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TV Rewind: Felicity, “True Colors” & “Things Change”

17 Jul

Felicity, Episodes 2.14 & 2.15
“True Colors” & “Things Change”
Original Air Dates: Feb. 20 & 27, 2000

Felicity 2.14

Julie: Your Ruby theory was dead wrong. No miscarriage; she’s pregnant for another dude. Ruby cheated on Noel. Sure, they had just started dating and everything, but they had already slept together. Noel saw that as a commitment; Ruby saw that as an opportunity to hop up on the first guy she met on her movie set (fingers crossed for Tom Cruise, however unlikely that might be).

If you didn’t like Ruby before, this revelation certainly won’t help matters. Because not only did she hook up with someone else and neglect to tell Noel after she found out she was pregnant, she also had the gall to tell him she hoped he’d be able to get past her cheating and stick with her, in a relationship with her and her movie set hook-up’s baby. Run, Noel, run.

Thankfully, Noel sees right at the outset that this is a jam he’s happy to unstick himself from. He wasn’t all that on board with the baby when he thought it was his own, no way would he stay around to raise Tom Cruise’s illegitimate bastard (let’s call the kid Tom Snow).

Noel plays this exactly right. Ruby tries to get all passive-aggressive, threatening to drop his class. Noel does not take the bait. He calmly hangs out in his room and, after talking to Ben about all his problems, does the right thing and tells Ruby he won’t abandon her. He still wants to be her FRIEND.

What did you think about the Ruby revelation?

Felicity 2.14 BenEmma: I can’t believe how wrong I was! I hadn’t even considered another guy was in the picture (yes I also hope it is another sibling for Suri). It is still a let off the hook direction for Noel, but in a completely different manner than I expected. I did feel bad for Ruby in a shocking turn of events, not for the whole not mentioning this vital piece of information, but because of the whole undefined nature of their relationship with Noel when she was in LA. This was also when Noel smooched Felicity over Thanksgiving so he doesn’t have too much to complain about here. Okay, he does but for a brief moment I felt for Ruby. Then she asked him to stay with her and I kind of lost what good feeling I had and I switched back to my usual Ruby position.

Noel didn’t want the baby when he thought it was is so I don’t know why Ruby thought he would feel any different when this bombshell was dropped. The offering to be friends still is a whole world of no, on both sides. Now one thing this storyline did which I never thought was possible is that it brought Noel and Ben together and now they’re basketball buddies. They obviously found a good location to use for these scenes as that’s all Ben has been doing since he can no longer swim – basketball courts must be so much easier to shoot.

After Ben went to Noel to tell him he “been there” and he was rightly told to fuck off after this gross invasion of privacy by the dude he hates the most, Noel decides after Ben is now in his philosophy class that he is just the guy to talk to. This to me is perfect and what followed was a scene that not only made me laugh so hard when I watched it, but it is still making me laugh now and it’s completely inappropriate of me. It’s Ben’s abortion tale and how instead of going with the girl he’d knocked up he went snowboarding with his buddies instead. The reason I find it so funny is that I didn’t expect to hear that he went on a trip like this, maybe to the beach as they live in Palo Alto, not snowboarding which is probably hundreds of miles away. Secondly I’m also picturing a 30 Rock style flashback showing Ben with his bros having an amazing time, while this poor girl sits in a waiting room alone (or like the abortion party in S1 of Girls). Am I wrong to find it hilarious? Also it’s so typically flaky Ben and even though I adore him, this story did not surprise me. He does feel bad about it though.

Ben and Noel as friends feels weird in the same way it did at the start of the Twilight Zone episode, but aside from Richard Noel doesn’t have any guy friends to talk about this stuff with and it’s clear why he chooses Ben over Richard to unburden his soul. Basically Noel needs more friends.

I really liked the painting party set up even if it was a contrived way to get everyone in the same place so they could all discuss Noel’s situation in an obnoxiously loud and intrusive manner – did they think he couldn’t hear them or something? There are lots of varying opinions as there always is with something as sensitive as abortion and Noel somehow remains calm and doesn’t yell at them all for discussing his private life.

The dancing that was led by Sean was so dorky and so fun even if it was super cheesy and I always find these sequences equal amounts hilarious/awkward. The recent episodes have been pretty heavy going so I enjoyed the dancing respite even though it was clear that Noel was going to walk in during the middle of it.

