'Little Voice' Preview: Bess' journey to find her voice in New York reminiscent of JJ Abrams' show 'Felicity'
One hopes that just like Felicity had her cassettes, Bess in ‘Little Voice’ has her music and it is Sara Bareilles’ devastating compositions that act as a narrative device that moves the story forward
More than two decades ago, long before J. J. Abrams became a name ubiquitous with science fiction and fantasy in films and television, Matt Reeves and he created a television series. That show has since been lost in the deluge of popular culture, even though it earned a place in Time magazine's “All-Time 100 Best TV Shows” in 2007. It was called ‘Felicity’.
The series followed a girl named Felicity Porter (Keri Russell) who traveled across the country to be in the same college as her high school crush. From 1998 to 2002, ‘Felicity’ ran for four seasons, each capturing a year of her college career. It was a touching drama that told the story of an under-confident woman and her struggles. It was also a story that looked at New York, and its sheer mass and intimidating energy through the eyes of an outsider, who tries to find herself.
One of the most unique things about ‘Felicity’ was how the eponymous character, and the story, used a tape-recorder as a storytelling tool. Felicity would use it to record what was going on with her life, and she would then send it to an old friend named Sally Reardon (voiced by Janeane Garofalo), who would do the same for her.
Twenty-two years later, Abrams, along with Jessie Nelson, and singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, brings to us another show that bears a startling amount of spiritual resemblance with ‘Felicity’.
‘Little Voice’, Apple TV+’s upcoming musical drama, promises to be a “love letter to the diverse musicality of New York”. The show follows a young woman called Bess King (Brittany O'Grady), who, much like Felicity, suffers from a lack of confidence. And who, like Felicity again, tries to navigate her life in New York, while trying to cope with her struggles to find her identity.
‘Little Voice’, per Apple TV+, explores the universal journey of finding oneself in their early 20s. The streamer calls it a “fresh, intensely romantic tale” of the search to find one’s true voice, and “then the courage to use it”.
By the looks of the trailer, there are other similarities between the two shows. The most important one, however, is pertaining to the romantic entanglements of the lead character. Felicity, two decades ago, was stuck between Noel Crane (Scott Foley) and Ben Covington (Scott Speedman). In ‘Little Voice’, it looks like Bess too has a triangle to deal with.
On the one hand, there is Sean Teale’s Ethan, a man who is already in a live-in relationship with his girlfriend. But he’s also someone who understands Bess better than others. He sees her beyond the mess she thinks she is. On the other hand, there is Colton Ryan’s Samuel, a fellow musician, who encourages Bess to perform, to find her voice.
One hopes that just like Felicity had her cassettes, Bess in ‘Little Voice’ has her music and it is Sara Bareilles’ devastating compositions that act as a narrative device that moves the story forward. In the trailer, Bess says, “I don’t like anyone listening to the songs I write… They’re for me.” But we, as viewers, will. And hopefully, they will tell the story for her.
The first season of ‘Little Voice’ arrives exclusively on Apple TV+ on July 10.