ABC's Selfie: Could It Be a 'Favorite'?

Selfie Series Premiere

Eliza Dooley has no real friends. And frankly, it’s not hard to figure out why.

In ABC’s new comedy Selfie, Eliza (Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan) is a narcissistic, social media-obsessed pharmaceutical sales rep, who considers her present-day Insta-fame redemption for those awkward, friendless teenage years.

But as Eliza observes in the first few minutes of Tuesday’s premiere, “Being friended is not the same thing as having friends.” It’s a lesson she learns the hard way, after she tosses her cookies twice en route to a business trip — upon learning that her co-worker boyfriend is, in fact, married — then watches the gleeful Schadenfreude creep across her colleagues’ faces.

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The comedy is based on My Fair Lady, Broadway’s hit 1956 musical, so it’s no surprise that Eliza turns to co-worker Henry (Sleepy Hollow’s John Cho) to get the image overhaul she so desperately needs. (Even though she has trouble understanding that it’s the inside that needs a makeover — not just the outside.) If Henry was able to rebrand a nasal spray that (allegedly!) caused Satanic hallucinations, repackaging Eliza should be a cinch, right?

Wrong.

Henry quickly realizes that Eliza has no interest in people other than herself — she doesn’t even know her office receptionist’s name! — her likes and dislikes are similarly vapid… but perhaps the most infuriating thing about Eliza is her tendency to run from her feelings. Case in point: When Henry attends his boss’s daughter’s wedding with Eliza, the gorgeous make-under she received from hipster neighbor Bryn immediately goes to waste. She conspicuously plays with her phone to avoid “the feels” the ceremony is giving her, and Henry informs her she’s a lost cause. (I would say ouch, but Eliza also brings the heat when she calls her mentor a “holier-than-thou, judgmental, hypocritical… coxcomb!”)

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But it seems Henry’s lessons for Eliza haven’t all been for naught. When she finds herself taking a genuine interest in receptionist Charmonique, Eliza runs to Henry and tells him that his pointers are actually working — slowly, but they’re working all the same.

If you went into Selfie prepared for a wholly unlikable protagonist, Eliza Dooley gives you more than your money’s worth. But you can’t help rooting for her by the end of Tuesday’s half-hour — and the series premiere packs in plenty of laughs, to boot.

That’s what we think — but did you like Selfie? Grade the series premiere via our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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60 Comments
  1. schu says:

    Why didn’t they show the whole episode they had posted online? The extended ending was cheesy as could be, but also pretty cute, I’m surprised they cut it for the tv premiere

    • mangolovenet says:

      I’m wondering the same thing. Maybe they didn’t like the rom-com-like ending? This new ending seemed a lot more subdued. I think I like the original ending better.

    • april-ann says:

      What was the extended ending (or the gist of it) they posted online?

    • gsmumbo says:

      I didn’t get to catch the pilot on TV, just online. How did this one end?

      • Caroline says:

        I watched it on Comcast On Demand a few weeks before it aired. The ending was, Eliza goes to Henry’s house to apologize. At first he is not interested in her apologies, but they talk and then it rains, Eliza’s favorite type of rain (they first talk about this in the beginning of the episode). Henry goes out onto the rain and he then he slips and she helps him and they are all giggly and a friendship is forged, hinting at a possible more-than-friends relationship.

  2. meg says:

    This show has some potential, I hope it gets a shot

    • Bryce says:

      Me too. I like how easy it was to watch. I turned it on, had a sly chuckle here and there, and before I knew it it was over. Very refreshing in a post-HIMYM, almost-post-Community world. Light and breezy worked for me.

  3. leigh says:

    I didn’t expect to like any of it. It was cute. Hope it lasts a while.

  4. MattArmando says:

    If you understood all of the pop culture references and such, then it was pretty coo. Grade it a ‘B’, because it could’ve been better, but John & Karen have such great chemistry that might keep people sticking around for more. It’s quite a cute show, just not sure of the longevity of the concept.

  5. Ben says:

    I really want Selfie to do well, but I feel like it will be impossible for it to overcome its terrible name.

  6. Para says:

    nope… just no.

  7. jo jo jo says:

    I liked it. It made me feel happppy

  8. S. says:

    One of the more insulting shows I’ve seen on tv. It’s like a few Gen Xers were griping about the problem with millennials and decided to do a show where they take a character that embodied those things (Gillan) and have someone highlight/fix them. Oh but it’s okay you guys, she’s showing the male lead he has flaws too, and we’ll sorta make it like it’s “My Fair Lady.” They totally missed the boat with the source material if they think this Eliza bears any resemblance to that one. The problem is we’re gonna have to put up with her obstacles being entirely drawn from a negative stereotype. I feel like every time those are used (which sounds like it’s gonna be a foundation for the show), it’s as if I’m being asked to get off the writers’ lawns. She’s not a person, she’s a caricature. When they adapted “Emma” to “Clueless” we got a person with priorities you might wish she didn’t have and a rather superficial approach to the world, but we liked her and she did genuinely care about others. “Selfie” feels meta and condescending. It’s frustrating because the cast is so amazing. I won’t even go into the whole ‘man trying to fix a woman’ thing. It didn’t help that this show went straight into the awful “Manhattan Love Story” where the opening partly involved a ‘oh you guys, women and purses, right?’ moment.

