TV Thursdays: If We Lived our Life a Second Time, Would We Do Things Differently? (Being Erica)

being erica

Ever wondered how it would be if you lived your life again? Like for a second time, a do-over, a chance to start again? Regrets are common and universal to everyone. It’s something that people deal with, regardless of age, socioeconomic status, religion, morals, values, ethics, belief systems… you get my point.

Chances are that the neighbour down the street wishes that he started a family a few years back instead of climbing the corporate ladder and receiving promotion after promotion, and living in the big mansion, with no one to spend Christmas and holidays with. And maybe the person sitting next to you wishes that he studied for his final exam more than he did, instead of partying in the city every night before, thus being totally unprepared, ill equipped and overwhelmed for the crucial test. We all wish we did something differently however many years ago. It’s part of being human. But some people dwell on the past a whole lot more than others, and that is where I introduce my next favourite TV show, Being Erica.

Shown on the Canadian channel CBC from 2009-2011, and starring Erin Karpluk as the character Erica, the story focuses on a single 30-something woman from Toronto, Canada who has a chance meeting with a mysterious therapist, called Dr Tom, after suffering a nut allergy at the end of a horrible day. Dr Tom, as it turns out, is a doctor in the realm of time travel, and offers up a solution for Erica to fix her life- to go back in time and change the mistakes she thinks she made. From then on, the series follows a pattern. Almost every episode, Erica finds herself in a mess, then Dr Tom shows up in his portable office (which can travel through time also), giving Erica the chance to go back in time to fix a mistake. She then travels back, and tries to change the past, yet most times her efforts have unintended consequences, as she tries to not let on to her friends and family (in different time periods) that she is from the future.

As each episode flashes back to events in Erica’s past that shape and define her, we are glimpse into her family life with Jewish parents Gary (John Boylan) and Barbara (Kathleen Laskey), sister Sam (Joanna Douglas), and also understand the pain Erica feels when dealing with her brother Leo’s (Deon Bostick) death. Along the way we also see Erica interact with various friends and co-workers like Judith (Vinessa Antoine), Julianne (Reagan Pasternak), Brent (Morgan Kelly), Ethan (Tyron Leitso), Kai (Sebastian Pigott), Adam (Adam Fergus) and Jenny (Paula Brancati) and it is revealed that most of Erica’s regrets revolve around her friends and family. Shown in a procedural way, yet with an overarching season long theme, Erica is reminded time and time again of the dangers of altering time, and what I understood from the show is that removing the bad parts of life can have consequences, and these experiences make up a part of yourself. Taking them away or not acknowledging them could be like wishing that we as a person were different. While living with regrets is bad enough, living with no bad experiences, like Erica wants time and time again in the show, is catastrophic, as this means no room for growth, and no room for improvement and no sense of accomplishment, overcoming adversities or satisfaction.

While I’m not going to divulge as to what happens in the end of the show (let’s just say that there is a definitive ending that is bittersweet); what Being Erica has taught me is to not worry about the past, and instead make active steps in ensuring that the future is something that we individually can be proud of. One of my favourite shows of the 2000’s, the topic of regrets is sure to grab people’s attention, and hopefully the brilliant acting ability of many of the cast, as well as the witty, poignant, heartfelt, and funny storylines keep pulling people back in. Though many people wish that they made different choices, the reality is that the past cannot be changed, so shows like this one can only serve as reminders of how to live our days moving forward.

Is there a regret that you currently have that you wish you could change? Share it below if you want to. If there is one thing you can do differently for the future, what would it be? What is the one thing that you have learnt from your regrets?

Until next time.

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