Thoughts on the Felicity ending.
So I kinda liked Alias, at least the first three seasons, and liked Lost (save the first part of season 3, which was pretty bad), so I thought I'd give J.J. Abrams previous series, Felicity, a shot.
There will be SPOILERS to come.
Felicity follows a girl, Felicity Porter, through her college years at the University of New York, a ficitionalized version of NYU. She follows her high school crush, Ben, there. While there, she becomes involved with another young man, Noel, her freshman dorm RA. The bulk of the show follows the various relationships of Felicity, Ben, Noel, and friends of theirs, Sean, who either rents or owns a co-op loft and sublets it to about half the cast, Meghan, Felicity's freshman dorm roommate, Elena, a friend Felicity meets in freshman pre-med classes, and for the first two seasons, Julie, another friend from Felicity's freshman dorm.
Felicity dates Noel much of season one, then chooses to spend the summer following freshman year with Ben, leaving Noel stranded at the airport waiting for her. Felicity and Ben date off and on for most of the next three seasons, with a few brief and not-so-brief breakups along the way, Noel pining away for her and waiting for her to see him as more than a close friend. Everyone, including Ben, can see how Noel feels about her except for Felicity. Early senior year, in a moment of weakness, Felicity sleeps with Noel, causing a rift to occur between her and Ben. During a brief breakup period, Ben has sex with another woman and she gets pregnant with his child, deciding to keep it and move to Arizona where her parents can help raise the child. Felicity and Ben fight over this, with Ben eventually deciding to go to Arizona to help be a father to his child, and Felicity deciding that it's time she stopped following Ben and make decisions that are right for her.
Having switched from pre-med to art sophomore year, then realizing late senior year that she did want to be a doctor, Felicity has to go back for another year of undergraduate pre-med work. She does this back in her home town of Palo Alto, presumedly at Stanford. Ben, also having switched to a pre-med major his senior year and needing a fifth year to qualify for med school, follows Felicity back to Palo Alto where they renew their relationship.
Things go well for some time, but Felicity is shaken by the death of Elena, who dies in car accident while attending Columbia Med School. This prompts her to retreat from the world into her studies, creating an emotional distance between her a Ben, who cheats on her with a mutual friend the two met in their premed program. Having broken up, again, Felicity travels to New York to attend Noel's wedding to Zoe, a woman he met as a part of his and Sean's graphic design business. While there, she laments to Meghan, a Wiccan who believes she can cast magic spells that actually work, that she wishes she could go back to the night she spent with Noel just before her senior year and choose to be with him instead of Ben. Meghan has a spellbook with a time travel spell in it. Felicity casts and spell and wakes up on the night she slept with Noel.
This new timeline occupies four of the last five episodes. Felicity breaks up with Ben and tells Noel she wants to be with him. They make an attempt to get together, but Felicity's erratic behavior causes him concern, and he realizes that despite everything she's been saying, she still has feelings for Ben. Other unexpected ripples occur, including her friend losing his job, Sean and Meghan not getting married and breaking up, and generally nothing goes as expected. She finally confesses, first to Meghan, then to Noel that she's time-traveled. Meghan accepts her belief as mostly harmless, but Noel and Ben come to believe she's had a psychotic break and she's temporarily committed for observation. Ben later comes to believe her and breaks her out, but that same night a disaster occurs - a fire in the administration building. In the original timeline, Felicity was there late painting, and Noel saved her life. In the new one, Noel dies in the fire. Felicity manages, with Meghan's help, to track down the author of the spellbook she used to time travel. He helps her cast a reversal spell, telling her that if it works, she'll wake up back in her own time. She spends the night with Ben, who begs her forgiveness for whatever he might have done, and promises he'll be loyal. When she awakes, she's back in her own time, her friends gathered around her, telling her she's recovering from a high fever, and Ben again asks for her forgiveness, using exactly the same words as in the alternate timeline/dream. She forgives him and they're back together.
