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Several network series return this week, but the fall season starts in earnest next week. Before the premieres kick off, here are SoS TV Editor Kate Kulzick, SoS Managing TV Editor Deepayan Sengupta, and SoS lead TV critic Randy Dankievitch with their initial impressions on the networks’ new offerings.
Note: Our thoughts are based on pilots that are works in progress, so there may be changes to these episodes before they air.
Forever (10 pm Est, ABC)
Premieres Sept. 22nd and Sept 23rd , 2014
Among ABC’s new fall shows is Forever, a series set to focus on a medical examiner in New York who has a distinctive trait; unlike the rest of the population, he is immortal. Every time he dies, Dr. Henry Morgan finds himself waking up naked in a nearby body of water, and he teams up with Detective Martinez to help solve the city’s crimes.
Based on the pilot, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Apart from a truly stupid name, ABC‘s Selfie has a lot going for it on paper. Karen Gillan is able, and comes with legions of Doctor Who fans, who are apt to tune into anything she’s in for a while at least. John Cho has fans as well, and doesn’t get the credit he deserves, largely because Harold & Kumar doesn’t exactly move you up on the Taken Seriously list. Plus, it’s yet another update of Pygmalion (though ABC‘s website irritatingly refers to it as loosely based on My Fair Lady), and those generally do pretty well for themselves.
On the other hand, the show’s concept has a few hurdles to get over. The show spins the character of Eliza Dooley (Gillan) around, as she is in this incarnation a self-absorbed social media star with over 250,000 followers, who largely revels in her ‘famous for being famous’ status. »
- Marc Eastman
The fall TV season kicks off next week, and the merry-go-round of old shows, new shows, and shows that smell like old dog bones, returns. How do you choose what to watch? Your schedule shouldn’t feel like a haphazard grab-bag of shows you already love, that one show you always meant to check out, and a handful of new ones you remember reading about. I’ll be breaking down for you all this week my 5 picks for the new season by genre, a mix of old and debuting shows. Here are my five picks for romance.
1)The Mindy Project. Mindy Lahiri, the doctor with a retort for everything, returns, and this time she’s in a relationship with gruff, good-hearted co-worker Danny Castellano. Can the bickering, chemistry-laden couple make it work? The new season features a great line-up of guest stars including Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes, Fargo’s Allison Tolman, »
- Claire Hellar
Selfie is your new favorite comedy. Just come to terms with that now. Starring the incredibly charming duo of Karen Gillan and John Cho with Suburgatory's Emily Kapnek behind the camera, Selfie is a modern day take on My Fair Lady. Stop groaning, it's not like it sounds. Well, it is like it sounds. Gillan plays a self-obsessed social media fanatic named Eliza Dooley who makes a deal with Cho's Henry Higgenbottam to help make her over after she quickly realizes she has no true friends. But once you get past the name and elevator-pitch premise and Selfie is full of heart and humor. Gillan, best known for her role as one of the Doctor's companions in Doctor Who, is a born star. Just try not to »
After winning two Emmys last week, Allison Janney said something that should be considered a truism but isn't. Explaining her successful return to TV after a sojourn in movies, the 54-year-old told Variety, "Television is a woman's medium."
Since "The West Wing" went off the air eight years ago, Janney has landed a number of supporting character roles in movies, mostly mom parts. Back on TV, however, she won Emmys this year (her fifth and sixth) for stretching to play two very different parts: a woman trying to salvage a difficult marriage in the premium-cable drama "Masters of Sex," and a recovering alcoholic whose daughter and granddaughter have followed in her reckless footsteps on the network sitcom "Mom."
Janney certainly seems to be an example of how television is friendlier to 54-year-old actresses than film is. But is television really "a woman's medium"?
Actually, you could argue that television has »
- Gary Susman
For those who feared J.J. Abrams's Star Trek Into Darkness set might have been too serious, a new gag reel confirms otherwise. Watch as the cast, including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve and even the director himself goof around, flub lines, and play jokes on one-another. This excerpt is from a special feature found on the upcoming blu-ray box set Star Trek: Compendium.
Director J.J. Abrams' global sensations Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness set a course for the ultimate home entertainment package in Star Trek: Compendium, arriving September 9, 2014 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.
