Like a George Cukor of the small screen, writer-producer-director J.J. Abrams has a gift for working with actresses. He helped Keri Russell and the female costars surrounding her in Felicity to blossom as they’ve portrayed guileless, effusive, yet intelligent young college students.
Our old pal Felicity sure had some fun this past summer, but as the season premiere shows us, it wasn’t with her boyfriend Ben (Scott Speedman) — it was with her former guy toy, Noel, played by Scott Foley (married in real life to ”Alias” star Jennifer Garner). How this series (now guided by cocreator-producer Matt Reeves as Abrams attends to ”Alias”) has managed to maintain the Ben-vs.-Noel rivalry without going brain-dead is a small miracle. And now that ”Felicity” is a senior, the show’s pace is really revving up.
Erich Anderson reenters the series as Felicity’s intriguingly moody, believably stubborn dad, dropping by to tell the poor kid she’s wasted the past three years pursuing her dream of being an artist, and that he’s pulling the financial plug on her. See Felicity apply for a loan! See the heretofore mopey, aimless Ben finally find a purpose in life! See the most underrated odd couple on TV, Greg Grunberg’s long-suffering Sean and Amanda Foreman’s sadist-with-a-heart-of-tin, Meghan, bicker endlessly!
Now I know what it must have been like to be a slave to ”90210” or ”Dawson’s Creek” (are there still ”Creekers?”): I find myself thinking, Oh, if only these ”Felicity” kids could all go on to grad school together. They are the ensemble you never want to see break up.