Laura Tormos ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Selfie started to some generally mixed reviews last week, especially due to its title, and while it is still by no means completely on its feet, “Un-Tag My Heart” seems to be taking the characters in a much more solid direction than it had in the pilot—a development many find promising. This week, the narrative focuses more on expanding upon the dynamic between Eliza (Karen Gillian) and Henry (John Cho) rather than solely on Eliza’s flaws.
The fear many had with the pilot was that it seemed that the entire concept of the show would focus more on the flaws of social media and the “millennial.” This week, Selfie was all about obsessions, which is a rather obvious direction to take, given the concept, but it presents the idea that Henry is not quite the knight in shining armor he was cracked up to be. What works so well is that rather than completely focus on Eliza’s obsession with men and having Henry ride in and have her reevaluate the perspective on her perceived “self-worth” (which is an entirely different ball game), they gave him a parallel storyline in which he also tackles his own obsessions: both emerging and those that already present.
While Eliza is struggling to find other interests to occupy herself with to help her stop answering booty calls, Henry takes a page out of Eliza’s book and, after being made fun of by his employees, decides to emerge himself in the world of Facebook. Hilarity, of course, ensues. He goes through all the things we’ve all once been (or still are) guilty of after making an account: his first friend is his mom, takes Buzzfeed quizzes, falls down the rabbit hole that is cute baby videos, and, what is sure to be the most relatable part of his Facebook experience; accidentally tags himself as his exes’ breast-feeding baby. Pretty standard stuff.
While Eliza is in a book club trying to fit in so she could resist the calls of The Booty, Henry walks in in desperate need of her help to rectify the Facebook debacle he’s made for himself. After a few quick strokes he is un-tagged, but Henry decides to go talk to his ex-girlfriend to clear things up.
It is after this conversation when Henry realizes that, just like Eliza, he has missed out on life for being too connected, he’s missed out on being too grounded. His obsession with work has hindered his relationships, which is a pretty fantastic bit of character development to happen this early on. While reflecting on this, he goes on Facebook to find Eliza’s hospital bed selfies, and decides to go to her.
Selfie’s direction with taking two characters that are polar opposites in almost every sense and having them learn from each other works. Currently, their only connection is their mutual need for advice, and although they seem to be laying down the foundations for their relationship to possibly develop into something more, for now, their reluctant-coworking-friends dynamic works, and might even be more interesting for it to stay that way.
Although Selfie largely relies on exaggerated approaches, it manages to get across the truthfulness of the situations at hand in a comedic way that is actually funny from the get-go. This is quite impressive, considering how often people have to get used to a show’s style when watching a sitcom. There are, of course, moments of exaggeration that seem gratuitous: like when Eliza falls into a manhole after being hit by a car in a way to get across some sort of cosmic message that she should not fall into the temptation of answering a booty call. However, since Eliza is such an exaggerated character, it might make sense that she needs exaggerated situations to fit her personality. Thankfully, however, something that refrains from being exaggerated (unlike Eliza’s relationship with her booty-caller) is Eliza and Henry’s relationship, which grounds the show, and is the one aspect gearing it away from being too superficial.
Overall Grade: B+