ABC offers love, laughs in new shows
Love and laughs are the focus of two new series —"Manhattan Love Story" and "Selfie" launching on ABC Tuesday night.
"Manhattan Love Story" offers a peek inside the minds of two young people as they make their way through the dating process. "Selfie" is a modern spin on "Pygmalion," where a self-centered young woman tries to learn how to deal with people without using social media.
'Manhattan Love Story'
It's the inner thoughts of Analeigh Tipton's character in "Manhattan Love Story" that viewers get to hear. The Minnesota native spent a lot of time with the writers and producers before filming started to make sure she knew the deepest thoughts of her role.
"It really was difficult for me to have to kind of get into Dana's head. But we have some incredible, feisty female writers that they put together. As the characters develop, they've been so incredibly open to really tapping into what real women think and the female humor, that rare thing doesn't always translate when men enter a room," Tipton says. "I think with Dana, there's a lot of stuff that might seem one way and it becomes revealed that she's got a lot of quirks and a lot of uniqueness."
The team behind "Manhattan Love Story" want to get across that men and women think about things differently when it comes to life and relationships. That will be shown through the central characters played by Tipton and Jake McDorman.
Playing a role where the character's thoughts are as loud as what he's saying is a big plus for McDorman. He likes that viewers will get to hear the version of his character that he projects to the rest of the world along with the vulnerable, egoless inner monologue that's normally not revealed.
There's nothing about Karen Gillan's character, Eliza Dooley, in "Selfie" that's hidden from the world. Her deepest thoughts are either sent out to her legions of followers on social media or she just blurts it out. It becomes the task of the social network inept and buttoned up Henry Higgs (John Cho) to help her find a more acceptable filter.
Getting cast to play such a social networking diva is a big leap for Gillan. Not only did the Scottish actress have to prefect an American accent, she had to become more educated on the worlds of Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets.
"She's much more into it than I am. I don't understand hashtags. I don't know what they're for. I don't know how to use them, so I don't use them. Whereas Eliza knows exactly what they're for. I should probably know that. Maybe I should do some research on that," Gillan says.
It wasn't the social media aspect of the show that attracted Gillan to the project as much as it was the chance to play physical comedy. From a disastrous airplane flight to a surprising makeover, Gillan gets a lot of opportunities to generate laughs without having to use dialogue.
"I love physical comedy," she says. "For me to just like be myself seems to work in a physical comedy because I'm really talented at falling over."
And when her character falls over in "Selfie," Cho will be there to catch her.
Playing Higgs is an acting shift for Cho. He is better known for the bawdy "Harold & Kumar" movies or as Sulu in the "Star Trek" franchise re-launch.
It's all a matter of just wanting to play a variety of roles for Cho.
"That's the simple answer. The more complicated answer is it's whatever I get offered and then look and see what pops out. For me, it was a combination of the script on this one and meeting with (executive producer) Emily (Kapnek)," Cho says. "You read a pilot and you don't know where you're going and you have to trust the person who is leading you there, and meeting with Emily really convinced me that I had to do it."
'Selfie' and 'Manhattan Love Story'
8 and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday
ABC (Channel 7)