New show: Selfie
When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC
Cast: Karen Gillan, John Cho
Premise: If you can get past the first four minutes of this “Pygmalion/My Fair Lady”-inspired comedy, you’ll start to see some serious promise (that is a warning to anyone moved to heaves when prolonged on-screen upchucking occurs!).
Gillan plays a vapid social media star with no “real” friends, who, after an embarrassing incident on an airplane (which of course, goes viral), needs some rebranding help from her company’s marketing whiz (Cho).
The “My Fair Lady” theme is so strong (and tongue-in-cheek) here that Gillan’s character is named Eliza Dooley and her teacher (Cho) is named Henry. As Henry, Cho is the stuffy grown-up in the room – the person spouting “these kids today”-type lectures and the one you expect at any moment to order youngsters off his lawn. (Though in one charming sequence, he rhymes when instructing Eliza on the proper wardrobe and makeup for attending a wedding – I had a little Rex Harrison flashback!)
Cho has nice chemistry with Gillan, who somehow makes the narcissistic Eliza a funny and sympathetic character. With the help of Henry – and a neighbor with a gang of resourceful friends – Eliza shows the potential of not only becoming a woman with class and taste, but a human being with a heart. And, who knows ... maybe she’ll even find a few real friends to replace the online strangers she’d previously worked so hard to impress.