Ben, my high school teachers would have pointed out, was not marriage material.
When I first started dating in college, their view still dominated my actions.
Dating was purely for the purposes of finding a lifelong companion. But as I got along in years, I wasn’t dating the safe, good guy type all that often.
(I wasn’t allowed to do either.) Yet despite the absence of boys and fraternizing, dating was discussed but only as it pertained to marriage.
They told us to find a man who worked well on paper–kind, responsible, with common interests.
They left the part about chemistry out of the equation.
Or the chemistry that was emphasized was the friend sort of chemistry, not the rip-your-clothes-off-and-throw-you-onto-the-bed variety.
Basically, they were telling us to look for a Noel, not for a Ben.
Back in those days when dating and sex were abstract concepts that I only knew about from television, I was pretty firmly in Camp Noel.
Though I, like any other red-blooded American girl gifted with sight, thought Ben (Scott Speedman) was attractive, I couldn’t understand why Felicity would time and again favor a guy who never failed to disappoint her, who had issues with commitment.
Magazine alerted me to the fact that it is on Netflix streaming in their Nostalgia Fact-Check column in which they rewatch an old show to see how it holds up years after it had gone off the air.
The verdict on Felicity: it mostly holds up especially if you are part of the demographic that went to college before Facebook and G-chat, meaning this old lady.
(Facebook was only becoming available as I was graduating from college in 2004.) While I agree with that assessment thus far–I’m partway through the second season since beginning a week ago, which should speak volumes about the present state of my social life–my point of fascination hasn’t been about whether or not the show is still good entertainment but how much my life over the last ten years has changed the way I relate to the characters and plot, especially the infamous Ben-Felicity-Noel triangle.
The show premiered in 1998 back when I was a junior in an all-girls Orthodox Jewish day school in New York.