Oh, Selfie, how little we knew you. Earlier this week, Hulu aired the 13th and final episode of the show following ABC’s cancellation after six episodes. We were essentially watching a zombie. The brilliant Phil Maciak called it “necro-streaming” — the show didn’t know it was already over. Unfortunately, right around the time that it was canceled, another strange thing happened: Selfie found its center. Not unlike Eliza Dooley’s (Karen Gillan) own evolution, what started as a shallow conceit with a cringe-inducing title started to show off real charm and chemistry between leads Gillan and John Cho, who played Henry Higgs.
And while most freshman cancellations go unnoticed and un-mourned, Selfie whipped up enough passion in its short time for fans to circulate a petition first asking ABC and then Hulu (you can still sign it!) to save the show. Part of the reason was historic — Selfie was the first romantic comedy to star an Asian-American male lead on TV. But sadly, it wasn’t to be. And while Selfie’s cancellation is certainly not a tragedy on the level of Freaks and Geeks or My So-Called Life, it’s worth noting. Here’s why we’ll miss the show:
The romance was hot.
ABC announced Selfie’s cancellation the moment we got the first real whiff of romance between Henry and Eliza. And it simmered. Fates! Why do you taunt us so?
Oh, here that is again in GIF form:
While I wouldn’t go so far as to call John Cho’s casting “revolutionary,” it was probably the first time on TV that an Asian guy literally RODE IN ON A WHITE HORSE.
Also, here is John Cho with co-star Giacomo Gianniotti, who plays Freddy, Eliza’s on-again-off-again boyfriend. They are slathered in mud. You’re welcome.
It featured the best use of Sia’s “Chandelier.”
I’m just as tired of The Voice covers and wacky YouTube video remakes as you are, but I entreat you to watch this clip where Karen Gillan sings the song at a company karaoke party. For some context, Eliza has just confessed her feelings for Henry, only to be rejected. Lovelorn, she ends up falling back on bad habits. It might be the first performance of the song — and yes, that includes Sia’s own — where I actually listened to it.
They’re as charming in real life as their characters are.
It’s been said before, but bears repeating: John Cho and Karen Gillan deserve better shows after this one. Selfie initially made Eliza out to be a cautionary tale of what happens to women who obsess too much over social media, but Gillan resisted that simplicity and filled Eliza out with a zany poignancy that actually endeared her to viewers. Here, Gillan explains how she came up with her SoulCycle-inspired American accent.
There’s always added pressure in becoming “the first,” but John Cho did Asian-Americans proud. Here, he masterfully deflects George Stephanopoulos’s question about how the producers came to cast him, an Asian dude, instead of a white British guy.
John Cho rocked out to Blues Traveler.
There is a delightful scene in the episode “Traumatic Party Stress Disorder” where Henry goes nuts at a Blues Traveler concert with Ron Funches. It’s not clipped on Hulu, but here’s a tasty look (hat tip: Pajiba).
He does the air-harmonica solo.
It gave us the best ending it could.
In the last episode, which aired on Tuesday, we got as much of an ending as we could have hoped for. No, Henry and Eliza don’t hook up (so we can’t add that to this list), but what we were left with is a little more than what we started with: the possibility that atypical pairings can not only work, but smolder. Henry, wearing a cast on his arm labeled “No Fear,” sits with a bunch of skateboarders who ask him why he didn’t hook up with Eliza. “What happened to ‘no fear’?” they ask. Henry thinks back on all the moments they had together before uttering the show’s final words: “Next time, I’ll be ready.” We sure hope so.