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Commentary Review: Selfie (S1/E2)

SELFIE improves on their 2nd episode, but I'm not seeing it getting much better.

SELFIE is trying. Just isn’t getting there. (Source: Pop Insomniacs)

COLD OPENSelfie hasn’t really improved by much, although the extremes of Henry were softened a bit. Karen just seems a bit too unrealistic to take her issues seriously. Although there are jokes that land, I felt more awkward as the show progressed. Having a very fake character deal with real-life issues is really weird. What made creator Emily Kapnek’s former show Suburgatory work (at least at first) was that the stereotypes she set weren’t constrained by the realities of the real world. Those extreme stereotypical characters had real issues, but it was still within their stereotypical world. Dalia, the unemotional, popular girl on Suburgatory, never really learned from mistakes (oh wait, she never made mistakes) and that was the character’s nature. Dallas, while more real than her daughter, was still overly-materialistic. In reality, it’s silly; but it was completely acceptable in the world Kapnek created. Tessa, the main character and very realistic, was the odd one out in this world (although the show’s demise was viewers’ dislike of mean Tessa). That is what made the show an interesting premise, being an outsider of these weird world. But Selfie is doing the inverse of that, like taking Dalia into the real world where she’s not really acceptable. The show wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun or intriguing, and Selfie is having that issue right now. Henry did bring a breath of realistic fresh air with his repulsion, acceptance, and eventual obsession over Facebook (oh stop it, we’re ALL been there). But the show’s so heavy stereotypical on Eliza’s problem, it just seems like too much. Again. This was a very long cold open, so shortened acts!

ACT ONE: Henry tells Dalia Eliza that her dress code at work is inappropriate and people think she’s sleeping with people in the office. Eliza actually informs Henry that she is, and tells him he’s out of touch with what’s normal in society, including not being on Facebook. Eliza knows deep down she wants a meaningful relationship outside of being booty call, and Henry’s curiosity about FB gets him when a group of employees mock him for his absence. Honestly, this was the funniest act of the whole episode.

ACT TWO: Eliza drops hints to booty call guy that she may want to see him outside the booty call, but he’s not into it. So Henry tells her to ignore him and have other interests besides guys. So she joins her neighbor Bryn’s book club. But Eliza becomes so obsessed with getting her “virgin” outfit right, she doesn’t take the time to read the book. Meanwhile, Henry becomes obsessed with Facebook and goes to the land you never want to go: the ex-girlfriend stalk. He sees they’ve all done great and had children, which puts him in a depressed place. It’s at this point where I asked myself how many other shows had the “I-don’t-know-how-to-do-technology” moments.

ACT THREE: Eliza, kicked out of the book club, realizes with Charmonique’s help that she can sleep with her boot call once a week, which could stop her obsession. But upon this realization fell down a street manhole. Yeah-bad sign probably. Henry realizes that he’s too obsessed with work and if he seriously wants a family, he needs to become more serious about relationships. Upon going through he sees a pic of Eliza in the hospital and rushes over. However, shortly after his arrival, booty call boy rushes in too, offering to take her home. Hey, a non-booty call activity: progress! Eliza’s on the up and up, although we get the inkling that Henry has now developed feelings for Eliza. oh. shocking. did not see that one coming.

THE CONCLUSION: I mean, see my cold open. Otherwise, an improved episode. Just not cutting it for me right now.

Things That I Noticed:

  • I realized that Eliza and Dana from Manhattan Love Story should be friends and have their own show. Stay with me here. Dana knows nothing about technology and Eliza is the Queen there. Dana is also way, way more down to Earth and could bring Eliza down with her. Dana would date the right, boring guys and Eliza would sleep with the wrong, eventful guys. Dana won’t feel alone with her best buddy Dana, but is venerable if they got into a fight. However, Dana would always be playing it safe and not be remotely interesting without Eliza around. We’d get rid of the whole MLS cast (okay, so Peter can recur) and bring Henry and Charmonique onto the new show. Tone Eliza down a few notches, bring Dana up intellectually, hire David Caspe (Happy Endings, Marry Me) to write and produce, don’t choose a major city as the setting, and oh my gosh, guys, we have our next show idea! This could work!
  • Props to the graphics guys: the text messages and “downloading Facebook” graphics were actually really cool.
  • I’m upset with how little they use Charmonique in this episode. But her kid, aw, had such an adorably sad line.
  • The beginning bit with Eliza and Henry was the funniest the show got; but hey, decent new title sequence.
  • I wonder how high the ratings would be if Selfie was behind Modern Family. Would it be more Super Fun Night (high premiere, but steep decline) or Mixology (low premiere, but low volatility in ratings & higher ratings than S.F.N.).

So sound off, guys, because I’m actually very curious about this: Is what Eliza said in the cold open of the show about “loving your haters” true/accurate? Is my show idea better than Selfie/Manhattan Love Story? Is Henry falling for Eliza too predictable?

Previous Episode: Episode 1 Review
Next Episode: Episode 3 Review

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