Television: Selfie, "Pilot"

My Fair Lady is one of my all-time favorite musicals. Maybe it's because it was the first professional production I ever saw (with Richard Chamberlain as Henry Higgins), or maybe it's because I love the 1964 film so much, but for whatever reason . . . Anyway, my strong feelings made me nervous about watching Selfie, which is a re-telling of MFL for the modern . . .

Not adult, exactly, I don't think. I feel like Selfie is for younger viewers than me, even if the characters are ostensibly adults. John Cho as Henry is actually a solid bit of casting, and he does seem like a grown-up. And yet he's represented as something of a fuddy-duddy. As if to be smart and articulate, and to have [high] standards in this day and age, is a bad thing.

The flip side of this is Karen Gillan (yes, from Doctor Who) as Eliza. If "kids these days" are self-centered and narcissistic, Eliza here takes that to the extreme. But again, instead of this being an entirely bad thing, the writers see fit to try and make Eliza sympathetic by having her narrate her origins as an outcast back in grade school.

When Eliza becomes the butt of the joke again, this time in a viral video posted by coworkers and airplane passengers, she hits up marketing guru Henry to help her "re-brand" herself.

If the show was supposed to be funny, well, it wasn't. I didn't laugh once. And yet, it wasn't 100% awful either. The oil-and-water element of Henry and Eliza not mixing is definitely there; my question is whether they'll ever have any chemistry together, since they absolutely don't now. If there's supposed to be an element of Henry helping Eliza improve, and yet she also somehow makes him more "human" (and note Henry doesn't get some backstory to help us understand his behavior and world view, so the writers have failed to humanize him at all so far) . . . I can't see these two actors combining in a way that suits. But maybe the show will surprise me. I do love to be surprised.

So I'm not sold on Selfie, but I'm not completely discounting it either. Yet.

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