Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Regardless of solely airing for 4 seasons, The WB’s school drama Felicity stays as current in fashionable tradition now because it was when it first debuted. Even Trendy Household’s Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) admitted that if he may time journey again to the ’90s, he would inform Felicity Porter (Keri Russell) to not lower her hair. Certainly, Felicity rapidly grew to become ingrained in our cultural acutely aware throughout its first season in 1998, following a latest high-school graduate as she decides on a whim to vary all of her school plans to observe a boy from highschool she barely knew, Ben Covington (Scott Speedman), to New York Metropolis.

From a crucial perspective, it was much less a lady blindly following a cute boy who spoke to her as soon as throughout the nation for no purpose (though it was a bit of little bit of that, and I’d have completely achieved the identical for 1998 Scott Speedman) and extra that his remark written in her yearbook unlocked an urge for her to lastly change into another person apart from who she’s been. Or, because the theme track from the sequence’ remaining two seasons put it, a brand new model of you. “I got here right here due to Ben, however I’m staying due to me.” That’s what bought the sequence past the wide-eyed ingénue with the dreamy gold curls with two irresistibly charming guys immediately fawning over her set amidst the backdrop of a simply pre-9/11 Manhattan.


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‘Felicity’ Was Identified for Artistic Plot Twists

Picture by way of The WB

Sadly, Felicity didn’t at all times preserve the promise of its inaugural season, which in a method felt like an allegory for the school expertise and/or younger grownup life, the place nothing feels sure and the whole lot can go mistaken. Or it was merely consultant of a author’s room that didn’t precisely know the place they needed the storyline to go at any given second. That’s almost definitely how we ended up with a Twilight Zone-inspired episode shot completely in black-and-white, Eddie Cahill taking part in a homicidal drug supplier, and most infamously, Felicity chopping off all her curls for the sake of a change firstly of the second season.

Second in line to the primary character’s haircut as probably the most hated plot twist (when you may even justify a haircut as such) on Felicity was the way in which through which the creators selected to finish the sequence after its fourth season in 2002. On the time, the sequence was marketed within the type of American school years, subsequently it solely made sense that Felicity would conclude after “Senior 12 months.” It additionally would have been cancelled anyway because of a gradual lower in high quality, however that’s neither right here nor there. What’s right here is that, after a well-deserved and principally satisfying conclusion to the sequence’ storyline within the season’s seventeenth episode, its remaining six episodes had been devoted to a different artistic flip: Felicity travels again in time.

Did Felicity Actually Journey Again in Time?

Picture by way of The WB

On paper, it sounds ludicrous. Regardless of its one questionable experimentation with a sci-fi fantasy, Felicity didn’t fall into that style. It was a dreamy ‘90s teen drama with a suitable if not a bit extreme quantity of craving and emotion. So did Felicity Porter actually time journey on the finish of her remaining season? Seems she did: A yr after their commencement, Felicity discovers Ben has been dishonest on her. Again in New York for Noel’s (Scott Foley) marriage ceremony, she wonders what life would have seemed like if she’d chosen Noel over Ben. Thus, her pal Meghan (Amanda Foreman) places a spell on her that successfully sends her again to the start of Season 4, having simply slept with Noel on a rooftop.

What follows is a dilemma of the very best post-graduate regard: Does she simply go along with it and repeat her senior yr relationship Noel in order that the whole lot will someday work out? Earlier than she will be able to reply that query, she begins to appreciate that simply the motion of touring again in time begins to mess with the order of occasions as she is aware of it. So when she tells Noel and Ben that she has time traveled from the long run, she results in a psych ward—till she predicts one thing to Ben, and he realizes she needs to be telling the reality. Then Noel winds up killed in a fireplace that he and Felicity escaped earlier within the yr. To ensure that the nightmare to finish, she should go to the person who wrote the spell that Meghan carried out in order that he can reverse it. So as to try this, she should recount her complete school historical past to him, with the assistance of keepsakes from completely different life occasions.

What began as a final try to make a dying present’s storytelling attention-grabbing for a number of extra episodes finally ends up being probably the most artistic plot twists I’ve ever watched on tv. Felicity’s sequence finale, which follows the character as she tells the spell’s creator the story of her school years, serves as an efficient reminder to all of the issues that the sequence acquired proper: younger, relatable characters in real looking (for probably the most half) storylines. I’m personally satisfied that the three-way chemistry between Russell, Speedman, and Foley was what stored Felicity alive.

‘Felicity’ Was Not a Fantasy … Proper?

Though the sequence was technically not a fantasy, it additionally form of was: I watched it for the primary time throughout my very own turbulent school years, making an attempt to manifest one thing out of its magical premise for myself. I can’t assist however consider that was the premise of Felicity’s attraction, as an aspirational portrayal of the American school expertise that might have solely existed on The WB between 1998 and 2002. As an alternative of merely ending the sequence with Ben and Felicity graduating, going residence to the identical grad college, and residing fortunately ever after, present creators Matt Reeves and J.J. Abrams dared to ask, “However what if this occurred as an alternative?” It’s a query all of us in that stage of life have requested ourselves from one time or one other, in a single state of affairs or one other.

It’s additionally simple to know the controversy that surrounded Felicity’s time journey, provided that these formidable final six episodes would have aired from one week to the following, and never consumed multi functional afternoon on Disney+ underneath a blanket in a second of my very own post-university despair. What would have learn as bonkers in 2002 may need had a special touchdown within the streaming age, with out having to attend per week in between explanations. It simply contributes to the case for reviving the style of WB sequence like Felicity for a brand new era, perhaps within the type of a PG-13 model of Euphoria. A technique or one other, tales like Felicity’s matter, irrespective of how overemotional or privileged, and it’s time to begin discovering new methods to inform them.

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