It's high school graduation day and from the moment shy, beautiful Felicity Porter asks handsome Ben Covington to sign her yearbook, the course of her life is changed forever.
"Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever," states Felicity in the pilot episode of this fervently loved series. Not that impulsively defying your parents, ditching plans to go to Stanford Medical School, and moving 3,000 miles to New York to follow an unrequited high school crush who doesn't even remember your name is a small decision. But it does indeed change our winsome heroine's life forever. Golden Globe winner Keri Russell lights up the screen in her star-is-born role as the luxuriantly maned Felicity. For its audience demographic, the "previously on Felicity
" soap opera elements make this series' freshman year as compellingly watchable as the early years of Beverly Hills 90210
and Dawson's Creek
Propelling the first season is the triangle of Felicity, the charismatic Ben (Scott Speedman), and charming doofus Noel (Scott Foley). But at the heart of the series is its real-world portrayal of college life, and Felicity's struggle to forge a life independent of her disapproving but ultimately supportive parents. Her sardonic, spell-casting now-you-see-her-now-you-don't roommate Meaghan doesn't think Felicity will last the year. "This might all be a colossal mistake," Felicity admits early on. (No, that would be your ill-advised haircut in Season 2.) Felicity's ensemble also includes former pink Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson as Julie, Felicity's best friend and later rival for Ben's affections, whose own personal travails include searching for her birth mother (Malcolm in the Middle's Jane Kaczmarek). Look for a pre-Alias Jennifer Garner as Noel's old girlfriend Hannah in the episode "Thanksgiving," and listen for Janeane Garofalo as the voice of the unseen Sally, with whom Felicity shares audiocassettes relating her coming-of-age experiences and hard-earned life lessons. --Donald Liebenson