    • Amie says:

      I am so much in agreement with you. Pygmalion and My Fair Lady have a lovely heroine whose charm is hiding under some bad fortune — like she’s poor and hasn’t been raised to speak in a posh accent — so the whole idea is, hey, look, regardless of privilege and outside trappings, a person can still be a better person than somebody with rank and money. Instead, this Eliza is a moron and a jerk and SHE’S the one with the rank and privilege with another person of rank and privilege trying to train her. Anything resembling Pygmalion is lost in this meta, condescending, charmless mess. There’s nothing to like in either one of them, which is a shame considering the actors they got to play them are warm and funny and have a lot to offer.

  9. Tran says:

    Selfie is one of the new sitcoms that may end up as a huge disappointment. Sadly I give it an F.

  10. Jaymi says:

    Had to turn it off 10 minutes in, seriously just horrible!

  11. ... says:

    This was absolutely horrendous. Worst pilot of the fall thus far. The Emily Kapnek of Suburgatory season one is long, long, long gone, it seems.

    • Phoenix says:

      “Worst pilot of the fall thus far”? Bad Judge/Mulaney would like to have a word with you. I saw both of these pilots and they make Selfie look like an Emmy winner.

      • Mary says:

        That’s a scary thought! I lasted probably 10 minutes before I turned Selfie off, not even John Cho could save it,

  12. Aleana says:

    I enjoy it hope it has a shot

  13. Mika02 says:

    Hate the name, Love the show. I think it has great potential to be an it comedy. The leads have great chemistry.

  14. april-ann says:

    I thought it was good. It’s worth another watch. One comment, not really a complaint, is that the actress speaks so quickly it’s sometimes hard to catch what she’s saying. Or maybe speaking quickly isn’t the problem, it may be that she isn’t speaking clearly enough.

  15. Brigitte says:

    I just couldn’t get past the vomit scene within the first few minutes of the show. Vomit isn’t funny. Couldn’t watch past that.

    • Babybop says:

      Finally SOMEONE else who doesn’t think that vomit is funny. I fast forwarded through the entire vomit scene and actually enjoyed the rest of the show. It was cute.

      • Lucy says:

        That was my big concern as well. The show is cute, but the vomit scene at the beginning is a total turn-off. I like this show (mainly Cho and Gillan), and want it to have a chance to settle into something more viable for the long term, but I thought it was shooting itself in the foot right of the gate with that airplane scene.

    • april-ann says:

      Oh, I missed that. I knew I missed the very beginning few minutes. Didn’t know that is what I missed. I agree with you. That is such a turn off and had I seen it, I would have turned it off and not tuned in again after that.

  16. Megs says:

    I really liked it. I love Karen Gillan so I probably had high hopes going into it anyway, but I thought her and John Cho’s banter was quite entertaining and they seem to have good chemistry. I personally loved all the pop culture references, too. Also, I’m clearly in the minority here, but I really don’t think the title is that bad. Sure, there are about 50 other titles that would have been better, but this is by no means as bad as Cougar Town or Trophy Wife (the cancellation of the latter really bummed me out), both of which have slightly negative connotations in my opinion. The term “selfie” is harmless and it’s relevent to today’s social media culture.

    • april-ann says:

      I agree. As much as I can’t stand the word “selfie” as it applies to social media, the title is actually very clever. Her character is very selfish. But she’s trying to change, as much as she knows how to anyway, and at least wants to learn. It’s impressive that they were able to convey her selfishness while making her a sympathetic character at the same time, having us root for her instead of finding her offensive, hating her, and giving up on her. Their chemistry, their acting and the writing are the reasons for that. I thought it was well done.

  17. kd86953 says:

    muuuuuuuuuch better than i was expecting! the beginning was meh but by the end i was charmed. karen and john have a natural chemistry. i’m definitely curious to see where this show goes.

  18. kate'shomesick says:

    So much potential…the leads have FANTASTIC chemistry. I was invested in them right away though I’m usually not one for sappy romantic stuff.John Cho is brilliant and very likeable. I hope this will have enough time to find its footing and the right viewership.

  19. JeffDJ says:

    I wanted to watch the premiere for Karen, but wasn’t really expecting to like it enough to want to watch it again next week. But you know what, I thought it was pretty good, and will probably tune in next week.

  20. Lee says:

    Plenty of laughs? I laughed twice. This show sucks big-time!