The set includes four Blu-ray Discs with both films in sparkling high »
Director J.J. Abrams’ global sensations Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness set a course for the ultimate home entertainment package in Star Trek: The Compendium, arriving September 9, 2014 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. The set includes four Blu-ray Discs with both films in sparkling high definition and the IMAX version of Star Trek Into Darkness, Digital HD copies of both films, plus previously released bonus material, including the Star Trek Into Darkness director’s commentary. Star Trek: The Compendium also boasts never-before-released footage from Star Trek Into Darkness including a gag reel and new behind-the-scenes featurettes. This comprehensive four-disc set will be offered for the suggested retail price of $39.99. With a cast which includes Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Eric Bana and Benedict Cumberbatch over the two movies, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness will both be included in the »
Jimmy Kimmel recreates “Friends” with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow Kimmel “spent” $80,000 building an exact replice of the Rachel and Monica’s apartment so that his “Friends” fan fiction dreams could come true. Shonda Rhimes to make her acting debut on “The Mindy Project” The “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” honcho will play herself on one of her favorite shows. Karen Gillan takes the Ice Bucket Challenge The former “Doctor Who” star got drenched by her “Selfie” co-star John Cho. »
- Norman Weiss
Not to get caught up in the critical process, but the page of notes that an average screener generates were limited to two words regarding “Selfie,” an ABC sitcom that’s too precious by half: “Modern ‘Pygmalion.’ ” Granted, there’s much to be said about social media self-obsession in the digital age, but almost nothing memorable about it in this latest spin, which casts Karen Gillan as Eliza Dooley, a young woman prone to bad decisions; and John Cho as her buttoned-up co-worker, who assumes the challenge of making her over. Is it worth watching? With apologies to Prof. Higgins, not on a bet.
A sales rep, Eliza is introduced onboard a plane, humiliating herself with the married co-worker with whom she’s been carrying on. Realizing she’s not always the best steward of her own heavily narrated life, she begins talking to Henry (Cho), a marketing ace who »
- Brian Lowry
ABC debuted online today a preview of the pilot of its upcoming half-hour comedy Selfie. Were the leads of this limited but endearing sitcom anyone but the entirely charming, gifted pair of John Cho and Karen Gillan, it would fall flat. Yet, because of them, and a few hints of surprising writing nuance, it ultimately rather works.
Eliza Doolittle (Karen Gillan) is a social media guru with hundreds of thousands of online followers and (as she finds out in the pilot) no real friends. When she gets food poisoning on a flight full of her co-workers and lands herself in a completely humiliating situation, she winds up recruiting her firm’s top representation manager, Henry (John Cho), to overhaul her image. It is (very) loosely based on Pygmalion or as it’s more famously known, My Fair Lady.
My biggest fear going into this was that Eliza would not be »
- Claire Hellar
There was a time when two veteran straight actors such as John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, taking on the roles of a gay couple and their subsequent travails at married life would have been the tabloid equivalent of shock and awe. It still might raise some eyebrows, but Ira Sachs’ Love Is Strange is a testimony to societal progress in terms of storytelling. Now it will face the box office as the Specialty title platforms this weekend via Sony Classics. A real-life gay marriage takes the spotlight this weekend courtesy of Starz Digital doc To Be Takei about the multi-faceted actor/activist and social media talent who is best known for playing Hikaru Sulu in TV’s original Star Trek. It will be joined by Millennium Entertainment’s Are You Here with Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler which will open day and date by Mad Men writer Matthew Weiner. »
- Brian Brooks
ABC has proven itself capable of delivering creatively strong comedies over the years, though almost all of them don’t last long (see: the late, lamented Trophy Wife, underrated gem Suburgatory, gone-too-soon Happy Endings, very funny Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, subversive Better Off Ted and, looking back further, cult classic Pushing Daisies). It’s too early to tell whether Selfie, starring Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame, will join that lineup of strongly written, low-rated comedies, but the pilot episode shows some promise, despite a few missteps.
Centering on Eliza Dooley (Gillan), a self-obsessed sales rep in her early twenties, Selfie takes aim at the general public’s crippling addiction to social media. Eliza is “Insta-famous,” having amassed 263,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Out of those ‘friends,’ though, she can only claim to know a select few. Everything about Eliza is built for public consumption, »
- Isaac Feldberg
The show follows Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan), a social-media maven who has thousands of followers in her internet life but no friends in her real life. To remedy this problem, she turns to marketing expert Henry (John Cho) to help her go from a technology-obsessed internet celebrity to someone who can connect with humans in the real world.
