I’ve long begrudged the state of just-for-the-ladies TV, where all of us are either trashy and superficial or, well, my mom. (Lifetime has perfected the art of the schmaltzy TV movie, no small feat — but this does not encompass the entirety of the female experience.) However, having spent a weekend glued to SoapNet, I’m pleased to say I think I might’ve found the closest thing we’ve got to TV for Smart Women Who Still Don’t Take Themselves Deadly Seriously. And that’s thanks to one show in particular, the Canadian import Being Erica.
It’s a dramedy that follows the existential crisis of 30-something Erica Strange (a ridiculously winning Erica Karpluk), who, thanks to an accident, gets one of those metaphysical kind of chances to go back and fix past regrets. It’s just familiar enough — the Sliding Doors-meets–Saving Grace setup, the harried-single-girl life — to suck you in, as it did with a three-episode run that I caught this weekend. But it’s also just different enough: She doesn’t change the space-time continuum a la Lost or Back to the Future, just purges herself of her darkest moments. She routinely makes major changes in her past (stopping her sister from reuniting with the lout she’d go on to marry, for instance) only to find herself back in a present that’s exactly the same. It’s oddly therapeutic, forcing you to think of what you’d go back and fix in your own life but also assuring you that even if you’d done it perfectly, you’d still be right where you are. Oh, and it’s also sexy (any woman would love a past, present, or future that involved the two swarthy love interests in her life), smart (the sendup of the publishing industry at her workplace is spot on), and funny.
That, plus reruns of Gilmore Girls and The O.C.? Get some old Men in Trees and The Ex List in there (plus Privileged, please, if it doesn’t survive on The CW), and we can call this Television for Cool Girls — and forget that this network has anything to do with All My Children and General Hospital. (Who am I to judge those, anyway?)
What do you think, PopWatchers? Have you checked out Being Erica? Will you? Please?