BEING ERICA Really Is “A Hotly Anticipated New Show”

One more thing about Being Erica, premiering tonight at 9: it’s very entertaining, and very promising — definitely worth a look. As I mentioned, it’s not always obvious from the marketing, but the producers have come up with a new twist on the “hot woman tries to get her life straightened out” genre represented by shows like Sophie and Samantha Who?, not just with the time travel stuff but with the addition of more real, credible emotion than you usually see on shows like this. That is, even though it’s a fantasy, Erica sometimes faces problems that feel “real” (like the recent death of her brother) as opposed to problems that could only be faced by cute heroines with improbably good wardrobes. The fact that the show shifts gears between comedy and drama is also a good sign, since it opens up the potential for different kinds of episodes rather than just doing the same story over and over. So there’s a lot to work with here.

In an interview with DMc, the producers of the show mention another promising thing about this show: ’90s fashions and music!

JS: It’s also nostalgia. We go back a lot to the nineties, which haven’t really been done in Time Travel shows. You go back to the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s… But for a lot of people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, the 90’s were big for us.

AM: There’s a lot of stuff in the 90’s that’s really cheesy and funny.

JS: You don’t even really know how far we’ve come til you try to do the 90’s every week.

With the ’00s almost (mercifully) over, it’s long past time for some really elaborate ’90s material (sort of like Family Guy came along at the end of the ’90s and made nonstop ’80s jokes), and Being Erica, with its references to Seattle-grunge tunes, Sex and the City and Y2K, is as good a place as any to find such things.

Interestingly, one of the cultural trends of the ’90s was making movies and TV shows about twentysomethings who didn’t know what to do with their lives. Now the trend is to make shows about…. thirtysomethings who don’t know what to do with their lives. So Erica, who is in her thirties and whose life is going nowhere, keeps going back to an era where every show was about people who were in their twenties and whose lives were going nowhere.

(And when you think about it, the ’80s abounded in movies about teenagers whose lives were going nowhere, which means that the kids from The Breakfast Club are now in their thirties and have been steadily going nowhere for over twenty years.)

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