12 Days Of Netflix Finds: Being Erica

Being Erica

Genre:  Television/Dramedy
Rating:  5/5 Stars
Recommended To:  Fans of Back To The Future; women (and men) experiencing a “how the hell did my life end up like this?” crisis (or relate well to the feeling); fans of “protagonist keeps making things worse to hilarious effect” storylines
Special Warnings: None

I have to admit that when I first saw the massive advertising blitz in the subway system for Being Erica years ago, the concept seemed cheesy and hokey in the press pictures.  Given that the CBC has been on a bit of a failtastic run for a while now, I also had little faith when I realized it was their baby.

Then, I threw my back out and was sentenced to a week of bedrest.  Being bored to tears, without cable, and having read a review that indicated the show was far more stellar than the pilot had demonstrated, I threw up my hands and said, “Fuck it!” and loaded up CBC’s website (awesome, because it allows you to watch whole seasons of shows).

I devoured the entire first season of Being Erica in a few days.

Like Dollhouse, you need to get past the first few episodes with this one.  They’re not terrible – Erin Karpluk immediately shines and reels you in as Erica Strange, the woebegone heroine of the series, while Michael Riley is her brilliant sarcastic counterpart as Dr. Tom.  It’s just that after the first two episodes, the show truly hits its stride, and digs its way into your heart.

The premise:  what if you could go back in time and undo the regrets that have ruined your life, destroyed your dreams, or just made you miserable?  What if this gift was a form of therapy, a way to become the person you always wished you could be?  This is the gift offered to Erica, after the worst day of her life (and seriously, it is shit-tastic; it plays out in the first ten minutes of the series).  Erica’s got a monster list of regrets, and Dr. Tom has alllll the time in the world.  But is it really better to do what you wish you’d done – and will it change anything at all in the present?

The cast is stellar for this series, and the writing is pitch-perfect.  Karpluk and Riley really make the show special, though; lesser actors could have never made the characters so genuine and lovable.  You want Erica to succeed, to shine.  You want someone like Dr. Tom on your side.

Seriously, one of my favourite TV shows of all-time here, right up with my precious Buffy and Lost.  Watch it.  Now.

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