why being erica is quality

I just started watching the Canadian comedy (dramedy?  I think it's supposed to be a drama but it's quite witty) Being Erica, and bless my soul, this is an excellent show!  First of all, thank you, CBC for creating a quality, clever TV show.  Set in Canada without feeling "too Canadian", strong writing, good acting, et cetera!  It's just fun to watch.

Sure, it's got a lot of cheesy voice overs, but so did Sex and the City and so does Modern Family.  I'm okay with it.

I was, however, sold on the show before I'd seen a lick of action.  I mean,  I was still prepared to think it was lame, but I was sold on the people who made it and their brains.  Why?  It was Erica's opening monologue:

"My name is Erica Strange.  I'm 32.  Still working a dead-end job.  Still sleeping with my cat.  I know people wonder why the cute girl with the great education and great friends can't get it together.  There's a simple answer: bad decisions."
This might strike you as just another Gen Y complaining about her lot in life.  I see something more.  I see a divergence from one of the most annoying story tropes when it comes to the Young Girl Down on her Luck - the fact that she is always supposed to be unattractive.

Observe these women who are described as "plain", "ugly", "hopeless", or "tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me."  (That last one is Pride and Prejudice, if you didn't guess.)







In fact, it often seems the only time a woman in a movie or TV show refers to herself as attractive, it's either an overblown brag for comic effect, or couched in a hopeless rant and the insidious qualifier "enough" (the "I'm smart and cute enough, right?  Why doesn't anyone love me?")

So colour me pink to see our dear friend Erica, who is, indeed, cute.  And she knows it!  She comes out and says it right in the opening monologue for the show, and it's not a joke, nor is it qualified with the words "enough" or "I think" so that she doesn't seem too braggy.  Nope, she straight up acknowledges that people will look at her and think that she's too cute and smart to have such a lame life.  Then she takes responsibility for her crappy situation - it's not the universe out to get her or the fact that her parents didn't teach her manners or birth her with more beauty points.  It's her bad decisions.  That's it.

Now I'm on Erica's team.  I am rooting for this clever girl to figure out her issues, gain a new perspective, and make better decisions.  Go Erica, go!

Comments