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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Felicity: The Complete First Season

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    [​IMG]

    Felicity: The Complete First Season




    Studio: Buena Vista
    Year: 1998-1999
    Rated: NR
    Feature Length: 946 Minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Full Frame (1.33:1)
    Subtitles: English and Spanish



    So who is Felicity and what am I doing with a
    copy of this show? You can imagine my surprise
    when Buena Vista sent me this complete Season One
    set for review. I mean, except for The Sopranos,
    I haven't watched prime time television in nearly
    10-15 years. Still, I had to remind myself that I
    am a reviewer, and like it or not, I had a job to do.
    First thing I had to do was research this show
    and find out a little about the show's history.
    Here's what I found out...
    [​IMG]
    Felicity (Keri Rusell) is the 17-year-old daughter
    of a successful cardiologist. She's a pre-med student
    who has just followed a boy named Ben (Scott
    Speedman) across the country, only to find he is
    not interested in her the way she had hoped.
    Highly emotional, excitable and driven, Felicity
    is tumbling her way toward adulthood in New York
    City. Thoughtful and adventurous, she goes through
    life, fully feeling the sights sounds and people
    around her.
    Trust me, I was a little hesitant start watching
    this show. I figured it would be one of those overly
    cute teen shows that would immediately turn me off.
    Instead, I was surprised that after watching a few
    of the episodes scattered across this 6-disc set,
    I was actually liking the show, it's characters and
    its humorous college-age environment. Call me a
    sissy, but I also liked the way relationships began
    to change as the first season evolved. Felicity was
    no longer drawn to her dream hunk, but rather found
    attraction to Noel (Scott Foley), the college's geeky
    Resident Advisor. It's always nice to see the good
    guy win the girl.
    Felicty: The Complete First Season arrives
    in a 6-disc set that contains all 22 episodes from
    the first season, including the show's original
    pilot. Each show runs under 44 minutes. I was
    surprised that Buena Vista decided to skimp a
    little on this set, putting a total 6 discs in
    3 standard cases. The shows are presented without
    any sort of chapter stop breakdowns. In addition,
    other than the fact that brief episode descriptions
    appear on the back of each case, there's really
    no descriptive program guide here that lists
    stars or air dates.
    The three shows I watched are as follows:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Pilot (Disc One)
    On graduation day, Felicty finds the nerve to
    approach Ben, the guy she has had a long-term
    crush on. When he writes something unbelievable
    in her yearbook, she decides to follow him to
    college in New York only to find out she made a
    mistake. Does Felicity decide to go home or
    stick it out?
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Spooked (Disc Two)
    A robbery caues Felicity and Ben to form a bond
    between each other. They both decide to dress as
    Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein for a
    Halloween party at the loft. Ben forgets about
    their costume plans, and completely ignores
    Felicity during the party. When Felicity tells him
    off, Ben says he's tired of trying to live up to
    her expectations.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Finally
    Noel and Felicity finally attract. However, they
    spend most of their time making out instead of
    studying. As everyone crams for the final exam,
    Noel has an allergic reaction to a "smart drink"
    concocted by Meghan.
    How is the transfer?
    The show doesn't look as great as I would have
    expected from a recent production. Picture has
    a sort of dark, murky look to it, with colors
    appearing a little more enhanced than they should.
    I have seen older television shows look a little
    better than this one does. Otherwise, picture is
    clear with just a hint of background fuzziness.
    I found the show's Dolby surround track to be
    quite good and well balanced across the front
    and rears. There's nice dynamic range throughout.
    The show's musical score separates itself nicely
    across the front and rear channels. What's really
    nice is that the rears do a very nice job of
    creating ambiance in scene after scene. For instance,
    in crowded school hallways, you always can hear
    students bustling across the rear channels. In
    a stairwell scene, you can hear the echoes of Ben
    and Felicity's voices. In the dorm room, you can
    hear the sounds of the city street behind you.
    These nicely placed effect noises really add value
    to the overall viewing experience.
    Special Features
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    I was kind of looking through this set for something
    extra that may have been thrown in for the fans, but
    the only thing I found was audio commentary
    by co-creators J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves. These
    commentaries appear on the Pilot episode as
    well as the last episode of season one, Felicity
    Was Here
    . I took the opportunity to listen to
    the first disc commentary and was surprised to hear
    from two cool guys who have known each other since
    the age of 14. The entire pilot was mapped out on
    a bunch of napkins in a Chinese restaurant. The
    guy's idea of making these little movies every week
    was readily received by the WB network. J.J. and
    Matt give such praise to actress Keri Russell, who
    had gone from being a sort of beach babe in past
    projects, to immersing herself in the quieter role
    of Felicity. The hardest shoes to fill in the
    series was the part of Noel, and there was a bit
    of controversy in selecting the actors. Of course,
    we learn a little about the sets that were built,
    the tight shooting schedules, and some personal
    stories about the various cast members. A very
    pleasing commentary with very little pause.
    Final Thoughts
    Though I got only a small taste of Felicity,
    I was pleasantly charmed by its intelligent look
    at a girl's venture into the unknown where she
    has her first taste of freedom and independence.
    My only fear is that show won't sell well other
    than to the show's established fanbase. As much
    as this first-timer liked what he saw, I can't see
    this being a title that would be picked up on a
    whim.
    Release Date: November 5, 2002
     
  2. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    I have seen the whole Felcitiy series with my girlfriend (not by choice). You know what? It was a great show. It was certainly worth watching for the four seasons it was on. My girlfriend is really excited about this coming out so I guess I'll be picking this one up for her. Thanks for the review Ron.
     
