A Fair Lady and a Stalking in the Same Week

Helen Burdier, Entertainment Editor

Fall premieres have already started falling on screens, and this week brought the introduction of ABC’s modernization of My Fair Lady and CBS’s tale of stalking.

In ABC’s Selfie, the Eliza Doolittle character from My Fair Lady is re-imagined as Eliza Dooley, a vapid pharmaceutical sales representative obsessed with social media. When we first meet Dooley, she’s traveling with her colleagues for work, including the modernized Professor Higgins character, named Henry Higgins like his predecessor, except now a marketing expert instead of a phonetics professor. 

After the flight- which included a gross sequence with an airbag full of vomit bursting-  Eliza, while sitting in a tub and contemplating her life, realizes that despite having ‘likes’ on her selfies she doesn’t have anyone who ‘likes’ her in real life. This epiphany brings Eliza to, like the original Eliza, ask Henry to help change her.

New Higgins begins ‘rebranding’ Eliza, but affirms that they are not friends. His first mission for Eliza was making her ask their receptionist how she’s doing and then inviting her as his guest to the wedding of their boss’s daughter. As expected, things don’t go smoothly, but there’s a fun flashback of a young Eliza at a school dance. 

The comedy stars Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan and Star Trek’s John Cho, who both separately are likable actors, but on the pilot seemed like likable cardboard.

Now to CBS’s Stalker, which seemed interesting in theory but in execution came out as aimed solely at telling victims that stalking is their own fault. The show opens with a woman being chased down by her stalker, who is someone she knows and rejected. She gets into her car and tries driving away but is unable to because he has her keys. Horrifically, he starts to douse her car in gasoline before lighting a match and watching the car explode with her in it.

Later on in the show, it’s said the act occurred as a result of the victim not giving her attacker what he wanted- she rejected him, told him she was with someone, but he found out she was lying and felt that she owed him a relationship and got revenge. The same assailant later attempts to set another woman who wronged him on fire but is shot by police before he can light his match.

The hour-long show centers on members of the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD: smart and serious Lieutenant Beth Davis (Maggie Q) and Detective Jack Larson (Dylan McDermott), who has the typical attributes of a male detective- a ‘wannabe’ tough guy with inappropriate tendencies. He proves his ‘bro-dude’ male detective persona by revealing to Davis that when he first met her, he looked at her breasts because he couldn’t help himself. Then he continues by saying she wouldn’t dress “sexy” if she didn’t want to be noticed (she was in a causal top and jeans).

Not all pilots for shows are perfect, but usually their following episodes get better, and that’s what we can hope for with these two shows.

Selfie airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 8/7c, while CBS’s Stalker airs the following day on Wednesdays at 10/9c.