Caught the season finale of Being Erica Tuesday night. Some thoughts.
Had bailed on Erica (played by Erin Karpluk) three or four episodes into this season–the girl and the show were both really starting to bug me. (Although I did check back in for the jump-the-shark bad hair episode, when Karpluk was forced to wear a wig left over from the Air Farce prop department.) I liked the season premiere, which was mostly about way more intriguing Dr. Tom (Michael Riley), but by the very next episode the story shifted back to Erica and her time traveling journey of discovery and I was bored all over again.
RUN AND HIDE IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE FINALE YET AND YOU DON’T WANT TO TRIP OVER ANY SPOILERS
By the finale, Erica had lost her job as an junior editor and was in a rut with her one-dimensional boyfriend Ethan (Tyron Leitso). Former Canadian Idol contestant Sebastian Pigott got plenty of face time this season as Kai, a bartender/rock star stuck in the past as another time traveler therapy patient.
The writers laboured to construct this contrived love triangle. Leitso’s character, however, was pure cardboard, and the whole thing just seemed to collapse at times.
Prodded by Dr. Tom, Erica had to finally confront the fact that she just can’t choose in critical situations, that she doesn’t seem to know what she wants. Sorta like how this show can’t decide if its a comedy or a drama at times? Like that.
Erica bounces back in time to confront a fierce former graduate school prof who seems to have a hate on for our girl, but she really just wants Erica to stop being such a wuss, dammit. These scenes were shot at my old alma mater, St. Mike’s College at the University of Toronto, so good to see the school is finding new ways to defray the cost of education. Maybe they’ll stop sending me pleas for alumni cash.
Meanwhile, Pigott lurched in and out of scenes like a character who wandered off a set of some teen vampire soap. There was plenty going on Tuesday night, enough that the show did not for once seem like a half hour stretched to an hour, but the showy song moment in the bar where Kai lands his record contract was pure Degrassi.
Erica goes back to the apartment she shares with Ethan and tells Mr. Buzz Kill who doesn’t believe in her new business venture dream that she is outta there. Leitso raises one eyebrow just enough so that we know that he is concerned yet resigned and not just sleepy.
Erica makes her way back to a magic wall where Dr. Tom has drawn a big doorway for her out of chalk. She pushes through the wall and winds up back in a creepy hallway full of doors. Dr. Tom pulled this trick earlier in the episode, and Erica simply followed him through a door. This time she chooses one on her own, a green door.
And that’s how the season ends; Erica goes behind the green door. Promises of porn adventures to come?
The ending was a little too pat, leaving this series at a point where anything could happen next. Too much of anything, actually; there was no hook left to tease you where it might all lead. You could hand this series off to a whole other room full of writers at this point, or make it a half hour, or put a bow on it and thank the half million who tune in faithfully each week with promises of a season two DVD set.
If and when we get to see Erica on the other side, could she cheer up a little at least? The girl has been given a pretty cool gift–to go back in time to confront mistakes made in the past. It’s a great premise for a series. Who wouldn’t want to do that, and have a wise, quote-dropping therapist to sort it all out with? Erica should be more into her gift, not such a drag. Maybe the green door leads to the Roughrider Grey Cup boo-boo, and Erica is able to shoo the 13th man off the field in time. Maybe it’s the Green Rider door. Maybe it leads to the Dragon’s Den. Where ever it leads, let it lead somewhere other than in circles.