Should I Watch Being Erica?

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 18 2011 2:56 PM

Should I Watch Being Erica?

What is it?

June Thomas June Thomas

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

Being Erica

is a Canadiancomedy-drama in which thirtysomething editor Erica Strange works through herissues with the help of Dr. Tom, a therapist who helps his clients processtheir regrets by sending them back in time. In the United States, the show airson

and is



You'll like it if you enjoy smart, talky shows anddon't mind some soapy elements.
Though the main focus is on Erica changing her present by reliving her past,there's also lots of soapy workplace drama (ambitious, back-stabbingcolleagues!), relationship dilemmas (should you break up with a sweet, handsomeman if he doesn't believe you can succeed in business), and family trauma (doyou ever get over a brother's death or your parents' divorce).

You won't like it if you don't believe in therapy.
True, Dr. Tom's time-shifting technique isn't exactly conventionalpsychotherapy this isn't In Treatment but Being Erica is allabout gaining insights to deal with unresolved issues.

You'll like it if you, too, are a liberal-artsgraduate who hasn't yet reached her full potential.
The characters work in the kinds of low-paying, (sometimes) high-satisfactionprofessions that humanities graduates drift into (publishing, teaching,academia). Just like us, they wonder if they should've gone to law schoolinstead.

You won't like it if you need a linear narrative.
Being Erica isn't QuantumLeap , where whole episodes take place inanother dimension. Erica moves in and out of her present-day reality throughoutthe show. In general, it's easy to keep up with the time shifts, but it's atough show to join out of sequence, since Erica often flashes back to scenesand situations that were established in earlier episodes. You can avoid thisproblem by watching from thebeginning .

You'll like it if you're charmed by charm.
The show is populated by a collection of quirky goofballs who are alloutrageously likable. It's so darned ... Canadian.


Should I Watch ... is an occasional "Brow Beat" seriesintended to help Slate readersbroaden their TV-viewing habits.

Previous installments: Should I Watch Ru Paul's Drag Race ?


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