Selfie: Gen Y’s (Failed) Series

Selfie Review - Is This The End of Comedies on TV

Television shows have come a long way from Friends, but many of them still follow the same formula when it comes to the comedy they employ. Usually, what makes a series shine is how relatable it can be to its target audience, and how it embodies its generation. This was probably what the makers of Selfie were counting on when they launched the series. 
selfie poster with Eliza Dooley
ABC's Selfie cast
Focusing on the life of social media maven Eliza Dooley and her quest to stop “friending” people on social media and instead start making friends, the series launched in 2014 and was presented as a modern adaptation of the classic, “My Fair Lady”, and while it ran for one full season of 13 episodes, it was announced that the show had been cancelled and would not be renewed for 2015. Why did the series fail? It wasn’t for lack of a great team of writers and cast. Karen Gillan, who played Eliza Dooley in the show, was a charming leading lady, playing the part of social-media obsessed 20-something quite well. She was as relatable as any modern leading lady was, and might even have the charm associated with Zooey Deschanel in New Girl. John Cho also warmed up to his role quite well, and his own battles with social media became a rather interesting point to watch. More than anything, the show meant to satirize our obsession with our mobile phones. By all intents and purposes, the show couldn’t have come out at a better time. 
Trailer: Selfie

In 2012, Gaming Realms, owners and operators of mobile gaming website Spin Genie, said that there were about 1 billion smartphone users globally, but more recent estimates say that this number could double by the end of this year. We’re using our phones more and more, and social media is becoming a necessary tool for everything. Most people are even ridiculed for refusing to engage in social media, as John Cho’s character, Henry, was in Episode 2 of the series. But then you have to ask: who was the target audience of this show, really? It’s not that surprising that the show didn’t gain enough of a following for ABC to decide to renew it. 

Millennials, who at this point dominate all markets and dictate business plans, gave the show underwhelming reviews. Could it be that they didn’t take too kindly to how the show poked fun at their social media behavior, or is the generation just more inclined to enjoy dramas? It was reported that among last year’s new shows, only one comedy show (Black-ish) was renewed for a new season, while 8 dramas were renewed. The changing tastes of the generation have once again claimed another victim.

photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via photopin cc

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