Always Watching

Just Finished: Being Erica

In Being Erica, Canadian TV, CBC on 04/14/2009 at 4:29 pm

Just finished watching season 1 of Canada’s Being Erica. I was a bit sketchy about pushing play on the pilot episode because it’s being broadcast stateside on Soap Network. Not exactly a go to network for quality viewing. My only other experience with the network was MVP, which was overly soapy at times but watchable in a time-filler sort of way. I learned quickly, though, that the CBC really stepped up this time. I was glad to be proven wrong.

The star character, Erica Strange, is a thirtysomething woman who loves literature, sucks at dating and keeping jobs and is full of regrets. She knows what she wants: a good relationship, a job she enjoys, preferably in the publishing world, a happy family life. She believes, though, that her life has been nothing but constant mistakes each one blocking her hopes from coming to fruition.

In comes Dr. Tom. A mysterious psychologist (or analyst?) set on proving that a mistake made a decade ago may not be what’s holding her back. And so it begins. Erica trips into Dr. Tom’s office when needed most and off she goes to right the wrongs. Or not. Usually not.

The show ended up being wonderfully smart with a wit that’s distinctly Canadian and a style of charm that woman can love while not chasing away the boys. Erica seems to be the kinda girl anyone could fall in love with or just love to grab a beer with. Either way, she seems pretty cool. There’s a bit of a dark side to her, obviously, with all the regrets and looking to the past, but she’s also pretty good at living life, too.

She’s not exactly the innocent little girl you may expect at first – there’s wisdom thrown in and keen insight and some of the regrets in her past are…well, truly painful regrets. She’s definately comfortable with her body and loves sex. Basically, she’s 32 and acts that way, yet is also ready to plug in the Wii or (though slightly hesitant) to jump on the karaoke stage.

I’m quite to happy to have found such a well developed character. It’s a rare trait in a TV show and the writers and producers should be proud.

I’m looking forward to season 2, though judging by the end of season 1 there seems to be some changed afoot. I’m not sure how the show was recieved in the U.S., being on Soap and all. I think this would have done pretty well on USA or a channel of that nature. Oh well, I’m guessing it was a pretty big hit in Canada.

Store.HBO.com

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