Pop Culture Fix: Maggie Sawyer’s Got Swagger In The New “Supergirl” Promos

Hello, friends! I’m sorry this Pop Culture Fix is a day late; I’m on vacation with spotty wifi, but I’m here now and very excited to talk to you about my girl Maggie Sawyer arriving in National City.


+ The trailer for the final season of Black Sails dropped at Comic Con and it’s very dude-heavy, but features some nice shots of Eleanor and Max (who’s riding up the coast on a horse like a regular old Arya Stark). It seems very unlikely that Anne and Eleanor and Max are all going to make it out of season four alive, but I’m still holding out hope.


+ Portlandia will mock Men’s Rights Activists when the show returns in January, a nice follow-up to my favorite skit from season six, Male Feminist Support Group.

+ Looks like Michelle Williams will play Janis Joplin in her upcoming biopic.

+ BET promised Gabrielle Union 13/14 episodes a year of her critically acclaimed, beloved series, Being Mary Jane. But the network only gave her ten, and now they’re trying to force her to film episodes in a way that conflicts with her other projects. She’s (rightfully) suing.

+ It’s not queer but it’s sure as heck feminist and honestly I wouldn’t be surviving this election season without it. It’s Full Frontal With Samantha Bee and I want to honor you with her takedown of Donald Trump’s sexual assault comments from Friday. (Stay ’til the end; it’s a Vagina Monologue like you’ve never seen.)

+ The New York Times is talking about the amazing new thing where trans kids on TV play trans characters.

+ Maggie Sawyer will finally arrive on Supergirl in episode 203 (not next week but the next). The CW released some promo photos of her that also seem to hint that the established character who’s going to be exploring her sexuality this season will be Alex Danvers.

Supergirl -- "Welcome to Earth" -- Image SPG203b_0160 -- Pictured (L-R): Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers and Floriana Lima as Maggie Sawyer -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Supergirl -- "Welcome to Earth" -- Image SPG203b_0190 -- Pictured (L-R): Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers and Floriana Lima as Maggie Sawyer -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Den of Geek talked to Ali Adler and Sarah Schechter about the addition of Maggie to the cast.

What do we know about Maggie Swayer?

AA: Well, Maggie Sawyer is an amazing character from the DC universe who is a badass, who is a gay character, who we’re bringing in who is so cool. The actress, Floriana Lima, is amazing. We’re so excited to get started with her. It’s just going to be an amazing addition to our cast.

Will she have a romance?

SS: What’s important for us in Supergirl is that all the women on the show are really strong. I mean, it’s important on all of our shows and I think you see that in all of the shows, on Arrow, Flash and Legends. Supergirl, much like we were talking about if you have a great villain, it elevates your hero, if you have a strong woman, you want to surround her with other strong women. Maggie is sort of suspicious, she’s grounded, she’s not a superhero. She’s a regular real life hero.

AA: She’s a hero in life. I think what’s cool about this season is we can have an opportunity here to explore more of people’s personal lives. Last year was about seeking their professional success. She became an amazing superhero. She became a hero a work and got a promotion. Now everyone across the board’s life is being explored behind the scenes of their professional life. I think it’s a really cool way to start next season.

My hope are already too high. :(


+ One thing that’s happening on November 4 is the release of a new movie starring Kate Moennig and Heather Graham. It’s called My Dead Boyfriend, and here’s the synopsis according to the press release Laneia just forwarded me:

Mary’s life has been defined by a string of temp jobs and a half-hearted attempt to become a writer. But all that changes when she comes home to find her boyfriend dead in front of the TV set. During her misadventures in trying to get rid of his ashes – accidentally becoming the bassist in a rock band; bonding with the dog he left behind; awkward encounters with numerous ex-lovers; Mary discovers that there was much more to her couch potato boyfriend than she ever thought imaginable.

You know Kate as Shane, obviously, but I don’t want you to forget that Heather Graham played gay in that bizarro rom-com Gray Matters. So.

