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'Selfie' review: What's not to 'like?' Plenty

Social media superstar Eliza Dooley, played by Karen

Social media superstar Eliza Dooley, played by Karen Gillan, in ABC's "Selfie." Credit: ABC / Eric McCandless

THE SHOW "Selfie"

WHEN | WHERE Tuesday night at 8 on ABC/7

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) is a social media superstar, with hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, and Facebook "friends," with countless "likes" every time she posts a "selfie." She doesn't realize how monumental her self-absorption is until she suffers an embarrassing incident on a plane, in front of co-workers. She then goes to a star marketing exec at the company where she works as a sales rep for guidance: Would he help her to become a fully functioning human being? The exec, Henry (John Cho, "Harold & Kumar" movies), has serious reservations, or in his words, "You are addicted to the instant gratification of the unearned adulation from a group of perfect strangers you insist on referring to as your friends." But he likes challenges, and this is a big one. So . . .

MY SAY "Selfie" is based on George Bernard Shaw's classic 1912 play, "Pygmalion," which has inspired other classics -- notably "My Fair Lady." Now, at this point, all obligatory references to classic plays and motion pictures must come to a screeching halt: "Selfie" is dopey.

It takes one idea and two appealing actors -- Gillan ("Doctor Who") is pure charm, beauty and talent -- then squanders everything. That's not easy to do, even on commercial TV, so a brief explanation of how this happened is in order. Foremost, the fundamental logic of the premise is flawed. Why should Henry want to "cure" her? Why would she want to be cured? (Reasons are given here, but they're bound by logic that binds the logic of cartoons.)

Meanwhile, the Eliza of film and play was always the true heroine -- her Cockney roots a vital force in comparison to the decadent aristocracy, represented by Henry. He and his class were in need of remediation, not Eliza and her's. But "Selfie" producer Emily Kapnek ("Suburgatory") treats Eliza with contempt. If the show thinks Eliza is contemptible, why should viewers think differently?

BOTTOM LINE There's some charm here, but it's as fleeting as a tweet.


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