They attend Noel and Zoe's wedding, where Elena and her former fiancee, Tracy, are mysteriously still alive. There is no explanation for this, they're just there, together, Elena alive.
In the DVD commentary, it is explained that there are cut scenes that explain this - just before going to sleep, Felicity realizes that Elena will be dead if the spell works, so she goes to Elena, wakes her up, and urges her to attend Duke Med School instead of Columbia, writing her a note and shoving it in her hand. Back in the present, when Elena shows up at the wedding, she tells Felicity that she followed Felicity's advice, and met Tracy there, where they reunited. These scenes were cut for time purposes.
This explanation causes more problems than it solves. We have three possibilities:
A: The time travel was a fever dream and none of it really happened. If this is what happened, Elena should still be dead.
B: The time travel actually occurred and Felicity changed the past. If this is what happened, Elena would be alive and Noel dead. There are numerous other problems with this theory, mostly having to do with no changes occurring other than with Elena and nobody having any memory of the altered timeline, but Noel still being alive is the big one.
C: The time travel occurred as shown, but Felicity was returned to her original timeline instead of one altered by her actions. Noel would be alive and Elena dead.
There is no reasonable explanation for the time travel episodes that results in both Elena and Noel being alive.
As for Felicity choosing Ben in the end and forgiving him his latest indiscretion as a result of whatever happened, time travel or fever dream, this is consistent with how their relationship has gone before, so it's not really much of a surprise, and is in character for both of them. It isn't, I think, a happily ever after ending, at least not for Ben and Felicity. Ben, and to a lesser extent, Felicity, has a history of ending up in someone else's bed when things get difficult in their relationship. His way of dealing with relationship problems is to find comfort with another woman. This is not a relationship that is likely to last long-term. What's more, Felicity knows this, which is why she attempted to change things in the first place. Her chance to be with Noel, however, had long since passed, even by the night they spent together.
As with other of J.J. Abrams shows, Felicity started strong, had a wonderful first-season cliffhanger, but tended to run out of steam as time went on. By the time I reached the end of the time-travel episodes, I was more concerned with whether Sean and Meghan's relationship would survive than who Felicity would end up with or the health of her and Ben's relationship. It's not unlike Lost, where I really didn't care much how the Kate/Jack/Sawyer triangle would resolve itself, but did care about the relationships of several supporting cast members, chiefly Sun/Jin and Desmond/Penny.
Yeah, I know, a ten-year old low-rated soap opera isn't exactly cutting edge, but it's what's on my mind today.
Recent movies I've seen:
Tron Legacy: Messy plot, weak characters, dazzling, but ultimately not very interesting visuals.
Secretariat: Mediocre, especially compared to the similar but much better Seabiscuit. No characters to care about, and trying to make Secretariat an underdog does not work. I'd reccommend The Great Dan Patch, which doesn't make the mistake of trying to make the title horse into an underdog, over Secretariat.
Machete: Violent exploitation movie that aims low and does exactly what it intends extremely well. More entertaining than Tron Legacy and Secretariat combined.
I recently was in a chat room in which people were discussing OTP from their favorite television shows. OTP stands for One True Pair, the one romantic couple, either an actual couple or one the fan would like to see/have seen from a particular television show. Apparently this should ideally apply to a show with a strong romance element and in which there was some doubt as to who would end up with whom, and need not be restricted to couples who were actually romantic partners on the show itself. Also apparently, I'm bad at this, as I tend to gravitate toward supporting characters who obviously belong together and thus create little controversy, and not develop a strong vested interest in whom the protagonists pair up with.
A few of my OTP's from various entertainment franchises:
Felicity: Sean and Meghan
Lost: Desmond and Penny; Jin and Sun a close second.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow and Tara
Angel: Fred and Wesley
Gilmore Girls: Lorelai and Luke (None of Rory's boyfriends were really a good long-term match for her)
Party of Five: Charlie and Kristen
Alias: Marshall and Carrie
Justice League: John/Shayera
Glee: Santana and Britanee (I have my hopes that they'll eventually get together as an official couple)