+ For National Coming Out Day earlier this week, IndieWire made a list of five of their favorite queer short films.

Queer People, Out and About

+ Gothamist Interviewed Tig Notaro about One Mississippi and her upcoming show at Carnegie Hall. And, of course, about her “twin boy cubs.” It’s very sweet.

What about parenthood excites you the most?
Oh my gosh, there’s a bazillion things. This coming weekend, we’re taking them to a pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin. It’s those ridiculous things. I can’t wait to put my babies in a pile of hay next to a pumpkin. I can’t wait to take them trick or treating. I can’t wait until Christmas, Thanksgiving, to have a full house with family passing the babies around. We are going to go on a family vacation at some point. There’s different parts of the country they’re going to be traveling to with us. Just…everything. I can’t wait until they can walk, I can’t wait until they talk, I can’t wait…it’s the best thing in the world. I’m happy to report that.

+ Abby Wambach won’t stop talking about the “foreign-born” players on the USMNT and it’s starting to embarrass and upset fans. She’d like to be the judge of whether or not these guys love the United States enough to play soccer for it.

It feels a little bit odd to me that you have some guys that have never lived in the United States that play for the United States because they were able to secure a passport. To me, that just feels like they weren’t able to make it for their country and earn a living, so they’re coming here.

But do they have that killer instinct? I don’t know. I’d love to sit down with Mix Diskerud and some of these other guys and talk to them about it. I’d love to understand how much they love their country. I believe they can have love for both countries, but I’d love to hear it, and I think so many other people would, too. If this is an ignorant opinion, I’ll raise my hand in the end and say, “My bad.” But I’d want to have that conversation.

+ In a new profile, Annie Leibovitz’s tells the New York Times her work on Women will never be done.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. That response to the question of whether Maggie Sawyer will have a romance was almost Trump-esque in its non-answer.

    • I suspect that “everyone across the board’s life is being explored behind the scenes of their professional life” was a disguised answer, even though they’re seemingly not talking about Maggie at that point.

      Maybe not, but it doesn’t really matter; if someone is ‘exploring their sexuality’ and Maggie is in town, I think we can put two and two together and assume that Maggie will be the one they’re exploring with.

  2. Everytime a celebrity queer is openly problematic a part of me dies inside

    fuck Abby Wambach honestly

    • I know I must be tired, because I first read that as “openly romantic.”

      Anyway! Yes, it’s awful. So many sports teams have foreign players. Our WNBA women play overseas during off season. A lot of UK football players are from Europe. Baseball and American football, too. Not to mention someone can be from one country but go to the Olympics and play for another country. Sports should be a universal language. Who cares where a player was born as long as they love the game and are good at their job.

    • Seriously.

      And to criticize players for coming to the US to play in order to earn a living??

      Hello effects of racism and colonization??!!

      Serious US white privilege talking there.

      • Exactly! And then she portrays it as if those people were rejects who couldn’t make it back home, when in fact they embody skill and talent placed at the disposal of the rich countries of the world thanks to global inequality.

  3. I could stare at those promo photos of Maggie and Alex all day. In my mind, Maggie will have all the swagger and catch Alex completely off guard. It will be a thing of beauty. As you can see, I’m really trying not to get my hopes up here!

    • Oh man, I’m right there with you. Just those two shots are going to carry me through until episode 203. The swagger, and the heat between them tells me that 100% we’ll see a romance between them. *fingers crossed*

      • Crossing everything! I really cannot wait until 203, I’m getting giddy now just thinking about it!

  4. Tig sounds like my straight friends who have babies and won’t talk about anything else. Sigh.

    • Except considering EVERYTHING she went through I can’t be mad at her and think it’s really really adorable. Yay for some happiness.

      • Yeah it’s pretty freaking adorable.

        But I’ve always loved babies and can talk about them all day so :-D

        Also to be fair, that was a specific question they asked her about parenthood.

