Felicity: The Complete First Season
Studio: Buena Vista
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...
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
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:
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?
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
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.
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.
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
Release Date: November 5, 2002