A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this teen/college drama, peopled with easy-on-the-eyes actors and actresses fumbling through life to a hip soundtrack, takes on mature themes, including everything from unwanted pregnancy to infidelity. Sex and relationships are a major theme, and drugs and alcohol make their presence known. College life may never be this tumultuous, but then again, this is TV.
What's the story?
What happens when a young girl makes an all-important decision based on a crush? That's the premise behind the late-'90s college drama FELICITY. The series follows Felicity Porter (Keri Russell) as she chooses to go to college in New York City, thousands of miles away from her sunny California home, just to see what happens when she's in the same vicinity as Ben Covington (Scott Speedman), the soulful, though somewhat lost, boy she pines for. As fans of the show will attest to, this simple romantic plot is enough to propel the action for four seasons, as Felicity discovers that her feelings -- fervent as they are -- aren't enough to shape reality into the blissful scenario she may have dreamed it to be. Instead, it unfurls in all its glorious, sometimes ridiculous, messiness -- Ben does end up having feelings for her, but does she want him after all? What of Noel (Scott Foley), the hunky resident advisor she can't quite ignore?
Is it any good?
Anyone who's gone through college and lived to tell the tale will confirm that Felicity captures the roller-coaster nature of it all fairly well. (No wonder it engendered such deep loyalty -- and inspired various drinking games -- among its fans.) Friendships founder on the smallest disappointments -- though there are plenty of large transgressions, too -- and relationships (and, naturally, sex) are the source of constant analysis and scrutiny. New ones begin, and those that were once too intense cool off. And then there's the looming question of identity: After four years of learning how to grow up, who do you become?
In its final season, the show took on a decidedly metaphysical bent, with the suggestion of time travel thrown into the mix. (At this point, it also became a bit mawkishly soap-opera-like.) Did everything that happened over the series' run take place in real time, or can the whole mess be undone by going back in time? Confused? Join the club. Still, Felicity "graduated" its lead characters with their charm, if not their innocence, intact.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how one decision -- where to go to college and why -- spins off hundreds of others. Does life really hinge on one choice? Is there a right or wrong answer to life's questions, or are there just different ones? Is there such a thing as a soul mate? Or are there just different romantic opportunities -- doors that open to myriad life directions? Families with teens can also discuss how the media portray college life. Do you think it's really this angsty all the time? Why is that angle exaggerated in the movies and on TV?
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