HomeTravelWhy 'Felicity's Time-Travel Twist Is Better Than You Remember?

Why ‘Felicity’s Time-Travel Twist Is Better Than You Remember?

Despite only airing for four seasons, The WB’s college drama Happiness it’s still as pervasive in popular culture now as it was when it first debuted. Even Modern Familyby Phil Dunphyty burrell) admitted that if he could time travel to the ’90s, he would tell Felicity Porter (keri russell) do not cut your hair. Indeed, Happiness quickly ingrained into our cultural consciousness during its first season in 1998, following a recent high school graduate who decides on a whim to change all of her college plans to follow a high school boy she barely knew, Ben Covington (sprinter scott), to New York City.

Critically, it was less of a girl blindly following a cute guy who once talked to her across the country for no reason (although it was a bit of that, and I would have done the same for 1998’s Scott Speedman) and more. that his comment written in her yearbook triggered an impulse for her to finally become someone other than what she has been. Or, as the main theme of the last two seasons of the series says, a new version of you. “I came here for Ben, but I’m staying for me.” That’s what sold the series beyond the wide-eyed ingénue with dreamy golden curls with two irresistibly charming guys suddenly fawning over their set amid the backdrop of a pre-9/11 Manhattan.


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‘Felicity’ was known for creative plot twists

Image via The WB

Unfortunately, Happiness didn’t always keep the promise of its inaugural season, which kind of felt like an allegory of the college experience and/or young adult life, where nothing feels safe and everything can go wrong. Or it was just representative of a writer’s room who didn’t know exactly where he wanted the story to go at any given time. It is very probable that thus we have ended up with a Twilight Zone-inspired episode shot entirely in black and white, eddie cahill playing a homicidal drug dealer, and most infamously, Felicity chopping off all of her curls for the sake of a change at the start of season two.

Second in line for the main character’s haircut as the most hated plot twist (if you can justify a haircut as such) in Happiness was how the creators chose to end the series after its fourth season in 2002. At the time, the series was being marketed in the form of American college years, therefore it made sense that Happiness would conclude after “senior year”. It would also have been canceled anyway thanks to a gradual decline in quality, but that’s neither here nor there. What’s here is that, after a well-deserved and mostly satisfying conclusion to the series’ plot in the 17th episode of the season, the remaining six episodes were devoted to another creative twist: time-traveling Felicity.

did happiness Actually Travel in time?

Keri Russell and Scott Speedman in Felicity
Image via The WB

On paper, it sounds ridiculous. Despite his questionable experimentation with a sci-fi fantasy, Happiness It wasn’t in that genre. It was a dreamy ’90s teen drama with an acceptable, if not excessive, amount of longing and excitement. Felicity Porter too In fact time travel at the end of his last season? As it turns out, she did: a year after her graduation, Felicity discovers that Ben has been cheating on her. Back in New York for Noel’s (scott foley) wedding, she wonders what life would have been like if she had chosen Noel over Ben. Thus, his friend Meghan (amanda foreman) puts a spell on her that effectively sends her back to the beginning of season 4, having slept with Noel on a rooftop.

What ensues is a dilemma of the highest postgraduate consideration: Does he just accept and repeat his last year dating Noel so that it all works out one day? Before she can answer that question, she begins to realize that just the action of time travel begins to alter the order of events as she knows it. So when she tells Noel and Ben that he’s time-traveled from the future, she ends up in a psych ward, until she predicts something to Ben, and he realizes he has to be telling the story. TRUE. Noel then ends up dead in a fire that he and Felicity escaped from earlier in the year. In order for the nightmare to end, she must visit the man who wrote the spell Meghan cast so she can reverse it. To do that, he must tell her the whole college story of him, with the help of memories from different life events.

What started out as a last-ditch attempt to make the storytelling of a dying show interesting for a few more episodes ends up being one of the most creative plot twists I’ve ever seen on TV. HappinessThe series finale, which follows the character as he tells the spell’s creator the story of his college years, serves as an effective reminder of all the things the series got right: young, relatable characters in realistic (for the most part) stories. part). . Personally, I am convinced that the three-way chemistry between Russell, Speedman and Foley was what kept Happiness alive.

‘Felicity’ wasn’t a fantasy… was it?

While the series wasn’t technically a fantasy, it was one too: I first saw it during my turbulent college years, trying to manifest something outside of its magical premise for me. I can’t help but believe that was the basis of HappinessThe appeal of , as an aspirational portrayal of the American college experience that could only have existed on The WB between 1998 and 2002. Rather than simply ending the series with Ben and Felicity graduating, going home to the same grad school, and living happily ever after, show creators matthew reeves and JJ Abrams dared to ask: “But what would happen if this happened?” It is a question that all of us at that stage of life have ever asked ourselves, in one situation or another.

It’s also easy to understand the controversy surrounding Felicity’s time travel, given that those ambitious last six episodes would have aired week to week, and not all consumed in one afternoon on Disney+ under one blanket at one point in my life. own publication. college depression. What would have been crazy in 2002 might have landed differently in the streaming age, without having to wait a week between explanations. It just makes the case for reviving the WB series genre like Happiness for a new generation, perhaps in the form of a PG-13 version of Euphoria. One way or another, stories like Felicity’s matter, no matter how overly emotional or privileged, and it’s time to start finding new ways to tell them.

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