It’s not often that I’ll go back and cover an ‘old’ episode of a show, but Jenny From The Block was quite an interesting story for [[Being Erica (TV Series)|Being Erica]].
As always with Being Erica, there’s always something in the story that resonates with me on a personal level. In this episode Erica’s friend Slutty Jenny (my name for her) comes back into her life. Erica sees that Jenny is in difficulty, so she offers her friend a job at the publishing company to help her make some money.
The theme of the episode is that Jenny always shirks responsibility, relying on Erica to do the ‘heavy lifting’ for her. And through reliving one of Erica’s regrets we get to see that this is a long-established pattern of behaviour. I won’t recap the whole thing – Dr. Tom does it so well: “Jenny screws up, and you save the day. She screws up, and you feel needed.”
While her friendship with Jenny isn’t one of the key friendships of her life, Erica is required to re-evaluate when she and Julieanne catch Jenny having sex with the nemesis from River Rock, Brent on a desk. It’s the climax (pardon the pun) in Jenny’s failings. After messing up frequently, she’s allowed Brent access to their office and information about the authors they’re hoping to sign.
Ultimately, Erica is compelled to end her friendship with Jenny. I like that Aaron Martin, who wrote this episode, didn’t try to go for the twee, happy ending. Sometimes, you have to sever ties with people in your life. Sometimes people have used up all their chances and you have to break the destructive cycle.
Jenny From The Block appealed to me because I had to go through this process with someone in my life in the last year. In fact, like Erica, I had a “Dr. Tom” to talk it over with, and though it hurt to make the decision to end a relationship, I knew it had to be done. Of course, in real life it was a tad more messy, but no less painful. I could see Judith in this episode trying to speak on behalf of Jenny, but I’m glad Erica stood firm.
I think Being Erica handled this brilliantly – Erica couldn’t see the tough decision she had to make, but unattached, dispassionate bystanders like Julieanne and the therapy group could see what needed to be done. Sometimes you have to look at a situation from an outsider’s viewpoint to see that there’s a problem.
On a lighter note, uber-camp Brent as a “ladies man”? Honestly, if I didn’t know better, I’d have said he was gay – he’s just that bit too far on the other side of metrosexual. But stick him in a checked shirt and he actually came across as quite manly!
Did anyone else think it was disgusting how he left the Fifty Fifty office though? Clearly he and Jenny were humping on the desk, then he casually stopped, zipped up his trousers and walked out. Yuck!