Selfie (TV series)

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Selfie
Selfie ABC logo.png
Also known as再造淑女 (China)
Genre
Created byEmily Kapnek
Starring
ComposerJared Faber
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producers
Producers
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time21–22 minutes
Production companiesPiece of Pie Productions
Warner Bros. Television
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network
  • ABC (episodes 1–7)
  • Hulu (episodes 8–13)
Picture format720p (16:9 HDTV)
Original releaseSeptember 30 (2014-09-30) –
December 30, 2014 (2014-12-30)

Selfie is an American television sitcom starring Karen Gillan and John Cho. Created and executive produced by Emily Kapnek for Warner Bros. Television, the series debuted on ABC during the 2014–15 television season.[1][2] The series premiered on September 30, 2014.[3] The pilot was made available early through video on demand and online streaming media on August 20, 2014.[4]

The show was canceled mid-season by ABC on November 7, 2014.[5] On November 13, after broadcasting the seventh episode, ABC announced that they would pull the remaining episodes of Selfie and replace them with encore episodes of Shark Tank and Thanksgiving/Christmas specials.[6]

On November 25, 2014, the first of the remaining six episodes was released online on Hulu and WatchABC.com. The rest followed on a weekly basis, with the last episode airing on December 30, 2014.[7][8]

Despite being a short-lived series, critics later showed interest in Selfie as more episodes were released.[9] There were also many supporters for the fan campaign.[10] TV Guide called Selfie the "Best Turnaround" series of the decade.[11]

Premise[edit]

The series follows the life of Eliza Dooley, a sales representative at KinderKare Pharmaceuticals. She is obsessed with the idea of achieving fame through the use of social media platforms, including Instagram and Twitter, where she regularly posts selfies. She begins to worry that "friending" people online is not a substitute for real friendship, and she seeks help from co-worker Henry Higgs, a marketing image guru.

The character names are a reference to Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, the main characters of the 1912 George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, further popularized by the 1956 musical My Fair Lady. In the play and musical, Henry is tasked with improving Eliza's social status, and ends up falling in love with his own creation. The Shaw play is in turn inspired by a story from Greek mythology, that of Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had created. The series featured modern social problems and music.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

  • Giacomo Gianniotti as Freddy (based on Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Eliza's boyfriend and a lawyer at KinderKare Pharmaceuticals[12]
  • Allison Miller as Julia Howser, a pediatric urologist that Henry dated
  • Samm Levine as Terrance, a KinderKare office floater (later promoted to customer service) who marries Sam's daughter Maureen in the pilot episode, becoming the son-in-law of Sam and Yazmin Saperstein
  • Brian Huskey as Larry, a lab technician[13] at KinderKare Pharmaceuticals
  • Matty Cardarople as Charlie, Henry's assistant
  • Jennifer Hasty as Joan, fellow KinderKare Pharmaceuticals employee and Saperstein's secretary
  • Patty Troisi as Linda, another KinderKare employee
  • Nikhil Pai as Raj, KinderKare's new Human Resources employee
  • Hayley Marie Norman as Maureen Saperstein, married to Terrance, daughter of Sam and Yazmin Saperstein
  • Natasha Henstridge as Yazmin Saperstein, the wife of Sam Saperstein, mother of Maureen and mother-in-law of Terrence
  • Kelsey Ford as Prue, Bryn's friend and member of the book club
  • Colleen Smith as Wren, Bryn's friend and member of the book club
  • Amanda Jane Cooper as Eyelet, Bryn's friend and member of the book club
  • Sapir Azulay as Thistle, Bryn's friend and member of the book club
  • Keith L. Williams as Kevin, Charmonique's son
  • Tim Peper as Ethan, Henry's friend at KinderKare. Ethan appeared in the pilot episode, and was in promotional images with the main cast, but left the show after that

