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The word “selfie” continues to have its moment.
The new ABC sitcom Selfie, from executive producers Julie Anne Robinson and Emily Kapnek, centers on social media-obsessed Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan), who learns from self-image expert Henry Higgs (John Cho) to put down her smartphone and communicate with people face-to-face once in a while.
Here are five things to know about the series.
1. Broadway fans will be happy. The show is a modern take on My Fair Lady, the musical about a gentleman who tried to reinvent a less sophisticated woman. (My Fair Lady itself is a Pygmalion update.) Indeed, the names of the two lead Selfie characters pay homage to My Fair Lady‘s main pair, Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. Just don’t expect anyone to break out into “Get Me to the Church on Time” right away.
2. Its star was in the summer’s biggest film, but she looked a bit different. Gillan might not exactly be a household name yet, but you’d recognize her covered in blue makeup. Indeed, the Scottish actress’ biggest role thus far is Nebula, Thanos’ adopted daughter in Guardians of the Galaxy. She also appeared on Doctor Who. Meanwhile, Cho was in one of last summer’s biggest hits, Star Trek Into Darkness, and has had a recurring role on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow.
3. You won’t get sick of the title. At least, Kapnek’s hopes that the now-trendy term “selfie” won’t give the series a dated feel in a few years. “For us, it speaks to the disease that Eliza has, in that she’s consumed by this world,” Kapnek said at the Television Critics Association press tour in July. She added that Henry is “equally” as self-obsessed as Eliza, making it “natural to call it Selfie.”
4. Romance will (unexpectedly) soon blossom. Kapnek said she was pleasantly surprised by the chemistry between the two leads in the pilot, and so she and the writing staff plan to build on their “romantic appeal.” She added that it’s natural to feel “repelled” by Eliza at the beginning of the series, but Kapnek hopes that viewers will grow to like her.
5. The show isn’t afraid of a good vomit bit. The pilot features a very embarrassing airplane trip for Eliza, proving that the show doesn’t shy away from broad humor. But fans of Kapnek’s last ABC series, Suburgatory, will also appreciate Selfie‘s witty dialogue and unlikely friendships. Indeed, Eliza and Suburgatory‘s Dalia appear to be cut from a similar cloth, minus Dalia’s love of all-pink attire.
Selfie premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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Robert De Niro