Its January 12th 1999, A Monday. My first night on the Sunshine Coast. I’m 15, scared, angry and feel completely alone. My life in Adelaide is now nothing but a memory. I’ve left all my friends behind to go involuntarily to this new place. My parents suggest this move is exciting, to me it is anything but.
That same night Felicity premiered on Australian TV, and it would subsequently go on to be the show that would define my adolescence. In the pilot Felicity moves from California to New York to attend college on the spur of the moment. She decides to follow her high school crush Ben, after he writes a pleasent message in her yearbook at their graduation. It appeared to be your typical teenage/young adult drama on the surface. However, the pilot of Felicity instantly resonated with me upon first viewing as I lamented the struggle to find my own identity in this foreign place.
This morning I re-watched the Felicity pilot for the third time, beginning the process of watching the show’s four year run once more, which I will document sporadically on this blog. Watching the pilot this time I had a completely different reaction to the previous two occasions. The pilot is not about being displaced and making the most of the circumstances thrust upon you as I originally thought. It seems with the benefit of hindsight and revision, that the central theme is about the choices you make in life and the impact they have on your life for better or for worse. Perhaps for the first time I was seeing my own adolescence through adult eyes, and retrospectively applying the lessons I’ve learnt throughout the past year.
The more I reflect on this journey the more I begin to realise why I identify with the heroines of teen soaps. Felicity Porter like Rory Gilmore, Peyton Sawyer and Joey Potter represent the kind of bravery and at times, the sense of irresponsibility I wish I could have had. Every romantic dalliance is not life altering, mistakes are made, tears are shed but at the end of the day the heroines are empowered to make choices, romantic or otherwise. The very thing I have always longed to do.
And so it makes total sense that I latched on to Felicity at one of the most powerless moments of my life. I would later learn that moving interstate for love is no easy task, but back then, as I still do now I long for the Power of Choice.