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'Selfie' recap: Okay, so the second episode is pretty problematic

Starting to watch a show that you already know has been canceled — and I’m not talking after-a-solid-five-season-run canceled, but wow-the-network-really-bailed-on-that-fast canceled — is like expiration dating. Your time together might be beautiful, but it’s guaranteed to be brief and you might just be setting yourself up for heartbreak. This series will be dedicated to watching these shows with fresh eyes and an open, breakable heart — starting with ABC’s gone-too-soon rom-com Selfie.

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “Un-Tag My Heart” | Aired Oct 7, 2014

I’m continuing my journey with ABC’s short-lived Selfie. I had a really good time with the pilot. It was fun and engaging, and I laughed genuinely more than once. The best thing about the pilot by far, though, were the performances and the chemistry between stars Karen Gillan and John Cho. That gave me a lot of hope for the rest of the season, since good chemistry in a pilot tends to translate to great chemistry down the line.

Selfie delivered on that promise. In the second episode, “Un-Tag My Heart,” the chemistry between Gillan and Cho only got better. They appeared comfortable with each other and mostly on the same page from the start, and the comfort level only grew in episode two. That said, not everything about the second episode was an improvement.

The focus of the episode is primarily on Eliza’s relationship with her coworker, Freddy. He’s a generically good-looking, bro-ish guy at the office and Eliza is, as Henry calls it, his booty call. Eliza tries to defend herself, saying that Henry doesn’t understand her generation’s approach to sex, which is much more casual than his. (She erroneously calls him a Baby Boomer, to which he, a firm Gen X-er, takes great offense.) I love that Eliza gives the pushback. I love that she warns Henry against slut-shaming her. I love that the show acknowledges that it’s slut-shaming and gives us this moment. But then, a moment later, Henry wins. He doesn’t present Eliza with any reason that she needs to change the nature of her relationship. It’s fine for Eliza to want more commitment, of course, but she doesn’t have a believable arc that takes her from being okay with a casual sexual relationship to wanting something more committed. She just accepts that Henry is right and she is wrong and doing what Henry says will make her ~happier~.

For me, it was the low point of the episode. It’s tough, because Selfie’s source material is My Fair Lady/Pygmalion, so the premise is that she is broken and he can fix her. I like that our modern Eliza is feisty and fights back and stands up for herself, but I want her to do it even more. Alas, the theme of the episode is “stop being a slut, Eliza.”

To that end, Eliza joins her twee neighbor’s book club. In an effort to mimic said neighbor, Brynn, she goes shopping for vintage clothes that make her “smell like a dead person.” She dresses frumpily adorkable and tries (and fails) to read a book that she hates. She hopes this new hobby will distract her, because she assumes that her neighbor and her girl gang are sexless losers (which is also a bummer, and I wish Brynn & Co. had defended themselves on that front).

But, utterly unsurprisingly, it doesn’t. She gets kicked out of the book club when the group realizes she lied about reading the book. She goes for fro-yo and runs into Charmonique (who is amazing, and the show clearly had no idea what to do with), who mentions that it’s her “cheat day.” This gives Eliza a brilliant idea: She needs a cheat day for her relationship with Freddy. She leaves immediately to go to him, but is hit by a car en route, the show’s less-than-subtle way of saying that fate would like Eliza to keep her legs firmly closed. Le. Sigh.

While Eliza is busy trying to quell her very natural human urges, Henry is discovering Facebook for the first time. While Eliza learns to tone down her digital addictions, Henry is learning slowly (much more slowly than Eliza, so far) to loosen the rules he’s placed on his own life. After realizing that not having a Facebook account cost him an invitation to a company birthday party, Henry relents and signs up. He quickly falls into a spiral, stalking old high school classmates and ex-girlfriends. Because he’s still technologically illiterate, he accidentally tags himself as one ex’s breastfeeding baby.

Eliza comes to the rescue, helps him untag the picture, and even offers him some damage-control advice: “Text her ‘JK’.” But Henry decides that going digital is what got him into trouble in the first place and goes to explain the situation to her in person. Henry learns a valuable lesson of his own. While he’s been busy at work, everyone else he knows seems to have gotten married and had kids. He realizes that just because he doesn’t indulge in digital friendships doesn’t mean his relationships are necessarily any stronger or more real than Eliza’s.

His foray into Facebook is valuable for one other thing, too. As he’s mindlessly scrolling through his newsfeed, he sees Eliza’s hospital selfie and rushes to her side. To his surprise, however, so does Freddy. Freddy wants to take her home, and not just to hook up. He wants to be seen outside with her and make sure she’s okay. It’s a win for Eliza. She gets the commitment she’s come to want for herself. She gets the guy who everyone thought would never like her as more than a casual fling. And Henry learns that Eliza is more than just a project; she’s the closest thing he has to a real friend.

Aww, right?

All 13 episodes of season 1 of Selfie are available to stream on Hulu.

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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