I’m not a frequent viewer of SOAPnet – aside from Y&R, I don’t watch most of the shows the channel features – but after learning a bit more about their new show Being Erica, I may have to tune in.
This show is not a documentary about Erica Kane, but rather a fictional show (imported from Canada) with an interesting twist: this Erica travels back in time to “do-over” important moments in her life.
I had a few reasons I wanted to mention this show. One is I’m a big fan of one of the actors who appear in Being Erica: the Canadian actor Tyron Leitso. He’s a great romantic lead, and has a laid-back charm. He’s also insanely hot (see photographic evidence).
And Tyron leads me to excuse #2 to discuss Being Erica: Tyron also appeared in one of my favoritest television shows in the history of ever: the short-lived, but much-loved, Wonderfalls.
In case you missed it, Wonderfalls was on FOX in the spring of 2004. It was a midseason replacement and was touted as the Next Big Thing. It had a really unique, fresh premise – or so the creators thought. It was a show about faith and finding your purpose – but instead of a treacly, “Touched By An Angel” premise, the lead character, Jaye, was a sour, jaded Gen X’er with an intrusive, unusual family.
The show was set at the Canadian-American border, where Jaye worked at a tourist shop at Niagara Falls. Just when Jaye is mired deepest in her ennui and her lack of direction, an unusual thing happens – inanimate objects start talking to her.
Unfortunately, the more traditional Joan of Arcadia had a similar premise (God talking to Joan, albeit via other people) and Wonderfalls was apparently doomed by the comparisons. It’s a shame, because Wonderfalls is such an amazing show.
The chemistry between Caroline Dhavernas, the amazing Quebecois actress who played Jaye, and Leitso was magnetic; any soap fan who loves romance, especially the slow burn type, should pick up the DVD of Wonderfalls.
All 13 episodes were thankfully released on DVD, especially since Fox, a notoriously trigger-happy network, canceled the show after three episodes.
There’s a lot to recommend the show: cast members like Lee Pace (who went on to appear in Pushing Daisies, a show by the same creator, Bryan Fuller), as well as Tracie Thoms (who’s now on Cold Case). Jaye’s mother was played in a delightfully arch, campy fashion by a post-Mommie Dearest Diana Scarwid.
I saw a lot of great acting and fresh faces throughout all 13 episodes, which makes me wonder all the more why there aren’t more USA-Canada partnerships.
I still think a collaboration on a serial would be really inventive (and, with shared costs, likely profitable). But we seldom see any collaboration, even on nighttime programming.