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
US viewers
(millions)
TV
1"Pilot"Julie Anne RobinsonEmily KapnekSeptember 30, 2014 (2014-09-30)2760815.31[14]
Eliza Dooley, a narcissistic pharmaceutical sales representative who finds herself attracted to social media, experiences travel sickness while aboard a business plane after finding out that the man she slept with often was married. Also aboard the plane is Henry Higgs, a successful marketing rep, who expresses his extreme dislike for social media and those who use it constantly. After being the subject of humiliation when her sickness bags explode over her, she decides to seek help from Henry Higgs after discovering that her social media popularity does not translate into off-line friendships. He begins by getting Eliza to ask people how they are, instead of just talking about how she is, and to make pleasant conversation. When Henry invites Eliza to his boss' daughter's wedding, she requests the help of her nerdy neighbor, Bryn, to find something suitable to wear. However, after the wedding, where Eliza uses her phone to play games, the two of them argue. Eliza calls Henry an anti-social, judgmental, critical workaholic, and Henry calls Eliza a lost cause. Eliza share a conversation with receptionist Charmonique about something other than herself, and Charmonique compliments her, stating that whatever she was doing with Henry was working. Afterwards, Eliza finds Henry at his house, and apologizes for her earlier remarks and actions, and the two become friends again.
Note: There are two different pilots. The original TV broadcast is longer (26 minutes) and alternate pilot used on streaming services is shorter (21 minutes). The opening and ending scenes were the main differences.
2"Un-Tag My Heart"Phil TraillAmelie GilletteOctober 7, 2014 (2014-10-07)4X68533.77[15]
Eliza explains the use of social media to Henry. After finding her flirting with Freddy, another employee, Henry forces Eliza to think about how she is perceived in the office. After observing the key points of her relationship with Freddy, she comes to realize that she is no more than a booty call for him. Taking advice from one another, Eliza attempts to obtain a hobby other than casual sex, while Henry creates a Facebook account. Henry finds that social media is addictive, and Eliza needs help getting Freddy to think about her more seriously. Eliza decides to take on a club, so she decides to join in on her book club, though she is quickly found out as not having read the book. Meanwhile, after being warned not to by Eliza, Henry starts to look in on his ex-girlfriends on Facebook. He then visits one at her house to apologize for tagging himself in her photo as her baby by accident, due to Henry having no Facebook experience. After deciding that having sex with Freddy would give her the strength to not have sex with Freddy again, Eliza gets hit by a car and falls down a manhole, before getting admitted to a hospital. Henry checks in on Eliza, but ends up accidentally tagging himself in one of her photos as a bedpan. Henry promptly deletes his account. Freddy also visits Eliza, but instead of it being a booty call, Freddy simply wants to make sure that if she needs a lift or help, he's there for her.
3"A Little Yelp from My Friends"Alex HardcastleJessica O'Toole & Amy RardinOctober 14, 2014 (2014-10-14)4X68523.44[16]
Henry is continuing to try to get Eliza to talk to people instead of using her phone continuously, but his project on her still isn't working. Sam Saperstein orders his employees to work on their interpersonal connectivity, initially by getting them to rate their connection on a scale up to ten with the employee sitting next to them. All goes well, up until Joan, a fellow employee who still has a grudge against her, gives Eliza a zero, though she believes that Eliza's bound to not notice since she's always staring at her phone. This is due to after having found herself extremely hungry, Eliza had eaten Joan's gazpacho. This leads Henry and Eliza to the realization that their most valuable office relationship is with each other, and Henry gives Eliza the job of befriending Joan. Eliza tries be friends with Joan by stalking her Yelp account with the help of Charmonique, and attends one of the dance classes that she attends. Eliza is eventually caught out by Joan about her Yelp-stalking, and admits that she was just trying to get to know her. Meanwhile, Larry attempts to get closer Henry after his wife leaves him, which Henry finds awkwardly frustrating, given that he's not an overly social person. Henry convinces Larry that his penchant for flash mobs won't get his wife back, and that a simpler gesture would work. Larry buys flowers and his wife appreciates this. However, Raj from KinderKare's HR department commences with the flash mob anyway, to Larry's horror.
4"Nugget of Wisdom"Alex HardcastleEmily KapnekOctober 21, 2014 (2014-10-21)4X68543.82[17]
Henry challenges Eliza to help others during the weekend, so she offers to babysit Charmonique's young son, Kevin, while Charmonique is at her high school reunion, in an attempt to reconnect with Mitchell McMoney (Isaiah Mustafa), her high school sweetheart. However, Mitchell has become a priest and spends the evening berating Charmonique for having a child out of wedlock. Charmonique realizes that she is a great mother to Kevin, tells Mitchell that she regrets nothing about her life choices, and that she loves herself. Charmonique ends up dancing by herself at the reunion, but does so happily. While babysitting Kevin, Eliza tries to one up Fit Brit (Amber Rose), a fellow socialite. Henry tries to come up with a way to improve a chewable vitamin that put KinderKare Pharmaceuticals on the map.
5"Even Hell Has Two Bars"Eric AppelMathew HarawitzNovember 4, 2014 (2014-11-04)4X68563.67[19]

