Wednesday, 10 December 2014

TV Check-Up: New Fall TV Comedies: Selfie

I decided to check out Selfie because I miss Karen Gillan on Dr. Who and I have a soft spot for John Cho. He always seems to get stuck as sarcastic side-kick dude, so I was happy to see him as a lead character on this new ABC comedy. As the title already suggests the show revolves around today’s society and pop-culture phenomena which we might refer to as The Three S’ – social media, selfies, self-involvement – which all come to life in Karen Gillan’s character Eliza Dooley.

“Butt-ugly” as a teen Eliza reinvented herself on the web and became insta-famous. In the season premiere she then has to realize that social media aren’t all that social and that FB friends don’t measure up to real life friends (duh). After a rather embarrassing incident on a plane Eliza enlists the help of marketing- and image-building genius Henry, played by John Cho, for a My Fair Lady-like coup: She wants to improve her image – he wants to improve her as a human being. In a traditional rom-com set-up the two clash over anything and everything but as usual find ways to connect and have a positive impact on each other. He makes her put away her cell phone and not live life by online likes. She makes him leave his desk and focus on something besides work. Selfie, it turns out, is not all about taking the picture but living in the moment. Have a look yourself:

As a New Girl-esque comedy Selfie exaggerates things quite a bit. I get that exaggeration is good tone on TV but here the clichéd criticism of today’s society is simply overdone. The opposites of no-nonsense Henry and super shallow Eliza are too extreme and the language is simply horrible. Please stop the overuse of abbreviations and acronyms! I know it’s supposed to be funny but it’s just plain annoying. It’s supposed to be a show about adults and not in a 13 Going on 30 way. Similar to New Girl the show can rely on a charming leading lady to dampen the annoying forces: Karen Gillan’s charm makes you feel for arrogant, self-involved Eliza by also hinting at her quirky and vulnerable sides. Otherwise, with only 4 episodes aired so far, you can hardly talk about character depth. Up to now things seem to be evolving in a rather one-dimensional way. Still, the ending of the pilot offers some hope: in a moment of honesty Eliza and Henry apologize to each other and you get a glimpse at the toned-down, honest people behind their overdone facades. If the show could move its focus and energy away from the title and towards the Gillan-Cho dynamic, Selfie could evolve into a charming rom-com with actual My Fair Lady qualities.

For fans of: New Girl, Two and a Half Men, One Tree Hill

Genre: romantic comedy, sit-com

As of November 7 Selfie has been cancelled by ABC. The network has decided against buying any more than the initial 13 episodes. Too bad, since the show was finally moving on from the “selfie” stigma and focusing more on the Eliza and Henry chemistry. But I guess Selfie took a little bit too long to pick up its pace and potential for viewers to stick to the show or tune into it. The remaining episodes will be released on Hulu.


  1. Awesome show!! I can't believe it was canceled.

    1. well I'd say it just took to long to unravel its full potential. it was getting quite enjoyable, but a lot of people couldn't get over the high pitched tone of the first few episodes...