        • That was a specific question they asked Tig however I recently saw an interview of her with Trish Bendix in which she discusses how the only thing she can talk about and think about are the kids and how comedian’s audiences dislike went standup comics do sets about their babies.

  5. if alex isn’t the cw superhero character that’s going to come out then…i’ll be so surprised

    like a) these interactions with maggie and b) she has the Classic Bi Haircut

    ya can’t fool me supergirl writers!

  6. Not only did they cut the episode order for BEING Mary Jane (I know Heather’s on vacation, but the show’s title is misspelled in the article, and maybe someone can fix it?)- but they want her to film the two 10 episode seasons back to back.

    Which means that she would film a total of 20 episodes at once, instead of her contractually obligated 13, putting her off movies, the bread and butter of her career. It also means that she would not receive her contractually obligated bonus between seasons of $15,000 per episode (the difference between 150,000 an episode and 165,000).

    Essentially, they want her to do more work, cut her off from other major revenue sources, and do it all for less money than she’s owed. Oh, and top of all of that, resulting in less “on air” episodes to show for her effort.

    BET is playing dirty to cut costs, and while I understand that the network beings in less revenue than its similarly situated peers and has overhead, this was NOT how to fix the problem.

    The production on the show has vaulted while they work out this dispute. I’m glad Gabby stood up to them! Hope the ruling comes out in her favor!

  7. Abby Wambaach, way to break my heart!!!!! I had to click over and read the entire article in full because I almost couldn’t believe what Heather was saying! There had to be another reason or context!

    And yet, there was not. Dammit. Do better, Wambach! Do better and be better.

  8. Oh, and for those of us keeping up with Queen Sugar and/or interested in Rutina Wesley’s return to television in another bisexual role- her female love interest was introduced last week, and her arc continued in major way this week.


    What I love about Nova (Rutina’s) new girlfriend is that she’s a Black Lives Matter activist! By putting Chantal (said gf) in that role, it felt like a nod to the fact that the actual movement was founded by queer black movement and the significant leadership role that queer black folks continue to have within BLM nationwide.

    Later in the episode, Nova takes Chantal and her nephew to visit a black artist in New Orleans as a part of a story Nova is covering for her newspaper. The artist in question, Brandan “B-Mike” Odums, is an actual up and coming black visual artist in real life. I love these little ways that the show is rooted to a real life black experience and is committed to teaching us new things that we may not know.


    That’s on top of already being well acted, well written, and gorgeously shot! Honestly, the whole show pacts so many earned emotional punches! This episode’s big climax scene over a family cookout left me in tears.

    Some of you may have noticed that a few of us have been having short ongoing chats about “Queen Sugar” these last few weeks in the comment threads. I cannot recommend it to anyone enough.

    We just reached the halfway point. Next week Wednesdag, in lieu of a new episode, they are doing a marathon of the first 6 episodes on OWN, starting at 4pm. You can also find the episodes on demand and online.

    • So glad the episodes are still on demand. I’m going to start watching this weekend. My parents LOVE Queen Sugar and keep telling me I need to watch it (which, I always intended to, but was deep into a Grey’s Anatomy black hole, which I have finally climbed out of.)

    • I love it — and the only person I get to gab about it with is a co-worker who keeps asking if I’m drooling over Ralph Angel as much as she is and she’s not getting the hint that Nova is my drool source entirely! Anyway it’s such a damn good show. I haven’t seen last night’s yet but it’s good to hear there’s some lady love coming up.

      • Totally in the same boat, came for drooling over Nova/ Rutina, stayed for the stunning portrayal of black families.

    • I am SO GLAD I took your recommendation and started watching this show! I also got two of my best friends into as well and we are all absolutely LOVING it. Hollywood and Violet at the end the this week’s episode competely gutted me.

      I never watched True Blood, so Rutina Wesley was never the big draw for me here, but let me just saw, serious discussions about BLM are obviously very important, but THOSE ARMS, MY GAAAAAAWD.