Sam Saperstein invites Eliza and Henry to spend the weekend at his Santa Barbara estate. Henry uses the opportunity to aim for a promotion. Eliza tries to loosen up the other guests, which only foils Henry's attempts to prove himself. Henry gets the promotion though, and the two reconcile, with Henry admitting to have grown accustomed to her face.

Note: Despite airing directly before the episode "Never Block Cookies", the two episodes are chronologically switched. Terrence mentions his promotion to customer service at the start of "Even Hell Has Two Bars" but is promoted towards the end of "Never Block Cookies".[18]
6"Never Block Cookies"Eric AppelBrian RubensteinNovember 4, 2014 (2014-11-04)4X68553.23[19]
Seeing how stressed Henry is, Eliza and Charmonique try to liven up his love life. In the process of getting Henry ready for (unbeknownst to him) a night out with dozens of potential dates, Eliza and Henry share a possible spark of romance, which they both quickly ignore. Upon realizing what Eliza and Charmonique have planned, Henry storms out, but runs into Julia, a woman who is as stiff and socially awkward as he is. They leave together. Terrance tries to seek the approval of his father-in-law Sam Saperstein. Upon realizing that Terrence does not become angry, (Sam even tells Terrence that Terrence is not good enough to be married to Sam's daughter), Sam decides that such a personality is well suited for customer service, and promotes him.
7"Here's This Guy"Christine GernonBrian ChamberlayneNovember 11, 2014 (2014-11-11)4X68573.25[20]
Henry begins a courtship with Julia, a pediatric urologist, eliciting jealously from Eliza over the decreasing time they share together. After Eliza posts immature comments about Julia on a review site for doctors, Henry calls off his sessions with Eliza, who is preparing to introduce a speaker at a pharmaceutical conference. Eliza apologizes to Julia and bakes her a cake in the shape of the human urinary tract, upon which the two come to an understanding, if not a friendship. After making the introduction, Eliza finds that Henry did attend after all, and cries with happiness when he agrees to continue their lessons.
Hulu
8"Traumatic Party Stress Disorder"Joe NussbaumSierra Teller OrnelasNovember 25, 2014 (2014-11-25)4X6858N/A
For Henry's fortieth birthday, Eliza gets him tickets to see his favorite band, Blues Traveler. The concert creates friction between him and his girlfriend Julia, who is turned off by Henry's outgoing side being brought out by the music. Eliza also throws Henry a surprise birthday party, inviting the KinderKare staff while he is away at the concert, but upon arrival he is upset, with Julia having left. While Henry regrets yelling at Eliza and his coworkers, Julia returns later and admits her own discomfort. She admits that she can be cold at times, but that she is dedicated to their relationship, and upon kissing Henry, offers to spend the night. The next day, Henry admits to Eliza that he had a very good birthday.
9"Follow Through"Claire ScanlonEric LedginDecember 2, 2014 (2014-12-02)4X6859N/A
Henry convinces Eliza to follow through on her good ideas (specifically about a way to boost diaper cream sales). Upon getting asked to meet his parents, Eliza realizes that her relationship with Freddy is getting serious, which freaks her out. Meanwhile, after turning down the advances of Wren, one of Bryn's friends, Henry tries to convince Bryn to make Sam's favorite sandwich, which was being withheld. At dinner with Freddy's parents, Eliza realizes that her relationship with Freddy isn't really love and breaks up with him. Back in her apartment's elevator, she thinks about her friendship with Henry, the memories of her and Henry and how Henry is her only true ally who would always be there for her. When the elevator door opens, Henry is there (having come to apologize to Wren during a book club meeting). Eliza seductively, on the other side of the elevator, "reveals herself" in front of Henry, following through on her idea that the two of them could be together. Henry freaks out and leaves, but Eliza decides not to get discouraged, and vows to continue to follow through.
