Two months and nine episodes into the series, the team behind CBC’s one-hour drama Being Erica seem a bit more comfortable in their gimmick format. But unfortunately, that comfort hasn’t boosted its ratings, which slowly eroded into Sophie territory through a change from Monday to Wednesday nights.
Faced with tens of thousands abandoning the show every week, and ratings dropping to just over 400,000, the show sexed it up this week, promising HOT GIRL-ON-GIRL action. As a red-blooded male, that got me interested, as it did plenty of other TV-watching-watchers.
That was a good start. Unfortunately the warning neglected to mention Spice Girls music, which I think requires the most viewer discretion.
Those of you in Canada can watch last night’s episode (and all the other episodes) on CBC’s website in pretty-good-definition. If you’re wondering how far the sex scene goes, here’s the juiciest bits:
That’s about as far as it gets before an (admittedly hilarious) interruption. But that’s still pretty hot. Of course, Erin Karpluk could spend an entire episode reading the phone book and I’d be entranced, so perhaps I’m not the best judge. And Anna Silk (whom you might remember from that Nicoderm commercial) kind of looks like Mary-Louise Parker, another of my many TV crushes.
The reviews range from “lesberrific” to … well, I’ll let you know. In any case, it did see a ratings boost of about 100,000 viewers. Bill Brioux says that might have as much to do with less competition than increased interest.
I’m not a TV critic any more than I’m an art critic, so I can’t tell you if the show is good or not, topless scenes notwithstanding. I can’t even tell you whether or not I like it, because I just don’t know. I think I’m stuck between liking it and not liking it. I’m still annoyed a bit by the constant references to Toronto, as if living in Toronto to Being Erica is like living in New York to Sex and the City.
But the show is growing on me. It’s becoming a bit less cliché, a bit less predictable. And most importantly, I’m still watching it.
New media get old quickly
One disappointment I have with the show is its apparent abandonment of new media marketing. The thing that first got me attached to it was the pre-launch campaign which included a blog and YouTube videos, which were actually pretty entertaining. But the blog and YouTube channel stopped being updated after the show launched, and I don’t see any original new media outreach. Since the show is plunging in the ratings and desperately trying to gain an audience, this would seem to be the last time to abandon marketing efforts.
Americans like us!
A couple of weeks ago, Being Erica premiered on ABC’s SoapNet cable channel. That led to reviews in U.S. media, most of which were positive (and all of which I got off the most excellent TV, Eh? blog).
- New York Times: Likes, especially compared to previous Canadian imports
- Detroit News: Likes, saying it fills the void left by Sex and the City.
- Variety: Likes, calling it “frothy” and “refreshing”, but pointing out that its very premise (that changing the past doesn’t help) will make it difficult to sustain the show for long
- Boston Herald: Likes, following that whole “it’s Canadian so it’s exotic” motif, but saying it’s more relatable and likable than over-Botoxed American fare.
- South Coast Today: Likes, calling it smart and sympathetic
- The Jewish Week: Likes, because of the strong Jewish identity of the family
So if it’s so good and we can relate to it so well, why aren’t we? Is Being Erica’s cancellation something we’ll end up regretting?