Selfie (2014)

The series follows the life of Eliza Dooley, a woman obsessed with the idea of achieving fame through the use of social media platforms, including Instragram where she regularly posts selfies. She begins to worry that "friending" people online is not a substitute for real friendship, and she seeks out the help of Henry Higgs, a marketing image guru. (from Wikipedia)


Every year before all the new shows start in America, I sit down and get to grips with what has taken my interest. I watch clips, research the official statements released. And last year, Selfie was one of the new shows that peaked my interest. I then never got round to watching it, not having the time, but was devastated when I found out it had been cancelled. That signaled to me this was a show I'd fall in love with, because I have a tendency to fall in love with shows that get cancelled. And I was not wrong: last week I finally got round to watching it, and I finished all thirteen episodes in one sitting. 

Eliza Dooley, played by Doctor Who's Karen Gillan, is a fabulous example of how the 'selfie generation' interacts with the world. I myself am quite prone to a selfie or two (it's just no one ever sees them) and I have grown up seeing the vast expanse of social networks taking over how we communicate. While a character like Eliza could annoy me, I see myself in her; she's a girl who hasn't always been pretty, but has grown to make herself someone she can be proud of and she interacts with the world through social media because she can control what she posts and what people see. As the story progresses, we do see that Eliza is so vain because she feels she needs to be pretty to be valued as a person. There is so much depth to her character, and she's so much more than the pretty face Henry, played by Star Trek's John Cho, initially thinks she is. 

Cho is wonderful as Henry Higgs, a man coming forty who doesn't get the 'selfie culture'. He doesn't even have Facebook. He does get it in one of the episodes, and it's a disaster. He represents a different time, the generation who don't are ignorant to what hashtags are used for. Somewhat of a grump, Henry and Eliza clash on many levels but a deep friendship is formed between the two, at all odds as they learn how to be better people from each other. The playful chemistry between Cho and Gillan is great, and I'm so sad the show got cancelled cause I would have liked to see where it lead. I've decided they get their happily ever after, but it would have been nice to actually see it. 

The show is inspired by George Bernard Shaw's book Pygmalion, which itself inspired a musical and film much more famous: My Fair Lady. Though I've never read Pygmalion, I have seen My Fair Lady and did enjoy its story. Selfie has the essence of the musical; something fun but with the serious message of be yourself, as you'll be much happier that way. I'm genuinely so sad there won't be more of this, when there are so many other programs that don't deserve another chance. But such is life, and at least Selfie went out of a high with a great final episode. 

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