5 Reasons You Should Watch The New AMWF Comedy “Selfie”

My secret American TV wish? To see a series with an Asian man starring as the romantic lead opposite a lovely non-Asian gal.

Well, thanks to ABC, it’s coming true in the new comedy Selfie, a modern remake of My Fair Lady starring John Cho and Karen Gillan.


Now the pilot has been out for over a month for online viewing — and has garnered a mixed bag of reviews (everything from “Selfie is your new favorite comedy” to “Selfie is such a piece of s–t”).

Admittedly, there’s a little truth to some criticism. This first episode does feel a bit heavy-handed at times and the vomit gag seemed a little too much (NOTE: don’t watch the first half of the pilot while eating or on an empty stomach). Still, just as Eliza eventually blossomed in My Fair Lady, I see great potential for this series to shine.

Besides, there are many wonderful reasons why you need to tune in to this truly unique TV show. Here are my top five!

1. It features an Asian man as the romantic lead


Just consider that for a moment – an Asian man as the leading romantic role in an American TV series. When have you ever seen that before? It’s historic! If there’s only one reason you choose to tune in to see Selfie, make it this one. (P.S.: Check out this fantastic article I found in the HuffPost: “Will John Cho Be Television’s First Asian Romantic Lead?”)

 2. The story centers around an AMWF pair


Again, think about that. An AMWF couple is not the side show here (ahem, The Walking Dead) – they’re the main attraction. Ask yourself, when was the last time you ever saw a show built around an Asian man and a white woman, meant to fall in love with each other? Yep, another one for history. Another huge reason to tune in!

 3. John Cho and Karen Gillan have great chemistry

Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless
Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless

Of course, it’s already amazing to have an Asian male romantic lead and an AMWF pairing – but it would be all for nothing if there’s no zero chemistry there. Fortunately, Cho and Gillan make a charming pair together in Selfie. In fact, in my opinion, the best scenes in the pilot featured just the two of them. They shared some beautiful moments and I’m looking forward to seeing more sparks fly!

 4. There’s a really smart premise behind it all


One of the coolest things about Selfie is that it’s a smart critique of our social media selves.

Just look at the title of the series. Selfie doesn’t just refer to those ubiquitous photos of ourselves we share all over the social networks. It’s also a reference to the kind of selfishness that’s on parade when we go a little too overboard online (a quality embodied to the extreme by the Eliza character played by Gillan who has some 263,000 followers hanging on her every post).

The pilot alone takes swipes at everything from hashtags and over-posting your life online to how people use mobile phones at some of the most inopportune moments. I loved it. Finally, a show that pokes fun at – and serves as a commentary – on our social media lives.

 5. There’s lots of interracial love to go around


If you’ve watched American TV as long as I have, you know it’s not just AMWF couples getting the short shrift. In fact, it’s tough to catch pretty much any kind of interracial coupling on your average TV show.

But here’s the amazing thing about the pilot for Selfie – it’s bursting with interracial love.

The boss for Cho’s character on the show (played by David Harewood) is a black man who happens to have a white wife. They have a mixed-race daughter who ties the knot with a white guy during the pilot.

Imagine that. In one half-hour of American television, you will have seen not one, not two, but THREE interracial couples. That seriously has to be a record.

While I don’t know how things will shape up after the pilot (will we see more of the boss’s wife or their newly married daughter and son-in-law?), they’re off to a great start.

Catch the premiere of Selfie on ABC this Tuesday, September 30 at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central. You can also view the pilot on ABC’s website or Hulu.com.

What do you think of Selfie? Will you watch the show this season?

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37 Replies to “5 Reasons You Should Watch The New AMWF Comedy “Selfie””

  1. I have read mixed reviews. I think I will watch it once more episodes are out so even if I don’t like the pilot, I can watch several episodes to get a feel for the show. Sometimes it takes awhile for a show to get its footing and develop into something worth watching.

    Even if this show doesn’t last, I think it’s a great sign for biracial couples (of any race). We don’t get to see much of this on American TV series. And it’s definitely time that an Asian man gets a lead on something!

  2. It will do very well….in Asia and if they want to make money that is where it should be marketed, not in the close minded and often racist US society.

  3. I hadn’t heard of this! Sadly it has Karen Gillian in it. I couldn’t stand her in Doctor Who (probably the fault of the writing though). Will I have to listen to her put on a dodgy American accent? Think I might have to take a watch. 🙂

  4. I’m hoping that it’ll improve as it goes on; Margaret Cho’s show was awful, and I think she’s just great so it was really disappointing.

    Looking forward to the show and the inevitable discussions it will bring!

  5. I don’t know how far the show can go. Most of the interracial couples in notable TV shows are mostly backdrop, not the main theme of the show, the sole reason why the show stands above the general public expectation.

