Last night, my wife and I watched the pilot episode of the new ABC comedy Selfie, with stars John Cho (quite well known for his film work as a stoner in the Harold and Kumar franchise) as well as Karen Gillan, a brilliant Scottish actress that I adored during her tenure on Doctor Who — my wife doesn’t care for the show and so she just had to take my word for it.
We both enjoyed the show — I think I liked it a little bit more than she may have, but what I found to be a little bit disturbing was how much reality I found to be in this fiction.
There’s a scene in which John Cho’s character reprimands Karen Gillan’s character for looking at her phone while they are having a conversation, and my first thought was, “Why does this have to happen so often?” People will relentlessly check their phones while they are out with you at a meal, or even start sending a text message while they are looking right at you and telling you something — how important could the thing you’re telling me be if you’re simultaneously paying attention to an entirely other person?
I cannot understand why, much like Super Fun Night, a non-American actress was put to take on an American (if you’ll excuse the broad use of the word) accent and not just talk as she normally does. Much like I would have been fine watching Super Fun Night with Rebel Wilson playing a character who moves to the US from abroad, I would be perfectly fine accepting Karen’s character as being a Scottish woman who gets a job in New York and moves there and the rest of the show can be exactly the same. We actually turned on closed captioning for one quickly uttered hash tag expression from Karen at one point.
Whether the show will have staying power is hard to say, though given that the show is essentially My Fair Lady for the Instagram generation, it is really only a matter of time before Eliza is exactly as she should be, and then the plot will be resolved and have nowhere to go.