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Friday, May 13, 2016

If Shawn Wrote TV shows: Supergirl

I’m a big fan of CBS’ Supergirl. And I’m a novelist and a screenwriter. My specialty in both areas are stories featuring strong heroines and bad girls. From my work in novels like Spinsterella, traditional screenplays like All About Marilyn and All AboutNikki, and my work in fantasy stories like the Isis series I’d like to think I’d be a good fit working on a show like CBS’ Supergirl.

If I were the showrunner for Supergirl, I’d be working on building on the solid foundation of Season 2. What’s in that pod? Streaky the Super Cat. Hey, even a Supergirl needs a pet. And the show needs to move past all those alien menaces from beyond and go a bit more local.

The way I see it Season 2 for Supergirl needs to have a stronger focus on Kara’s life in National City. The DEO would be downplayed to the background and the focus would be on Kara protecting National City from local menaces. And while Kara made her efforts to protect National City there’d be more of a focus on relationship with the residents of the city and the heroes and villains of the DC Universe.

There’d be more Kara at Catco, more running around National City and less chasing alien menaces for the DEO. Why should she do that when J’onn can? Besides, that stuff just slows the show down. I’d focus more on building the rogues gallery a bit more organically, with an emphasis on the interpersonal relationships between Kara and her bad guys. The bad girls of the DC Universe would get a big focus if I were writing the show.

Kara got a promotion and I’d apply a trick or two from my E’steem series stories regarding it. Having her trying to balance work and crime fighting.

James Olson got lost in the shuffle of Season 1 and he needs to be pushed back to the forefront. Kara’s sister got the push and that really slowed the show down, especially when she became a Mary Sue. People wanted to see the chemistry build between James and Kara. With a heavier focus on local menaces and Kara and Jimmy have to work together fighting local rogues instead of alien ones that romance can build.

Moreover, they wanted to see the manlier James going out on his own. Trying to establish his name as a world-class writer and photographer. Trying to balance his objectivity for journalistic integrity with his feelings for Kara as he’s creating media for Cat Grant.

Win Schott is underdeveloped and I’d love to make him a bit more tormented by his legacy connection to the Toyman. After last season’s rejection by Kara, he’d be a will he or won’t he bad guy? He’d be getting an offer from this season’s big bad that would tempt him to join the dark side and follow in his father’s footsteps.

Max Lord would still be dicking around, but Compared to this year’s big bad, he’d look like he’d be out of his league.

DC’s bad girls would get a big push If I were writing the show. The main villain I’d love to use is Dr. Cyber. While she’s a Wonder Woman villain, I think she’d work well here. The way I’d write her she’d be Kara’s Lex, a corporate diva, who just enjoys making Kara miserable. While Max Lord is a dick, Kara needs that villain we love to hate. And Dr. Cyber is just enough of a BITCH to make viewers love to hate her. I’d love to put her on a quest to learn more about Kryptonian DNA similar to the story I wrote in Isis: The Beauty Myth. I think Cyber and Kara could have great chemistry together and have the kind of feud that would build into Must See TV.

Rampage would also get an episode. Kitty Faulkner would work well on Supergirl and I think she’d be the kind of nerd girl who could make the dry DEO stuff a bit more fun to watch. Rampage was an underrated character from the Byrne run on Superman and I think she’d be easy to adapt to the screen.

For guest spots, I’d love to do a Zatanna episode. Zee popped up on Smallville, and she’d be great in a story dealing with magic and Kara’s vulnerability to it. With Tala as the villain and it’d be a magically fun team-up episode.  I could even use a Grown up Yellow Peri for those Superman Purists to make it work. 

I’d also love to write an episode featuring Nightwing. In the episode Dick would be in hot pursuit of Lady Vic, who is in town to do some merc work for Cyber. There’d be references to Bludhaven, and some character development for James Olson. I think James and Dick would work well in a story, both being men trying to get out of the shadow of their former mentors.

I’d love to do a Batgirl/Supergirl Crossover, but Dick allows for James’ character development.  

I’d also love to write something with Mary Marvel. Her sugary sweetness would make for a very funny episode. Plus it’d be great to see Supergirl Vs. Mary Marvel before they take on the episode baddie.

J’onn and the DEO would focus on a story arc regarding Kara’s father if I wrote it. While I’d downplay the DEO I’d love to tie up all the loose ends regarding his disappearance.

I definitely would love to do an episode where Kara takes on Lashina, Stompa and Mad Harriet or at least one of the three who are undercover and get caught doing some spy work for Darkseid. For this story I’d take another page from my E’steem series stories where of social media has some unforeseen impact on superhero battles. Hard to have a fight stopping a menace when there’s thousands of cell phones on. Even harder when you’re having a wardrobe malfunction while in the middle of one. How Kara deals with the bad publicity from this would make for quite an interesting story.

This is just me brainstorming, but If I were the head writer for Supergirl viewers would probably get a lot of action packed episodes with great stories that capture the spirit of the DC Universe. Sure it’d cost a bundle, but viewers would see that $3 million dollars on the screen every week. The way I see it with good stories there’s no place for Supergirl to go but up, up and away in the ratings.


  1. In summary, you would basically make the show more street-level, grounded show. Interesting!

    1. With the smaller CW budgets a street level show would be more workable. Plus with more earth-bound stories readers will relate to the interpersonal relationships. When you write stories with superhero women, relationships sell the story to readers.

  2. Shawn I was wondering if you could do an article or video about Green Lantern #76. In case you don't remember, that the issue where an old black man comes out and asks Green Lantern why he hasn't ended all racism yet. The rest of the issue is Green Lantern and Green Arrow taking down a slum lord in Harlem thus (apparently) ending all racism. I think it fits in with what you often talk about that some black people are just waiting for White Jesus to come along and save them from all their problems. Love to hear your thoughts. Have you thought about taking donations for video requests ala Sandman?

  3. I suspect that by Season 2, James could have more prominent storylines though it would also involve Superboy being his younger brother and he'd develop into a stricter, more fatherly character. That's inevitable assuming both their parents are dead, leaving him to take care of Superboy from now on.

  4. All of those suggestions sound solid. I fell the same about Arrow and if I had a chance to rewamp that show going back to the basics on who Ollie Queen and Green Arrow is, we'd have two very solid shows on the CW for all audiences.

  5. The CW released the official synopsis, promotional photos and videos for Season 3 Episode 14 of Supergirl– Schott Through the Heart, airing April 16th. Check out the description and promotional photos as well as the sneak peeks for yet another amazing Superhero Show on The CW.