Sunday, October 19, 2014

Selfie 1.03: "A Little Yelp From My Friends"

“For what it’s worth, I feel really bad. I feel worse than when Aaliyah died.”

Much thanks to Sarah for covering “Selfie” last week when I was out of town for work. Now I’m back (although super swamped at work), so I’m going to be talking about the show this week. This one wasn’t as laugh out loud (or should I say LOL in this context?) funny as last week’s, but it was still fun. What I liked was that Henry and Eliza both had equal challenges this week. They both had to try and befriend someone else in the office, and it was way easier said than done. The professional stakes are high for both of them, too. The president of the company is riding Henry, and the person Eliza has in her sights is one of the company’s top movers and shakers. I thought the point of Eliza and Henry’s endeavor was to connect with people more for connection’s sake, but I suppose professional benefits can be considered a bonus, too.

The episode begins with yet another horribly awkward staff meeting at the pharmaceutical company. Saperstein, the CEO, must like his celebrity gossip news as much as Eliza and I do, because he starts rambling on about a story about Channing and Jenna Dewan Tatum. Apparently they have a scale on which they rate their closeness with each other. And Saperstein wants to go around the room and have the staff tell each other where on the scale they fall. Eliza is the real failure of the group. Joan, one of Silperstein’s groupies, rates her a zero. Henry gets his rating from a rather pathetic coworker named Larry, and it’s decent. Henry’s still not out of the woods, though.

Later, when Eliza is eating her lunch standing over a trash can (she claims it helps her digestion), Henry admonishes her for getting a zero in the closeness exercise. Eliza explains that she and Joan have a kind of long-standing feud. Eliza got to work after a Soulcycle class one day and was really dehydrated, so she drank all of Joan’s gazpacho. Eliza claims her alternative was eating a bowl of banana peppers. I think banana peppers are in a salty brine, though, so that wouldn’t have helped much, unfortunately. On this day, actually, Eliza is again eating Joan’s food, but this time she manages to toss the sandwich wrapper in the trash can before she can be found out. Henry wants Eliza to become friends with Joan. It’s his next assignment for her.

Henry tries to model how to be considerate and take an interest in others in a small talk conversation with Larry. He asks Larry about his wife, to which Larry’s response is, “it is what it is,” along with some light complaining. Henry touts this as a success, thanks to his ability to gauge what conversation topics will interest others. Eliza takes this advice and spins it for her own social media world. She decides to try Google stalking Joan to learn more about her interests. Unfortunately, Joan isn’t on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, so Eliza is at a loss. She asks Charmonique for advice, and Charmonique has what Eliza thinks is the perfect answer. Apparently Joan’s one exception to the “no social media” rule is Yelp. She is a crazy avid Yelper.

In other news, partially thanks to his conversation with Henry, Larry and his wife are now separated. Apparently, his wife was about to leave to go to the chiropractor, and she was upset that Larry was blasé about it. He asked her what reaction she expected him to have, and she up and left for good. Larry wants Henry to be his single guy party friend, but Henry is not a party guy by any means. Silperstein calls a private meeting with Henry to discuss the issue. He’s worried about Larry, and he wants Henry to help him, including giving Larry a place to stay. Henry lives by himself, and he’s very particular about how his house is kept, so this is clearly not going to be an easy ask. Henry is also, however, a kiss ass to the end, so of course he agrees to it. The roommate situation goes just about as well as you would expect. Larry continues to keep begging Henry to go out and party, and Henry just wants to go to sleep. And Larry keeps calling Henry “Juan Pablo,” which as a closet fan of “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” just made me shudder.

Now that she knows the right social media to use, Eliza stalks Joan like a champ. She learns that one of Joan’s favorite activities as an aerobics class called “Straight Up, Now Tone Me,” so Eliza signs herself up too. We get a little Paula Abdul music during the class, of course. Eliza is a terrible cardio dancer, but Joan appreciates the enthusiasm. After class, Eliza apologizes to Joan for all the lunch pilfering and offers to buy dinner to make up for it. She gets Joan and her husband a white pizza from their favorite pizza place (per Yelp, obviously). The jig is up, though, when Eliza tries to stop Joan’s husband from eating a garlic knot. It has oregano on it, and Eliza learned from Yelp that Joan’s husband is allergic to oregano. Joan immediately knows Eliza has been Yelp stalking her, and she is pissed about it. Eventually, Eliza is able to sort of patch things up with an apology. They aren’t friends, but at least they are neutral instead of enemies now.

Tired of having Larry around, Henry suggests that Larry try to win his wife back. Larry immediately wants to organize a flash mob. Henry is willing to go along with it until he gets a heads-up from Charmonique. Larry’s wife hates flash mobs. There’s a lot of evidence of it on YouTube. Eliza and Henry are having a conversation about Joan when Henry lets out with what he really thinks about Larry. Just as Larry walks into the room. Henry tries to give Larry some sincere advice. He suggests to Larry that a small gesture would probably mean more to his wife. Larry follows Henry’s advice, visiting his wife after her chiropractor appointment with a bouquet of flowers. A well-meaning friend who didn’t get the “flash mob cancelled” memo almost ruined it, but the gesture is appreciated.

At the end of the episode, there’s a really sweet Eliza and Henry moment. Henry gets a new trash can for his office so Eliza can use it. He doesn’t want her to feel like she has to eat alone anymore. Eliza confesses that the whole “good for her digestion” thing is an excuse she made up back in school to save herself the embarrassment of nobody wanting to sit with her at lunch. Henry stands on the other side of the trash can and eats with Eliza. Eliza is happy that she now seems to have a real friend and no longer has to eat alone.

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