The WB drama Felicity is known for a lot of things, and among them is the notorious haircut of its leading lady. As it turns out, the whole hair ordeal started out as a joke before taking a jump into reality. Going from long hair to a super short cut was a significant leap that got everyone buzzing, and not in a good way. Keri Russell recently revealed how the haircut that many hold responsible for the series' ratings dive came about, saying:
The way it all totally went down, was they were wrapping up the first season...and the hair people were putting away everything they had into boxes and there was a little boy's wig. We put it on me at like 2 in the morning as a joke...and we took a polaroid and over the summer we thought it'd be really funny to send to J.J. (Abrams) and Matt (Reeves) and say, 'I cut my hair --- hope you like it.' Totally as a joke.
Twenty years later it is still being talked about, as evidenced by Keri Russell addressing it with this anecdote during the ATX Television Festival (via EW). What have we learned here? You never joke about hair. All kidding aside, when Felicity's ratings experienced a worrisome downturn in Season 2, the blame famously fell on the actress' severe haircut. Known for her beautiful long curls; Russell's haircut shocked the television world, sparking conversations outside of the show's fan base.
While Keri Russell was joking, J.J. Abrams was not. Inspired by the picture, he asked if she would be willing to make the wig a reality. What ended up happening sparked controversy and the show was engulfed in buzz for all the wrong reasons -- a haircut and a ratings spiral. For whatever reason, Russell did not end up wearing a wig to cushion the time between when it naturally grew out some.
A wig could have saved the show from a hairy situation. It may have at least been able to circumvent the negative attention the hairdo generated in its aftermath. Ever since then, a high-profile incident of severe hair cutting has not occurred in-between seasons on television. So Felicity can consider itself a true trailblazer in that regard. Why the show did not make a move to attempt to curb things remains a mystery though. Maybe they did not want to ruin the congruity of the show?
Remember, it was the producer, who asked her if she would be willing to do it. Keri Russell did not go rogue by any means. Networks are now acutely aware of how attached fans are to the follicles of the stars of the show. So they can rest easy, as a similar situation is not as likely to occur now. Can you imagine Jon Snow coming back with a buzz cut? Or any other popular character closely tied to their hair rocking a severely altered look? No, and we can probably thank Felicity for that.
Unfortunately, reliving Felicity's daring hair chapter is not going to happen via Netflix or Amazon Prime, as it is not streaming on either. For new upcoming and returning television shows, you can consider watching over the next few months, check out CinemaBlend's guide to TV's summer premieres.