13 years ago I was just a teenager who liked a few WB shows. It was during the final seasons of Dawson’s Creek and Felicity, the beginnings of Gilmore Girls and Smallville; the classic WB shows. Man those were the days. But at the end of September, on a Sunday night (13 years ago exactly), I sat down to watch a new show on ABC called Alias. It looked cool; all I knew was that it was about a female spy and she wore really cool wigs and outfits. I was 13, almost 14; I didn’t need much to hook me in.
To this day I don’t think there has ever been a pilot as captivating and attention grabbing as the pilot to Alias. A covert spy turned double agent when she learns the agency she works for killed her fiancé and is in fact not the CIA. The episode puts Jennifer Garner through the ringer several times in its 66 minute run time (by the way, most network pilots are 44 minutes these days. That should give you a clue as to how awesome this pilot is). I still can’t get over the seen when Sydney is running through the parking lot trying to escape a hit squad and is saved by her dad who she learns is ALSO a double agent. I mean talk about an info dump. This was A LOT for a 13 year old to grasp. But I wanted more and I wanted it instantly.
One of the main reasons that I became so invested in Alias was Sydney Bristow. I wanted to be her sooo badly. I still want to be her. A spy, who was also a grad student, had great friends, and a good sense of moral direction. She was someone to look up to and she continued to be someone to look up to throughout all five seasons of the show. At 13 you think the world is stacked against you and pretty much everything around you sucks. I was a freshman in high school and everything about me was awkward. Hell I am still awkward. But looking at Sydney Bristow’s life (even though she was a fictional character) I realized how much harder my life could be and seeing the courage and strength she presented at every obstacle in her journey made me realize I could overcome my obstacles as well. She was an awesome female character and there will, probably, never be another female character like her on TV ever again. And that is not a bad thing.
So on this 13th anniversary I leave you with one simple moto, a moto I plan on using a lot more in my life now: What Would Sydney Bristow Do?
Also-Sydney and Vaughn forever and ever.