You guys all know Karen Gillan; you know her as the girl who waited in Doctor Who and also as the girl who ate a light bulb in the box office bomb, Oculus. The point is, you know her as dramatic actor. Therefore, I was uncertain of what to expect from her in a star comedic role. There is definitely potential in Selfie, but how long it will take to show that true potential is the question.
If it wasn’t obvious enough with the lead character being named Eliza Dooley, this show is based on the play and film My Fair Lady. Eliza Dooley is a sales representative who also happens to be a social media addict. She’s constantly updating Twitter and Instagram and cares more about what’s happening on the internet than in real life. Henry (John Cho) is a realist and believes that every social media user must be ditzy in one way or another. After a mishap on an airplane, Eliza realizes that she needs real friends instead of the fake ones on Instagram who don’t care about her actual well-being. Henry agrees to help “shape her” into a suitable person for society. And by shaping her into suitable person, that apparently means asking people how well they slept and dressing classy at a wedding – because people who use social media are always promiscuous.
Even after my skepticism, Gillan isn’t totally horrible. Sure the dialogue is cringe-filled, with her constant usage of hashtags and “OMGs”, but that’s the writers’ fault for trying to drill the problem down our throats. I wish they realized when enough was enough with the constant references. But Gillan herself seemed to deliver the material as she needed to. To me, it felt like she was trying too hard to be Zooey Deschanel, but for some reason I still found it adorable. However, the dialogue and the plot of changing Eliza’s personality seem to have a negative connotation for people who use social media. Sure, there are people who constantly are updating their Instagram and Twitter, but are they using hashtags in every sentence? Not the normal people. And do all social media-famous people dress like they’re going to a club? I don’t think so. And because one stereotype wasn’t enough, they had to make Eliza’s neighbor a very stereotypical hipster. And by stereotypical I mean floral print, bangs, glasses, and an awkward Lady Gaga bit with a ukulele.
John Cho has managed to pull off the look of exasperation and embarrassment perfectly from his past films, so him getting tired of Eliza’s selfishness goes perfectly with his usual persona. In fact, nothing has really changed from his Harold and Kumar days. I really do like him in everything he’s in, and it’s sad to see that he hasn’t had much luck in television since his short-lived show, Flashforward. So hopefully he will be able to stay in business for more than one season. He and Gillan do seem to complement each other in the mentor/student kind of relationship, but right from the get-go, the writers have already begun to try to install romantic feelings between them. Not only do I feel like we haven’t even gotten to know the characters yet, but I just don’t feel any chemistry between them either. They should spend more time in having us getting to know the motives of these characters before any romance is brought in.
All in all, I still don’t know what to feel about this sitcom yet. In all honesty, I wanted to hate it and talk so much crap about it but, aside from the writing, I could see this perhaps becoming a guilty pleasure. I’m not too sure how Gillan will fare, but as a Doctor Who fan, I am rooting for her.