Have you ever been to a painting party? The first time I had heard of them was when I read the Zodiac book by Robert Graysmith as one of the Zodiac’s victims had hosted a painting party (I can’t remember the specifics, I just thought alcohol plus decorating might be kinda messy and not all that productive).

How do you feel about Ben and Noel as basketball bros?

Felicity 2.14 photoJulie: The basketball thing on Felicity is hilarious. I think I’m going to do a gallery post of dudes playing basketball to sort though their feelings (except maybe not, because I can’t find video of the very best example — In Her Shoes. Whoever wrote that scene has never seen a basketball game). This trope was recently lampooned in They Came Together. It also happened on Scandal last season, with Jake (Scott Foley!) and the Prez. Guys can’t just sit and have brunch or go shopping together. There has to be sports involved if there’s going to be any kind of emotional revelation.

And I definitely didn’t think about logistics when it came to Ben’s snowboarding story. Maybe there’s a mountain range close by? Or maybe he really did drive hours just to avoid helping this girl abort his baby. Stay classy, Benjamin.

The painting party was ridiculous. As Noel points out, he and Elena are moving out of there in a few months anyway, so why spend all the time (and money, poor college students) to fix up a place you’re leaving and have no monetary stake in. Also, the husband and I ripped down rooms and rooms full of wallpaper when we moved into our house, and I get the shakes just watching these scenes. Wallpaper removal is not for the faint of heart, or for pre-med students who could find better use for their time.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a painting party, per se. I’ve hosted my own, which basically amounted to me and a radio in my basement or living room. No other people. Now I think I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. I could’ve been having cheesy dance parties with actual living humans.

As an old person, I can’t imagine asking my friends to come over and help with home repairs. They all have their own shit to do, but a painting party is so college/early 20s. Those were the days when the promise of beer and pizza could entice people into helping you move. Those days are gone for me. I think they’re also gone for Richard Coad, who seemed to be like, “You don’t hang out with me all year and then you invite me over to rip down wallpaper? You people are jerks.”

The thing we haven’t talked about yet in this episode is Felicity’s budding relationship with Greg, the guy with her hairstyle who runs the clinic. What do you think of this and how will Meghan handle her roommate hooking up with her super crush?

Felicity 2.14 MeghanEmma: One thing I do like about the Ben/Noel basketball scenes is that they’re not competitive with each other, I expected they would be for Felicity/dude reasons but nope. Nicely subverted show, other than the all round tropieness of it all. I totally ship it.

I am so not down with Greg and agree with Ben’s assessment “63% of me thinks you’re a dick.” As you mentioned on Twitter what is if with guys getting chewed out by Felicity and then falling in love with her? They’re also always older and this makes it even weirder, it’s like emotionally stunted guys fall at her feet when she points out how awful they are. Ben has got a big case of jealousy and that’s because he too has the Felicity feels, but she’s totally not reading any of those signals even if it’s the most obvious thing. I am glad that Ben is having to work for it after he couldn’t commit at the start of the season (there’s more to talk about with Ben in the second episode but I want to cover Greg first).

Greg is being a dick because he’s stressed with a forthcoming review and his flirting manual only includes playground behavior. Also that deleted files story sounds like a BS attempt to spend more time with her, or I could be crazy.

Meghan’s infatuation is so unexpected and hilarious; it’s is out of character and perfect all at once. I love her reactions as the painting party and Meghan should always be there when these big dramatic moments go down. I can’t imagine Meghan taking it well, perhaps there will be another spell coming Felicity’s way. Nice call back to the ripped up and put back together incorrectly photo with Felicity’s original big hair.

One other major relationship moment occurred between Sean and Julie, not in a romantic sense but she did tell him about what happened with Eric and Zach. Sean’s reaction is that of concerned friend, he doesn’t use it as a way to get closer and reveals the same happened to his sister. Julie’s decided that yes she does need to go see a counsellor and thanks Sean for the support he has given her even though he didn’t know why Julie was initially reacting this way. Sean should stop making food though. No one wants quiche at a party.

What are your Greg thoughts? In better new beau news, Elena seems to be having a flirty/competitive good time.

