Picks and Pans Review: Felicity

updated 09/28/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/28/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The WB (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET)

Citing the "lure" of the Big Apple, The New York Times reported recently that New York City is becoming "the college applicant's destination of choice." For Felicity (Keri Russell), the protagonist in this involving new drama series, the lure is Ben (Scott Speedman), a classmate on whom she has long had a quiet crush. On graduation day at her Palo Alto, Calif., high school, she decides with unwonted impulsiveness to blow off nearby Stanford and follow Ben to the University of New York (a fictional equivalent of New York University). Once in New York, she changes her mind and then changes it back—for reasons entirely unrelated to academics. All this may seem implausible, except to viewers who either are in their youth or haven't forgotten it. Russell (Malibu Shores) has an unassuming sort of star quality that draws us to her character, and the writing in the pilot is sensitive without being soapy.

Bottom Line: Promising freshman

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