10"Imperfect Harmony"Elliot HegartySarah TapscottDecember 9, 2014 (2014-12-09)4X6860N/A
Eliza attempts to find out Henry's feelings towards her, and in one confrontation, she admits to have fallen in love with him. Henry is in denial of his own obvious feelings towards Eliza, while also doubting that Eliza has any real feelings towards him. Henry decides that the risk is worth it to pursue a relationship with Eliza, but backs off after talking to a drunk Freddy at an office party. Henry wonders if a fear of commitment is why Eliza dumped Freddy and is pursuing him instead. Eliza is insulted by this theory, and tells Henry that she can see through his own relationship with Julia and how he is not in love with her. Julia, who was going to surprise Henry at the party, overhears and exits. Henry claims to be following after her, causing Eliza to revert to her party girl mentality, drinking heavily and ending up in bed with Freddy again. Henry, meanwhile, has not gone after Julia and begins to regret his choice of not being with Eliza.
11"Perestroika"Claire ScanlonJessica O'Toole & Amy RardinDecember 16, 2014 (2014-12-16)4X6861N/A
Tension begins to brew in the workplace between the two after Henry cannot reciprocate his feelings towards Eliza. A dire financial situation befalls her, due to her reckless spending, which forces her to be evicted from her apartment. With no one to turn to, she seeks out Henry's help on her finances to control her spending, which in turn reconciles their friendship between them. Eliza and Julia have an unexpected confrontation, leading Eliza to realize that Henry and Julia are no longer a couple. Meanwhile, Eliza and Freddy decide to take their relationship to a more serious stage.
12"Psyche"
"Stick in the Mud"
Danny LeinerMathew Harawitz & Brian RubensteinDecember 23, 2014 (2014-12-23)4X6862N/A
Eliza's sister, Bethany (Stephanie Koenig), visits. This reveals a childhood sibling rivalry once shared between them, which Eliza is unable to let go. KinderKare Pharmaceuticals holds its annual charity event, but decides to forgo the usual 10 km run for an obstacle mud run. This displeases Henry, as this event is Freddy's forte. Eliza suggests that Freddy mentor him on this event. During training, Freddy cannot help but harbor animosity towards Henry and their fighting during the actual race allows Charmonique to pull off a surprise win. An important lesson is learned through this ordeal, in which differences are overcome between Henry and Freddy as well as Eliza and Bethany.
13"I Woke Up Like This"Eric AppelAmelie Gillette & Brian ChamberlayneDecember 30, 2014 (2014-12-30)4X6863N/A
With Henry's help, Eliza confronts her old school rival, Corynn McWatters (Julianna Guill), who has been selling a book in which she claims the unpopularity, loneliness, and bullying that Corynn had in fact inflicted upon Eliza during middle school. Through this Eliza learns to accept and embrace her former, more awkward self, and to see herself as a role model given how far she has come in life. Henry has challenged himself to skateboard on a ramp after merely having pretended to be a skateboarder ever since high school. Breaking an arm in the process, he now sports a cast with "NO FEAR" written on it, and reflects upon his adventures with Eliza. Henry decides that he has the courage to eventually express his feelings to Eliza, but will wait until the right time.

