AskDefine | Define felicity

Dictionary Definition



1 pleasing and appropriate manner or style (especially manner or style of expression) [syn: felicitousness] [ant: infelicity]
2 state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy [syn: happiness] [ant: unhappiness]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Felicity



From etyl la felicitas < etyl la felix.


  1. happiness
  2. apt and pleasing style in writing, marisol, speech, etc.


apt and pleasing style in writing, marisol, speech, etc.

Extensive Definition

Felicity is a Golden Globe-winning American primetime television drama produced by Touchstone Television and Imagine Television for The WB network. The series revolved around the fictional college experiences of the title character, Felicity Porter (played by Keri Russell), as she attended the "University of New York", based on New York University, across the country from her home of Palo Alto, California. The show ran for four seasons from 1998 to 2002, with each season corresponding to the traditional freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years students attend at universities. The series was created by J. J. Abrams and Matt Reeves. Notable guest directors included Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.
A recurring episode opener of the show was a stark camera shot of Felicity sitting in a dorm room or apartment holding a tape recorder, recalling events in order to make a cassette tape to send to an old friend named Sally Reardon (voiced by Janeane Garofalo). This occasionally provided a method for Felicity to narrate an entire episode. At the end of episodes like this, Felicity would often be shown listening to a tape Sally sent in reply.


The story of the series begins at Felicity's high school graduation where she asks Ben Covington (played by Scott Speedman), a classmate whom she has a crush on, to sign her yearbook. Moved by his comment that he wished he had gotten to know her, she changes her education plans completely, deciding to follow Ben to New York rather than attend Stanford University for pre-med. Felicity's overbearing parents, concerned about Felicity's seemingly rash decision, come to New York to try to convince her to return home and 'get back on track.' Felicity has second thoughts about her decision, but soon realizes that she came, not only to follow Ben, but to find herself.
While Felicity works to sort out her emotions, she continues the basic motions of student life and moves into her dorm. There, she meets the resident advisor Noel Crane (Scott Foley). Eventually, romance ensues, and the relationships between Felicity, Ben, and Noel form the basic dramatic conflicts in the show throughout the series.
A number of other characters appear and play large roles in Felicity's life. Her roommate for the first two years is Meghan Rotundi (Amanda Foreman), a goth Wiccan who occasionally casts spells on Felicity and others. Julie Emrick (Amy Jo Johnson) is one of Felicity's best friends, as is Elena Tyler (Tangi Miller), who often takes classes with Felicity. Felicity also has male friends, including Sean Blumberg (Greg Grunberg), who is always trying to produce new off-kilter inventions, and Javier Quintata (Ian Gomez), who manages the coffee house Dean & DeLuca where Felicity works for most of her college career.


Felicity maintained an ensemble cast, keeping most of its characters for its entire four season run. Numerous secondary characters, including friends and love interests for these characters, appeared intermittently to complement storylines that generally revolved around this core group.


Writer's age

In 1999, a publicly hyped young writer for the show, Riley Weston, was disclosed as a fraud for claiming to be much younger than she truly was. At the age of 32, she began marketing herself to television studios as a recent high school graduate. (She claimed that her husband was her older brother.) She was soon hired by the WB Network as a writer for Felicity. Hailed as a child prodigy and "wunderkind," she was featured on Entertainment Weekly's October 1998 "it list" of the "100 Most Creative People in Entertainment," which described her as an up-and-coming 19-year-old. Shortly thereafter, she was offered a half-million dollar screenwriting deal with Disney. Her real identity and age were exposed after a Felicity producer checked her social security number. Soon after, her contract with WB expired and was not renewed, and her deal with Disney fell through.


The show's ratings declined in the 1999-2000 season. The popular press blamed this partly on a new hairstyle by the show's star Known for long and curly locks, Russell went along with the producers' idea that she snip her hair short early on in the second year after her character had a rough breakup with Ben. The ratings drop also coincided with the show's move to Sunday night, so it is unclear exactly how much effect the hairstyle change actually had.
  • Season 1 (1998-1999): 4.4
  • Season 2 (1999-2000): 2.9
  • Season 3 (2000-2001): 3.9
  • Season 4 (2001-2002): 3.2

Time travel episodes

The last five episodes of the series involve a mystical "what if" storyline in which Meghan casts one of her spells, sending Felicity back one year prior to the very moment when she slept with Noel on the roof. The reason for this was due to the fact that the WB originally ordered only 17 episodes for the final season. The final episode, "Graduation," was then written and the show was to end with Felicity and Ben in Palo Alto together. But The WB quickly ordered five more episodes and writers were stuck with the dilemma of how to keep the show going when Felicity and her friends were supposed to be done with college. After scrambling for ideas, including a silly "Summer Spanish Class" storyline, the writers decided to go with the time travel theme and play with the idea of what would've happened had Felicity chosen Noel.


