Remember when TV shows about the Big Apple were less concerned with trying to get on the list for the it-club, and more about trying to get on the Dean’s List? Back when Sex and the City was more about gritty New York relationships and less about a $250K wardrobe? I do. (think waaay back to season 2.) I miss those days like I miss my 401K.
There’s a lot of talk about how shows like The City and Gossip Girl are necessary escapist shows that keep our spirits high as the unemployment checks dwindle and we cannibalize our closets for petty cash. It’s a valid point. I mean, come on, our very own Creme de la Mode is littered with insanely gorgeous homes and clothes we could never afford. We know the power of a fantasy.
We’ve gotten to a place where “fantasy” equates to wealth. Success. Power. Status. Shoes. There’s a definite draw to The City because of the lure of the model/fashionista lifestyle. Amazing parties, absurdly expensive dwellings – knock, knock, can we come in? House sit? Pet sit? Clean your upholstery? Just for a day can I exit my cubicle and work at DVF with you, Whitney Port? I’m really good at doing fake work. Just ask my last 3 bosses. I wouldn’t even mind sharing central air with that beast Olivia.
The undeniable problem is that this keeping-up-with-the-Joneses fantasy leaves me cold and a tad bitter. The last thing I need after a night of “escapist” TV is to resent my wardrobe and the absence of my husband’s trust fund (worthless 60-hour-a-week-workin’ bum.)
The fantasy of Felicity may have lacked the glitter and sparkle of Gossip Girl, but I still watch the DVDs and get a warm and fuzzy trip back to my collegiate youth. Just because it was “real” doesn’t mean it was any less escapist. We loved Felicity because she was just like us, if not a tad more introspective and with better hair.
Felicity was a model for her generation. Stuck at your desk job and secretly wish to write a graphic novel? Throw caution (and your dad’s tuition checks) to the wind and sign up for a drawing class. Trying to decide between the man of your dreams and pursuing an once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity? Do what Felicity did: take the job, have a tryst with your best friend, and grow a little.
The basic truth is that it’s more enjoyable to watch a girl figure out what her dream is, than to watch a bunch of girls who are living a life of dreams bitch and moan about the unfairness of it all (seriously).
In 2009, priorities are getting realigned in a much needed fashion. Art will reflect that. If that means more shows like Felicity, and less lifestyles of the Rich and Hideous, I’m on board.