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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Felicity: The Complete First Season

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#1 of 35 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 26 2002 - 03:55 PM

Posted Image



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...



Posted Image



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:



Posted ImagePosted Image



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?



Posted ImagePosted Image



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.



Posted ImagePosted Image



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



Posted ImagePosted Image



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

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 35 OFFLINE   Adam_WM

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Posted October 26 2002 - 04:16 PM

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.
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#3 of 35 OFFLINE   Jay Gunn

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Posted October 26 2002 - 06:23 PM

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.
-Jay

#4 of 35 OFFLINE   Nate Anderson

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Posted October 27 2002 - 12:15 PM

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. Posted Image
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#5 of 35 OFFLINE   Wes C

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Posted October 27 2002 - 04:17 PM

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

#6 of 35 OFFLINE   Thomas H G

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Posted October 28 2002 - 11:56 AM

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.
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#7 of 35 OFFLINE   Sam Davatchi

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Posted October 28 2002 - 02:58 PM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   AnthonyMP

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Posted October 28 2002 - 11:31 PM

[quote]

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.

[quote]



Which also happened to correspond to the time WGN stopped carrying The WB but the hair thing probably makes more sense. Posted Image

#9 of 35 OFFLINE   Matt_Wizall

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Posted October 31 2002 - 03:23 PM

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 Posted Image My gf talked me into it and was pleasantly surprised.
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#10 of 35 OFFLINE   Brent_H

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Posted November 05 2002 - 11:45 PM

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. Posted Image



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. Posted Image

#11 of 35 OFFLINE   Joel C

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Posted November 06 2002 - 02:15 AM

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"?
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#12 of 35 OFFLINE   Brent_H

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Posted November 06 2002 - 07:16 AM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Nate Anderson

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Posted November 06 2002 - 07:24 AM

[quote]

even a girl was over here once and was like, "you sure have a lot of chick flicks"

[quote]



Man, that could be MY life right there. I dunno, I guess I always enjoyed a good romantic comedy...along with a shoot-em-up action flick or a tear-jerking drama or a scare the piss out of you horror flick or a silly kid's fantasy flick.
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#14 of 35 OFFLINE   Matt_Wizall

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Posted November 08 2002 - 10:47 PM

[quote]

What's with all the defensive "I'm a guy, my girldfriend made me watch" stuff?

[quote]



It's not that I was afraid of watching it, thus injuring my rep. Couldn't care less - it just wasn't billed as a show I'd enjoy. In fact, the promotion always seemed uninspired, but like I said, it was a nice surprise when I sat down and watched it.
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#15 of 35 OFFLINE   Brent_H

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Posted November 11 2002 - 07:49 PM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Nate Anderson

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Posted November 11 2002 - 10:04 PM

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.
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#17 of 35 OFFLINE   Robert Ringwald

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Posted November 12 2002 - 01:26 PM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Brent_H

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Posted November 13 2002 - 11:06 PM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Nate Anderson

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Posted November 14 2002 - 09:07 AM

Finally is still my favorite episode, but I also like the Todd Mulchay episodes (I completely forgot about those!)
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#20 of 35 OFFLINE   Brent_H

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Posted November 14 2002 - 11:04 PM

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 Posted Image



~Brent





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