With a name like “Selfie,” one can expect a certain level of social media usage in ABC’s new fall comedy starring Karen Gillan. So obviously, the social media dating/hookup sites Tinder and Grindr got their fair share of mentions at the 2014 Summer TV Press Tour on Tuesday (July 15), just not in the way you might think.
“I’m on Twitter … and Grindr,” Cho jokes about the gay hookup app.
But all jokes aside, Tinder is going to play a part in the new comedy when Gillan’s character Eliza — based on “My Fair Lady’s” Eliza Doolittle — brings Cho’s character Henry — based on Henry Higgens — into her world of dating, opening his more-conservative eyes to apps like Tinder.
“Eliza does a lot of dating, if you can call it dating,” executive producer Emily Kapnek says. “She has a very open attitude and is comfortable in her sexuality. Henry will dip a toe in and it will be fun to watch someone begin to navigate that world for the first time.”
Here is everything else we learned from the “Selfie” panel:
– Scottish Gillan had to learn quite a few new words to inhabit the narcissistic, stereotypical millennial Eliza. “Such as jelly. I didn’t know what that meant,” Gillan says with a laugh. “I learned lots of American colloquialisms, it’s very exciting. What’s a doof? What’s a doofus?”
– Gillan’s research on what her American accent would sound like came from a very surprising place. “It’s an amalgamation of all the women who go to SoulCycle,” Gillan says.
– Gillan’s character evolution will be a slow process. Eliza won’t become a good person overnight. “I think we do expect it to take seasons and seasons,” Kapnek says. “There are baby steps and some habits die hard. For her it’s one step forward and two steps back. We have our work cut out for us with Eliza and her lessons to learn bit by bit.”
– Yes, “Selfie” is also a romantic comedy with Eliza and Henry destined to be together. But that won’t happen until they both change for the better. “It’s very much our intention for the line between teacher and student to get blurry,” Kapnek says. “His own life needs work as well. It’s our intention to grow Henry into a character that’s right for her and vice versa.”
– If you’re vomit-phobic, beware of one vomit-heavy scene in the pilot. “You have to really like vomit to enjoy that moment,” Kapnek says. “And I do. I like a good vomit gag. And it was incredibly cinematic. We also worked really hard on getting the vomit the right consistency, that was a full day’s work.”
– You might see some “Suburgatory” guest stars on “Selfie,” since both shows are Kapnek’s. “I’m absolutely in love with those actors and if there’s an opportunity to bring in those actors organically I’d love to do it,” Kapnek says.