Being Erica: a Trippy, Canadian, Guilty Pleasure

by Bonnie

Season Three of Being Erica just hit Hulu. Not that you would watch a candy-colored, Canadian dramedy about a single gal straightening out her life through the magic of time-travel psychotherapy. Would you?

I watched on my laptop in bed with the flu last year, and then I watched another. And soon I had watched all of seasons One and Two. The show originally aired on CBC, then played here on SoapNet (bear with me).

Erica Strange (I know) walks through a bathroom door in her soul-crushing office one day and finds herself in the hands of an ingratiating therapist. He is prone to placing his hands in self-consciously thoughtful arrangements. His face cycles through a full range of smug expressions. But the therapy he practices allows Erica to re-do all the choices she regrets, one at a time, by traveling back in time.

Doesn’t that sound better than the Freudian talking cure, or the homework of cognitive-behavioral? Erica gets to visit with a dead family member and have some fun with old boyfriends, but doesn’t get to erase that incident at the school dance when everyone saw her in her underwear. We get to see how Erica’s current life is transformed, as the weight of her regrets are lifted.

Actress Erin Karpluk really grew on me when she chose not to play adorable at a few points when when it would have been easy. She’s petite and curvy with very shiny hair. Everything about her really is cute, plus there’s a Meet Cute every episode or two. And an alternate poster for the show has Erica standing at the intersection of Hope and Joy Streets. And yet I watch it.

No one I know has ever mentioned this show. And I’ve never admitted my secret. But it’s fun, and soothing, and well-written. An American version (what could go wrong?) is in the works at ABC, but I suggest you try the original.