      • Oh great!!!!!! I’m so glad that it’s still working out for you.

        Yes, “gutted” is the only way to really describe that last scene. Hollywood, despite all his good intentions, was just.. Stuck. And helpless to Violet’s pain. But also the way that the actress who plays Violet shook, even after Hollywood left. It was awful, because you knew that Hollywood was only faced with bad choices, but that doesn’t mean that what Violet felt wasn’t visceral and real. It was a no-win situation for everybody.

        So, fun True Blood fact: Rutina’s character (Tara) doesn’t come out until roughly season 4. The first few seasons I just loved her because she’s very talented and like you said, those arms. And then in the 4th season she becomes a cage fighter or something and gets a girlfriend and the whole thing spread like wildfire in my part of the queer woods. It was the only thing anyone in my circle was talking about! I even used it as an ice breaker on a date, haha.

        • True Blood was one of those shows that I had planned to bingewatch when it ended, but then everyone said it went so badly downhill in later seasons that I decided not to bother. But RUTINA WESLEY AS A CAGE FIGHTER. I might just have to go find those episodes.

  9. Everyone has been rumored to be playing Janis Joplin (Lily Taylor, Melissa Etheridge, Amy Adams) in 10 different biopics that never seem to get off the ground. I will believe Michelle Williams in the role when I actually see it.

    It looks to me from those pictures that Alex and Maggie might have a past as well as a future. And that answer/non answer about Maggie’s love interest is so annoying.
    And every time I see producer Sarah Schecter’s name, I think Jenny Schecter.

  10. Also has anyone else been watching Westworld? It seems like it may end up being problematic in some of the same ways Game of Thrones is problematic, but there’s a queer lady scientist who I’m hoping rides off into the sunset with Evan Rachel Wood’s character.

    • Seen the 2 first episodes (but not the movie) and I don’t think it’s problematic in the same way as other stuff – since westworld is very much about the culture of de-humanizing and the exploration of that subject (at least it seems so far that is the way they are going,) as opposed to other stuff that is de-humanizing to be “real” and therefor “relatable.” Westworld is certainly a graphic and difficult show to watch, so I would understand anyone disliking the show. Its cinematography is very beautiful though!

      • Can I ask if it’s graphic specifically in the sexual violence sense, or just in general? I’ve been interested in watching it (and your comment about how it explores the culture of dehumanization makes me more interested!) but I don’t know if I can handle a show where there’s a rape scene every episode.

        • The rape scenes have either happened off-screen or just been heavily implied, but there’s definitely multiple scenes of lustful male characters objectifying women. However, yes – the show is explicitly inviting the audience to think about our complicitness in sensationalist violence, explicit sex etc. I’m enjoying it so far!

          • Okay, thanks! I’ll definitely give it a try–I can handle sexual violence as long as it’s taken seriously and not too too explicit. And besides, how am I supposed to resist a show with a queer lady scientist AND thoughtful things to say about our culture of violence?

    • I highly doubt they have Evan Rachel Wood pegged as gay(though i wish she was). I think that the brothel owner is more likely to be so cos she was seen flirting with a female guest.
      And i just don’t care if its problematic now, i love it already.

  11. It would be just like teevee to say “Lena Luther is established now, see? We never lied to you.” That’s what I was thinking during this week’s episode. Alex Danvers as queer as fuck and it would be just like teevee to mess with that.

  12. My problem with BET is how long the commercial breaks are. Like a show that is normally shown on a 30 minute time slot is 45 minutes, because the commercial breaks are just as long as the show now. I tried to watch Martin, but for every 7 minutes of shows I got 7 minutes of commercials. So, yeah I hope she sues them successfully.

  13. *Takes out rainbow pompons and dances around room*
    “Give me an A!”
    “Who is gay?”
    “A-Ahaaalex Davers!”

    “Give me a B!”
    “Who is Bi?”

