I’ve never felt even the slightest bit compelled to watch this little known (in the UK at least) show Felicity in the past, and honestly most of that was due to it being a show by JJ Abrams which meant that I dreaded the involvement of four core Abrams-esque ideas:
1.Sexy super spies
2. Lens flare
3. Throwaway plot twists
4. Crippling disappointment
I don’t think that’s a harsh assessment. I was one of those mugs who started watching JJ Abrams’ Lost from that very first exciting episode. I struggled through it, season after season, disappointment slapping me in the face with the empty promises of a plot line that even the writers didn’t seem to have a half clue about. I waited for big reveals about polar bears and smoke monsters and all for nothing. The greatest big reveal of that show was any time Sawyer took his top off (oof, and amen to that). I didn’t even make it to the final episode and thank fuck that I didn’t. Lost was a stud who’d blown his load long before he’d even figured out how to remove his lover’s bra. It was all foreplay and no climax.
And then there’s Felicity. Not once in my life has this show ever picked up on my radar. From the outside it seemed unremarkable. Another attempt at rehashing Dawson’s Creek popularity for ‘a new generation’ like it was a can of pepsi or something. And with JJ Abrams being both a creator and writer of the show, there were instant alarm bells. I dragged my heels. I rolled my eyes. But Co-editor Amy M eventually talked me into it.
And, holy shit you guys. It’s actually really fucking good.
Felicity is basically My So Called Life: The College Years. This isn’t any exaggeration either, the writing is super sharp and the characters are so well developed that they’re both incredibly relatable and detestable all in one dysfunctional, satisfying package.
Main character Felicity is a hot mess. Seriously, the show begins because she stalks a guy all the way across the country to college in New York and the entire first season is pretty much just about her being super creepy obsessed with this dude (we’ve all been there, sister), ruining people’s lives and repeatedly humiliating herself. If that isn’t a winning recipe for a show then I don’t know what is.
The first season even stars Brian fucking Krakow y’all. But we’ll talk about that another time because WOW is his storyline fucked up.
The show feels like a twee time capsule back to the millennium when computers and the internet were just starting to become a thing but everyone still had to leave notes pinned up on dormitory doors to leave messages for their pals and crushes because mobile phones were still purely reserved for yuppies and drug dealers. There’s relationship crisis’ based around mismatched pairings because one half of the couple uses a PC and the other a MAC (I’m not even making this up…), and a college art exhibition revolved around primitive photoshop experiments (yikes).
There’s the usually angsty love triangles and awkward run ins with sexual experimentation and bad fashion. There’s some spectacular ‘after-school-special’ style episodes concerning date rape, adoption, sexual health, immigration rights and homosexuality including one tremendous episode where Felicity agrees to marry her manager – the stupendous Javier, a camp, Spanish, gay immigrant – so that he can remain in New York with his partner and continue to make catty remarks about everyone elses love life.
Basically, this show is a fucking dream. And thankfully for everyone, the plot twists are great and there isn’t a single sexy super spy or lens flare in sight.
I’m only part the way through the second season now but just know that it’s worth the stream. Pour yourself a large gin, pull out the duvet and boot up your PC or MAC (FYI: Scott Foley’s character is very much a MAC. He’s also a bit of an irritating asshole. Just saying) and get involved. We’ll be writing about it over the coming weeks and you won’t want to miss out on that shit.