“being Johanna” a comedy

This image was so strange and misleading I just had to use it as my visual for the TV series “being erica”. A friend who wants to get pregnant to leave her job recommended that I HAD to watch this TV series, that it was MY story and it comes with a happy ending, as my former boss used to say toes in photos are friendly.

When I tuned into the first episode, the opening monologue had me laughing out loud. Here was a 32-year-old (check), working a call center job (check), single (check), Masters degree in English literature (check), and sleeping with her cat (CHECK). My Canadian TV doppelgänger made me wonder is this the standard formula for universal loser-dom with the maximum potential for change in the comic sphere? As a Woody Allen film called Melinda Melinda debates, life is either a tragedy or a comedy. Erica’s life is a comedy and it ends happily. From the Woody Allen script:

The essence of life isn’t comic.

lt’s tragic. There’s nothing intrinsically funny about the terrible facts of human existence.

l disagree. Philosophers call it absurd because, in the end, all you can do is laugh.

Human aspirations are so ludicrous and irrational.

l mean, if the underlying reality of our being was tragic, my plays would make more than yours, because my stories would resonate more profoundly with the human soul.

l mean, it’s exactly because tragedy hits on the truly painful essence of life that people run to my comedies for escape.

No, no. Tragedy confronts. Comedy escapes.

Look, you guys, what are we discussing here?

ls there a deeper reality in comedy or tragedy? Who can make such a judgment?

Look, let me tell you a story and you tell me, is it material for a comedy or a tragedy?

In the TV show, Erica supposedly peaked in high school whereas according to my mother, I peaked by the age of 3. As legend has it, I recognized the need to use the toilet by 9-months-old, indicating when I needed to pee and getting off the diaper.  I could recite the alphabet except for the letter K and bossed neighborhood children around, telling them when to sit or not to sit.  My mom thought “this kid is going to be a real leader…” and then the story trails off and the look on her face turns to boy was I wrong.


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