It used to be that life after graduation meant unlimited opportunities in the job market. Along with the usual responsibilities and privileges of young adulthood, the possibility of gaining a good paying job that would allow post-grads to apply the skills they learned in the classroom to the workplace was all but assured. Unfortunately, times have changed, and so has America’s economy.

As a result, college graduates are now loaded with tuition debt, while also being faced with the scarcity of quality jobs. Now try to imagine what would happen if this same situation played out in a world where a small, yet significant minority (1%) is blessed with extraordinary superhuman powers.

How would any graduate hope to join that exclusive group? Could anyone try to use the vast knowledge they acquired in their college years in times where good absolutely must triumph over evil? In the new series SUPER(FLUOUS), three newly graduated friends/aspiring professional superheroes attempt to answer those questions in daring – and hilarious – fashion.


Siobhan Doherty (series co-star/co-creator) as Madeline in SUPER(FLUOUS).

With its first season of 5 episodes coming soon via its official web site, SUPER(FLUOUS) stars Siobhan Doherty as the seemingly normal Madeline, whose main superpower consists of superhuman strength; physical prowess that can often result in an unexpected boost in her testosterone when taken too far.

The series’ cast also includes Sean Harrigan (who co-created the series with Doherty) as Sam, who may be blessed with the power to read people’s minds, but who can’t seem to fully grasp the true nature of how they feel. Sam’s girlfriend Harper (played by Amber Friendly) also possesses a superpower of her own – that of being able to speak a variety of different languages.

In addition, Keiko Agena (best known for being the music loving Lane Kim on the long-running WB/CW drama GILMORE GIRLS) portrays Delia, whose culinary skills also come with the ability to manipulate the emotions of all those she comes into contact with.

However, her boyfriend Barry (played by Lucas Calhoun, who also directed the series), possesses neither the superhuman abilities of her friends, or anything “extraordinary” to speak of.

Both alums of UC Irvine (University of California at Irvine), Harrigan and Doherty developed the concept for SUPERFLUOUS when they were completing their own college studies. While they looked forward to graduating, they both knew that the challenge of making it in a highly competitive job market was ahead of them.


Sean Harrigan (series co-star/co-creator) as Sam in SUPER(FLUOUS).

Yet, they were also aware of the overwhelming prominence and popularity of superhero-themed movies and TV series in today’s entertainment landscape.

“With how prevalent super heroes are in all forms of media right now, we thought it would be interesting to develop a show that plays on that,” explains Harrigan. “So our web series follows three super heroes who all are fresh out of school—they have their BFA’s in Super Heroics—and are now trying to get jobs as super heroes in an incredibly bloated market.”

With that in mind, Harrigan and Doherty set out to create a humorous, yet highly relatable comedy that poked fun at the uncertainty of life after college, while creating the overall atmosphere of SUPER(FLUOUS); one where being a superhero is looked at as both a professional blessing and a luxury.

“In the world of SUPER(FLUOUS), about 1% of the population has powers, so there’s nothing all that ‘special’ about our main characters…which makes it really hard to get a job,” Harrigan says. “It started as a metaphor for people in entertainment, but talking to friends, I think that it’s a place that a lot of people in our generation are in: how do you balance what you want to do with what you’re paid to do, if they’re not the same thing?”

Such a parallel was the biggest part of SUPER(FLUOUS)’s overall appeal for both Harrigan and Doherty. “As actors and writers and people in the arts, we loved the idea that super heroes could be in the same position that a lot of us are in or have been in, and that they have these amazing powers but that they’re having to get temp jobs and work in an office,” Harrigan says.


Keiko Agena (GILMORE GIRLS) portrays Delia in the upcoming web series SUPER(FLUOUS).

For the role of Delia, Harrigan sought out an actress who not only was a veteran of movies and TV, but also one whose improv skills made quite an impression on him.

“I was on an improv team with Keiko called “Hometown” and thought that she was just amazing as an improviser, so when we were looking for someone to play Delia, Siobhan saw one of our improv posters and suggested that we ask Keiko,” he says. “And she was such a perfect fit for the role.”

For Agena, the distinctive way in which SUPER(FLUOUS) portrays its primary protagonists is more than just the one thing that sets the series apart from other comic book fantasy-based movies, TV and online content.

Like Doherty and Harrigan, Agena herself sees just how the ups and downs of trying to break in to show business is much like trying to succeed as a superhero – where pure talent and ability often comes down to luck.

“What I like about it is that, especially in L.A. and mapping it about actors is that everyone is trying so hard, you know? Everyone has this special gift, but you’re not quite sure if it’s good enough,” she says.

“And also, this whole thing about superheroes having (powers) and how they’re portrayed everywhere else, I feel like is just kind of this mask or this intensity, either for good or evil, and what I love about this is that we just see a little bit of the softness behind that.”

While most superhero comedies, dramas and thrillers tend to portray the high-flying exploits of masked men and women in fancy armor, SUPER(FLUOUS) takes a much different approach to how it depicts its characters.


Amber Friendly plays Harper in SUPER(FLUOUS).

Although the series revolves around a group of young adults who just happen to possess extraordinary abilities, each episode brings viewers situations that anyone who’s ever struggled to find a good job can easily relate to.

