So, if you’re an American and enjoy shows from the great land up North, you may be familiar with Being Erica, the hit primetime show from CBC. The unfortunate thing about being an American who enjoys the program is that you have to wait an entire year just to see a new season, unless you go about watching it the not-so-legal way.
But that long wait finally ended this past Wednesday when SoapNet began airing the second season of what became one of my all-time favorites last year. And I have to say, it started with a pretty big bang.
The episode starts off exactly where last season left off; Erica stands in the glossy white office of a new, mysterious therapist by the name of Nadia who tells her that Dr. Tom has given up being her therapist because of what she did when she went back to the day her brother died.
Now, here’s the thing: when season 1 left off on this cliffhanger, I thought “Hell yes! They can have this big arc in season 2 where Erica somehow has to get Dr. Tom to come back.” It could have been a fantastic goal for the season and a way for us to get some insight into just who these therapists are. But what we get feels a bit like a rush job.
First off, Nadia, agreeing to let Erica quit therapy since she doesn’t want to work with anyone but Tom, tells her it’s time to pay her debt and sends her back to 1998 where we suddenly learn that Erica was a Canadian equivalent to a Coyote Ugly girl to pay for her masters. Um…does anyone else feel like this was a complete middle finger to the audience?
The entire first season, we hear nothing about Erica ever working in a bar. Not only that, but I can think of at least one time where she went back to this point in the late 90s and no mention was made. So I have to assume they pulled this together for the sake of convenience. And as an aspiring writer, I can see why, but I still feel a bit cheated. Especially since I spent several minutes trying to figure out if this really was a point in Erica’s past or if, once again, she was transported back to someone else’s life. To be honest, I would have taken it better if they had gone with the latter.
The thing I really loved about the episode though was how much we learned about who Dr. Tom is. We really see him as a human being, not as the mysterious man whose office appears behind random doors. And Tom’s short temper was something I really latched onto the previous season. They were letting subtle hints about his character slip out and it really made me appreciate him more.
But here’s the flaw: instead of stretching out what could have been a great mystery to last us at least six episodes, they crammed the whole story into an hour. Now, I do believe there is plenty more for them to cover this season and they’re already well on their way to divulging the mystery of the Therapists, as seen from the season teasers. But wouldn’t it have made more sense to leave us with a little more than this?
Even so, what we did learn of Doc Tom was great. He was a wealthy business man with an errant daughter and a propensity for violence. And Michael Riley did a fantastic job playing these two versions of the same character. You really felt just how much Tom changed over 10 years.
Eventually, Erica somewhat rescues Tom from himself in another bout of writer’s convenience. I still don’t understand the end of the episode enough to detail it here. It’s just something you have to see for yourself, but trust me, you’ll tilt your head and say “Do huh now?”
But the best little tease, in my opinion, we got was at the end of the episode when Erica is out getting coffee and she inadvertently sees the barista open the door to his own mysterious therapist. This is definitely something I was hoping would pop up and I can’t wait to see what happens. Though I have a sneaking suspicion that this guy may turn into a love interest and that is the last thing that I want. Erica just finally got with Ethan and I’d like it to stay that way, but still see a bit of rockiness over the next episodes.
I think this season is definitely going to be able to keep the idea fresh and introduce new aspects to the show, but I’m very sad that budget cuts at CBC caused only 12 episodes to be made when we really should have gotten a full 24. Still, I think this team is going to be able to pull it off spectacularly, as they did only 12 the first time.
One thing that bothers me though; I was watching Erin Karpluk (Erica) on The View and she mentioned that she recently got a green card and is moving to L.A. this year. So what does this mean for the show? Is production ending? Are they going with another star in forthcoming seasons? Did Erin leave to try her hand at the big time in Hollywood? Or are they moving the show to California? It’s a possibility, as she’s been popping up in more American media lately. I guess only time and Wikipedia will tell.