I should start by saying that I have not finished watching the entire series, I am just at the end of season 2 where Felicity is deciding between an internship and Ben. I don’t know which she’ll pick, I am hoping for the internship because I am so not into Ben. He is mostly dumb. Yeah, he is nice sometimes but he is selfishly motivated and essentially too much of a coward to really see anything through. Although Noel is probably too good for Felicity, I mean he is so righteous it can be annoying at times. Like, no one does everything right all the time. Noel does. /eyeroll. OK, now that I am done hating on the love triangle that the show centers around I am going to tell you why it’s a good show. A much better show than it’s contemporary counterpart Girls – although it’s more lighthearted and less meta-funny-internet-generation-y. I went to NYU and Felicity goes to the University of New York because NYU wouldn’t have any of that bad PR business.
Felicity is certainly not the most diverse show but it did lend itself to the reasonable amount of diversity that you’d find at NYU. Not every character is middle or upper middle class like most modern shows would assert. In fact, I would say at least half of the characters on the show weren’t financially privileged. Elena and Noel initially bonded because they were both embarrassed to need financial aid and scholarships to go to college, while Ben struggles to pay for college and reconcile his “broken home” throughout the series.
The college looks dusty and dingy. NYU has had some remodeling done since Felicity first aired but it generally does look dusty and dingy like most of the old NYC properties. Felicity’s dorm and the hallways with bad lighting, and Noel and Elena’s crappy (but wonderful) apartment look appropriately bohemian. Yeah, the school and cool apartments make NYC romantic but it doesn’t glamorize either of those things. Most portrayals of Manhattan assert that everything is decadent.
Felicity, the character and the show, wasn’t afraid to tackle women’s issues. Although, admittedly the episode where Julie is raped and her rapist apologizes to her was a bit of a mess and a little in poor taste (the show is written by two dudes so it’s not surprising they would portray rape as the “misunderstanding” of a “nice guy.”), as the show progressed it become more responsible. Like when Felicity stages a sit in that compromises her job at the school health center because it refused to provide the morning after pill. That struggle still remains true some 13 years later!
The show’s storylines play out in a reasonable way most of the time. When Ben and Felicity first start dating the relationship lasts only two or three episodes. Ben just cannot handle Felicity’s aggressive and passionate “love” for him. It only made sense that he’d want to end things with her because the same issue came up with him and Julie and he was quick to cut her loose then. When they get together again, Ben remembers the times when he f–ked things up and specifically addresses the incident where he ditched Felicity at an outdoor screening of a Charlie Chaplin movie. Because the show can site a specific moment, it makes his change of heart and character development a lot more feasible. It was also reasonable for Noel to dump Ruby when he finds out she is pregnant with another man’s baby, it would be easy for them to want to write Noel (the guy who always does the right thing) as the kind of person who would stick with Ruby, but in that instance the real right thing to do wasn’t to significantly alter his future by committing to a pregnant girl he had barely been dating.
OK, so I haven’t gotten much further than this. Still, I want to know did you watch Felicity? Remember that episode with the “mole people?” Did it make you want to go to Dean and Deluca? Did you find Javier’s portrayal of a gay man slightly in poor taste sometimes? Tell me.