Ratings[edit]

Viewership and ratings per episode of Selfie
No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" September 30, 2014 1.6/5 5.31[14] 0.3 0.78 1.9 6.09[21]
2 "Un-Tag My Heart" October 7, 2014 1.1/4 3.77[15] 0.4 0.97 1.5 4.74[22]
3 "A Little Yelp From My Friends" October 14, 2014 1.0/3 3.44[16] 0.3 0.85 1.3 4.29[23]
4 "Nugget of Wisdom" October 21, 2014 1.1/4 3.82[17] 0.3 0.84 1.4 4.65[24]
5 "Even Hell Has Two Bars" November 4, 2014 0.9/3 3.67[19]
6 "Never Block Cookies" November 4, 2014 0.9/3 3.23[19]
7 "Here's This Guy" November 11, 2014 0.9/3 3.25[20]

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

Selfie released the pilot episode early on Twitter on August 20, 2014.[4] The show officially premiered on September 30, 2014, Tuesday, at 8:00PM PST on the ABC Network. It was up against competition in the same time slot with NCIS (season 12) on CBS, The Voice (season 7) on NBC, and The Flash on The CW, and Utopia on FOX, which later changed programming to MasterChef Junior (season 2).[25][19][26] The first 7 episodes aired on ABC and after its cancellation, the remaining 6 episodes aired on Hulu.[8]

International broadcast[edit]

Warner Channel in Latin America aired Selfie on October 4, 2014.[27] Warner TV Asia in some Southeast Asian countries aired the show on December 3, 2014.[28][29] The series was also shown in South Africa on Vuzu Amp on January 15, 2015 and later on Vuzu on April 29, 2015.[30] Kanal 5 premiered the series in Sweden on May 22, 2015.[31] It was introduced on RTÉ2, television channel in Ireland on June 15, 2015.[32] On July 6, 2015, the show aired on the ETC channel in the Philippines.[33] In South Asia, Selfie was broadcast in India on November 8, 2015 on Zee Café, a premium channel.[34] The series premiered in Australia on streaming platform Stan in 2015.[35] The series began on TV2 in New Zealand on August 30, 2015.[36] In Poland, the show appeared on Comedy Central Family Poland on August 25, 2016.[37]

Home media[edit]

For a limited time, Selfie streamed on the ABC website and Hulu. It was on Hulu from November 25, 2014 to May 2015 and returned on May 1, 2016[38] until April 30, 2019.[39] No official DVD or Blu-ray was made. Currently, Warner Brothers have not released the show on any streaming platforms.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On October 8, 2013, ABC picked up a pilot from creator Emily Kapnek, which was described as a comedy inspired by My Fair Lady.[40] On May 8, 2014, it was ordered to series.[41]

Casting[edit]

It was reported on February 18, 2014 that Karen Gillan would star as Eliza Dooley.[42] On February 24, 2014, Tim Peper and Da’Vine Joy Randolph were cast for the pilot.[43] Allyn Rachel joined the show on February 24, 2014.[44] David Harewood was added to the cast as Sam Saperstein on March 6, 2014.[45] John Cho was announced as the male lead for Henry Higgs on March 13, 2014.[46][47]

The producers initially intended to cast Henry Higgs as a white Englishman who was several generations older modeling after the original character. The casting process was very extensive. The creator, Emily Kapnek said, "We looked at tons of different actors, and really once we kind of opened our minds and said let’s get off of what we think Henry is supposed to be and just talk about who is, we just need a brilliant actor—and John [Cho]’s name came up." She also mentioned that the ABC network was the first to suggest color-blind casting.[48][49] Julie Anne Robinson, another executive producer who later worked on Bridgerton, revealed in 2021 interviews that she advocated casting Cho and had to persuade higher positions that he was the perfect choice for the role, which took a long time to consider. Robinson fought for Cho and won, saying, "That's what I'm most proud of about that whole pilot."[50][51][52]

Filming[edit]