    –>basically how I watch TV shows in general and Supergirl in particular

  14. I’ve been reading ‘Janis Joplin bio-flick’ stories & blurbs for so long I don’t even ‘can’t even’ anymore. *sigh*

  15. Gabi Union: BET continues to disappoint.

    We’re in an era of peak black entertainment…with unapologetically black shows like blackish, Luke Cage, Atlanta, and Queen Sugar…and a channel that bills itself as BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION is completely out of that conversation.

    And now they want to mess around with the only good show on their network? SMH.

    (Sidenote: I’d appreciate if someone could point me to any commentary from trans writers about the most recent episode of Atlanta. I’d be really interested in getting that perspective.)

    Supergirl: I didn’t want to get my hopes up about the Maggie Sawyer storyline because I didn’t know how they’d integrate her into the canvas and…well…these things just always seem to go poorly.

    But I found myself watching the Lethal Weapon reboot* and I’ve found myself ennamored with Martin Riggs’ former wife, whom we only get to see in pictures and flashbacks. I ran to IMDB to discover the identity of my TV crush (that’s a thing, right?) and it’s Floriana Lima who will also play Maggie Sawyer this season.

    And, now, to know she’ll be paired with Lexi Gray Chyler Leigh…who I adore so much I even watched her dreadful post-Grey’s show, Taxi Brooklyn?

    Okay, so now I’m a little excited…my hopes are officially up.

    * Feel free to judge me for watching Lethal Weapon but, in my defense, it’s got Floriana Lima, Jordana Brewster AND Keesha Sharp. I feel no shame.

    Abby Wambach: Boy, privilege is a helluva drug.

    I’d hoped that after the swift and forceful backlash that she received following her last set of xenophobic comments, she’d take a moment, educate herself and return with some more enlightened commentary. I’d hoped that she’d recognize that her broad condemnations of foreign players also applied to her good friend and former teammate, the Canadian-born Sydney Leroux, and that doubting the love of country from foreign-born players was foolish.

    Oh, I’d hoped, but, clearly, to no avail.

    Thankfully, though, Mix Diskerud is a better person than me. Now I hope we’ll see Abby Wambach raise her hand and acknowledge her bigotry shortly.

      • x3 with curiosity & interested in some commentary on this week’s Atlanta episode! I could not make up from down on how to feel about it :/

        If anyone sees anything, especially from a trans woman of color writer, please feel free to share!

    • “* Feel free to judge me for watching Lethal Weapon but, in my defense, it’s got Floriana Lima, Jordana Brewster AND Keesha Sharp. I feel no shame.”

      Shit… NOW I remember why I triggered that for last night… grrr

    • Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who still calls Chyler Leigh, “Lexi Grey” in my head.

      We’ve officially started the second season of Supergirl and I still catch myself going “Aww, Little Grey” whenever she first comes on screen. (Am I the only one, but did Chyler get super hot lately?)

      Also Also, YAAAAS Peak Black Television. I keep saying it to my friends/ family this fall, but “what a time to be alive!”

      Also Also Also, Abby Wambach :(

      • Oh, I call her Lexi Grey out loud while I’m watching television…it’s a bad habit that I usually break after a while. It took me damn near a whole season of Mad Men to stop calling Elisabeth Moss’ Peggy, “Zoey Bartlet.”

        And last night, while watching Blindspot, I turned to a friend and said, “watch Kalinda get them out of this mess.” One day, I’ll remember that her character’s name is Naz Kamal.

        And I really don’t know Hollywood’s wife’s name on Queen Sugar but every time she appears on my screen, I’m like, “it’s Maxine Shaw!”

        • I have the opposite problem with Chyler Leigh. I watched Supergirl from day one, but only started watching Grey’s this summer, so whenever she came on screen I was like “Alex!!!” *insert heart eyes*

    • Floriana Lima was also in “The Family” on ABC. I only watched a couple of episodes of the show before losing interest nut apparently her character ended up having a thing with the closeted daughter of the titular family.

