Friday, January 6, 2012

Throwback DVD: Felicity - Season 1

I got through most of season 1 during my holiday break and just caught up on the last few episodes. My initial reaction: this show's pacing is the polar opposite of The Vampire Diaires. Felicity is slower and quieter. It's a thoughtful show.

The big pitch of Felicity is she's a mousy nerd who doesn't think for herself, planning to go to med school like her parents want, but on impulse, she enrolls in a (fictional) New York university to follow Ben, who finally signed her yearbook after years of drooling over him behind her perm. So she shows up in NYC and Lots of Awkward happens. This show has awkward down.

Felicity befriends Julie and Elena, eventually convinces Ben she's not a total freak, and her RA Noel falls in love with her. Her pop-goth roommate Megan is mostly hostile, but she has some great moments, like when her parents show up and she's dressed like a homeschooler with all her black clothing stuffed away in the closet.

So far, I'm not really a huge fan of Ben. He's not a jerk, but I don't get the attraction. He reminds me too much of Dawson (of Dawson's Creek, another show I never watched) and blond jocks are not my thing (at all).
Dawson chillin'
Ben starin'
Felicity and Julie both have feelings for Ben, and I like that the typical tension between friends and love interests morphed into something believable. I couldn't take an entire 22-episode run with Felicity longing for Ben. Something needed to give, and thankfully it does way beforehand. Ben and Julie get together, Felicity moves on...

So enter Noel. He's enamored by Felicity, and ends up on the receiving end of Felicity's pining for Ben for far too long. I loved that his staff meetings with other Resident Advisors were more like counseling/bitching sessions (having been an RA it that is exactly how it is) and he asks the RAs advice for a "friend" on how to deal with a girl who's in love with someone else. I had to laugh when Noel got a new iMac and declared how fast it was (then promptly dropped it). But my favorite Noel moment so far is when he tries to get a deal on a new vending machine for the dorm. A girl from his floor refers him to her seedy cousins at a warehouse by the docks leading to a shady exchange.

The ex & current gf: AWKWARD
Lots of familiar faces pass through Felicity: Jennifer Garner is Noel's long distance, then ex, then on-again girlfriend. As a viewer, you kind of gear up to hate whoever his girl is since he's clearly meant to be with Felicity (maybe just my opinion) but when I saw it was Jennifer Garner, I thought, dangit, I can't not like her! Another pre-Alias J.J. Abrams favorite is Greg Grunberg, who was in Alias and played Matt Parkman in Heroes. He was also the pilot in Lost (and considering what happened to the plane, it was only a guest appearance). Greg plays Sean, one of Ben's roommates, because for some reason Ben lives in a loft and not the dorms. I must have missed why that's the case, but no matter. It gives the characters a reason to get off-campus and discuss their feelings in a new setting!

Krakow: more '80s than '90s
And then there's poor Brian Krakow. He's the curly-haired nerd from My So-Called Life who realized his chance with Angela Chase was futile after she quit yearbook and dyed her hair. He's another loner here as The Pink Guy (because he makes the tragic mistake of not separating colors and whites) and Julie takes pity on him and they date. But, the story's not over. Brian Krakow is... a rapist. The rape episode includes all the right lessons: Julie reports him, she questions what a sexual assault means, the rapist is vilified by other students. Krakow is defeated. He knows he's done for and sadly transfers back to Minnesota. And we haven't seen him since 1999...

One last face I proudly identified is one of the guys in the dorm who's always trying to use Noel's crush and eventual relationship with Felicity as blackmail, citing RAs can't date students (which seems really stupid) so he can get away with installing a satellite dish and running a hand model agency from his room. This actor played Chuck who wrote the Supernatural book series in the TV show Supernatural.
Chuck is not nearly as cool as Sam or Dean

You guys don't know Supernatural? Dean and Sam realized their lives were recorded in book form and showed up at their own fan convention... OK, moving on. (You should definitely watch Supernatural).

They actually go to class!
Toward the end of the season, everything is falling apart. Everyone's breaking up or getting together with someone who's probably totally wrong for them. Ben is GAMBLING. Noel is MOVING OUT. Felicity has a fling with an ARTIST (who's way cuter than Ben but I don't quite like him enough to oust Noel). Sean is filming a DOCUMENTARY. It's very Reality Bites.

In the season-ender, Ben is SUDDENLY HAIRCUT. He looks totally different and kind of cute. He also fends off the advances of his a friend's girlfriend, respecting the bro over the ho (I can't believe people legitimately say "bros before hoes"). His relationship with Julie ends, although at least it's not because he cheated on her. Noel didn't move out but he's going to Berlin for an internship for the summer. Felicity and Noel are on, then off, then... sort-of. There was going to be a road trip from NYC to California with the whole gang (not Elena since she's boinking Professor Prince Humperdink (really, it's the same actor)), but now the trip is just Ben, going back home to CA. Noel's heading to his internship earlier than he thought, and he invites Felicity. She's got to decide: Europe with her sort-of boyfriend, or a road trip with her long-time crush?



  1. This show sounds totally cool- I'm going to try to find it somewhere. Also, I'm totally for Noel as well :)

  2. I'm watching it on Netflix instant :)

  3. I watched if for a while and lost track half way. I have been itching to sit down and rewatch the entire series.


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