A blog raveled in randomness
Selfie, an American romantic comedy show, first aired on ABC September 30, 2014 and the network cancelled this show on November 13, 2014. This short lived television show followed Eliza Dooley (portrayed by Karen Gillan), a girl who has tons of friends on social media but has no one who she can trust in her real life. So as she realizes this flaw, she asks for help to “re-brand” her image from a colleague Henry Higgs (portrayed by John Cho). He acts as the all-knowing mentor and tries to teach Eliza to be more of a person living her life rather than constantly looking down on her phone. Selfie is a modern adaption of My Fair Lady as Henry guides Eliza to become a better person, not via Instagram, but in real life. I am not going to lie. Don’t watch the trailer because it’s unappealing. The trailer is made mostly of episode 1, so you can guess how I felt about episode 1 too. But a television show should not be judged by its title, neither by its pilot episode. If you watch the whole season, you will witness the character development in the two protagonists and how they both need each other to see their own flaws and correct them. It is not only Eliza who needs to learn about life, but Henry–who thinks he knows everything and has perfected his life–also has his own flaws by observing Eliza. They are a perfect match, and it is a very rare gem to see on American television a (natural and not forced by the production team) chemistry between an Asian American actor and a Scottish actress. Before I go into the specifics, I would also like to point out that this show highlighted character development. I am not hating on shows like Criminal Minds or Bones as I am very big fans of them, but you can see how some American television series have the same plot for each and every episode. They have “long term” stories that are reflected in bits and pieces here and there throughout the season, but they are scattered in the big blue sea. The main story (of there is a murder, the team tries to find out, they do, and the criminal is behind bars/or get killed) sticks, and it is very predictable with different but somewhat similar dialogues. Selfie was not that kind of show, which I admired. The first three episodes, in my opinion, felt slow. But after that, all the episodes were hilarious with jokes that I actually laughed at without the help of an audience’s laughter in the background. So what were some highlights in season 1 of Selfie? I’d say if you are curious, you should watch from the first episode because you will see the character growth. However if you’re still doubtful about this show, I want to give three succinct reasons why this show should not have been cancelled.
1. Amazing cast (that means everyone that worked for Selfie) Everyone had their part in the show, meaning the story did not only revolve around Henry and/or Eliza. There was Charmonique (portrayed by Da’Vine Joy Randoph) with her being proud as a single mother (episode 4, “Nugget of Wisdom”), Bryn (by Allyn Rachel) and her friends from book club, Sam Saperstein (David Harewood) and his relationship with his new son-in-law, Terrance (Samm Levine), Larry’s (Brian Huskey) relationship with his wife, etc. I can go on. That is how much the show tries to shine light on other people’s lives other than the anticipating relationship between Eliza and Henry. And did all the actors portray their characters wonderfully? I’d say they did.
2. Sound of music I felt music was a big “prop” used in this series. It was not overly used (which Korean dramas tend to do), and it did not turn the show into an episode of Glee. The opening/ending scenes of several episodes introduced me to new, great songs, so kudos to the team who chose to have those songs for the series. Finally episode 10, “Imperfect Harmony” made me speechless due to its awesomeness. Watch this episode on Hulu and you will understand what I mean–but of course I hope you watch it from the beginning because that will bring a bigger impact on you with your sympathy for the characters.
3. Story and characters that actually stick with you The growth of Eliza and Henry within the season is heart warming, meaning that it made me happy for the characters. They saw flaws in each other by admiring each other. They realize new aspects of themselves by trying to figure out about other people, which what happens in real life. This show is called Selfie, but it was a (very) clear reflection of our lives… with a gloss of comedic happenings and idealistic characters. But the messages they try to give out are meaningful through the mouths of those characters, not anyone else. The plot and the characters had an actual growth in which I was able to also gradually learn to care for the characters. Selfie is a unique American television show in my opinion, based on powerful story and an wonderful cast. This is how much the show affected me–causing me to right this blog post about how wonderful this show is AND how upsetting that it’s cancelled. Firefly was cancelled after season 1, Community has not stopped (whew) and moved on to Yahoo… I should stop liking television shows I guess. Anyway, what I want to say is: great job Selfie team! You have earned a fan, and another (fun) motto has been added to my mental list.
Did you watch Selfie? What are your thoughts on it? Oh, you haven’t watched it? You should watch it so we can talk about it together!