  • Scott Foley, who originally auditioned for Noel, was cast as Ben. However, when producers found Scott Speedman, they asked Foley to switch back to the role of Noel.
  • Noel discusses a website with Felicity during the show called This was an actual website that included a dorm calendar, dorm party photos, samples from Noel's portfolio, and other details related to Noel's life. The site was updated a few times. The site's ownership has since changed hands and the content has been revised. However, it still looks like Noel's life. The computer script that "runs" at the beginning is a set of instructions for how to be Noel.
  • For the second season, star Keri Russell cut her long hair short, and the network moved the show to Sunday nights. Ratings declined. The network blamed it on Russell's hair, not the move to Sundays, and required the rest of the cast not to cut their hair. On both sets of DVDs recently released by the WB, it is mentioned numerous times that Felicity cutting her hair was written into the script by Abrams and Reeves. Keri Russell did not do it on her own.
  • Keri Russell and Scott Foley offer commentary on the episode "The Graduate" on the season 4 DVD set. They make a comment about Felicity and Noel never sleeping with each other when in fact, they DID have sex in season 4. They slept together on the loft roof in the episode "The Declaration." Eventually Noel lets it slip to Ben that he slept with Felicity which results in Felicity and Ben breaking up in season 4.
  • According to Amy Jo Johnson, Julie's departure from the show in 2000 was a result of the actress' need to grieve for her mother whom she had lost two years earlier. She explained that she had been unable to do so properly, due to the show's heavy workload. However, producers have said that the WB network wanted her to leave the show because her story lines were too 'depressing.'
  • During the time traveling episodes in the final season, Tangi Miller's character of Elena was said to have been killed in the present day. When Felicity finally returns from the past, Elena is mysteriously resurrected and present at Noel's wedding, seemingly creating an error in the show's continuity. Producers have since explained the error as a problem in editing, as a scene in which Felicity left Elena a note on her last night in the past, telling Elena not to go to Columbia in order to avoid her fatal car accident was cut from the final episode due to length. These scenes have been restored on the fourth season DVD set to relieve confusion for fans.
  • In commentary for the fourth season DVD, creator J. J. Abrams says the idea for Alias, which starred Scott Foley's then wife and Felicity guest star Jennifer Garner was derived from a half-joking story plot for an episode of Felicity. Abrams said that by the fourth season, it became difficult for the writers to think up new storylines for Felicity. Abrams said that he half-jokingly suggested an idea where Felicity was a secret agent, while still trying to balance her affections for Ben and Noel, and her school life.
  • Jennifer Garner is not the only major player from Felicity to have later moved on to Alias. Greg Grunberg and Amanda Foreman also became regular cast members of that series after Felicity ended its run.
  • One Mad TV parody with Keri Russell appears on the Felicity DVDs, but there was also another one featuring Nicole Sullivan as Felicity and called "Intensity."
  • At the end of the second season, Megan tells Elena about how she dated a guy named Chad Savage. Chad Savage is a producer on the show.
  • Ed Redlich, the producer and writer of some episodes, also appeared in one episode as a character.

DVD releases

The DVDs were released over a period of four years by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Because of high music licensing costs, many of the songs from the original broadcast episodes were replaced with songs by artists from the independent label Rescue Records. Among them were Blaire Woods Reinhard ("Over and Over" and "Can't Let Go"), Mike Schmidt ("Just Wave Goodbye"), and Beth Thornley ("Mr. Lovely"). On a technical level, some episodes did not have proper telecine encoding, so viewers using HDTVs could sometimes see interlacing artifacts (though this problem can be mitigated in a few ways). The yearly sets are listed below with their American release dates.


Outside the U.S.

External links

  • Felicity – includes full episode guide
  • – site that was referenced several times in the show; it was updated during the show's run as if Noel Crane were a real person
felicity in Danish: Felicity
felicity in German: Felicity
felicity in Spanish: Felicity
felicity in French: Felicity
felicity in Italian: Felicity
felicity in Hebrew: פליסיטי
felicity in Dutch: Felicity
felicity in Japanese: フェリシティの青春
felicity in Polish: Felicity
felicity in Portuguese: Felicity
felicity in Finnish: Felicity
felicity in Swedish: Felicity
felicity in Turkish: Felicity (dizi)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Atticism, Easy Street, admissibility, affluence, an ear for, an eye for, applicability, appositeness, appropriateness, aptitude, aptness, articulateness, beatification, beatitude, becomingness, bed of roses, bent, bewitchment, blessedness, blessing, bliss, blissfulness, capacity for, chasteness, chastity, cheer, cheerfulness, civility, clarity, classicalism, classicism, clearness, cloud nine, clover, comeliness, comfort, command of language, command of words, correctness, decency, decorousness, decorum, delectation, delight, dignity, directness, discrimination, distinction, ease, easy circumstances, ecstasy, ecstatics, effective style, elation, elegance, elegancy, eloquence, eloquent tongue, enchantment, exaltation, exhilaration, expression, expressiveness, exuberance, facundity, felicitousness, finish, fitness, fittedness, fittingness, flair, fleshpots, flow, flowing periods, fluency, fortunateness, fortune, gaiety, genius for, genteelness, gentility, gift for, gift of expression, gift of gab, gladness, glee, glibness, good fortune, good luck, good taste, grace, gracefulness, gracility, gracious life, gracious living, graphicness, happiness, happy fortune, heaven, high spirits, inclination, innate aptitude, intoxication, joy, joyance, joyfulness, lap of luxury, leaning, life of ease, limpidity, loaves and fishes, lucidity, luck, luckiness, luxury, meaningfulness, meetness, naturalness, neatness, oratory, overhappiness, overjoyfulness, paradise, pellucidity, perspicuity, plainness, polish, propensity, properness, propriety, prosperity, prosperousness, purity, qualification, rapture, ravishment, refinement, relevance, restraint, rhetoric, rightness, security, seemliness, seventh heaven, silver tongue, simplicity, slickness, smiles of fortune, smoothness, straightforwardness, success, suitability, sunshine, taste, tastefulness, tendency, terseness, the affluent life, the breaks, the good life, thriving condition, transport, turn, turn for, unaffectedness, unalloyed happiness, upward mobility, urbanity, velvet, vividness, weal, wealth, welfare, well-being
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