Felicity: A Show That Shaped Me

Upon returning from reading week, I found my flatmate had spontaneously cut her hair short. This sent me spiralling down a Felicity rabbit hole. The show that possessed, inhabited and owned my heart and soul from the age of thirteen to fifteen. 

For those who don’t understand the link between chopping off hair and the early 2000’s TV show Felicity, I shall enlighten you. Felicity, and by extension actress Keri Russell, was my curly haired inspiration in my early teens and I’m sure there will still be tumblr accounts dedicated to it to this day. This iconic hair was cut off in a post break up “new hair new me” character arc in season two, the shows ratings plummeted and it’s this cut that the shows cancellation has been blamed on. 

Bizarre, yes, but then again the early 2000s were a strange time. Luckily for my flatmate her haircut looks great and won’t lead to a major prime time show cancellation. Felicity (*Beanie Feldstein voice in Lady Bird “It’s the titular role”*) moves to New York for college chasing her crush, Ben, who could quite literally not care less, interested more in the actress who plays the pink Power Ranger. Naturally Ben only starts to like her back when Noel, her RA, comes on the scene. You can see where this is going. This show’s love triangle puts every other to shame. Hillary/ Monica/ Bill wish they had that kind of cultural impact. Also, it’s the perfect personality gauge. If you were team Noel, you’re no friend of mine. 

This angst ridden college depiction was life changing to me. It instilled in me a feverish mentality to make it to university to replicate Felicity’s life. I hate to sound like I’m easily persuaded, I promise I’m not Jane Austen’s Anne Elliot, but I truly do believe Felicity’s presentation of college inspired me to go to university. She was a protagonist who struggled to make up her mind, who hadn’t settled on a path or idea of herself. Throughout the course of the show we go on the journey of her finding her purpose. Looking back on it now, it’s deeply comforting to see an on screen reflection of my own indecision on what my passion is.

I wanted to be Felicity not because she was in the middle of an angst ridden love triangle with two men vying for her affection but because her life felt full in a realistic sense. Her character was petulant yet cheerful, she was indecisive yet impulsive, her juxtapositions ebbed and flowed with her college experience, her life felt full and empty. It felt realistic. It felt tangible to me, like I could be her if I got to university. 

I admit that now I am here Felicity is not as realistic as thirteen year old me had thought it was. Yet, looking back, the sincerity of her character is undeniable and ultimately the viable reason I was so invested in her 4 year college journey. 

I continue to judge my life by Felicity seasons. Right now I’m at the end of season two Felicity, I’m about to decide whether or not to embark on a summer with Ben in California. Instead my reality is cramming three essays even though I have had three weeks of strikes to do them. I suppose reality pales in comparison.


Image: Joella Marano via Wikipedia