Being Erica

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A posh new coffee house opens in the Financial District

(Image: TJ Tindale)

Dineen Coffee Co. is bringing a little coffee cred to the downtown core, an area otherwise dominated by Starbucks and Tim Hortons. The new espresso shop in the historic Dineen building at Yonge and Temperance is considerably larger and more upscale than most other indie shops in the city.

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Spotlight: Sebastian Pigott beats the Canadian Idol curse on Being Erica and Bomb Girls

Sebastian Pigott Quick: name a Canadian Idol winner. Unless you’re one of those people who fell for Kalan Porter’s curls or Ryan Malcolm’s glasses, chances are you can’t. Over its six-year run, Idol produced a lot of tears, drama and vocal histrionics, but no bona fide stars. Former contestant Sebastian Pigott may be the exception that proves the rule, having become a hot property despite never making it to the winner’s circle.

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Being Erica recap, episode 11 (series finale): wherein Erica Strange cries a lot and says goodbye forever

Presenting: Dr. Erica

Every show comes to an end, whether we like it or not: Friends ended with crying, Will and Grace ended with crying (NBC Thursdays tend to be big cry fests) and, yep, Being Erica ended with crying—lots of it. Erica begins the episode talking about endings, and how every beginning has an end. We’ve learned that Dr. Tom will be unable to see Erica once he retires from his practice, but he has yet to tell Erica, and in this final episode, titled “Dr. Erica,” we witness Dr. Tom battling between resuming his duties as super-doctor and living out his life with Amanda. Of course, this inner battle comes as a result of Erica’s sadness, who has a constipated look on her face for almost the entire episode (we get it, she’s sad—we’re sad, too). In a moment of epiphany, which arises from a Dr. Naadiah intervention, Erica realizes that  “the only constant is change” and that convincing Dr. Tom to stick around is actually likely to hurt him. This episode is a whirlwind, as you can imagine, so look forward to the return of Leo, tears, Dr. Erica’s fabulously appointed office, more tears and an adorable pug (which is really just an excuse to include Brent and Julianne in the finale). Here, our recap of Erica’s final CBC-televised jaunt through the time-space continuum.

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Spotlight: Sarah Gadon is a model of restraint in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method

Sarah Gadon

Cinderella stories are among Hollywood’s most clichéd and hollow myths. Yet they keep happening, both onscreen and off. Sarah Gadon should know: in less than a year, the 24-year-old Toronto actor has gone from guest stints on such shows as Being Erica and Murdoch Mysteries to starring in major movies alongside the likes of Michael Fassbender and Robert Pattinson.

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Being Erica recap, episode 10: wherein Erica neglects to wash her hands after peeing (and Jenny returns!)

BEING ERICA Episode 10

This week, we open on Adam bursting into the bathroom to brush his teeth as Erica is mid-pee. She screeches at him to leave, and he says she’s just going to have to “smoke him out.” Oh, gross. And it gets grosser: Erica decides that flirting with Adam pre-empts either cleaning herself off or washing her hands, so she scoots after him and they start wrestling on the couch. Everyone knows that you don’t walk in on someone while they’re peeing, Erica says, and Adam responds with this week’s lesson: that’s Erica’s rule, not his—she shouldn’t hold everyone else to her standards. Find out what else the typically self-involved Erica Strange got up to in our recap after the jump.

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Being Erica recap, episode 9: wherein we learn that no man could ever not love Erica Strange

BEING ERICA Episode 9

We’re back to new episodes of Being Erica, after the CBC decided last week to pre-empt our favourite time traveller simply because of a hockey game—it’s almost as if they believe Canadians would rather watch hockey than a lady learning lessons. This episode opens with Erica in a chi-chi Yorkville boutique buying a magenta dress for Dave and Ivan’s nuptials. She’s happy with the dress, but when she spots a bridal gown in the window, Erica realizes that even a modern lady like herself wants to get married. After the sales lady pressures her to try it on (something we’re sure women are always doing), Kai walks in and they stand in front of the mirror. Are they the perfect image of happiness? This question launches Erica into a quote from Alice in Wonderland and this week’s theme of fantasies.

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Jesse Brown: how big wireless companies, the banks, and even the actors’ union are keeping our mobile bills the highest in the world

Give Us Your MoneyGetting gouged by cellphone providers is such a routine part of life in Canada that it barely seems worth complaining about. Yet we complain all the time. We trade tales of shocking bills and awful customer service at every opportunity. We complain to friends and we complain to strangers. I complain professionally. To be a technology journalist in Canada is to constantly feed the nation’s seething consumer outrage.

Yes, Canadians pay higher monthly wireless bills than citizens of any other country, according to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Yes, our data roaming fees are higher than those in any other country, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Yes, a cartel of three carriers—Bell, Rogers and Telus—still controls 95 per cent of our market, despite the emergence of budget providers Wind, Public and Mobilicity. And yes, text message fees in Canada are ridiculously marked up, by as much as 4,900 per cent, according to academic estimates. Each story solidifies our right to kvetch. We truly are the most screwed-over cellphone users in the world.

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Being Erica recap, episode 8: wherein TV time travel is explained (poorly) and Sam’s baby is born in a tub

BEING ERICA Episode 8

This week’s Being Erica opens with the most blatant example of in-show advertising we’ve ever witnessed (even more than Julianne’s legendary love of Tetley Infusions). Julianne and Erica are taking a test drive of the most hideously coloured car we’ve ever seen (metallic vomit comes to mind) and rave for three minutes about the convenient and handy features—perfect for a city girl on the go like Erica Strange. We were convinced the car was going to be Erica’s patient of the week, but instead Erica gets a week off from helping others to voice-over about secrets. Read our recap after the jump.

