Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The premise is a modern day PYGMALION. Or a modern day MY FAIR LADY, which at the time was a modern PYGMALION. In MY FAIR LADY, Eliza Doolittle is this rough-edged Cockney girl. Refined Professor Henry Higgins takes it upon himself to transform her into a lady of culture and grace. But at heart, Eliza is a lovely person. For Crissakes, Julie Andrews played her on Broadway and Audrey Hepburn played her in the movie. You could almost see the halos.
So imagine if Kathy Griffin played her. Or Chelsea Handler. Or Ann Coulter.
Normally likeable Karen Gillan is (wait for it) "Eliza Dooley," a buffoonish unbelievably self-absorbed bitch/slut. She has a gazillion social media friends but discovers that (OMG #tragic) that she has no real friends. Frowny Face. STBY. (How did she get all these millions of followers? #MakesNoSense)
Five minutes of lame ironic lines that are supposed to serve as jokes later, she seeks out John Cho as “Henry Higgs” (#seriously?) to help transform her into someone likeable. He agrees to help because… well, that’s the plot. And what we have is Higgs trying to humanize Eliza and Eliza trying to loosen up Higgs. Will they eventually fall in love? WEG.
Some problems: Eliza’s self-absorption and blatant disregard for others is the only vein of humor in the entire series. And the objective is to rid her of that. And John Cho, who is a very nice actor, is an absolute enemy of comedy. As the expression goes – he couldn’t get a laugh if we were wearing ten chicken suits.
A romantic comedy requires chemistry (RTFM) and there is zero between these two leads. #Awkward.
Everything about this misfire feels manipulative, false, and created in a focus group. Style is valued way more than substance. Who cares if the characters are one-dimensional, the premise is deeply flawed, and the jokes are meh? Text messages pop up on the screen! #CuttingEdge.
I guess if you want to do a comedy today based on people that exist on the planet earth who wrestle with relatable issues in a way that respects the audience and doesn’t pander to them you are SOL. TBTS.
ABC should be ashamed of itSELFIE.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM