Writing the superhero show

Yesterday, I did a bit of story analysis between MacGyver and Scorpion

Thinking about it a little more, I think the two shows are basically about "superheroes" in that it is their intelligence that is their "super powers". 

In our current knowledge economy where knowledge is power, raw intelligence - such as Walter O' Brien's 197 IQ or MacGyver's encyclopedic know-how - is essentially portrayed as a super power. The writers on Scorpion know this and illustrate it by having an episode where the team dressed up as superheroes. 

Image from Scorpion Season 2 Episode 5: "Super Fun Guys" written by Adam Higgs and Nick Santora

Image from Scorpion Season 2 Episode 5: "Super Fun Guys" written by Adam Higgs and Nick Santora

If we accept that both shows are superheroes show, then it furthers cement the reason why Scorpion is currently a better written show.

Superheroes must have a weakness. It's a cardinal rule because without a weakness, they're kind of boring. Imagine Batman or Superman without any weaknesses. Why would you care? 

In Scorpion, Walter is clearly attracted to Paige, a beautiful waitress of average intelligence who joins the team to better explain "genius talk" to plain speech. He is attracted to her but because of his weakness, he is unable to express his feelings for her. The romantic tension between them is part of the genre (i.e. Lois Lane and Superman, Selina Kyle and Batman, etc). 

While Walter might be the smartest person in the room, he's an idiot when it comes to affairs of the heart. Superman might be the most powerful being in the world, but he took a very, very long time (52 years) to confess to Lois Lane his secret identity. 

MacGyver is portrayed as an extremely intelligent person who can do almost anything. He's able to have a girlfriend, Nikki. He's able to have a normal roommate, Wilt. 

He doesn't exhibit any weaknesses for us to care or relate to. Again, I hope they fix this soon as I'm worried this MacGyver reboot will be less than two seasons. 

LESSON: Give the main character a weakness - the more relatable, the better.