Felicity: Senior Year

Television shows often lose the plot in their final seasons and Felicity is no exception. Conveniently telling the story of NYU student Felicity Porter over four seasons (to account for her four years of college), the coming-of-age drama follows its star through a persistent and often tiring uncertainty about Felicity's devotion to academia and to one man, as she continually bounces her feelings for both Noel and Ben around like a SuperBall. Thankfully the show's fourth season answers all questions fans may have, even though it takes some DVD extras to do so. The biggest problem for the show's storyline wasn't exactly its fault. Ordered to make 17 episodes, the series ended with Felicity and cast's graduation; however, an additional five episodes were ordered, leaving its writers in a bind. Felicity handled the situation as well possible, though without a full explanation the ideas presented sound farcical and unbelievable. As a desperate ploy to keep afloat, episode 18 introduces a "what if?" scenario where Felicity travels back in time to see what life would be like if she had chosen Noel instead of Ben. It may seem like a page out of Star Trek, but the writers know how to treat the matter, often jeering at it with the help of goth girl Meghan's many smart one-liners. The fact that Felicity is confined to a hospital for psychosis only gives the storyline more of a chance to succeed and thankfully, in the end a Wizard of Oz twist prevents the show from losing all credibility. This conclusion may not be what the fans ordered, but then again, judging by the comments made by creators J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, it was a surprise to everybody. They manage to clear up any misconceptions and explain the origin of the show in "Creating Characters," a Q&A fan forum that also includes star Keri Russell and recurring guest star Jennifer Garner (of Alias, another Abrams creation). Also included is "Fade Out," a "behind the scenes" reflection of the finale's closing shot where everyone is gathered at Noel's wedding with commentary by both cast and crew; it's a commendable send off for the show. Most important of all though is the missing footage explaining how Elena did not die in a car crash, something that most definitely should have been included in one of the final episodes. Fortunately the necessary scenes are included, which fill all of the holes, as well as the excuses for why they were cut. Plus: commentary for three episodes. (Buena Vista)