Somehow Selfie managed to escape my attention entirely. I had never heard of the show until the early preview appeared on Hulu. To be honest, this isn’t the type of show I normally go for. It looked alarmingly similar to Suburgatory which, unlike a lot of people, I found annoying and tiresome rather than witty and cute. In the interest of fair and unbiased reviews, however, I decided to give the show a chance.
The show begins with a brief introduction to our main characters, Eliza Dooley and Henry. Sound familiar? It should. A tv show that harkens back to Pygmalion or what is more commonly known as My Fair Lady automatically gains some credibility in my book. I feel better–more hopeful–for a moment.
Eliza Dooley could easily be the most annoying main character in the history of television. As someone that has watched more than their fair share of daytime tv, that is saying something. Some of you may think annoying can be cute–like Reese Witherspoon’s character in Clueless. Only in this case, she’s not. She’s annoying like bad case of the sniffles or like the taste of Mexican food that won’t go away no matter how many antacids you take.
She has a voice that one can only pray is an acting choice because its tone and quality is much like the sound a door hinge makes when it is in desperate need of some WD-40.
Then there’s Henry…an actor whose face I recognize but whose name I don’t know. He’s the only character on this show that seems to have a grip on reality. He doesn’t understand Eliza’s (or the rest of the world’s) fascination with social media.
Both he and Eliza work for the same advertising company and, while Eliza is the top seller thanks to the length of her skirts and “the fact that her lipstick matches her thongs”, Henry’s success can be traced to the fact the doesn’t create personal relationships with others.
In his words, “I find it incredibly easy not to form personal connections in a city that only values wireless connection.”
Up to this point, I’m underwhelmed to say the least. Eliza is on my last nerve especially with lines like this:
“I was hoping everyone had forgotten about my epic fail, or at the very least, would do like Elsa and let it go.” Seriously?
As she walks around with her nose in the air and her head in the clouds, she seems oblivious to the fact that everyone hates her until she gets sick and texts her “friends” only to find no one comes through.
“Being friended isn’t the same as having friend.” Ladies and gentlemen, we have a poet.
The next morning brings a confused, but no less snobbish, Eliza. She has “legit hamster breath” (We get it, ok? She’s a Valley Girl with the IQ of a tree toad) and she had no idea why everyone doesn’t fall over themselves to love her.
While in a business meeting with Henry and the rest of the staff, she has an idea. If Henry can rebrand a failed product, maybe he can rebrand her?!
This is actually painful to watch.
Henry agrees to take on the challenge of rebranding Eliza and I sigh heavily as I realize I still have half of this show to go.
But then, something amazing happens. Eliza becomes human. She sits at a wedding with Henry and watches with tears in her eyes as she realizes she may never have what the bride does. The tough, annoying, grating exterior breaks down and you see a glimpse inside of a tortured teenager who desperately wants to be liked.
As the half hour draws to a close we begin to see what this show is truly capable of. Henry and Eliza have a strange, irresistible sort of chemistry. The kind of cute, hate you/then I love you kind of attraction that you’re drawn to.
Can a show succeed solely on the chemistry of two main characters? I don’t know, but I’m intrigued enough to want to find out.