Saturday, November 06, 2010

Being Erica: Time travel therapy

I've actually been watching Being Erica, a Canadian show, since it first started early in 2009 but apparently I've never blogged about it, possibly because it's just so completely off the radar. In the US it airs on SOAPnet and I mean, nobody knows that they air anything besides the daytime soaps and reruns of the original 90210 and the OC. Even worse, the entire network is actually going to be taken off the air completely in 2012 (they have already committed to airing season 3 of Being Erica, which just started this fall in Canada).

And you know, that's a shame, because I think it's actually a really great show. It's kind of chick-flick-y (probably not for the guys out there) but with this time travel element. I know, it sounds weird, right? The Erica of the title is Erica Strange (played by Erin Karpluk who I now love), a thirty-something woman who at the beginning of the series feels like her life is a mess. She's still single and has no real career despite a master's degree in English and thinks it's all because she's made bad choices throughout her life. She meets a mysterious therapist, Dr. Tom, who invites her to become his patient and she soon finds out that his method of therapy is sending her back in time to relive, and, to a certain extent, redo her regrets. 

Wonky, right? But really fun! Just the fashions alone are great, and the cast does an amazing job playing different ages. In the first season, each episode has Erica returning to a certain regret and generally she learns that the things that happened were inevitable and there's some lesson to take back to her present life, which starts to improve as she gains success in a publishing job and embarks on a relationship with Ethan, her long time best friend. The second season changes things up a little bit, introducing Kai, a character that turns out to be going through the same kind of therapy as Erica with a different doctor. Now in the third season, Erica finds herself almost "reset," having been fired from her job and broken up with Ethan, but is informed that she's now in "phase two" of the therapy: group. (Phase three is apparently becoming a doctor herself?)

The reason I really like this show is that Erica is such a relatable and honest character. Her relationships with her family and friends are complicated and she messes up all the time but she doesn't give up. She wants to help people but doesn't always know the best ways, and she does things she's afraid of, even if they make her look stupid.  It's odd, even with the crazy time traveling and bursting through doors that lead to the past or the present or Dr. Tom's office, this show is actually very...real. It can be funny and sad and dramatic and moving, and I think a lot of that has to do with Erin Karpluk, who's basically in every scene and does a fantastic job carrying the show. 

I just discovered that all of seasons 1 and 2 are on Hulu! If you're at all interested in a fun relationship drama with a little light sci-fi thrown in, definitely check it out! 


burkie said...

that's definitely off the radar! wonky but original concept. and i know at least one guy who likes chick (i'll withold the name, though, for privacy's sake) ;)

Mira said...

i wanna watch!