THE SHOW: Selfie
THE PAIRING: Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) and Henry (John Cho)
THE EPISODE: “A Little Yelp From My Friends” – (aired October 14, 2014)
THE MOMENT: Henry and Eliza connect over lunch…
I wasn’t overwhelmed by romantic moments this week, so I decided to go with one from last. In what may be one of the most underrated new shows this Fall season, Selfie, continues to surprise me with its heart, humor and authenticity. Don’t let the name fool you. The show represents everything the title isn’t. And in a show that is a very loose take on Pygmalion/My Fair Lady, it’s no surprise that some great romantic moments have decided to pop up. Thus far, I have one particular favorite I decided to spotlight for a couple of reasons. One, it’s a great moment that represents what all great romantic comedies do – a believable, likable romance with humor and depth. And second, maybe I’ll convince one person out there to give the show a chance who perhaps thought it was only about a self-absorbed girl taking selfies and tweeting them to all her followers.
What Selfie really is, is a cute satirical romantic comedy about two characters (Eliza and Henry) discovering themselves as well as each other – with a lot of funny gags of course. This show may have a self-absorbed leading lady, but there’s a purpose behind it. And what this show isn’t – is shallow. What I love about Selfie, is that this show embraces what makes us love old-fashioned romance.
However, I also love the humor. On a little aside, for instance, let’s all take a moment to give the producers a round of applause for casting Amanda Foreman (Felicity – the hilarious Goth roommate) in a small part in this episode to play the disgruntled wife of an employee who constantly tries to surprise her with flash mobs.
There was just so much win in this little snapshot alone. But if that wasn’t enough to convince you to watch, then maybe this week’s choice for romantic moment will…
ROMANTIC MOMENT: HENRY AND ELIZA
Earlier in the episode, Henry discovers Eliza eating on her lunch break hunched over a trash can away from everyone else.
He questions her, confused by her “anti-social” behavior. She tells him that she digests better standing up. But after the employee meeting with their boss (who has decided all co-workers must rate each other from 1 to 10 on how connected and close they feel to each other based on Channing Tatum’s supposed rating system with his wife) where Eliza received a zero from co-worker Joan, Henry decides to give Eliza a new assignment: connect with Joan.
By the end of the episode, after Eliza has made a little more leeway in becoming less selfish, Eliza and Henry come together in a sweet moment that not only made me smile, but made me actually really like and connect to Eliza.
The scene begins with Eliza entering Henry’s office.
“Since it seems you’re still determined to eat lunch over a trash can I had Charlie buy you that.” Henry says as he points to a really cute, English designed trash can (a little wink to Doctor Who fans perhaps?).
She looks it over, smiles and announces that “it’s cute.”
“Go ahead. Try it out,” Henry encourages. Eliza takes her food, leans over the trash can and takes a bite.
“It works, I like it!” Eliza announces. But then Eliza becomes a little suspicious (in a light-hearted way) of his intentions.
“Is this your way of trying to get me to eat with you?” She asks.
“Not with me, near me. I know how important it is for your digestion to eat standing up.”
Eliza suddenly becomes serious and after a long pause speaks up, wanting to have a moment of real human connection:
“Actually, that’s just an excuse I use because growing up no one ever wanted to sit with me at lunch. Now I’m just kind of used to it.”
Cleverly, the writers here make Eliza more relatable. Most people at some point or another have felt that moment where they are excluded or left out. But Eliza’s example is more extreme. No one EVER wanted to sit with her at lunch. She is a misfit who became self-absorbed as a survival technique to hide from constant rejection and ridicule.
Henry recognizes the honesty of this moment, stands up and joins her by the trash can.
“Well, in that case…is this seat taken?” Henry asks.
She smiles because for maybe the first time ever she is connecting with a friend who truly cares about her. Eliza then adds to the scene with a little voice-over:
“When a friendship is real you can feel it. And no disrespect to Channing Tatum, but it probably doesn’t need to be rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Although if I were going to…”
“Six!” Eliza announces.
“4.7 – which rounds up to a 5,” Henry replies. Though one suspects he feels much more than a 5.
Eliza’s continued voice-over closes the scene with a nice little add-on: “Maybe we didn’t suck at office friendships after all.”
Have you been watching Selfie? What did you think of this moment?
Photo Credit: ABC
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