    Oftentimes, when the show comes with [“in your face” theme since you guys keep complaining and complaining about IR pairings, we’ll show you how liberal we are. Get it. Shove it. Take it, IN YOUR FACE”] TV shows never last or never become the mainstream fodder for people to at least ponder if that is what’s normal for our daily lives.

    Glenn and Maggie paring in Walking Dead is NOT the main theme. It’s the backdrop in a apocalyptic world. General audience can watch it even if the old conservatives don’t like the IR pairings.

    What TV shows or movies came out as “Fascinating and Terrific” for AMWF? There are several indie films making rounds for AMWF, and they never came out as “innovative” because too many has reiterated cliche, refrain like “Shy Asian guys” and “Boisterous White women”. Been there, done that already. Who would pay for their 2 hours of lives for watching the same old sheet over and over again?


    I would say everyone is racist. The only problem is Asian populations in Asia don’t have quite the opportunity to fully grasp what the “racism” means to them since they are mostly homogenous in nature. So as long as those protagonist White people from Hollywood subtly shoving Asians in bad lights, they wouldn’t notice. I’ll highlight in my next comment.

  6. For those of you from Asia, if you’re planning to watch Transformers 4, I plead you not to give it a try.

    It’s horrible, it’s terrible, it’s demeaning, and yet
    it’s humiliating, it’s atrocious,

    For all the reasons why I listed below;

    1. No matter how far a country has marched in creativity, no matter how society becomes more open, you never guess to see the scene where your daughter is showing cleavage every single time talking to you as her father, you as a father, in times of apocalypse due to those machine fighting over for some weird cube from outer space, passionately hug your daughter waist like you’re going to take your daughter for dinner out like a date.

    That’s Mark Wahlberg and his only young daughter who occasionally bend over for your pleasure.

    2. The head of the international institute where they try to build their own transformer somewhere in Hong Kong? The assistant is that tall Chinese lady who turns out to be magnificently capable of fighting Kung Fu in the middle of chaos while the head played by a White guy, couldn’t hold his breath to say the least “Wow, you can fight, I love you, marry me” line. I can see the whole audience in China roared in laughter in that scene. PLEASE PLEASE, that’s the propaganda, that’s the brainwashing line, that will keep you laugh until you know it, you’re already becoming a kung fu master and will serve those hollow White people who automatically become the “head” of some bogus institute.

    3. The Asian guy stuck in the elevator, once he saw the white guy rushing into the elevator with some strange device, couldn’t murmur a word, but just get stuck in the corner like a little rabbit. For the love of god, and For the love of your country, this is your FREAKING homeland, Hong Kong. You’re seeing a White guy coming with some strange device, and you caved in. Oh…wait,,,, it’s just a movie? Of course I know it’s just a movie. Wait…I haven’t finished yet. The scene continues.

    The asian guy didn’t know what to do. He’s stuck. Then those enemy who’s chasing the White guy finally reached the elevator. The White guy don’t know what to do next. Then the assistant Chinese Lady came and played Kung Fu (mentioned above). Now The ASIAN guy came out like another “Kung Fu” master and fought those foes like “Ching Chong, Ching Chen, Whoof, Zoosk” and rendered the White guy speechless.

    I can see Asian audience will be pleased “Wow, we are Sooo Gooood at Kung Fu. Like it”

    And for the love of mother nature, I plead, I plead everyone of you here reading this comment and share your knowledge with others this is a SUBTLE propaganda of “Michael Bay” who couldn’t think of creative way to make films instead heavily relying on “stereotypes”, “Asian lady”, and worst of all “CGI”.

    I thank Aziz Ansari for tweeting pleading Chinese people not to watch Transformers 4 since it’s humiliating, it’s degrading the movies industry as a whole.

    That’s all I have to say.

  7. I saw the pilot some time ago, and I’m sure I’ll keep watching the series as it goes, whether it’s good or just so-so. I like the social media references because I get them (and can laugh at myselfーwhy didn’t I think of that hashtag!? etc), but it’s much harder for my fiancé. He tired quickly because the speech was too fast, and he’s not into any social media (I call him analog man for good reason) so there was too much new English for him to keep on top of while we were watching. I may just watch alone and report back to him. ^^; I think for native speakers (or for fluent non-native English speakers) it’ll be quite fun though. ^^

  8. @Rdm…yes, for many Asian viewers they may not like the idea of interracial relationships for their family..but most also think that an Asian guy with a white woman in his arm means he has come of age….so it will sell.

