Aired on: ABC
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I was recently offered the opportunity to check out a couple of fall television series premiere’s before they air. One such premiere, a comedy series scheduled to air September 30, 2014 at 8:00pm EST on ABC, is based loosely on the classic My Fair Lady.
Selfie stars Karen Gillan as Eliza Dooley, once an ugly duckling determined to become something more. Obsessed with the world of social media, pharmaceutical sales representative Eliza becomes the “it” girl…the one that everyone loves to hate that can do no wrong…that is, until an company airplane trip reveals that she has been in a relationship with a married co-worker. The resulting disaster that unfolds places Eliza on the least popular, most likely to be laughed at list and she suddenly discovers that when she really needs a friend, she actually doesn’t have any.
She turns to Henry Higenbottam (John Cho), a marketing guru at the pharmaceutical firm who has no respect for the social media world and even less for Eliza Dooley. But he does enjoy a challenge and, seeing Eliza as a particularly difficult product with an image that will be difficult to reconstruct, Henry accepts the challenge. His first task: to get Eliza to realize that she is socially deficient, despite her popularity within the online social media network. Though this proves to be a rather difficult task that threatens to backfire on Henry, Eliza persuades him to stay the course, helping him to lighten up in the process.
When I saw promos for Selfie, I figured this to be one comedy that I would be avoiding. It seemed a bit on the silly side. Also, I had seen John Cho do comedy before – the Harold and Kumar variety of comedy doesn’t really grab me – but I wasn’t at all sure that Karen Gillan had that necessary comedic timing, having only seen her in dramatic roles in films like Oculus and Guardians of the Galaxy (Nebula was one of the very few characters with no comedic moments). Being an obvious romantic comedy, I wasn’t sure that there would be enough chemistry between Cho and Gillan to pull it off.
I was wrong. I fully admit it! Cho is nothing like his character in the Harold and Kumar movies and Gillan has perfect comedic timing. And there is a definite chemistry between the characters, perhaps because they are such polar opposites of one another. But the best parts of the show are the jabs at social media, things I’ve been saying for years about social media obsession and lack of in-person socialization skills coming out of the mouths of characters in the show. I kept pointing at the screen and saying, “I said that just the other day!” I was shocked to discover that others feel the same way as I do about the social media obsession that has taken the country by storm. Putting this feeling forth in such a comedic way will perhaps teach some of the social media obsessed a lesson about the way they act and react to things in public and how actual socialization between people face to face is not something that can be replaced by a computer.
Though there is an obvious shelf life to this comedic series, I can’t wait to see what else Eliza and Henry go through in their effort to change Eliza’ social presence. I found Selfie to be a rather fun sitcom that I will most likely be keeping an eye on long after its premiere.