  21. I enjoyed it. It kind of reminded me of Ugly Betty in a way–only it’s like the anti-Betty, if that makes sense. Looking forward to more!

    • TrickyGreyArea says:

      I was thinking the same thing re: Ugly Betty, but I thankfully didn’t get the vibe that this show would be as preachy as UB sometimes got. I really liked it too.

  22. MzTeaze says:

    This was definitely better than I expected. I will probably tune in for a few more episodes.

  23. Tom says:

    It got better once it got past the exposition I think future episodes could be a lot better since the setup is out of the way.

  24. Good cast, not so great script and direction.

  25. jalahyacinth says:

    Based on the musical? Please. Based on the okay. Which is a million times better.

  26. Steve F. says:

    Not that bad. Didn’t care for how her boss and coworkers were using buzz words and such, but overall not too shabby.

    And is it me, or does Eliza’s neighbor look a bit like Zooey Deschanel in New Girl?

  27. Ram510 says:

    I thought it was solid. I like John Cho. It was decent enough for me to watch another episode

  28. Katherine215 says:

    I enjoyed it a lot. The leads have great chemistry. If nothing else, I downloaded a nice little rain app because of it!

  29. Lizo says:

    I really liked it. Emily Kapnick is friggen genius with the way she captures today’s world. I have a few worries (I dislike a man trying to fix a woman), but I’m putting my trust in Kapnick to lead us down the subversive, funny path.

  30. Billy Ray says:

    I’m amazed by the people who will bad mouth a cop procedural for “been there, done that” which they are famous for but then fail to recognize that this is a spin on My Fair Lady as others have said, and that TBBT is just a spin of Friends. Blackish is a spin of a D.L. Hugely show from ten years ago etc etc In other words, been there done that.

  31. Jane says:

    I only made it to the first commercial and gave up it was so bad. Won’t be coming back for a 2nd look.

  32. Mark Yokum says:

    Amy said goodbye to her Raggedy Man and does well in this show. John Cho said goodbye to his Stoner Companion and does well here as well.

  33. MiaB says:

    I didn’t think the first episode was great, but the show has promise. The millennial with a social media addiction was more of a caricature than a character, but when they stopped trying to push that so hard it worked better. The next episode will tell us more.

  34. Jake Cardigen says:

    Like many others, I tuned in for Karen Gillan and because the Pilot online was very cute. There’s potential in this show cursed with another buzzword name — thanks yet again, ABC. However the aired version completely tears out the heart and soul of the show as quickly as possible.

    Cho’s Henry ranting about social media? Slice. Karen’s Eliza talking to the airline attendant to first reveal how deeply friendless she is and yet searching for help in this moment as she borderlines self-absorbed cliche which ultimately gets her a little help? Ha, we didn’t need you. How about the original introduction scene of Charmanique proving she’s friendly to everyone in the office as Karen hides & hangs back behind a plant to get a first reading of the office gossip about the plane incident? Nope, why start any character development here. Henry’s office friend is practically cut out of the entire episode when Eliza pleads for help so the scene feels awkward and rushed now while Henry & Eliza look off to this mystery couch both seem to believe made a comment here or there. The final two scenes are completely re-shot leaving in much of the dialogue, but killing the thrust that made the show so charming: Eliza’s small moments of becoming a person again and the gentle spark of interest between the two main characters as they try to keep this professional still. The second half of the Pilot is what made the show worth sticking around for, now it doesn’t.

    I would really like to know ABC’s reasons for showing off the Pilot for six weeks on ABC.com and then hacking the show up just before air. What aired isn’t the show most reviewers posted show reviews for and this needs to be looked into.

    • herman1959 says:

      I didn’t watch, but it sounds like the EP got cold feet and tried to fix the pilot before the season premiere…hmmm.

  35. Stephanie says:

    I don’t dig the name or certain parts of the concept, but I really like the actors and characters. We’ll see what happens.

  36. gregfromRI says:

    I have to say, I went into watching with low to no expectations and I found myself laughing… Or should I say lol. I do think the “My Fair Lady” angle is a little on the nose but has potential. I hope ABC gives this more than a few episodes, I do agree that Happy Endings and Trophy Wife were far superior shows but you must take what you get in network sitcom. #ttyl

  37. AcuraT says:

    Saw this on Netflix. The show has a chance, it was true to the book for the most part. The question is can it be made into a series? I guess if the “lessons” are small enough, it can be original for awhile.

  38. xiaspearl12 says:

    I was prepared to dislike; except I really like John Cho! The show as a whole has some potential, if it can keep the premieres energy level.

  39. DoctorWhoFanatic says:

    I think it’s hilarious and a fantastic albeit mocking portrait of the technology generation. And Selfie’s not a terrible title. If you consider that the whole point of the show is about taking a good hard look at yourself, who you are, and who you want to be, it makes total sense.