Felicity Season 2 Was Extraordinary, Haircut and All: Help Us Squash the False Sophomore Slump Narrative

With network shows wrapping early and endless streaming options at our disposal, the communal viewing experience is becoming a rarity. Enter the TVLine Binge Club , a new opportunity for everyone to get back on the same page — or at least the same channel — to reflect on classic shows that once brought us all together.

THE SHOW | Felicity Season 2 (The WB, 1999–2000)

THE CAST | Keri Russell, Scott Speedman, Scott Foley, Amy Jo Johnson, Tangi Miller, Greg Grunberg, Amanda Foreman and Ian Gomez

WHY WE PICKED IT | Because I am sick and tired of the haircut hatters hijacking the narrative. For two decades, there has been a perception that Felicity‘s second season, which saw the series’ ratings take a hit in the wake of leading lady Keri Russell’s infamous hirsute makeover, was a disappointment. But the opposite is true. Season 2 was a masterpiece — as good as, if not better, than the college drama’s breakout freshman year.

WHAT TO WATCH | If you have the time and inclination, I encourage you to rewatch all 23 episodes of Season 2. But for the purposes of this particular Binge Club session, I’m assigning a handful of standout episodes that not only dig into the main themes of the title character’s sophomore year (her parents’ separation, the push-and-pull with Ben and, yes, the haircut), but highlight Russell’s immense depth and versatility as an actress. (I also added a bonus hour — if you have time — that established the show as an artistic risk-taker unafraid to push the boundaries of, ahem, space and time.)

The five episodes, all of which are available to stream for free on ABC.com, are listed below. Watch them and then let’s meet back here* on Thursday, April 9 at noon ET:

1. “Sophomoric” (Season 2, Episode 1) — WATCH

2. “The List” (Season 2, Episode 2) — WATCH

3. “Ancient History” (Season 2, Episode 3) — WATCH

4. “The Slump” (Season 2, Episode 12) — WATCH

5. “The Biggest Deal There Is” (Season 2, Episode 23) — WATCH

Please also watch the following BUT ONLY IF YOU HAVE TIME!

* “Help for the Lovelorn” (Season 2, Episode 11) — WATCH

* The final five minutes of “The Aretha Theory” (Season 2, Episode 21) — WATCH

* Thursday’s “meeting” will begin with a breakdown of what I gleaned from these six+ episodes, followed by what we hope will be a lively (and civil!) debate in the comments section. Be prepared to discuss, among other pressing issues, the turning point in Felicity and Ben’s romance, your favorite Meghan quotes, the show’s underrated dark comedic edge and the sheer brilliance of Amy Aquino’s Dr. Pavone.

Note: Comments are currently closed off to avoid starting the conversation early. Besides, you don’t have time to comment — you’ve got episodes to binge!

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