  9. Just watched the pilot. Seems not bad.

    Quote of the day

    “Sometimes Henry just needs a little push” (to be himself, liberated)

  10. Wow, I hadn’t commented on here in a while…I’m no longer used to watching American TV. While I wish Selfie much luck and success, it probably might not be my cup of tea 🙁 I only use email and blog on internet, and I do hope she’ll be with the Asian guy instead of doing the makeover and then her going to a white guy…

  11. I tried to see if I could access this through the website but had no luck…weird VPN behavior…but I’ll keep trying.

    Personally, I liked seeing the Mentalist’s story line with Cho and Summer. He wasn’t your stereotyped Asian man. He was a sharp fella on an already strong team, he had a sense of humor, an interesting background story, and wasn’t locked into only dating Asian women. When he met her, the relationship developed over time, and didn’t seem forced for ratings, etc. I liked that it gave his character a shot at being human, and not just the same old type that we see on other shows trying to place an Asian actor, but not really giving the character any spice to their lives. The Asians I know (no matter where they come from ) are far from bland or boring.

    (Kimball) Cho was hot, personable (once he let you in), talented, strong, a good friend, and someone that looked after the love in his life. For me, it was a great thing to see, because it’s so rarely done with Asian (or any “ethnic”) characters on TV shows. I hope that this new show allows for that with John Cho’s character. It would do us all a world of good.

  12. Watch the 2nd episode, she’s a total “slut”, I’m shocked to find that. Don’t know where the story is going. Will update weekly. haha

    To be continued.

  13. I watched the first episode looking forward to it!

    I know this is a very sensitive topic. I really mean no disrespect, but I think you are mistaken about the things you say about the US on here. I have dated several Asian men in my life and when I was in High School (I grew up in the deep south in the 2000s. Im 24.) I lived in a rural community. My first Boyfriend was Filipino and he and I were well respected by my HS and local College classmates. A lot has changed here since the 1960s. You may have had some experiences that reflect your views, but times are better. Since then I have lived in Los Angeles and Boston and honestly haven’t had much trouble. Only a few troubled glares over the last 6 years. This is just my experience I respect your opinions but racism is every country and not limited to a certain group of people. My boyfriend’s Filipino father refused to speak to me because I was white. I hurt me so much. My family loved him. So it goes both ways and I have seen it. Now I have A Chinese boyfriend and he and I don’t discuss race much because I think it is unhealthy to fixate on it. We talk about culture and travel. Culture and language is the only thing that separates us as human beings. We are both people with our own hopes and dreams and we are building a great life because of it. Haters gonna hate. Ignore it.

  14. “My boyfriend’s Filipino father refused to speak to me because I “was” white. I hurt me so much. ”

    So you now become “Brown”?

  15. @zen

    I used the past tense because It happened in the past. Let’s have a fair debate. No need to pick on my grammar. We all make mistakes. Even native english speakers don’t alway get it right…. And yes I am still white.

  16. Hey Jocelyn!

    I know Selfie is actually making headway in the USA…

    But Japan has just started running it’s first AMWF show (at least, the first in a few decades!). I saw the ads before and was a bit skeptical, but a lot of my Japanese co-workers are watching it and they say it’s really good.



    It’s called Massan and it’s actually a true story about how a Japanese man in the Taisho-era goes to Scotland to study the art of making whiskey and falls in love with a Scottish woman. He takes her back to Japan as his wife and she undergoes tons of cultural hurdles such as getting the smack down from in laws and dealing with anti-foreign Japanese society.

    I’m going to watch more and let you know if it’s good–looks sweet! I can’t believe it’s based on a true story!

  17. S01E03

    Henry (John Cho) character is functioning so far. But Eliza (Karen) character is butt of the joke in the whole office. The only tenuous feature that still holds her in the office is her sexy, sometimes outlandish clothes.

    I’m not feeling her as a potential girlfriend for the time being, even for a random stranger. Her face and her character is not matching very well.

  18. I’m loving this series now as it slowly evolves. It’s great to see a show starting to embrace interracial dating. After the latest episode the characters are starting to develop into real people. We have two stereotypes working against one another, but the show is starting to find a balance. We have Henry the workaholic, marketing guru and self obsessed American girl Eliza finding solace within each other. Love slowly creeps upon us even if we are seen as odd pairings. I think we can all agree with that.

  19. S01E05

    Don’t know why, it’s always funny when Henry’s boss pops up in the scene. Eliza is having trouble with her current fling in work because she seems to be falling for Henry subconsciously.

    Henry, on the other hand, is workaholic, pretty punctilious, meticulous for what he does.

  20. I finally caught up on Selfie and just read a short announcement yesterday that the show was being canceled.

    While I don’t think it was a great show yet, it was fair for its type and I did like that it opened a door for more Asian leading men in TV.

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