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Being Erica recap, episode 7: wherein Erica is a moth to a King Street bro flame, and Ethan returns

BEING ERICA Episode 7

After last week’s not-so-abrupt dumping from Adam (painfully obvious as soon as Kai came back in the picture), we find Erica single and ready to mingle, which manifests itself in a dream (with sexy results) wherein she finds herself in bed with Adam, Kai and ex-lover Ethan. What a novel way to reintroduce the audience to Erica’s obvious patient of the week (hey, Ethan). When Erica runs into Ethan biking along Queen Street in an NPR shirt, the pair decide to reacquaint themselves over lunch at Fresh. Do present-day sexy results transpire? Find out.

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Being Erica recap, episode 6: wherein Erica and Adam fight a lot, and everything gets much too whimsical

BEING ERICA Episode 6

Stop! That is all Erica needs to say in episode six of Being Erica to freeze time because, for a 24-hour period, she’s a super hero doctor-in-training with Dr. Tom’s powers. There are some limitations, though, because as we know by now, Erica always makes mistakes, and it falls to Dr. Tom to clean up the mess. Erica can only shift time in the present, and she can jump from location to location by going through any door and just thinking of where she’d like to be. It was an admittedly fun episode (as in, Erica wasn’t whining the entire time; don’t worry, there was still plenty of that), but there was a whole lot of focus on her powers, with very little explanation on how it all works. It felt like we were watching an episode of Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie.

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Being Erica recap, episode 5: wherein Erica appears shirtless and Dr. Tom gets some action

BEING ERICA Episode 5

Dr. Naadiah is concerned about Dr. Tom’s lack of a social life again. To demonstrate how pathetic he is, she brings him to her home to show off her beautiful wife, children and many, many friends. Where are your friends, wife and kids, Dr. Tom? Not surprisingly, Dr. Tom decides it’s time to call Amanda, his well-endowed blast from the past who showed up in episode four. But Amanda isn’t the only blast from the past we’re dealing with because crooner Kai Booker is back from the future (again).

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Being Erica recap, episode 4: wherein Brent’s stock plummets, and Erica gets stuck in the ’90s

Being Erica recap, episode 4

BEING ERICA Episode 4

Episode four begins with a heavily produced version of Katy Perry’s ”Firework” sung by Julianne—Goblins is having a talent night, because it is a club-sized cafe. To add even more cheese to a cringeworthy start, Erica follows this song with a voiceover quoting Ms. Perry, who said something that—when boiled down—meant “be yourself.” Having confidence in who we are is the theme of episode four, and last week’s reintroduction of Brent was a way to drive this point home hard—you see, Brent’s sexuality has always been up for debate, and because he’s a bit more flamboyant than most, he feels worried that his role as “urban peacock” may cause problems with his new macho co-workers. Erica, always the sunny, positive person with all of the right answers, tells Brent to just be himself after a round of golf between River Rock and 50/50, because she is worried that his fear of losing his job is changing him (and it is). In taking Erica’s advice to pitch a book idea that was in line with his own interests (a manual for the urban peacock—seriously, we’re confused that Brent isn’t gay, and we’re very open minded) and not the interests of the bro forces that now control the operations of River Rock, he is asked to leave. It is because Erica jumped to the conclusion that being yourself is always the best answer that Dr. Tom sends Erica back to high school in the ’90s to relive another experience in which she gave the same advice and it didn’t work out (proving once more that a doctor-in-training doesn’t always give the best advice).

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What do Tim Hudak and Erica Strange have in common? They’re both stubborn time travellers

You’ll have to forgive us for passing over a Toronto Star story on Friday that seems to have pulled its headline out of the not-so-distant past: “[Tim] Hudak has plan to attract Toronto voters.” The Progressive Conservative leader’s hopes of becoming premier are now little more than memory, largely due to a lacklustre campaign and, particularly in the GTA, campaign trail comments about foreigners coming to take your job. And things only get more awkward—Hudak accidentally used Dalton McGuinty’s own campaign slogan in a speech following the election. But most remarkable is Hudak’s plan to win Toronto votes in the next campaign: “Talking about the big issues: jobs, relief for families and getting government spending in order.” Much like the Star’s headline—and Being Erica—Hudak’s talking points also appear to have gone back in time. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

(Images: Tim Hudak, Ontario Chamber of Commerce; Erica Strange, David Pike)

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Being Erica recap, episode 3: wherein gay bears go camping (with straight bear Adam) and the gals have babies on the brain

BEING ERICA Episode 3

There’s nothing quite like a baby to create drama, like when Taylor on Melrose Place fell down the stairs and learned she wasn’t pregnant, or when Ross from Friends was asked by his lesbian ex-wife to be one of two dads, or even in the movie Junior, when Arnold Schwarzenegger shook up the science world by carrying a child. In episode two of Being Erica, we learned at the last possible moment that Erica’s sister Samantha was pregnant, but what we really wanted to know was, how does everyone feel about it? In episode three, we find out that Erica is amazed, since she’s been thinking that her sister may have been getting fat, which of course sends the sisters into a public conversation about irregular periods and discoloured nipples. The whole situation spooks Adam, who isn’t sure he wants children, while Lenin, the baby’s father, is thrilled, and Gary, Erica’s dad, is overjoyed by the news that he will be getting his first grandson. It won’t come as a surprise that not everyone is as thrilled with the news—Sammy and Erica’s mother Barb is quieted by it, and no one knows why, which is why, surprise, Erica’s mom is her newest patient.

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