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.
2 thoughts on “Stream of consciousness”
I, too, caught Being Erica on Soapnet and remembered Tyron Leitso right away from the magnificent Wonderfalls. I watched the show when it aired on Fox, but I believe they moved the 3rd episode from its regular night to a new night without informing anyone and the ratings were abysmal, so Fox cancelled it immediately. Which is such a shame, because after viewing the entire season on DVD, it only continued to get better and better as the season went on. There wasn’t a character on that show I didn’t like, but I was especially fond of Jaye’s relationship with her brother Aaron, played by Lee Pace. Didn’t he study Theology in college? And he didn’t believe in God. Then when he noticed the weird happinings in Jaye’s life and the way someone was trying to give her advice through such odd means, was just brilliant. And I agree, Jaye and Eric had tons of chemistry, what a wonderful show that was. I just finally bought the full series of Freaks and Geeks on DVD, which I had been meaning to buy for eons but couldn’t really afford it. That was also a wonderful show that was cancelled before it’s prime. It’s amazing how some of those guys became such huge stars, like Seth Rogan, James Franco and Jason Segal, and Judd Appatow is now a household name.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Wonderfalls! I immediately fell in love with it when it was on and was devastated when it was cancelled. I have since seen all episodes (plus bonus goodies) on DVD a few times. The whole cast had great chemistry, but I loved Caroline and Tryon were an awesome match up.