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'Selfie' recap: The Internet is an illusion

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 4 | “Nugget of Wisdom” | Aired Oct 21, 2014

In episode 4, Eliza’s quest to better herself means working on being a more Henry-rific version of herself over the weekend. It’s a sitcom-y problem because Eliza has big plans for the weekend: She needs to go out, party hard, and post her exploits all over social media to gain more followers (or “follow whores” as she affectionately calls them) to stay ahead of her archnemesis/best friend, Fit Brit (played by Amber Rose), who is dangerously close to eclipsing Eliza’s social-media fame.

Eliza finds what she thinks is the perfect way to fulfill Henry’s requirement that she do something kind and selfless over the weekend without cutting into her Instagram time: She offers to help Charmonique get ready for her high school reunion, where she hopes to reunite with her puppy love/soulmate, Mitchell McMoney. First of all, any episode with a Charmonique storyline is okay with me. I love Charmonique, and I’m already sad that the show won’t have a chance to develop her.

Eliza’s commitment to doing good increases when Charmonique’s babysitter bails on her last second, and Eliza gets stuck staying in to watch Charmonique’s son, Kevin. This is when Kevin proves that true wisdom comes from the mouths of babes. Eliza is bummed that she’s going to be dethroned as the most-followed of them all by Fit Brit because she can’t go out and party, and Kevin points out that she doesn’t need to actually party; she just needs to look like she’s partying on Instagram, reminding her wisely that the Internet is an illusion.

Some strobe lights and careful placement of Charmonique’s $60,000 wig collection later, and Eliza is ‘gramming her heart out — convincingly enough to send Henry running to check on her (and Kevin — let’s be real, mostly Kevin). It’s a fun night in spite of Kevin’s anxiety about being away from his mom (which manifests in Eddie Murphy–esque sobs). And when they’re feeding Kevin his bedtime nuggets (the kid eats a lot of nuggets), Henry has an epiphany about how to rebrand the company’s failing kids’ vitamin: VITA-NUGGETS. Eliza points out that they could have a problem if the kids want seconds and Henry has a second stroke of genius — to simply change the branding around their boring chalky vitamins and market them as a safer alternative to tasty gummy vitamins because while they taste okay, they don’t taste good enough for kids to accidentally overdose on them.

It works out in the end, but completely undercuts Henry’s assignment for the episode. While Eliza was supposed to use her weekend to “work” (really just to be a little altruistic and improve herself), Henry was supposed to do the opposite. Eliza challenged him to take the weekend off from working and learn to relax and have fun. He kind of succeeded, since rebranding a chalky vitamin actually is his idea of fun, but he ignored the spirit of the challenge. This seems to be a recurring theme in Selfie. Eliza sincerely tries her hardest to do whatever Henry has told her she “should” do this week, while Henry half-heartedly accepts Eliza’s counter-challenge, only to give up halfway through and be rewarded for it.

It’s not something I expect to see change much in Selfie’s remaining nine episodes, but it’s something I like to imagine would have been a central theme of the show’s imaginary season 2. Eliza’s life would have really started to turn around in a significant way, and it would be Henry’s turn to realize that he really needed to make some changes.

Episode 4 also ended with a big hint that romance is looming somewhere down the line for Henry and Eliza. I knew that was on the horizon, of course. And in some ways, I’m into it. Karen Gillan and John Cho have incredible chemistry, and I would love to see their “redheaded Korean babies,” as Henry describes their potential offspring. And then, of course, there’s Selfie‘s source material, which set us up for the romance from the get-go. But still, there’s something interesting in the dynamic of their platonic love too, and I thought we’d get to explore that for at least a season before the will they/won’t they drama kicked into high gear. Now I wonder if I’ll make it to the end of Selfie’s short run without a first kiss.

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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