Since Karen Gillan was filming Guardians of the Galaxy at the time, she had to shave her head for the role of Nebula and then wear a wig as Eliza on Selfie. In the pilot, she wore a generic wig for most of the first episode, then later switched to a personal wig that was made from her real hair after the character's makeunder scene and for the rest of the show.[53][54][55] Her personal wig was made by the same costume department that worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[56]

In the sixth episode, "Never Block Cookies" written by Brian Rubenstein and aired before the cancellation was announced, the writer described the behind the scenes with Gillan and Cho's characters, Eliza and Henry, having an intimate moment, which lead to an almost kiss. Rubenstein said that he remembered that moment in particular: “Emily [Kapnek] came down and was sort of orchestrating how that whole thing would go. Just the chemistry between those two was really cool to watch; it felt that way on set.”[57]

Post-airing[edit]

After the show was canceled, a fan campaign was created and the remaining six filmed episodes of Selfie were released on the ABC website and Hulu on November 25, 2014 until May 2015. The series was originally intended to have a full first season with 26 episodes in total. One of the writers, Brian Rubenstein, mentioned to The A.V. Club in 2017, "I know we had a plan for what the next 13 [episodes] was going to be for their story, but I can’t for the life of me think of it right now!"[57]

He also said, "You need time to figure out the show, and come together and fully realize what it is.” The writer continued, “It’s very rare that a comedy is just roaring out of the gate. You need to give things time to find the voice. I can’t speak to the business side of things recovering or ratings growing or whatever that is, but it does suck that we are on such a short leash—and we all do feel it, but at the same time there’s nothing we can do about it.”[57]

Rubenstein was surprised Selfie was still being brought up even long after the show was finished. He recalled being confused at work when a writer’s assistant suddenly asked him several questions about the show. The assistant informed him that the series was on Hulu's front page at the time. Rubenstein remarked, "So that’s really cool that it can live on in that way.”[57] Selfie returned to Hulu on May 1, 2016[38] with all 13 episodes until April 30, 2019.[39]

Cancellation and fan campaign[edit]

Despite reasonable potential for the series,[58] Selfie had problems attracting an audience. Ratings slipped after the first episode to an undesirable 0.9, and remained stagnant through the season. It was also up against long-running shows like NCIS and The Voice in the same time slot.[19][59] As a result of this, ABC announced that Selfie would be cancelled on November 7, 2014.[5]

Fans began a #SaveSelfie campaign to keep the television show on the air. A fan from Kentucky, Erika Lawson, created a change.org petition for a second season renewal with over 65,000 supporters.[26][60] In order to bring more awareness to the movement, fans also made fan media, held contests, and fundraised[61] for charity. The fundraiser was created on December 24, 2014 by Clinton Alvord[62] with the support of Lawson[63] and other fans. It was inspired by the show's character, Henry who regularly donates to UNICEF. They raised $1000[64] for UNICEF on Crowdrise (later acquired by GoFundMe) by January 31, 2015.[65] Another fan, Heather Johnson, retweeted as many #SaveSelfie hashtags as possible, created "Save Selfie" t-shirts and caps, and along with other fans mailed lipsticks to the president of ABC Studios. She also tweeted a picture of herself with her boyfriend using the same pose as actors on the show depicting a similar relationship as a White-American woman and Asian-American man highlighting that representation in media is important.[10][66]

The seventh episode of Selfie was aired on November 11, 2014, which would be later realized to be the final aired episode on network television. On that same day, Guy Aoki, founder of Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), pitched in to help with the cause by contacting ABC President Paul Lee and diversity head Tim McNeal inquiring what could be done to save the show. While Lee was a big champion of the sitcom, the rating numbers were not there. When sponsors place ads on a television program, the network guarantees a target number. If it does not reach the audience target number, the network would have to refund the money to the sponsors and end up losing money. The next step would to ask advertisers to be patient to give the series a chance grow, but the ABC network did not give any more opportunities to broadcast the rest of the episodes. The ABC President said, "Unfortunately once we make those decisions it's impossible to go back on them...It was a very difficult decision because it was a very, very good show."[67] Aoki noted that Selfie series trended on Twitter in the Los Angeles area peaking at #5 with 50,000 tweets about the show in a month. Many fans from around the world like the U.S., U.K., Italy, China, Brazil, and Russia expressed their grief over the cancellation.[10]

