Selfie, Season One Pilot (2014)

September 3, 2014

When a favorite character disappears from your television
screen and the actress who brought her to life appears on a new television
show, chances are, you’ll be watching the new show her face is in front of. 

Social media is an addiction for Eliza (Karen Gillan). As
the top producing sales representative for her company, Eliza tweets, uses
Instagram to distraction and is more excited about the number of “likes” she
has than developing real life friendships. That was all before her entire life
was made a joke of when a video of her fashion disaster and losing her
boyfriend goes viral – oh, yes, and all of this happens in front of her
co-workers.

Desperate to leave behind that image of herself in the rearview, Eliza returns
to work hiding from the snickers of her co-workers and comes to the realization
that the very public life she prided
herself on is what turned her into a joke. Willing to change that, she
enlists the help of fellow co-worker and marketing guru, Henry (John Cho) to
help rebrand her. Only trouble is, neither one realized the challenge this task
was going to be. 

If you’ve been seeing promotional spots or reading about
this and the thought flitted across your mind that it had a familiar ring to
it, you’d be correct. This new half-hour ABC comedy is inspired by My Fair Lady and depending on the
writing, and trend it takes, this could be a darling little series. First
impressions of Selfie are favorable.
I liked what the writer’s did with the story (particularly its more poignant messages) and enjoyed being able to watch a
20-some minute show that put a smile on my face without taking too much time
out of the day. As a friendly warning, I will say, if you’re a purist who gets
nothing from re-tellings, I’d advise you steer clear of this. It’s definitely a
contemporary update on something that is considered a classic and you’ll likely
be more offended than entertained. However if you like something like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries or Emma Approved, you might like this
fresh, “hip” update on a familiar tale.

Aside from the clever antidotes (which I’ll chat up more
later on), what I liked best about

this was just the opportunity to see Karen
Gillan in something other than her iconic role (yes, for a character such as
this, that title applies) of Amy Pond (Doctor
Who
). She plays a completely different character in this, which is what
makes seeing her in American television such a fun experience. Eliza is setting
up to be a brash, uncaring person who is actually hiding a fragility underneath
her persona – something we aren’t likely to totally understand as soon as we’d
like. Then there is John Cho. I love this dude’s character equally well. He
plays the “proper professor” very well and like Eliza, there is going to be
more to his character than merely a guy who has a thing for proper grammar;
there’s a really cute scene between he and Eliza at the end of episode one that
will – hopefully – set up their relationship for the rest of season one,
whether it gets a full order or merely the shortened run of a cancelled show. 

Because of its 21st century setting, the writers
have taken plenty of liberty in adapting this and have turned Eliza into more
than merely a foolhardy flower girl – she is now a social media kind-of terror,
who cares nothing for those around her and is happy to make fun of embarrassing
flubs in cyberspace… until she becomes that person. In order to make the show
relevant, I actually thought it was clever way to bring the story into modern
times, plus it doesn’t hurt that the characters are easy to like despite their
significant flaws. As someone not used to watching 30-minute comedies, I will
say that the pacing seemed far too quick, but that’s minor in the face of
enjoyment. Starting off as a darling show in the 2014 line up, if the creator
is smart, this could be a show with more depth and lessons to impart. If not,
it’s still a cute thing to consider adding to your DVR. 

Have you seen the pilot? If so, what did you think? Share any thoughts below.
If not… chime in with what you expect from Selfie
 
Find the pilot on abc.com or Hulu and catch the premiere on ABC on September 30 at 8|7c
 

(Rated TV14;
there are references to Eliza’s dress and her ability to close deals because of
how she dresses. A woman is dating a married man, which she supposedly did not
know about. We see an Instagram photo of a naked woman with hands covering her
breasts. There may be one or two profanities.)

14 Comments

  • Jamie Lynne

    September 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Now I'm intrigued! I might have to watch the pilot :)

    1. Rissi

      September 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      You should, Jamie – and if you do, come back and let me know what you think. :)

  • Hannah Barta

    September 3, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Oooh–reminiscent of Emma Approved? I'd love to watch this now! Haha. Although I have to admit to never being the biggest fan of My Fair Lady. . . .

    walking in the air.

    1. Rissi

      September 3, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Really?? My mom isn't really a fan of My Fair Lady either, so who knows if she'd like this, but since I love modern adaptations (like Emma Approved or LBD), I'm all for the "cute factor." ;)

  • Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com

    September 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I loved it. I tried it on Renee's recommendation and I agree it is darling. The chemistry is fab already.

    1. Rissi

      September 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Yes! There is definitely a cuteness overload in this pilot, Juju. Hope that continues because I'd love to have a show I watched that was just "bubbly" as opposed to mentally complex. :)

  • Birdie

    September 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    I really liked the pilot (and was a bit disappointed when I discovered I had to wait almost a month for more episodes). It looks fun and fresh, though I do agree the pacing in this pilot was a bit off (but I guess you have to 'cram' loads of story into a pilot to hook people, so maybe this will change in the next episodes)

    1. Rissi

      September 5, 2014 at 12:47 am

      Yeah, it is a bummer to have to await more episodes, Birdie, but I have to confess, I was just happy to have a chance to watch the pilot! It's SO cute and yes, as you say "fresh." Plus, it's nice to have something in my TV watching repertoire that's light and happy versus the crime dramas. Even thought those are awesome in their own way. ;)

  • Abbi Hart

    September 3, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I have never been a big My Fair Lady fan but as soon as I heard Karen Gillan was going to be in it I knew I had to check it out! I thought it was great! Most of the episode had been given away in the trailer but I still enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the coming episodes!

    1. Rissi

      September 5, 2014 at 12:48 am

      Ditto, Abbi. There was a lot to enjoy in this pilot – Karen being one of them. Perhaps that's why they released the pilot – they felt it was nearly spoiled. ;) Looking forward to more.

  • Anonymous

    September 5, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Rissi, this looks so cute! I'm really interested in this new show and am hoping that it will be good. Can't wait for the premiere of this one. And I had no idea it was inspired by Pygmalion/My Fair Lady! That makes it even more intriguing. : )

    Oh, and have you seen the new show on NBC: A to Z? I watched the pilot and really liked it. You should check it out; I'd love to hear your opinion!

    Cassie

    1. Rissi

      September 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      It sure is, Cassie! But then, I'm probably biased since I just wanted to see Karen in something else – she was so memorable as Amy Pond. ;) Hope you enjoy this if/when you try it.

      Oo! Yes, I have heard of A to Z; I'll have to have a look for the pilot and try and write something up on it. I have another ABC pilot 2014 season review coming next week – it's kind of fun to watch the pilots of new shows just so I can get a feel for whether or not I'll be watching the DVD sets. :)

  • Bekah M.

    September 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I watched the pilot and thought it was surprisingly cute and funny. Will definitely be watching future episodes. Great review!

    1. Rissi

      September 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      I'm glad, Bekah! I'm not sure how it'll work over time, however judging the pilot, it was really cute. Hope it stays that way. :)

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