I’ve been watching the new VH1 show Hindsight, which is the long-awaited American version of Being Erica, a top-three television program for me. I was struggling with the 9pm airtime, but this week they switched to an 8pm time slot. This doesn’t work either, because it pits Hindsight against Modern Family. So I recorded tonight’s episode, which had previews that promised tragedy… and some dick just posted a spoiler on Pinterest. White girl problems.
In a wonderful stroke of fortune, our first book club selection is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee… and she broke the internet today (well, certain corners of the internet):
Go Set a Watchman, out July 14, 2015!
It looks like it has something to do with UT Football’s bye week. The TribFest (on UT campus) and the Book Festival (on the capitol grounds) might make this a weekend worth staying out of Austin.
I’m proposing we start treating January as “Give Yourself a Break” month and not commence the “new year, new me” insanity until February 1. It is the start of the Celtic spring and the feast day of St. Brigid. She is patron saint of printing presses, but I’ve never figured out why, though I expect it has something to do with Wynken de Worde.
Being Erica aired on Canadian TV from 2009-2011. I watched it on SoapNet and on YouTube and waited for the rumored American version, which has finally started airing on VH1 in 2015. [*I wrote this in 2015. The show has since been canceled]
Here’s what Erica and Becca have in common: they both work in publishing, their parents divorced after the children were grown, and they each have a troubled brother.
One major difference: Erica goes back and forth, from present to past (and once or twice, the future), while Becca has gone back once, to 1995, and stays there. Erica has “sessions” with her “therapist,” Dr. Tom, who has a philosophical quote for every episode, while Becca’s mysterious stranger has yet to explain himself, and his one Zen koan turned out to be a sign hanging in a bar.
Being Erica was filmed in Toronto, which was pretty awesome. Hindsight has the cute little peach logo at the end, shared by Archer and The Walking Dead, proclaiming “Made in Georgia.” Turns out, Hindsight was filmed in Atlanta but set in New York City… which is less awesome. Tons of shows and movies film in NYC; having another city stand in for it seems like another throwback to the 90s.
Becca is always wearing a Michigan sweatshirt, which has yet to be explained, but Erica earned her BA and MA at the University of Toronto. Hindsight‘s theme song (“In the Meantime” by Spacehog) beats the crap out of Erica’s theme song (a girly Lily Frost song produced specifically for the show).
The most interesting character in Hindsight is Becca’s best friend and roommate, Lolly. The two of them have their own “secret language of movie quotes” (some favorites so far: “I carried a watermelon,” and “A best friend’s work is never done.”) Lolly works in a video store, thinks the cancellation of My So-Called Life was the worst thing that ever happened, and argues that not taking muscle relaxers on your wedding days is the most important lesson learned from Sixteen Candles.
When Becca travels from 2015 to 1995, she is in an elevator. The buttons light up to countdown 10…9…8… and she is flashing back to New Year’s Eve, 1993/4, when she turns to Lolly and says: “I have to tell you something.” Then she wakes up on her (first) wedding day, which is October of 1995. No clue why an event two years earlier is triggering the time travel, hope that gets explained.
The Irish tie-in: one of Erica’s three major love interests is Irish (he shows up in Season Three). Becca’s first wedding, in 1995, took place at “St. John Ireland Church” in Manhattan (St. Patrick’s). In the second episode, the new author whose manuscript comes through Becca’s publishing company, who Becca knows will become a superstar in “fusion philanthropy,” talks about hanging out with Bono while at a writer’s retreat in Kilkenny and teaching the occasional seminar at Trinity College.
A few other things: Becca looks like a cross between Shakira and Sienna Miller, her dad eating Moo Goo Gai Pan (in the 90s) makes me very happy, as does “Where’s the Keurig?” and Lollypalooza, and Anthony from Sex and the City as Becca’s horrible boss, Simon, who barks orders with the preface “Simon says….”