On November 19, Kapnek tweeted that all remaining episodes of the series would be released online on Hulu, Hulu Plus, and ABC.com, with official confirmation coming a few days later.[68][69]

While many fans were complacent with news, MANAA was still determined that the studio should try to shop to another network. After Johnson attended a meeting with MANAA, she attempted to contact the Warner Brothers president at the time, Peter Roth, since the show was produced by the same company. However, Roth's secretary hung up on both the fan and Aoki. She also sent an email message to Roth's office, only to receive a message from Selfie's publicist. Aoki followed up and noted while the company was "definitely aware" of the #SaveSelfie movement, they could not reveal if there was any plan to save the series. Since the studio put the episodes for free online, it was determined that they were not interested in shopping to another television network. However, persistent efforts from the fans helped push the online release of the remaining episodes sooner than normally expected, which was about two weeks after the cancellation.[10] Compared to the early cancellation of Manhattan Love Story on ABC, which also aired the same Tuesday night as Selfie, it took over a month for the rest episodes of Manhattan Love Story to be released.[70]

After the show ended, Selfie continued to have a dedicated following of fans years later.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Initially, reviews were unfavorable towards the show's pilot episode. Hillary Busis of Entertainment Weekly wrote on October 3, 2014 about the first episode that “There could be a decent show trapped within Selfie … Too bad the show’s cruel sense of humor and reliance on instantly dated references … may very well drive away viewers before they can see what Selfie and Eliza become.”[71] In addition, EW staff criticized the show's flawed portrayal of social media and stated that "technology and social media is integrated far more naturally into the lives of most people."[72] Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast remarked, "It’s not often that a comedy is both this endearing and repugnant. It’s hard to remember when a sitcom was as relatable and inviting as it is alienating."[73][9] Brian Lowry of Variety wrote, "There’s much to be said about social media self-obsession in the digital age, but almost nothing memorable about it in this latest spin."[74]

However, later reviews began to show interest in the television show. Eric Francisco from Inverse mentioned, "But a funny thing happened on the way to cancellation: Selfie got better. Cho and Gillan displayed more comfort in their roles — and their chemistry became electric, then downright hot." He pointed out that "it seemed that it took a cancellation for people to realize that Selfie was the first American comedy series to feature an Asian-American romantic male. Busis changed her opinion of the show in a follow-up on EW.[71] Vulture lamented its cancellation.[75] Salon did too,[76] calling Henry and Eliza “the most promising interracial couple on TV.”[9] After picking up the series again on a whim, Busis said that Selfie was "a show that’s firmly on the upswing—and I’m bummed to see it cut down just when it was starting to realize its potential."[71] The New Republic observed, "'Selfie' has quietly turned into one of the funniest, most delightful sitcoms on TV."[77] Francisco stated, "Selfie wasn’t perfect, but it deserved to grow — and Cho deserves another chance at leading a major TV series; it seems as if networks gave him just one chance, while most white actors get shot after shot at a successful show."[9]

Even years after, Selfie is still referenced and praised in articles. The series has been featured on lists about recommended shows or shows cancelled too soon like on Nerdist,[78] Entertainment Weekly,[79] E!,[80] Thrillist,[81] USA Today,[82] and Collider.[83] In December 2019, Megan Vick from TV Guide stated, "Selfie remains the best turnaround of the decade, that we started to appreciate too late."[11] In September 2020, Kirby Beaton of BuzzFeed published an article titled "Selfie Was The Millennial Show We All Needed And I Miss It Every Damn Day."[84] In October 2020, Alexis Nedd from Mashable wrote that Selfie would greatly benefit with a different name. The show displayed good comedy, engaging characters, consistent emotional arc, and strong chemistry between the romantic leads. Nedd also noted that it was "one of the first sitcoms to address social media addiction and influencers with nuance and understanding."[85] In August 2021, Elizabeth Logan of Glamour reviewed a romantic comedy film, He's All That, but also brought up Selfie stating its premise was perhaps ahead of its time. Logan remarked, "If the algorithm is listening, I have a suggestion: Netflix, buy up the few episodes of Selfie. Your audience is primed for it."[86] In January 2022, Lyvie Scott of Slash Film commented, "A 'Selfie' reprisal would have plenty to play with — and it wouldn't hurt to see Gillan and Cho pick up their fantastic rapport once more."[26]

