Being Erica to end after Season 4
Popular Canadian comedy-drama Being Erica has been confirmed to end after its fourth season.
Creator Jana Sinyor said on LiveJournal:
“Season 4 is the end. It’s important to Aaron and I to be able to finish the story in a way that is satisfying to our audience. This is going to be a big year for Erica, and by the end of it – she will have finished the journey she started…”
While it is unclear if the decision was network-influenced (in terms of ratings), what is certain is that they have decided to allow them one more season, and the creative team agree that it is the perfect length for them.
In other words, it’s the old cliché: they want to end on a high. But funnily enough, in Hollywood, not many things do.
So, you always have to admire a show’s creator who decides to end a show on their terms, and when they feel the show has run its course.
However, while this isn’t always happy news for devoted fans, it can be looked back upon as a finely polished product, rather than a show which was flogged to death or jumped the shark.
Think the Simpsons during the past ten years and how many people lament the passing of the golden years. Then contrast this with Seasons 1 and 2 of the Office (the UK version), arguably one of the best comedies ever made, and only 12 episodes and a special. And the case could certainly be made that extending a show for too long can almost ruin its legacy.
For example, ironically, the US version of the Office hit its straps during seasons 2 and 3, and was still very good during seasons 4 and 5. However, of late, many commentators have been calling for the shows to wrap up, as it is not as good as it used to be.
Now, the overall opinion of the Office as a whole is lowered, due to not only an average run of episodes, but characters acting out of character and implausible plot lines, detracting from its realism that made it so appealing in the early years.
Having a defined end point can also allow writers to construct a more well rounded and balanced arc for characters. If the show was suddenly axed, there may not be sufficient time to design a satisfying ending.
Possibly the best example of this is in recent times when My Name is Earl was axed after its fourth season. The show not only had the rug pulled out from under it unawares, it also had decided to end on a CLIFFHANGER. There was even a “To be continued…”, for Pete’s sake.
(In case you forgot, Darnell- “Crab Man”- was found to not be the father of Earl Jr.)
So, in most cases, ending when the creator sees fit is the best option, as there is nothing more spirit-sapping in life than seeing a show which you used to love be a shadow of its former self for the sake of money. But, while ending on a high can be a triumph for the creative team, it robs the viewers of a possible 2 or 3 more guaranteed seasons of pure gold.
In this day and age it’s just about finding the right balance between a show’s integrity and making as much hay as you can while the sun is still shining.
Being Erica airs on ABC2 in Australia.