Selfie: This Show Really Isn’t As Dumb As You Think It Is


I’ll be honest with you, this show seemed like the embodiment of what makes our current generation as insufferable as it is. Young people’s obsessions with their electronic devices, the constant assault of social media jargon, and the stomach-turning thought that our online presence actually gives us some sense of real-world entitlement and importance.

All of this is brought to life in the hands of Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan). She’s got “perfectly symmetrical features and hair like Ariel”. She also has thousands of Twitter and Instagram followers and somehow that makes her feel important. However, after a devastating and humiliating incident on a plane that involved a lot of vomit, she realized that nobody in real life actually gave a crap about her. She enlists the help of Henry Higgs (John Cho), a cantankerous old man in the body of a handsome marketing exec, to change her image and make her a better person.

Karen Gillan’s quirkiness and penchant for comedy reminds me of Anna Faris (who I thought was unparalleled at lack-of-self-awareness humour). While she wasn’t my favourite Doctor Who companion, she really does impress as Eliza. Her infectious laughs and gangly limbs really do draw your attention in a great way. And who would’ve thought that John Cho would have chosen a role like this?! Actually, on second thought, he totally would. It’s just been so long since Harold and Kumar that I completely forgot he does comedy. Anyway, he’s a stark contrast to Eliza’s flamboyant personality – he’s technologically challenged (he tagged himself as his ex’s breastfeeding baby on Facebook) and he buries himself in his work. However, they have one thing in common, they don’t really have any friends. It’s only been five episodes, but you can see how these two drastically different people have made a positive influence on each other. While Henry forces Eliza to help others, Eliza forces Henry to help himself.

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From Episode 4, where Eliza challenges Henry not to work on the weekend and to enjoy himself.

Also, this show is legitimately hilarious. Not like 2 Broke Girls, where every punchline is saturated with groan-worthy references to pop culture. Yes, Eliza does occasionally spew an endless stream of social media nonsense, but it’s almost always countered by Henry asking her, “What the balls did you just say?” And no laugh track either. Thank god. Henry talking to the expired yogurt in his fridge and Eliza Yelp-stalking one of her co-workers are just some of the eyebrow-raising situations that arise. But they also make you laugh.

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Besides, it’s awesome to know where the romance is going. So many shows decide to play coy with the two main leads’ romance. Flirting for the first season, maybes and maybe-nots for the second, then finally a kiss at the finale and maybe they get together in the third. Maybe. Like, come on, make up your minds already!! Eliza and Henry’s story is based on the musical My Fair Lady, so it’s obvious that Henry and Eliza are going to end up together, but it’s the journey that makes it so interesting. HOORAY FOR INTERRACIAL ROMANCES! Am I the only one that is sick of two gorgeous white people get it on?

While on the surface this seems like a soulless money grab on ABC’s part to capitalize on people’s narcissistic fascination with the online world (and it is), Selfie is actually quite funny and entertaining. The characters are likeable and the story isn’t bad at all. I’m really glad it wasn’t dragged to the depths of hell like the other ABC shows like Manhattan Love Story and A to Z. Hopefully this show will stick around for a while!

If you’re into light-hearted rom-coms that don’t take themselves too seriously, then you’re in the right place. For those who are still skeptical, I say suspend your judgement for a half hour and watch the first episode, I guarantee you’ll have a great time (well, 85% guarantee, I can’t be too sure about those angry Internet people who don’t like anything).

UPDATE (11/08/14)

Selfie has been cancelled. I am majorly disappointed, as you guys can imagine. The general consensus is that this show was just getting good. ABC really should’ve given it a chance to get on its feet.

One day she hopes to reach a new state of being which requires no sustenance other than alcohol and pure, unadulterated rage. Imagine the shit she’ll write then, huh?

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