people out to be a joke? It feels like it’s making boys wearing girly clothes out to be funny and not actually okay, even though it TOTALLY is, and people need to not have this bigoted mindset…Can someone tell me how this show is a good idea?

  • I am deeply sadened by this series, and hope that we as a people can take the time to really evaluate the affects this will have on our young children. They are not developed enough to understand the message passed along by the plot, they first she a boy changing into a girl. There is no right way of spinning this to say that this message is not causing confusion for our children and the development of their gender identity. Think about one of your favorite past times;It maybe sports, dancing, or even art. Whatever it is, when did you start to really love it? Most will say that you have been doing it since you could remember, since you were a child. This is because children are very impressionable, save the family and retire this series immediately.

  • This show has been created and allowed to be aired to sensitize children to homosexuality.
    Homosexuality is wrong it unnatural and plain stupid, persons who suffer from something like this really needs to know that they are ill and they only help you can get for something like this is to ask God the maker of heaven and earth to cure you.
    PROTECT OUR CHILDREN, LET THEM BE CHILDREN.