  16. I’m happy to see woc getting work but I had a soft spot for “The Family”.

    I’ll be pouring out a sip of my apple juice for Bridey

  17. The Real O’Neals introduced a lesbian teen character in this week’s episode. I don’t know if she’ll be a regular or not, but I thought folks might want to check it out.

    She starts out painfully awkward, and Kenny (the main character/resident gay hero) totally disrespects her for most of the episode. But by the end of the episode it turns around and she becomes My Hero, and I think she’s smarter and more grounded and funny than Kenny and she kind of gives him a friendly comeuppance. Also, I want to be her best friend and hang out with her all day long, I wish the show was about her, not him.

    • Honestly, I can’t remember if she said whether she’s a lesbian, or not. My biases slipping through there…. She joins the LGBT group at school, and talks about coming out. But I can’t remember if she said whether she’s a lesbian, bi, trans, or what. Apologies if I took a leap there. i still want to be her best friend, either way.

    • I acquired an irrational dislike for this show Ever since that kid gave that dreadful interview

  18. Oh, Pete Nowalk, why did you have to do that to my Annalise/Eve shipping heart?

    I mean, I know, why…Famke’s got her spin-off of Blacklist coming soon and can’t join the cast of How to Get Away With Murder…but did you have to end it that way? Couldn’t you just leave it open-ended?


    • I didn’t see much potential for Annalise and Eve through the second season. They always had her tilted towards Nate from the beginning,and i never felt the same level of warmth or chemistry with Eve from Annalise. I was pretty disappointed last season so i gave up hope. Now you say Eve is actually leaving the show. :/

    • My comment was in agreement with @pecola, in case it was unclear.

      I definitely always saw the chemistry between Annalise and Eve (Eve is literally the only one who has never judged her and the only one who consistently make Annalise smile).

      I know Famke has a new show, but I was definitely sad to see her go. The actresses played the scene magnificently and I don’t know…. my “happy ending” for Annalise is definitely Eve in the end, and as they say, “It’s not over ’till it’s over…”

      • Eve and Annalise dancing at the club was the best part of that episode. Followed very closely by their last scene together, which broke my fucking heart. I know Famke Janssen has a new show, and I’m totally happy for Annalise to sleep around for the next few seasons, but I’m still holding out hope that the end of the show sees Annalise ditch Philly and her law practice and shack up with Eve on a island somewhere, courtesy of the immunity she got for them after turning in her murderous students/employees.

  19. The Vagina Monologue + those lines about Paul Ryan = PARADISE.

    And all created by Samantha Bee

    PD: everybody needs to take a little look at Ana Navarro. For me it was a big surprise, the only Republican that doesn’t have her head right up her ass, and of course it had to be a woman.


  20. I actually loved the way they handled the Eve situation– obviously I would have preferred that she stick around, but Famke got another job, and the way they did it gave us maximum respect and it’s open-ended enough that Eve could come back.

    I call the show “How To Get Away With Representation” because they really don’t hold back and the two relationships they take most seriously are between Annalise and Eve, and Connor and Oliver.

    The love between Ana and Eve is the absolute only time on the show I genuinely believe Ana is sincere and not maybe just faking it for strategic purposes. Ana gives Eve a completely different smile than she gives to any other person on the show. And the heat between them also seems real, and she never apologizes for it. Even her jealous boyfriend doesn’t try to interfere, and she makes it pretty clear that she wouldn’t tolerate it if he did. Ana’s freaking bi and poly and not sorry about it. On freaking goddamn prime time ABC.

    But yeah, it’s disappointing as hell that Eve is supposedly moving away– I am hoping it doesn’t stick. I just hope it guarantees she wasn’t in the burning house.

    • I agree with everything you wrote.
      HTGAWM is one of my favourite shows on tv right now. Also, I don’t know how you feel, but I’m really glad that Bonnie turned out to be alive. Wohoo!

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