How Does ABC’s Selfie Suck? Let Me Count The Ways

I have one hard and fast rule about Fall TV season: no matter how much you may hate a pilot, it is VITAL that you make it to at least episode two. Because usually, the things we hate about pilots get ironed out during the first season. That is what first seasons are for. If the premise is good and the writing is solid, there is always room for hope. But some shows are so fundamentally flawed, so irreparably stupid that a second look only serves to draw out the inevitable and necessary cancellation. Selfie falls, face first, into this category just like Ellen said it would. Let’s break it down.

abc-selfie-eliza1) Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) might be the Worst, and not in a good way. I know that as one of Doctor Who‘s resident red heads, Amy Pond was kind of a polarizing character. And it is totally possible that I am projecting my dislike of The Girl Who Waited onto Eliza, a character with many of the same flaws that kept me from registering with the Amy Pond fan club (selfishness, over-confidence, tends to take others for granted). At least Amy was an interesting character; the most interesting thing about Eliza is her ability to fill two airplane yarf-bags. Which, when you think about it, really set the tone for the rest of the show.

2) Your main character should be redeemable, not reprehensible. By the end of the pilot, we should have had a reason to root for Eliza, and I don’t feel that we ever got it. Most of the attempts to add depth to her character were pretty weak (you mean, she was able to stash her distaste for the office hipster girls long enough to let them clean her apartment, loan her nice dresses, do her hair and make-up free of charge, and generally extend her an undeserved hand of friendship? What personal growth). If you are going to write horrible characters to populate your show, a la It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, at least make sure their horribleness is offset by their hilarity. Which brings me to…

3) Traditionally, TV comedies should be, you know, funny. If nothing else, Pilots should be clever enough to give audiences the idea that, even if the rest of the show isn’t prefect yet, the experience won’t be a total loss. Selfie did not make me laugh once, and I laugh at everything. Seriously. Everything.

4) Being unpopular in high school does not a tragic backstory make. Selfie isn’t the first show to try and make not being selfies-main-character-is-eliza-dooley-dooley-grew-up-being-most-butt-in-high-school-butt-as-in-ugly-so-she-modeled-herself-after-the-most-popular-girl-in-her-school-and-grew-up-to-be-beautiful-but-vapidthe most popular person in high school a credible excuse for sucking in the present, and it won’t be the last. TV comedies can still be fun and lighthearted even if they delve deeper than an unpleasant school dance experience. But Selfie is just as shallow as it’s main character, which is why I’ll be taking my business elsewhere. Better luck next year, ABC!

Whitney

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Agree to Disagree: Amy Pond

Believe it or not, we here at Fangirly don’t always agree about everything in pop culture . It’s rare, but it does happen. And instead of settling our differences with a bare-knuckle fist fight or a You Don’t know Jack death match, we decided to take this less-than-healthy debate to the internet. For our first “Agree to Disagree” feature, we’ll be debating a topic that’s a little… sensitive. Here it is folks: Doctor Who’s resident red head Amy Pond: love her or hate her?

Whitney: Hate Her!

 1) She’s a Who-pie. Or “Who Groupie”, for those of you not familiar with this term I just coined. She meets the Doctor once as a kid, shares a midnight snack of fish-custard, and all of the sudden he’s the center of her Who-verse! Now, to be honest, who can blame her? If a lanky, bow-tied time traveler showed up in my backyard I would probably show him the crack in my wall too (not a euphemism). But really, Amy, ever thought about a hobby?

2) Sorry Amy, the position of sassy ginger has already been filled. Donna Noble, the tenth Doctor’s third companion, was my favorite of all the show’s leading ladies. Not only was she smart, snarky, and sweet, Donna was one of the only companions who wasn’t in love with the Doctor. Instead they had a really cute brother/sister dynamic that I loved and found totally refreshing.

