Fancastic TV

Geek TV reviews, recaps and more!

‘Selfie’ and ‘A to Z’ pilot reviews

If you are a fan of Karen Gillan or ‘How I Met Your Mother’ you have probably heard of two new shows premiering this fall: ‘Selfie’ and ‘A to Z’. This week Fancastic watched both pilots and we want to share our thoughts on these new shows with you.

abc-fall-preview-selfie

‘Selfie’:

Lauren’s Review –

I really liked this pilot! Being a fan of both Karen Gillan (Amy Pond from ‘Doctor Who’) and John Cho (Hikaru Sulu from ‘Star Trek’) I was really looking forward to checking out this show. At first glance, it’s a ‘Mean Girls’-esque look at a shallow, vapid twenty-something with a social media addiction. And essentially, that is what the show is about. But there’s something about making fun of these internet tools we use everyday that, if done well, can be really funny. The premise is also about a modern day ‘My Fair Lady’ – with Karen’s character hiring John Cho to ‘re-brand’ her online image. Just don’t expect John to break into Henry Higgins show tunes – this is not a musical 😉

Will I keep watching this show? Yes. It’s hard for me to find network comedies that I actually enjoy. This one has enough wit to go along with its abundant use of social media references to keep my attention. Who am I kidding, the aptly used ‘hashtag’ and ‘Lululemon’ references will keep me watching. That, and Karen’s ability to play a totally clueless character who has depth.

Best ‘laugh out loud’ moment of the episode? “I was born in the darkness” reference to Bane. I died on that part 😉

Rating: 9/10

Stephanie’s Review –

It is no surprise (to anyone that has ever had a conversation with me) that I had first heard of this show because it starred Karen Gillan. For a long time, that was all I knew about it, that and the title. A few weeks ago, my co-worker said “isn’t that a modern day My Fair Lady” and I said, “what? is it? no, is it really? I have no idea honestly”, but in my head I was thinking “damn, I really do not like My Fair Lady, what now?” Karen Gillan wins out every time so I had to try and watch the pilot with clear eyes!

I had an immediate and intense negative reaction to the start of the show, starting with the “let me take a selfie” line over the beat of the music, continuing all the way through the opening of the show and the introduction of all the characters. If you had been sitting in my room, you would have heard a gutteral “ugh”. I thought the characters seemed played out and generic and then I was bombarded with vomit. But, like Eliza Dooley on this show, I am not a quitter. Each act of this pilot got better and better until the end credits came up and I realized I had been charmed not only by Karen but also by John Cho. I feel like this show will only improve with time. Once we better know the characters and the actors are more comfortable playing those characters, even if it is not the best show ever, Selfie has the potential to be a promising and entertaining hit. I definitely feel like I need more information on these characters to feel fully invested but I will definitely check out the next episode and then see how it is going!

SIDE NOTES:

  • I have had someone play Bad Romance on the ukelele and it is even better when it happens in person. Starting the song on the uke and then using it as the wedding party song was a nice touch.
  • I almost always find it funny when someone is in a glass house or a house with lots of windows and pretends they are not home. I am somewhat easily amused.
  • I was on Henry’s side when he was trying to get Eliza to put that phone down. Look around you and see just how many people are actually talking to each other. It’s crazy out there!

Rating: One thumb up and a hopeful sideways hitchhiker thumb

 

‘Selfie’ premiers on ABC Tuesday Sept. 30th @ 8pm

A-to-Z-NBC-TV-Series-key-art-logo-320x180

‘A to Z’:

Lauren’s Review –

I can see this show becoming very popular this season. Why? Because everybody loves a good love story. If you were a fan of the film ‘500 Days of Summer’ then you will enjoy this show. What I like most about this episode is lead actors Ben Feldman (Michael from ‘Mad Men’) and Cristin Milioti (Mother in ‘How I Met Your Mother’). They have great onscreen chemistry and a quiet charm I think a lot of people will enjoy.

Will I watch this show in the fall? Probably not. There were some elements of this episode that were meant to be funny, mainly the roommate, that I thought were not funny, and were actually downright rude. A lot of people enjoy rude humor, so the roommate probably won’t put off most people, but he put me way off. I also don’t think I’ll watch it because I don’t like watching two characters fall out of love. I know the show is about them falling in love, but when the episode narration counts out the exact number of days they will be dating, to me, that means eventually they will break up, which, is depressing. If that doesn’t bother you, and you like late-twenties, early thirty-something romantic comedies, then you will probably really enjoy this show, as well you should 😉

Rating: 6/10

Stephanie’s Review –

A to Z is a show that I knew nothing about. I had not even heard of it until Hulu , that needy minx, demanded that I watch it. So I did. Twice. But not because I loved it. I watched it twice because Lauren suggested we review it and I could not remember a thing about it. I got a little more out of it the second time but it is not really a good thing if the pilot seems utterly forgettable! My main issue with the show is that I feel like I just finished watching nine seasons of it. It was called How I Met Your Mother. Yes, I know that that show was different in premise and set up, but I feel like I just watched a show with that same kind of tone and storytelling device and, frankly, I need a break. I am not saying I will never watch a show with a story telling device like HIMYM again, I am just saying…give me a minute! I still have not successfully watched another vampire show after Angel and that was how many years ago?! I feel like the main characters on A to Z will be completely relatable to lots of people, even a lot of people I know, but they just did not speak to me. I felt alienated immediately when the narrator (the spectacular voice of the equally spectacular, Katey Sagal) described Zelda as “a girl’s girl. What does that even mean? If I don’t know, does that mean I am not one? Does that even have to be a thing? I felt left out then and I never felt welcomed back in.

With all that said, I do have to say on a positive note that the show had clever dialogue. It was a well written and well made pilot. The actors seem charming and willing to go all in in what could potentially be a long run for them. The pilot left a lot of room for all the characters to grow and develop so if this show is your thing, I think you will have a nice ride. I truly hope that people find and enjoy this show. It is better than a lot of the big hits on television these days and that should be rewarded. I may watch one or two more and see how I feel because I am often not a fan of pilots and I like to give a new show a full chance. Rashida Jones attached to this project as producer also makes me want to give it a fair shake.

SIDE NOTES:

  • I have the luxury of posting second on this round of pilots so I can read what Lauren has to say first. I just have to point out that this show does not necessarily end in a break-up. The end of dating could be marriage or engagement. The imdb description does, in fact, mention break-up but that could just be to throw us all off the scent. Right? Or do I watch too many shows with mysterious story lines. No, you are probably right, Lauren, they probably break-up!
  • Bill Callahan, one of my favorite writers from two of my favorite shows, Scrubs and Psych, is writing at least one episode on this show so I will have to watch at least long enough to get to there.
  • This show did not have Karen Gillan in it.

RATING: One thumb down and a shoulder shrug

‘A to Z’ premiers on NBC Thursday Oct. 2nd @ 9:30pm

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for reading our pilot reviews! We hope they can help in your tv watching! It’s great that ABC and NBC released both of the episodes early, to spread the buzz and let viewers check them out before the fall. If you have any specific questions for us or feed back, please comment below or send us a tweet! You can tweet Stephanie at @StephersRG and Lauren at @Lauren_Gallaway! Thanks!

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About laurengallaway

California girl who loves superheroes, sci-fi, and all things nerdy. Assistant editor at Comic Book Resources, co-founder of The Marvel Report.

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