EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Selfie' series premiere recap: Social media can ruin your life

Season 1 | Episode 1 | “Pilot” | Aired Sept 30, 2014

Despite what people say, the need for social media acceptance is highly desired in our society. Having followers and being friended creates a false sense of belonging. Selfie takes the familiar romantic story of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady and gives it a 21st-century technological twist.

Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) was voted “Most Butt” back in middle school. Unfortunately, her classmates weren’t talking about an impressive backside when they gave her that superlative. Not wanting to be considered butt-ugly anymore, Eliza decided to reinvent herself and became “instafamous.” Now she has thousands of followers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, who follow and like her every post. Thanks to her charm, wit, and miniskirts, her current job is the lead sales representative for a pharmaceutical company.

The episode opens with Eliza on a plane with other members of her company. She’s super-confident about herself as she heads over to her new boyfriend. Also on that same plane is Henry Higgs (John Cho), who is not impressed with Eliza’s antics. He’s disgusted with people who feel like they must post everything about themselves on social media. Eliza fits that category, as she has naked selfies alongside photos of her breakfast.

Eliza has some mile-high plans for the plane trip, but that all changes when she discovers that her boyfriend is actually married. It turns out that everyone knew this except for her. Overcome with disgust and embarrassment, she manages to fill up two air sickness bags with “panic pudding,” which then explode all over her as she walks to the bathroom. Her coworkers gleefully pull out their phones to make sure that Eliza’s social super-failure is made public. None of her real-life friends will come to her aid, and Eliza realizes that just because you’ve been friended online doesn’t mean you have friends in real life.

She goes to work, but everyone still remembers what happened to her on the plane. During a meeting, the president of the company, Sam Saperstein (David Harewood), reveals that Henry has successfully rebranded a nasal spray that had previously given the company a negative image. To show his appreciation, Sam kisses Henry on the mouth (he had read an article that Asian men are more comfortable with showing this sign of affection) and reminds him that he’s invited to his daughter’s wedding, and that he needs to bring a date.

Highly impressed by Henry’s ability to turn something unwanted into something desirable, Eliza wonders if he can do the same to her. He finds her in his office, where she tells him she has poor instincts, a weak stomach, and no real friends. He adds loose sexual morals to the list. She wants to change her image and become a better person so that she’s not butt in real life. Henry reminds her that someone can be beautiful on the outside and still be butt on the inside. “Just like Gwyneth Paltrow,” mutters Eliza.

Something about Eliza makes Henry reluctantly agree to help change her, though. They start off with simple tasks such as attempting to not talk about herself all the time, trying to not using her phone, and making a stab at a decent conversation with the receptionist. Eliza fails with all of these tasks. It’s as if she’s never had human interaction or learned basic social skills in her life. What makes her happy? Her rain app on her phone. What is she most confused by? Plus-size skinny jeans. Even though her vapid answers baffle Henry, he’s still intrigued by her; that’s probably why he decides to take her to the wedding. He gives her these instructions: “Makeup should be light, your dress less tight, hair should be tame, your face softly framed, no six-inch heels, no cleavage revealed, nothing coarse, nothing sleazy, and bring a wrap in case it’s breezy.”

Considering that she claims to have not a single piece of clothing in her wardrobe that isn’t slutty, it makes one wonder exactly how in the world Eliza got a job in the first place. She decides to beg for help from her neighbor Brinn (Allyn Rachel), a hipster, do-it-yourself, book-club type of girl whom Eliza despises. After a ukulele Lady Gaga singalong, Brinn and her friends successfully make-under Eliza so much that Henry is impressed, but he cannot bring himself to admit the physical transformation is a success. He tells her not to bring her phone because the wedding is not about her today.

At the wedding, while Eliza’s new looks win her points, her attitude is still hasn’t changed. During the vows, she realizes that she’s afraid she won’t find someone who will ever love her in that same way. She then falls back on the escape plan she’s used her entire life: her phone, which causes a commotion during the wedding. Henry is furious at her for not following his instructions and tells her that she’s incapable of transforming and a lost cause. She fights back, telling him that she googled him and found out his ex-girlfriend dumped him because he wasn’t fun and that he’s a coxcomb (or a vain and conceited man). It’s such a random SAT-word kind of insult that I think Eliza is way smarter than she acts.

What follows is a very choppy forgiveness scene between the two that seems pretty rushed. Eliza is told at work that she’s changing Henry (despite the fact we haven’t seen any of this yet); then she runs to his house (how did she know where he lived?). She asks for his forgiveness and tells him that the whole reason she acts this way is because she’s scared of having the feels. He agrees that her insults of him were correct, and he semi-apologizes back and agrees to continue to help her. He does disagree that he’s uptight—he’s just formal.

Karen Gillan is best known as Amy Pond from Doctor Who, as well as Nebula from this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, so she comes to this show with a built-in fan base that will have to get used to her in a comedic role. Hopefully as the season goes on, her attempts at an American accent become better, as it currently stand out. The same with Eliza’s hair, because we all know Gillan shaved her head for Guardians, and there were several times during the episode where it seemed obvious that she was wearing a wig. John Cho is always excellent at deadpan humor, and it seems like we’ll be seeing a lot of that from him as this character. Major props for the casting of an Asian-American male in the leading role, though the bit about the Asian male stereotypes seemed unnecessary and out of place.

The biggest thing going against this show is the title, as it’s a word that people tend to hate … but the premise of the show is interesting and timely. Even if we don’t want to admit it, there are many of us who are Eliza to an extent when it comes to social media. The cast is excellent, but if it’s going to continue with the predictable My Fair Lady/Pygmalion story line, there need to be some outstanding twists in the upcoming episodes. Gillan and Cho have good chemistry together, and I hope we’ll be seeing more of that play out as the season continues.

Selfie airs Tuesdays 8/7C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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