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Selfie, Season One Pilot (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.)
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Rissi
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14 comments:

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

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

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  2. 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.

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    1. 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." ;)

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

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    1. 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. :)

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  4. 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)

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    1. 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. ;)

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  5. 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!

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    1. 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.

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  6. 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

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    1. 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. :)

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

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    1. 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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