Felicity 2.15 Julie and FelicityJulie: Felicity has daddy issues, is what I think Dr. Pavone would tell her. She’s falling for these older rude jerks, to whom she has no problem speaking her mind. It’s like she’s saying to them what she could never say to her father. And then she’s all-in once they come running back to her. And 63% of me is pretty sure I’m full of shit.

Greg is just a stopgap. The show is winding down to the season finale, and there’s no way he sticks around for junior year (unless Meghan gets her mitts on him). Actually, that’s the storyline I’d like to see, Meghan getting all peeved that Felicity goes after Greg only to cast him aside like it’s no big deal. That would probably almost be a worse crime as far as Meghan’s concerned. I think she’d be a little bit cool with Felicity edging her out for Greg’s affections, but I don’t think she’d be all right with losing Greg to Felicity only to have her lose interest almost immediately. And I’m pretty sure there’d be spells involved. It’s the end of the year. There has to be a spell at some point.

Aside from Greg and Ruby, the other character I need less of is Sean. I love Greg Grunberg, but Sean is so boring right now. Shit or get off the pot with Julie, Sean. If you’re never going to tell her how you feel, then just move on. Find someone else, or something else, to occupy your time.

I do think they had Sean make quiche just to have Scott Speedman say the word “quiche” several times. Now that’s cute.

I am loving the flirtation between Elena and Turk (what’s his name on this show?). I love that they’ve made him better than her at school and that he doesn’t really have to work that hard. It has to be so frustrating for Elena. I want to spend more time with these people. Less Sean, more Turk. This is my  new motto. Maybe he should join Ben and Noel for some hoops.

Felicity 2.15 JavierEmma: Daddy issues is as much a J.J. signature as the ‘magical mystery box’ and on this occasion I find it pretty dull. I generally like teen shows that incorporate the parental characters and with Felicity I think it doesn’t really fit the overall narrative of the show as she’s so far from home her parents should be fleeting in their appearance, season 1 did this perfectly, I also think I would prefer for the focus to be on her relationship with her mother as it’s the most compelling. Instead we get the disappointed daddy and while I think his breakdown and subsequent depression *could* be interesting, it hasn’t really been presented in that way as there is too much other stuff going on. And yeah Felicity’s recent flirtation choice does have a whole lot of daddy issues attached to it.I’m just glad they’ve used up the “sleeping with your professor” storyline.

As you mention Greg is not here for the long term and it’s clear that Ben is going to make his big move before the end of the season. Ben goes on a “stupid date” with a girl who is actually pretty cool, but she’s not Felicity so he shuts it down before they move on from making out on the couch. Good work Ben and it seems like he is growing as person. Pam still wants to hang out as she’s had fun, don’t settle for being second best Pam. Have some self-respect even if he is super cute and can get you free coffee and muffins. Ben also calls Greg a dick once again and I really didn’t think they could use this insult on TV in 2000 as much as they clearly can.

Speaking of D&D and I love the Javier stuff in this episode as he tries to offer Ben advice,even if Javier misreads which woman Ben has feelings for.

I don’t mind Sean at the moment as I really liked that scene with Julie, they do need to get him a storyline that’s not Julie or scheme related. Sean’s documentary from last season is making a reappearance and I wonder how this will play into the overall narrative, particularly with the love triangle.

Turk is Tracy and yeah he’s a fun match for Elena. His post-exam dance while everyone else was still doing there’s (Elena) was on the adorable side of obnoxious and I hope this develops into a bigger storyline for her. Sometimes Elena gives advice that’s kinda awful like when she sex shamed Felicity and in this episode I inferred that she was telling Noel to go back to Ruby because what makes him special is that he can forgive. Hmm, I’m not sure that’s a good idea, although I might be reading into that scene too much.

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

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2 Responses to “TV Rewind: Felicity, “True Colors” & “Things Change””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Game of Thrones in Discussion: From Spoiler Culture to Style Inspiration | TV Ate My Wardrobe - July 18, 2014

    […] turn brings me to a relatively recent prevalent pop culture hot topic; spoilers. I am joined by my Felicity discussion partner Julie Hammerle to look at the many GoT talking points of including spoiler […]

  2. TV Rewind: Gilmore Girls, Season 1, Episodes 3-6 | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 28, 2016

    […] of the time (and they can stay there). And just like Felicity, Rory got an iBook Clamshell. The WB laptop of choice (and once again I am very […]

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