Selfie Creator Justifies Buzzy Title, Hopes for Suburgatory Visitors

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The stars and creator of ABC’s fall comedy Selfie were forced to do a little self-examination Tuesday during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, beginning with a defense of the show’s seemingly unlikable main character.

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“We meet her at a place where she has her flaws intact,” executive producer Emily Kapnek admitted of Karen Gillan’s self-obsessed — not to mention social media-obsessed — Eliza Dooley, adding that John Cho’s seemingly perfect Henry is also not without his flaws. “This is just a jumping-off point. [The series] about the evolution of these two characters.”

The show’s title was also up for discussion, as many critics worry it will feel outdated as the series progresses. Kapnek said she doesn’t share their concerns.

“‘Selfie’ is a very provocative word,” Kapnek explained. “For us, it really speaks to the disease that Eliza has,” which is that she keeps the world at arm’s distance. “It becomes a descriptive word for us. It felt natural to keep it as the title of the show.”

As for why Gillan isn’t keeping her Scottish accent on the show — which is crazy charming, especially when she spouts Eliza-isms like “doof” — Kapnek said it was “important to the material that [Eliza] be American.”

Kapnek also joked, “I don’t find Karen’s accent all that convincing. People are charmed by it, but I feel like she’s in and out of it a lot.”

And get this: In order to hone her exaggerated American attitude, Gillan said she drew inspiration from “all the girls who went to Soul Cycle.” (Editor’s note: She nailed it.)

Fans of Kapnek’s recently cancelled ABC comedy Suburgatory also can hold out hope for those actors (not characters) to appear in her new world at some point.

“I’m absolutely in love with those actors,” Kapnek said. “If there’s an opportunity to bring them in organically, I’d love to.”

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27 Comments
  1. androme3 says:

    As soon as I heard the title of this show, I was immediately turned off.
    And when I heard Amy Pond was in it, I really couldn’t believe it.
    Oh well, I wish this show well anyway.

    • Moment says:

      I see the show as an early cancelation(And schedule pull), but I do wish Karen Gillan well, hopefully she’ll get more roles in the future. I’m just not sold on the premise, and it being an 8pm show, ABC will have less tolerance for failure.

    • Rich says:

      The title turned me off as well… Then I watched the Extended Trailer that explains and sets up the premise of the show and lo and behold we have a modern day “My Fair Lady” replete with Hurricanes, Higgins, & Heart!

      I’m down with Karen Gillan, and I think Cho can deliver as well.

      I’m hopefully optimistic.

      • Moment says:

        It’s up against NCIS(CBS), Utopia(Fox), The Voice(NBC), The Flash(CW) in the 8pm slot. I would love to be optimistic for the show too, but given the heavy competition I can’t see it hitting much more than mid 1s on premiere.

    • CGS says:

      I think the title is extremely appropriate, and maybe it will make girls like Eliza stop and think about things for a minute.

      I just hope they use that song “#SELFIE” as the theme song. One of the best satirical songs ever.

  2. M3rc Nate says:

    I love Karen, and i really like Cho, but this show hadn’t interested me because of its Title. Selfie? Most people hate the word, hate what it represents, and my feeling was this show was gonna stay that way…but from seeing the long trailer (seeing Cho as a character that’s helping her) and reading this article saying she will be evolving, becoming a better person, more in touch with the real world….i will tune it. My hope is this show will be funny, with a lot of heart, and heart that will grow more and more as she evolves, eventually by season 3 lets say, she is a great woman, not caring about fashion and the kardashians so much but caring about real things that really matter. That’s not a bad show IMO.

    Oh and did i mention i love Karen Gillian? I also agree, they should have found a way for her to keep her scottish accent, i love it, its adorable and sexy.

  3. Shuayb says:

    I will give Selfie a try because the actors are quite good.
    Karen can be funny and well Cho when given good material
    He can be hillarious…
    I think the premise of the show is very nice and broad so
    It can concievably run for a while. There is a lot to play around
    With….
    They need to bring the funny and remove the cheesy then
    They will have a winner. C’mon Whovians Amy needs our support…
    Imagine a future season where the Dr watches Selfie on tv and sees Karen… How meta would that be?

  4. Rachel says:

    I’ll give it a try since I like Karen Gillan and John Cho. However, if it doesn’t get funny fast, I won’t keep up.

  5. Lindsey says:

    ABC really has a way of having the worst titles for their best shows. Given that and the fact that I like the cast, I will at least give this a shot.

  6. The title, “Selfie” is an albatros. The word is already branded as in uncool in popular venacular. It describes a practice that is self-obsessed and narcissistic, conjuring preconceived negativity about the subject matter. The name really smacks of excecutives (those dredded suits!) trying to be cool with the kids, but only showing how out of touch they are with popular culture. All this, and it’s not even on air yet. Poor John Cho.

  7. Tom Charles says:

    Can I just say Jane Levy would make a great sister to Karen Gillian

  8. Et. Al says:

    ABC comedy formula:

    Stupid title that turns off viewers: Check.

    Not allowing actress loved for her accent use said accent. Check.

    Stupid scheduling choices: It will happen.

    Netflix burn-off: likely.

  9. John says:

    Still not going to watch. Sadly I have a feeling this show will attack the Kardassian fans and wanna-bes. If only because KK is as self obsessed as the character on this show.

  10. Rachel says:

    Trying this just for the cast, LOVE John Cho and Amy is great, too. The title is off-putting and the trailer didn’t sell me on the show, sadly.

  11. christine says:

    I’d watch Karen Gillan in any tv show or movie. I adore her. She will always be Amelia Pond though.

  12. Tess says:

    The sad truth is that so many people judge a show by the title alone and often will not bother with a show if it’s got a silly title that makes it seem like it’s stupid, even if it’s the funniest thing on tv. You would think ABC would’ve learned from the likes of “Cougar Town” and “Trophy Wife” – if a good sitcom comes your way but it’s got a goofy throwaway title, you need to change it before it makes it to air because people will not bother to watch it no matter how good it is. I hope for Karen Gillan and John Cho and everyone else working on the show that people don’t write it off just because it’s a stupid title, but sadly, it’s more likely they will than won’t.

  13. Diz says:

    I watched the trailer/sneak peak awhile back and wrote it down as a pass for me.

  14. Ally Oop says:

    The title is annoying, definitely a turn-off and all through the development cycle I cringed everytime I read it. That being said, I liked the trailer, not for the girl character but for Henry. I really like John Cho is the trailer.

  15. Tina says:

    but why is she in the “thirties” ? I thought maybe in early 20’s for this behavior but if you are acting like this in your thirties… ….. ….

  16. Steve F. says:

    The good: Amy Pond!
    The bad: Do we really need an updated version of My Fair Lady?
    The ugly: Will this mean John Cho is off Sleepy Hollow?

    I predict this’ll go a month and a half, tops.

  17. liz says:

    I’m really intrigued by it. I love Kapnek’s voice as a creator so I’ll be tuning in. Add Gillan and Cho to that and I’m excited.
    .
    Plus I’m hoping for some more Pygmalion references :P Eliza Dooley haha.

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