The Being Erica BS detector: Season 3, Episode 1
CBC’s hugely popular Being Erica premiered its third season Tuesday night.
The good news: 1) With Lost out of the picture, BE stands a solid chance of being the best time travel–related TV show on the planet (Dr. Who? Exactly). 2) Fans finally got to see what was behind that mysterious green door from the season two cliffhanger.
The bad news: What is behind the door was, well, underwhelming. We’re giving the show the benefit of the doubt, hoping episode 1 was all about providing the somewhat snoozy but necessary set-up for another amazing season, and that we’ll eventually warm to the new group therapy posse (right now, we’re still kind of crushing on Kai). In the meantime, let us get down to the business at hand: time copping.
On a show that hinges on jumping backward and forward through time, it’s important to get the details right. With this in mind, we decided to avoid the obvious episode recap style analysis (someone else can question why Julianne all of a sudden calls Erica “chicken” 10 times a day), and focus directly on the onscreen accuracy of the various time periods that Erica visits.* So, here we go.
The time period: May 2002. Erica travels back with Adam (part of the new gang) to help him cope with the death of his mom.
• For a second, we got that tingly time cop feeling when Erica and Adam ran straight into a Toronto hospital. Wait, we thought. Wasn’t this the SARS era? No, SARS was one year later. Points for the appropriately pre-pandemic hospital setup. No security, no masks, no handwashing stations every two metres. It was a simpler time. (+3)
• Looks like the BE writing staff needs to brush up on Hollywood gossip stats. While sitting in a hospital waiting room, Erica reads an issue of Elle magazine and proclaims, “Bennifer. Like that will last.” Sure, she was dead on re. the longevity of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s relationship, but on the day that she was sitting in that hospital room, the term “Bennifer” had yet to enter the pop culture lexicon. Our basic search of international media sources shows the earliest references to Affleck and Lopez as a rumoured couple were in June 2002, and the nauseating nickname came after that. So either this is an error, or Erica Strange (a fake person on a Canadian TV show) is to blame for Bennifer, as well as Brangelina, TomKat and all the other super-couple name mashups that followed. (-8)
• Running from one very aggressive cop across Queen Street West, Erica and Alex duck into a series of back alleys decorated with colourful graffiti as far as the eye can see, which makes sense, because this is happening years before Mayor Miller decided to focus on the city’s silent killer, graffiti, with his ridonkulous “Give Graffiti the Brush Off” campaign. (+3)
Final score: -2. We’ll hope for more to work with next week.
* Granted, this concept works a lot better when the time traveller in question doesn’t spend 90 per cent of her journey in the same hospital hallway as she did in this episode, but we’ll play the hand we’re dealt and just hope that next week involves a classic return-to-high-school sequence or another trip to 2019.
8 thoughts on “The Being Erica BS detector: Season 3, Episode 1”
Um…the Tuesday night premiere got only 407,000 viewers, terrible numbers for a returning prime time series…and suggest you calling show hugely popular should be subjected to the BS detector.
This show has slipped since Season 1. Instead of ‘crushing on Kai’, how about some relevant insight as to why this show is getting less and less popular. It isn’t the ‘Bennifer’ gaff. Weak piece.
Here’s a thought, Since Erica lived through the whole Bennifer thing already, she was simply making a comment on an article noting the early days of Jen and Ben’s romance (not necessarily one that references them as “Bennifer”) and she uses the term because she’s heard it a million times since, she’s lived through all of it already. The article’s criticism on this point doesn’t make any sense. Think about it.
It will only get better from here.
Lo, did you even read the post? The point is that Erica’s time in the doctor’s office precedes any mention of Ben and Jen as a couple, not just the Bennifer nick name. It is definitely an error.
I’m with Lo–it wasn’t the magazine article that said “Bennifer” it was Erica.. who comes into 2002 with 2010 knowledge, thus she’d call any mention of Jen and Ben “Bennifer”. Ugh, why am I even debating this…
Trudie and Lo are both wrong. Firstly, why would there be an article in the May 2002 issue of Elle about Jen and Ben (romantic or not)? Gigli didn’t come out until 2003, so it couldn’t be about the movie they were shooting. Also, if Erica 2010 was commenting on the fact she knows it eventually doesn’t work out for “Bennifer” – why would she say “like that will last”. She should say – “that doesn’t last”. Toronto Life +3.
Re: Bennifer reference out of time sequence…it’s an anachronism, Shakespeare used them. If you think about the time travel theme of the show and the fact that Erica is in the publishing business, it’s appropriate to use anachronisms on BE. See below for definition…grade 9 English coming back to haunt you like Banquo’s ghost!
anachronism: (GK. ‘back-timing) A historically inaccurate episode or event. In literature anachronisms may be used deliberately to distance events and to underline a universal verisimilitude and timelessness – to prevent something being ‘dated’. Shakespeare adopted this device several times. Two classic examples are the references to the clock in Julius Caesar and to billiards in Antony and Cleopatra – (when a clock chimes in Julius Caesar, clocks had not been invented in Roman times, in which the play is supposedly set).
“Gigli didn’t come out until 2003” – so it would have been shot around 2002. I looked back and there were rumours in July of that year. “Also, if Erica 2010 was commenting on the fact she knows it eventually doesn’t work out for “Bennifer” – why would she say “like that will last”. She should say – “that doesn’t last””. She’s saying it because she knows she’s in 2002, so she’s talking in a future sense.
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