Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Underthinking Pilot Season: Selfie

Cat here. Guys, I think I finally found a show that I really like. I know it's silly and it's not perfect but it makes me laugh. And when it's not making me laugh, it makes me smile. Though I was not into the voice-over. Enough, fall TV season. Enough with the voice-over.

For one thing, it was just a well constructed half hour pilot.

"Being butt ugly wasn't what I wanted to be noticed for... so I took a lesson from the most popular girl in 7th grade. It took me 14 years to perfect it but now, I was insta-famous."

Done and done. How hard was that, other pilots? The way she has her moment of crisis and comes to the realization that she needs Henry to help her feels natural.

For another, the show actually bothered to sell us on the protagonist. We're told early on that she's the company's best performing sales rep so we know we're working with some level of competence. She's intensely flawed but not detestable. I feel like a lot of shows go overboard with making the characters vile or incompetent for the sake of shock value or humor and then have a hard time reining it back in to make us care about them as human beings. Sure, Eliza's a little vapid and clueless but she was horrified to learn that the man she was interested in was married. She doesn't completely fall apart in a bad situation but she doesn't recover flawlessly either. Her credit cards are maxed, she's keeping the litter box of a cat that died six months ago and she forgot to throw out some old lo mein but she isn't so ridiculous that I can't see her as a human being. She interrupts a wedding by playing on her phone. She doesn't do something so heinous that we wonder why no one cuts her out of their life. Overall, I just feel like there's a nice balance. There's someone in the driver's seat who knows what they're doing and that's reassuring.

As for John Cho, the last two things I saw him in were Go On and Sleepy Hollow back when I was still watching Sleepy Hollow. I watched all of Go On. It was great. Anyway, he seems so much more awake and present here. I'm glad to see him engaged in a role again.

Now obviously the show is called Selfie and the main character is obsessed with social media so a lot of that is presented onscreen. I think it's a little hit or miss. There are parts of it that I like and times when it is less successful. I thought the gifs were cute but I don't need things constantly flashing on screen.

Finally, I will admit that a lot of my love for this show is probably residual Suburgatory fandom. I'm used to the creator's voice and rhythms and characters. We have yet another ginger leading lady and I'm accustomed to the way the characters talk and the timing of the jokes. There are shades of particularly Dahlia and Lisa in the characters of Eliza and Brynn.

Final Conclusion: I have great hopes for this show. I think it is funny and charming and exactly what I want from a half hour comedy. If you like Suburgatory and The Mindy Project and maybe just a touch of Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23, I think you'll enjoy this show as much as I did. If you can't stand the protagonist after the pilot, the show's just not for you and there's nothing wrong with that. I'll just be over here enjoying a show that plays The Weepies.