“The show focuses on the home life of the supers, rather than on their heroic escapades, which makes it quite different from the mainstream superhero movies that are so prevalent now,” says Doherty. “It’s really about examining that post-school entrance into the adult world – and navigating it with superpowers.”

Doherty and Harrigan began developing SUPER(FLUOUS) with a fellow UC Irvine alumna. “We came up with the initial idea and along with Sonya Cooke, another UCI alum, we all came up with story ideas like you would in a traditional writer’s room,” Harrigan recalls. “Then, Siobhan and I broke off and wrote rough drafts of each of the episodes to get the shape of them. And I went over all of them afterward to polish them and give them all one voice.”

Filmed over a period of 6 straight days last July, SUPER(FLUOUS) was more than just a crash course in just what it takes to successfully produce a web series for Doherty and Harrigan.

It was also an experience that taught them how important it was to delegate some of the other major responsibilities during production, and to make the most of the limited time they had to capture each episode on film.


Lucas Calhoun (who also directed the series) as Barry on SUPER(FLUOUS).

“I worked as Unit Production Manager on the web series PAIRINGS, but they only shoot on weekends, so you have these lovely 5 day prep periods between two days of shooting,” Doherty says. “For SUPER(FLUOUS) we had 12 hours between shooting days, so there were a lot of early mornings prepping for the days’ shoot. I know this is standard for most big productions, but it was quite the learning experience for us.”

“I think we learned a lot about what goes into producing a full web series. Siobhan and I wore a lot of hats for it, probably too many,” Harrigan adds. “So it was really a lesson in focus on being able to let go of all the things that we had to do as producers, or writers, or even sometimes as P.A.’s (since one of us would run off before lunch to pick up the catering) and just focus in on the role.”

The limited amount of time Harrigan and Doherty had to film each episode of SUPER(FLUOUS) also provided them with the chance to be resourceful on-set. As Agena remembers, the spur of the moment style of filmmaking and decision making that came as a result of the short time frame Harrigan and Doherty found themselves working in proved to be incredibly effective.

1924344_310922109069600_7856124752090975548_n“(It) was a creative shot or something that they did to combine things, that they didn’t have to just sacrifice the style of it, (and) it just actually maybe pushed the style a little more in a certain direction because they were limited on time or takes or something like that,” Agena adds. “So that I really liked, because I liked all of the creative problem-solving that happened on the show, from that side of it.”

Thanks to the assistance and expertise of Calhoun, Doherty and Harrigan had plenty of opportunities to perfect their improv-based comedic style on the set.

“Lucas (Calhoun), our director, helped to create such an easy environment for us to do that,” says Harrigan. “And I think that really helped us continue to develop comedy for camera, since a lot of both Siobhan and my experience with comedy had been on stage.”

“A lot of our actors have major improv training, including our director (Calhoun), so there was a lot of improv in scenes that was very fun and ended up being pretty funny,” adds Doherty.

“There was also a great sense of ‘yes, and’ generally on set – we have a couple shots that are a series of one-liners and in the full take you can hear the crew and other cast members calling out ideas to try. There was a great sense that we were all making this together,” she says.

10457876_310922195736258_2580404914971530412_nFrom pre-production to post-production, Harrigan and Doherty would receive quite an education in developing and producing SUPER(FLUOUS).

“As for writing, just getting the chance to see work from the page all the way to the screen—and then to look at the footage and try to conceptualize how to edit it together—was a huge learning experience,” Harrigan adds.

Overall, the biggest goal that Harrigan, Doherty, Cooke and the entire creative team of SUPER(FLUOUS) set out to achieve was simple – to show viewers, potential collaborators, and themselves, that they not only had the drive to create a series that they could be proud of, but also the skill to accomplish the task.

“It’s so easy to sit around at a party and get excited with your friends about making something, but it ends up being surprisingly hard to actually make it happen,” Doherty says. “Sean, Sonya, and I used SUPER(FLUOUS) as both a way to stay connected as friends, and to continue to create something that we would love to both be in and watch.”

10533054_310922052402939_5386119725259108500_n“We wanted to know that even while we were getting started in L.A., and figuring out the business of Hollywood, we had a project that was allowing us to use our creativity and have some fun,” she adds. Harrigan concurs.

“It was a cool thing to realize that we could get the people together, get the funding together and give ourselves the chance to create. I think just showing ourselves that we could do it and that we’ll be able to do it again is huge in itself,” he says.

A comedy that shows that even superheroes can experience the struggles of finding and/or maintaining a job in today’s ultra competitive climate, SUPER(FLUOUS) is sure to appeal to fans of both young adult comedies like NEW GIRL, workplace comedies like PARKS AND RECREATION, and of course, the big-budget comic book blockbusters prevalent in today’s entertainment landscape.

Most of all, the incredibly grounded portrayals of SUPER(FLUOUS)’s characters demonstrate its unique approach to the popular genre. It’s an aspect of the series that Agena feels makes it truly worth watching.

“I want to see a show where the characters are flawed, and you get to see how their flaws manifest, and how they try to control and manage and package all of their flaws into a way that they feel is presentable, and how those people interact with each other,” she says.

SUPER(FLUOUS) is still in post production. Expect to find a release in early 2016.

(Note: Doherty and Harrigan say that SUPER(FLUOUS) is not yet closed-captioned, but that they would like it to be in the future.)