Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Being Erica

Being Erica. SoapNet. TV show for grown ups.

Being Erica is about Erica Strange, age 32, single, between jobs, and Canadian. (OK, it's a Canadian show. But ever since Degrassi and ENG, I've enjoyed Canadian TV.)

The Hollywood-pitch: "Imagine 13 Going on 30, but in reverse! Instead of learning life's important lessons by being an insta-grown up, she learns them by going into the past."

I had thought that this was going to be a stuck in the past show; and, what with it being Canadian and on an odd TV channel, thought why not?

Oh. my. This? It's my new "look at what I discovered! It's the best show! You must watch!"

About the back in time thing. What happens is this; in the first episode, Erica feels like she's made every possible wrong choice one can make: in career, school, life, family, friendships, personal life. You name it; she did it wrong. Erica goes to see a psychiatrist, and lists all her "wrong decisions" ever. Turns out the Doctor can send her back! in! time! It's a short-term thing; and no, it's not to "fix" the past. It's to confront her own decisions and how she views them.

So, can you change the past? Or do you just change how you feel about the past? Interestingly, so far, Erica changes a few details here and there, but has yet to change anything that significantly alters the present. There's no waking up to a different job, a husband, a toddler she didn't have before the back! in! time!

If anything, once Erica sees the truth of the past -- that a decision was not wrong; that it's as much how you handle a mistake as having made that mistake; that when confronted with choices, one is not right, one is not wrong; she gains more confidence in herself.

Will she change anything that alters the present? Well, with divorced parents; a tragically dead brother; and a sister about to marry the worst guy ever.... yeah. I think we may see some bigger changes, though her Doctor insists that it isn't possible.

For the first few eps, we saw the same actress as the back-in-time Erica, because it was High School and University. But then... this last one was Erica going back to her Bat Mitzvah (did I mention she's Jewish?); and it was a younger actress, who did a great job acting as a 32 year old in a 13 year old's body (and did a kick-ass job of remembering her Torah portion after almost 20 years!) And so cute to see the grown up Erica appreciating her family, her party, and all; and ignore the things that embarrass real thirteen year olds.

Other good bits: the clothes, slang, and music from the past. Half the time I'm thinking, "OMG, I owned that dress!" or "I love that song!" Erica's friends and family are not only great -- there is some very nuanced story-telling going on, as they have to present themselves at different times, in different emotional places. Since it's Canadian, there are some Degrassi alum.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy


Deva Fagan said...

You've certainly made *me* want to check it out! Thank you for the rec, it sounds excellent.

Chrisbookarama said...

Oh yeah I love this show! The season finale is on Wednesday on the CBC. It looks good!!

Leila said...

Sounds awesome. Adding it to my list!

tanita✿davis said...

I'm hoping I can GET Canadian TV since they're a Commonwealth country. I LOVED DeGrassi, and have happily watched Canadian TV for YEARS. It is the best.

Rebecca said...

Yay! I love this show too! Thankfully I live in Canada and can watch it online on demand, mwahahaha - I'm happy they're showing it elsewhere as well, I didn't know that until now. Hooray!

Romance Alta., said...

Love the show. Watched it from the start. With this weeks episode however, I fear it may be the last we see of Dr. Tom... the Lucifer? Hopefully not as he's the character I most identify with!

Anonymous said...

does anyone know what jewel song is being played on the episode "this be the verse"?

Deva Fagan said...

I wanted to come back here and say "Thank you!" Based on your rec, my husband and I ended up seeking out and watching the first season and loved it! Can't wait for season 2!