3) She’s so mean to Rory! One thing Ellen and I can agree on is that Rory Williams is the perfect TV man. He’s funny, sweet, and looks awesome in a flannel shirt. But even with all that waiting for her at home, Amy still decides to run off with the Doctor. Again, we’ve reached a tricky grey area for me, because if given the same circumstances I’m not sure I would make a different decision. And even though they did eventually tie the knot and pop out a beautiful (if psychotic) half Time Lord baby, I still get the vibe that Amy kind of takes her husband for granted. I mean, why does it take half a dozen life or death experiences to remind her what a dream boat Rory is? Sorry Amy Pond, we’re done-zo.

Ellen: Love Her!

1) Um, She’s a Who-pie!  Who’s not? How can we fault homegirl?  We have already dedicated more than a few posts to the good Doctor and I have no doubt that this will not be the end of it.  If anything, I love her more for loving the Doctor because it is something that we can bond over.  And just so you can’t use it against her, I’m going to defend her throwing herself at the Doctor.  Again, can you blame her?  Also, I found it refreshing to have a companion that didn’t care about trying to steal the Doctor’s two hearts.  She knew what she wanted and went for it.  Bowties are cool… on the ground at the foot of the bed.

2) She’s Sassy! I know that this can be said about most of the companions, but Amy’s got it in spades.  She don’t take no crap, not even from the Doctor.  If you need proof of this, just look at “The Beast Below” or “Victory of the Daleks” where she basically has to say to the Doctor, “Shut up, you’re wrong.  I’ve got this.”  Also, where do you think River gets her sass?  Rory?  Proof is in the gene pudding, Whitney.

3) She Still Chose Rory.  Say whatever you want about her running off with the Doctor, etc., but in the end she still married Rory.  When both of her boys are in danger, she will still always choose Rory.  She still made that half Time Lord baby with Rory (somehow).   What’s that?  You say you’re still not convinced.  YouTube, let’s roll the tape!  

Hate to say it, Whitney (actually, no, I love to say it), but I think I win this one.  Long live Amelia Pond!

-Whitney and Ellen

Anglophiles Anonymous: The Return of Doctor Who!

My love of TV is pretty well documented. It’s honestly one of my favorite things. But there are some shows that are so important, and so awesome, that they’re nothing less than sacred. Well, I say some. There’s really just one: Doctor Who. And after almost a year of “Silence” from Moffat and the Who crew, my favorite show is back with a new season and, judging from the season 7 premiere, a new attitude.
Before I get ahead of myself, let me explain why I love this show. For starters, it’s one of the best written shows on TV. It’s exciting and funny and sweet and very often deeply emotional, which is kind of rare when you’re dealing with sci-fi shows. Here’s one of my favorite examples, when the tenth Doctor says goodbye to Rose, his companion of two seasons.

Ok, I’ll give you a second to pull yourself together.

The other reason why I adore Doctor Who is because it totally appeals to the kid in everybody. Just watch this scene from the first episode of season 5. The Doctor’s just regenerated and has a case of the Time Lord munchies.

(From here on out I am initiating a full-fledged Spoiler Alert, so if you haven’t see the latest episode, DON’T READ ON).

This season, however, seems to be going in a different direction. While I absolutely LOVED the newest episode, it did seem a little… dark. For example, the season 7 premiere “Asylum of the Daleks” opens with us learning that Amy and Rory are splitting up. In the pre-season “Pond Life” promos we did see that the Ponds might be having marital problems, a fact that was verified when we actually see Amy sign divorce papers. Ouch. Luckily, the episode ended with a fairly long make-out sesh, so I think everything is going to be ok.
Then there’s the Doctor himself. I’m getting the feeling that this is a newer, broodier Doctor than we’ve seen before. Is the show headed to a darker place? And if so, will it lose the fun and charm that made us fall in love with it in the first place? It’s hard to say. What I am sure of is that Steven Moffat has given us two unbelievably awesome seasons, so I’m more than willing to give him a little leeway.

-Whitney