Canadian TV tends to be hit or miss. It has to be quirky and different, or else no one would watch it, because why bother imitating American TV when you can just get American TV. But Being Erica was a definite hit for me. It’s about Erica Strange, a 32-year-old woman living in Toronto who believes her crappy life is due to the poor choices she’s made. In the first episode, after being stood up by her date and ending up in the ER from an allergic reaction to a hazelnut coffee, she meets a therapist who has the ability to send her back in time to the moments of her biggest regrets to change those events, and more importantly learn from them. Erin Karpluk, the Canadian actress who plays Erica Strange, describes the show as “My Name is Earl meets Pretty in Pink meets Back to the Future meets Sex and the City.”
The opening voiceover from the first episode hooked me right away:
You know that friend you have? The girl who seems to have it all figured out? She’s got the great job, the great guy, the great life. Well, I’m not that girl.Like Erica at the beginning of the series, I have a Master’s degree that hasn’t gotten me anywhere. Like Erica, I have a family that has high expectations that I feel I’m never living up to, but unlike Erica, I’ve never yelled “I am suffocating under the collective weight of your disapproval!” at them. I wish I’d done some things differently. But unlike Erica, I don’t want to go back to these moments. I made the conscious choice a while ago not to have any regrets; I am who I am because what has happened to me, and there’s no chance for me to go back in time and change any events, I can only move forward.
I know people wonder why the cute girl with the great education and the great friends can’t get it together. There’s a simple answer: bad decisions. I could teach a course on messing up your life; really, I am that good at getting everything wrong.
Okay, okay, so I know it’s my fault my life is where it’s at, but I figure I gotta catch a break some time, right?
And in the end, Erica never returns to a present world where things are very different; the changes always happen on the inside.
Still, it’s an interesting question. What would you change if you had the chance?
On a more frivolous level, I love Erica’s wardrobe:
Lots of dresses, skirts, and colour. And unlike some TV wardrobes, I feel like this one is actually attainable. In fact, I know where some of these pieces came from. For instance, this is a Banana Republic dress that I actually tried on:
And apparently the costume designer shops at the same places that I do, because I actually own some of these clothes. I found seeing my own clothes on someone else on TV to be quite a weird experience, in a “you’re wearing my clothes, bitch!” kind of way.
I own these two lilikoi tops:
And this Banana Republic wrap dress, which I love:
So I already do dress like Erica Strange. Maybe I just want to be her and get a job as an assistant to a publisher and go to editing a book within a year. I know, I know, it’s fantasy. It’s a TV show, it’s not reality. I should just stick to the clothes.