Saturday, January 10, 2015

Selfie 1.10: "Imperfect Harmony"

“Since you dumped me, I’ve been falling apart. I’m in deep Eliza Dooley withdrawal, and only by the grace of ‘Backdraft’ reruns on the USA Network am I standing here before you now.”

This particular episode of “Selfie” dealt with the aftermath of Eliza getting naked in front of Henry. Not surprisingly, the whole thing is a mess. It’s way too early in a show’s typical run (if “Selfie” hadn’t been cancelled) for Eliza and Henry to actually get together, but the extent to which Henry is just a complete idiot is rather frustrating. Freddie is kind of having a breakdown over Eliza breaking up with him, and I was a bit surprised that, knowing that, Henry would listen to anything Freddie had to say about Eliza. I didn’t really like how this episode treated Eliza. On top of that, there was a KinderKare Pharmaceuticals karaoke party that just gave me crazy embarrassment squick. On the whole, I would not say this was one of my favorite episodes of “Selfie.” Not by a long shot.

This episode, like I said, picks up in the aftermath of Eliza getting naked in front of Henry in the elevator of her apartment building. Eliza has resolved to try and win Henry, and when she goes into work in the morning, she’s super chipper because she thinks she’s in love. Eliza shares all this with Charmonique, who is dubious. She actually gets up to start doing her typical “block,” but Eliza begs her not to. Charmonique still isn’t thrilled about the idea of an Eliza and Henry relationship, but she agrees to back off. She does, however, plant the idea in Eliza’s head that Henry might not actually reciprocate Eliza’s feelings. Meanwhile, Henry goes to talk to Raj in HR about the incident. Raj seems pretty unphased. Eliza has a huge HR file thanks to all her office dalliances. KinderKare policy is that if you have an approved relationship agreement, you’re good to go. Raj tears up the Eliza and Freddie agreement and gives Henry a blank relationship form. Henry’s shocked at how chill the company is about such things.

At a staff meeting, Sapperstein announces that since KinderKare met their sales goals, it’s time for the annual company Karaoke party. Performance is mandatory, which like I said in the introduction, would just make me incredibly uncomfortable. That’s the kind of thing that would make me quit a job. I get incredibly self-conscious about singing. Eliza keeps trying to get Henry’s attention during the meeting, but he keeps ignoring her. Sapperstein makes a comment about how Eliza and Henry should perform a duet at the party. After the staff meeting, Eliza confronts henry in his office about how he has been avoiding her. He says he needs time to think about his feelings, so Eliza leaves him to it. Outside of Henry’s office, Eliza runs into Freddie. He is a mess thanks to the break-up. He has let his workout go, and his physique is deteriorating. Eliza really hopes he doesn’t lose his Adonis Belt. She doesn’t care enough to agree to go out with him again, though. She says her heart belongs to another.

Eliza solicits advice from Charmonique while doing her laundry, and Charmonique basically tells her to go all Left-Eye Lopez and burn Henry’s house down. Bryn hears this conversation and has to interject. She advocates for a more stalker-y approach, which really isn’t all that much better. Charmonique and Bryn have never met before, but they don’t like each other at all. They insult each other’s lack of experience with relationships repeatedly, and at several points, they get into full-blown physical altercations. Which I thought was just a kind of dumb sight gag with Charmonique and Bryn a little more beat up every time we see them. Eliza has enough and decides to just approach Henry at the Karaoke party and ask him how he feels.

Henry, for his part, is extremely conflicted, and we learn the details of this through a conversation he has with Raj about what Karaoke song he should perform. He’s torn between Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” (apparently the “dangerous” option that is the Eliza analogue) and a more conventional Billy Joel song that is the stand in for his relationship with Julia. I do think it’s kind of crappy that Eliza is asking Henry to break up with Julia. I suppose it’s better than asking him to cheat on her, though. After thinking it through, Henry decides he’s going to go for it, presumably with both singing “Hollaback Girl” and a relationship with Eliza. Henry starts to doubt his decision when he has a conversation with Freddie, though. Freddie wants to know if Henry has any insight on why Eliza broke up with him. Freddie mumbles about how he thinks Eliza was just afraid to commit because she’s a man eater. He then proceeds to do a Karaoke performance of “Man Eater.”

Eliza arrives at the party, dressed only in bicycle shorts and a tee shirt (because she was in such a rush), and she confronts Henry. She says all she wants to know is how he feels about her. She and Henry then go into Henry’s office. He starts preaching about how he’s not very good at accessing his own emotions, but he thinks he understands what is going on with Eliza. He thinks Eliza pursued him to sabotage her relationship with Freddie because that relationship was getting too real. Eliza is upset and (understandably) offended by this, and she swears that she is not afraid of relationships at all. She then starts to storm out, and she sees Julia waiting in the hallway. Julia has obviously heard at least some of this conversation, and Eliza tries to play it off like she was just rehearsing for a play. Julia clearly knows better, though.

Eliza starts to drink, and when she next encounters Henry, he claims that Julia is waiting for him downstairs. Eliza doesn’t believe him, and she asks Henry to love her. Henry just leaves. It is then time for Eliza’s Karaoke performance, which is a surprisingly good rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier.” Who knew Karen Gillan could sing? When she’s done, she drinks even more, and she ends the night in bed with Freddie. Which seems vaguely rape-y to me. Julia apparently wasn’t waiting, because we end the episode with Sapperstein and Henry talking after the party has wound down. Henry didn’t do his mandatory performance, and apparently all Koreans love Karaoke, so Sapperstein makes Henry get up to the mic. Instead of singing either of the songs that were contenders earlier, he sings “Wild World,” and it’s quite sad. So we end on a downer.

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