Selfie premieres September 30 on ABC. »
- Ariana Bacle
With a full season on the way later in the year ABC have opted to make sitcom Selfie‘s opening episode available to the world ahead of its TV premiere on September 30th. Unfortunately it’s only viewable to those in America via Hulu. Just as Karen Gillan’s lead character Eliza Dooley throws it all out there to her army of followers on social media, so the network no doubt hope this move will gain the show some decent advance word. Gillan herself has been no slouch in this respect, posing for a comedic nude snap by way of promotion.
Eliza has 263,000 followers who hang on to her every post, tweet and selfie. But one lonely day, she has a revelation: being friended is not the same as having actual friends. She »
- Steve Palace
The first episode of ABC's millennial comedy Selfie premieres September 30, and now you can stream the first episode online. Selfie is a modern retelling of My Fair Lady, which stars Doctor Who's Karen Gillan as "Eliza Dooley" a narcissistic social-media addict who hires a marketing guru, played by Harold and Kumar's John Cho, to rehabilitate her image after she accidentally stars in an unflattering viral video. Watch the pilot (or just pretend to watch the pilot while you check your Instagram) on Hulu. »
- Anna Silman
ABC teamed up with Hulu for the early release of the new show Selfie. The strangely titled show is a modern take on the classic My Fair Lady. The show stars Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan plays the main character Eliza Doolittle, who is a non-respected pharmaceutical sales rep. She decides to enlist the help of a branding expert. That is where John Cho’s Henry comes into play. He will be the sound voice in her world that helps her work out her image issues. The series will have the official premier on September 30th.
The show seems to be not showing a lot of support yet. Fans have avoided the subject of the possible nightmare of being common with the supposed musical that it is inspired by-while it premiers. The show doesn’t seem to hold a lot of hope right now. Maybe that is why ABC decided »
- Sarah Peel
The latest marketing move from ABC for its upcoming sitcom “Selfie,” if nothing else, is fitting with theme.
The Alphabet debuted the pilot of the series on Hulu and ABC.com ahead of its premiere next month. The show, a modern retelling of “My Fair Lady,” stars Karen Gillan of “Doctor Who” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” fame as Eliza Dooley, a narcissist who is obsessed with becoming famous over social media. John Cho plays a marketing guru who helps her rebrand her image after a video of hers goes viral, showing her there’s more to it than Facebook and Twitter — hence, the irony of debuting the show via social media.
Still, to debut a show over social media that targets Millennials is certainly appropriate for its desired audience. The show is not set to premiere on ABC for more than a month, with an airdate of Sept. 30.
- Alex Stedman
ABC has released the pilot for new comedy, “Selfie,” online ahead of its fall television premiere in September. On the series from “Suburgatory” creator Emily Kapnek, “Doctor Who” star Karen Gillan jumps the pond to the U.S. and tries her hand at a sitcom. Also read: ABC Renews ‘Agents of Shield,’ Goldbergs,’ ‘Modern Family'; Orders ‘Marvel's Agent Carter,’ ‘Forever,’ ‘Selfie’ In a nod to George Bernard Shaw's play, Gillan plays social media superstar Eliza Dooley. When a workplace mishap goes viral, she realizes it's time to find real friends. She enlists co-worker and marketing guru, Henry (John Cho), to “rebrand” her self-obsessed reputation. »
- Jethro Nededog
But why take our word for it? You can now watch the entire pilot of the freshman comedy — which is based on My Fair Lady — below, via Hulu.
Related Fall TV First Impression: ABC’s Selfie
Written by Suburgatory creator Emily Kapnek, the laugher features Doctor Who‘s Karen Gillan as Eliza Dooley, a pharmaceutical sales rep overly obsessed with outward beauty, as well as her standing in social media. John Cho (Sleepy Hollow) co-stars as Henry, a branding whiz »
Although we’re yet to have an announcement from Paramount Pictures on who will be directing Star Trek 3, it seems like it’s all but official that Roberto Orci will be taking up the director’s chair vacated by J.J. Abrams, and now star Simon Pegg has echoed that sentiment, sharing a few thoughts on the Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness co-writer taking over the reins on the sci-fi franchise:
“He emailed me before the news broke saying: ‘Hey man, I might be doing this, shall we nerd out?’” Pegg tells the BBC. “I’m really happy he’s doing it as it’s kept within the family kind of thing, it’s not somebody coming in from outside. Bob’s been there since the first Star Trek – by that I mean the 2009 one – so it seemed to make perfect sense that he come in as a »
- Gary Collinson
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