Therapy is a process. Therapy takes work. Apparently, it also involves time travel. But is it ever truly over?
With Being Erica – aka Quantum Leap for girls – let’s hope not.
For 13 episodes, we’ve followed Erica over a well structured arc of stories in which we’ve got to know her, her friends, her family and potential boyfriends. While there has been the occasionally dull episode and Erika’s been a touch whiney at times, there haven’t been any real stinkers. It has, perhaps, veered into the absurd too many times, with Erica’s life in publishing not the most well observed of office workplaces – more in keeping with daft-as-a-brush Sophie than a show that at times has shown depth and pathos. Some of the characters have been a little wet and pathetic, and others have been moustache-twirlers of the most villainous sorts. Nevertheless, almost always worth watching if you have a sensitive bone in you.
While much of the wisdom imparted in the show has been of the blindingly obvious kind, it has at least been about making Erica do things that she might not have done and then the realisations about herself that her interference brings about. And it’s had a few clever moments, with Erica going back to change what she changed in previous episodes when it turns out she made a few cock-ups. With each episode more or less ending in a cliffhanger, it’s been a show worth waiting for each week.
The finale is slightly odd and strangely doom-laden compared to the preceding episodes, with roving all-powerful therapist Dr Tom offering Erica the chance to say goodbye to her brother before he died. Erica can’t resist the chance to stop his death and despite the show previously showing that changing the past isn’t a biggie in the grand scheme of things, everything goes pear-shaped, offering us a brief glimpse of a world in which Erica is now a complete bitch, feared by everyone. The glance is so brief and the alternative world so unexplored, with no real explanation of why the world has become so different, it makes you wonder if they’ll return to it in season two.
Equally interestingly, it gives us a glimpse behind Dr Tom’s curtain, as it’s revealed that he answers to someone, that there are other therapists like him and that if Erica ever changes anything too much, the universe will compensate somehow, to the extent of killing people if necessary.
Whether we’ll get to meet him and Erica again is a trickier question. Season one feels quite complete in itself. Erica’s life is on track, most of the questions and dilemmas in her life that needed fixing have been fixed and Dr Tom has gone. There’s a sense of closure already, despite the show’s cliffhanger ending. If the show weren’t to come back, it at least wouldn’t feel like we’d been cheated.
The ratings for the show haven’t been that great, especially since it’s slightly useless move to a Wednesday has pitched it against some big hitters in the ratings, giving it just shy of 500,000 viewers. It along with The Border and Little Mosque on the Prairie will be back, but with reduced episode counts thanks to CBC’s financial difficulties. So whether there’ll be changes to the show to meet the curtailed season or how much of a season it will get, is difficult to say.
I do hope it comes back. The main characters are involving, even if some of the supporting characters aren’t desperately compelling. It’s simultaneously intelligent while frothy and entertaining. And from time to time, it has the ability to surprise and bring a tear to the eye.