So the food you ordered just came at Sunday brunch with your friends and what is your reaction? “Let’s take a selfie!” It is practically your second nature to whip out your phone in a matter of seconds, only to get that shot of you and your friends to then share on your Instagram which is linked to your Facebook… later.
As a throwback.
In hopes of having over 23 likes from your last post.
ABC decided to capitalize on the hype of the word and our obsession with social media to create a romantic comedy TV series entitled none other than “Selfie,” starring Karen Gillan and John Cho. You may remember John Cho from “American Pie” and “Harold and Kumar,” but now you can think of him as the first Asian-American to be cast in a lead role on television! On being Asian in Hollywood, Cho states:
“I experienced racism, and in my professional life, I try to take roles (and have always tried to take roles) that don’t fall within the parameters of any Asian stereotype,” Cho wrote. “And so to me, hopefully, that’s a positive thing I can put into popular culture and so maybe in some bizarrely tiny way that helps people not think of Asians in one particular way.” (Washington Post).
Even though this role does not read as “Asian stereotype” to the public eye, it is still novel and exciting for audience members to simply see the Asian-American on screen as a protagonist who will certainly pave the way for more Asian-Americans on television. “I would call this revolutionary,” he told the Toronto Star earlier this year. “It’s certainly a personal revolution for me.” John, it’s an AAPI revolution for all of us in America. We’re ready.
“Selfie” follows the life of Eliza Dooley, a young woman who seeks fame through excessive usage of various social media platforms until she realizes that the importance of being real-life friends with someone significantly outweighs the promises of online friendships. Eliza is then prompted to seek help from Henry Higgs, a marketing image businessman who starts to rebrand Eliza’s image beyond the scope of social media and in real life.
Episode 1: Pilot
The Pilot introduced Eliza and Henry and simultaneously poked fun at our social media obsessed society. As a result, the Pilot received mixed reviews from the online community, with most of the banter revolving around the humor in the show. While we can all be quick to critique, let us take a moment to understand how ironic it is that we are engaging in all the critiquing more so online than in real-life conversations with our friends. Even though some of the comedy may have been a bit exaggerated (and the background music of the show certainly was no help), the show in itself is a commentary to our daily lives which perhaps says a lot about our tendencies on Twitter and what they truly are: insignificant yet major contributors to the omnipresent world wide web.
Episode 2: Un-Tag My Heart
The second episode, “Un-Tag My Heart,” shows the extremes of engaging in social media between Henry and Eliza – from genuine curiosity of exploring friends from the past to putting down the phone in order to pick up a book instead. The character development allows the audience to start connecting with the idea that there needs to be a balance in both of their lives with and without their smartphones, something that also speaks to all of us. In this episode, we see not only Eliza seeking Henry’s in-person advice, but vice versa as well, providing a refreshing co-dependent relationship that is sure to continue.
Which extreme side of consuming social media are you on – the “#ilovehashtags #omg #sorrynotsorry #besthashtagever” side or the “WHAT is a hashtag” side? Or maybe you embody that perfect balance of technology and the old-fashioned way that both Eliza and Henry are desperately trying to find? Is John Cho revolutionizing his role as an Asian American actor and truly breaking stereotypes? Well, let’s check Facebook while we wait for the next episodes! #timetocheckwhogotuglyfromhighschool #watchtheshowandyoullknowwhatimeanRead more