Sometimes we choose our area of expertise. Sometimes our area of expertise chooses us. I never made the conscious decision to become the foremost expert on the Golden Age of the WB. I never intended to become so passionateabout the television shows that aired on this famed network. But after years of watching, re-watching, and reflecting on the brilliant stories that were told on that station in its hey day, I have accepted the mantle with all humility.
I could write for hours about those years where shows like ‘Seventh Heaven’, ‘Buffy…’ and ‘Roswell’ helped form a foundation of programming that in my opinion has never been matched by any other network in terms of its consistency and impact. Even shows like ‘Young Americans’ and ‘Hyperion Bay’ which found themselves lost in the annuls of short lived television shows have cult followings that may be small but are certainly loyal.
That is why I was so excited to begin another journey thorough the life of a young college student named Felicity. Felicity, starring Kerri Russell and Scott Foley aka “Bob Brown” from ‘The Unit’, was an instant hit when it began its run in 1998. Many have speculated on its slow demise, which is not the intent of this article, but regardless of why it ended, this show is a thoughtful and mature look at college life.
Kerri Russell, the starlet cast to play Felicity, instantly won the hearts of TV viewers all over the country. This particular character which gave her instant credibility in the acting game and made her a household name is truly her signature role. However, Kerri Russell is not on trick pony and I want to draw your attention to two other notable roles she took on and why they were so inspiring.
The first came in the form of a music video. Starring as the “other girl” in Bon Jovi’s “Always” video Kerri Russell helped to highlight this tale of love, betrayal, and revenge by seductively enticing the video’s male star into a pivotal one night stand. Although the role was brief, without her, the story could not have moved forward and we would have never felt at all sorry for the spurned Carla Gugino character. In the end Carla could walk away tasting the bitter sweetness of revenge and win over the audience because Kerri did her job well.
The second role was just as brief as the first but cinematically just as pivotal. To be honest, if you weren’t paying attention, you might have missed her throw caution to the wind by portraying IMF agent Lindsey Farris in the Tom Cruise blockbuster Mission Impossible III. Here she put aside her school books and girl next door persona and became ACTION! Trained expertly by Ethan Hunt himself, Lindsey Farris was the perfect extension of his tutelage. However, what vaulted this performance into the realm of the memorable was the vulnerability in strength she was able to portray onscreen as she fought to escape capture before tragically dying.
Overall, Kerri Russell may not get much fanfare as an actress. An afterthought to many in and out of the business. But, with these three roles on her resume, she will never be forgotten. So, as I continue to watch ‘Felicity’ on DVD, I can enjoy it without regret, knowing that in the Golden Age of the WB, few starlets shined brighter!