Fandom[edit]

Selfie gained a cult following after its broadcast.[87][88] When the cancellation was announced, dedicated fans attempted to revive the show by displaying their support on social media with hashtag #SaveSelfie, email messages, phone calls,[10] $1000 donation to UNICEF,[64] and a change.org petition with over 65,000 signatures.[26] However, no other television network picked up the series. Hulu and ABC.com were only able to show the rest of the unaired episodes for a limited time.

After the show ended, several fans throughout the years have given support to Karen Gillan regarding Selfie at conventions[89][90][91] and asked what were her thoughts about the possible ending for Eliza and Henry.[92]

In July 2015 at a Nerd HQ event, actor Alan Tudyk recommended Selfie to the audience and highly praised Gillan by saying, "I don't know what goes on with ABC and all the Warner Brothers. I don't know how they decide what stays and what goes, but I feel like if they had given that show a real shot, Karen would have been getting Emmys. I don't know any other comedic actress on television that was delivering such a solid performance week after week after week."[93][94]

In January 2018, in an interview with John Cho on one of NPR's podcasts, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Linda Holmes said, "People still really miss and talk about Selfie. It goes by on my Twitter feed relatively frequently how much people miss it." Cho replied that he also misses the show. He mentioned that it was very fulfilling for him and that he had such a good time working on the series.[95]

Cho was a guest on the podcast of They Call Us Bruce Lee episode 47 in August 2018. One of the hosts, Phil Yu remarked that fans from all different backgrounds would like to see Cho reprise his role on Selfie. Cho responded that he thought about the idea of having a musical film of Selfie, going back to its roots with My Fair Lady.[96] In a January 2019 Bustle interview, Gillan also supported the thought of making a movie version so that Henry and Eliza's story could have closure.[97]

Gillan commented about the strong fanbase for the short series[98] and how she still gets questions about Selfie. In 2019, Gillan said, "Yes! Oh, my God. It's actually so crazy how much of a lifespan this thing has had considering it was only 13 episodes." She also stated that she would love to work with Cho again on another project.[99][100]

In an interview with Refinery29 in July 2021, Gillan responded that she still gets constant tweets from fans saying they miss the show. The actress is also open to revisit the show with Cho suggesting a smaller project.[101] She was also informed that she is most known for Selfie on her IMDb page.[101][102]

Additionally, Selfie had a resurgence in China in 2021 because there were trending videos of the characters, Eliza and Henry on social media like Weibo[103] (3 million views) and Bilibili[104] (1.5 million views). The show is known as a different title in Chinese: 再造淑女; lit. 'Lady Makeover; Lady Reincarnation' and has an above average score of 8.4 out of 10 on Douban.[105] Chinese audiences had positive reactions to the show and mentioned that it was similar to Korean dramas, which are popular internationally. The gradual approach to the romance, chemistry between the leads, and the main character's personal growth were also appreciated by the viewers. Many Chinese fans were sad and disappointed that the Selfie did not continue with a second season.[106]

Da'Vine Joy Randolph said in May 2022 that it meant a lot to her and the cast that people still talk about the series eight years later. She also mentioned that she would join a Selfie revival and suggested a movie or limited series.[107]

In July 2022, when asked about Cho's thoughts on the show's cancellation, he answered, "I'm still stunned to see how many people still love that series. And yeah, I was bummed when it got canceled. I just thought that was a good show."[108]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Selfie was nominated for the "Favorite New TV Comedy" People's Choice Award for 2014.[109][110]

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External links[edit]