  3. Jay Gunn

    Jay Gunn Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm definitely picking this set up, as Felicity was a favorite of mine while it was on the air. I actually started missing episodes during the 3rd season and completely missed the 4th season, so I'm looking forward to catching those on DVD.
     
  4. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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    I loved this show too! Of course I got into it when I started college and started to be able to relate to what was happening to the characters. I really feel this show only gets better as it goes along, although the last few episodes of season 4 started getting a little...strange, but were still lots of fun.
    Anyway, it's also funny to remember how the WB blamed the entire reason that the ratings dropped for Felicity during the second season was because Keri Russell cut her hair. [​IMG]
     
  5. Wes C

    Wes C Supporting Actor

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    I basically could just copy and paste Adam_VM's comment. This show really is good (dont tell her i said that).
     
  6. Thomas H G

    Thomas H G Screenwriter

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    It really was a good show if you can get past the idea of it being a "chick show". I used to watch it until they started shuffling it's time schedule around. Then it would just get beat out by other shows. Missed just about all of the 4th season.
     
  7. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    I remember the publicity was that they shot the series motion picture style and used 35 mm negatives. They said each episode is like a movie!....If I remember correctly!
     
  8. AnthonyMP

    AnthonyMP Agent

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  9. Matt_Wizall

    Matt_Wizall Agent

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    Thanks for the review, Ron. I caught all of the third season and really liked it. Like many other males of my age, I didn't watch it voluntarily [​IMG] My gf talked me into it and was pleasantly surprised.
     
  10. Brent_H

    Brent_H Second Unit

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    i guess i am kind of a ferry for buying this DVD set, sight unseen. I have always wanted to watch it, just never did. I know its a "chick" show, but I think Keri Russell is adorable. I suppose I could SAY I only watch it cause of my girlfriend, but wait, I dont have a girlfriend. Oh well, I bought Sports Night to balance it out....its all good. [​IMG]
    And by the way, I watched the first episode and I was HOOKED. Its a really excellent show so far....Highly recommended, to women anyways. [​IMG]
     
  11. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    What's with all the defensive "I'm a guy, my girldfriend made me watch" stuff? It IS ok for guys to watch a drama like this, you know. I'm proud to say that I watched this, and My So-Called Life, and other, similar shows, simply because I wanted to. How can liking a certain TV show make you a "fairy"?
     
  12. Brent_H

    Brent_H Second Unit

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    its society that does it man. well, mostly my male peers. even a girl was over here once and was like, "you sure have a lot of chick flicks" and i responded with " well yeah but look at all the action movies i have...."

    haha anyways, whatever
     
  13. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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  14. Matt_Wizall

    Matt_Wizall Agent

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  15. Brent_H

    Brent_H Second Unit

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    What are evryones favorite episodes so far? I am almost through the second disc and the Pilot and Cheating stick out in my mind. Anyone else have any input?
     
  16. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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    I'd have to say "Finally" is my favorite episode when everyone is stressing out over finals and Noel has that weird reaction to the smart powder Megan gives him.
     
  17. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Screenwriter

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    Cheating

    The Pilot

    Gimme an 'O'

    Todd Mulcahy (both parts)

    It's a really great show, I forgot how much I used to like it.
     
  18. Brent_H

    Brent_H Second Unit

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    Nate:

    I just watched "Finally" it was great how Noel took that smart poweder and started freakin out!!! I thought it was brilliant how they used the subtitles for the quiet study room scenes.....makes it more realistic.

    I must say, I bought this set blindly, only for Keri Russell....and I might put it in my top 5 favorite shows......its so cleverly written and the acting is great...I told my sister to watch it cause I thought she'd like it....now she is further ahead than me. I went over to their place the other night and her husband was watching Felicity by HIMSELF! I almost fainted!!

    Anyways, can't wait for season two!!!!

    ~Brent
     
  19. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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    Finally is still my favorite episode, but I also like the Todd Mulchay episodes (I completely forgot about those!)
     
  20. Brent_H

    Brent_H Second Unit

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    I haven;t gotten to the Todd Mulchay episodes yet.....hopefully this weekend. I will say the WORST episode so far was "Friends." I just didn't like the storyling taken off of Felicity and Noel/Ben/Julie. The whole Blair and whats her name thing pissed me off. I almost skipped that episode [​IMG]
    ~Brent
     

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