Yes, I am an unabashed, unapologetic fan of Fox's The O.C. Oh, it wasn't my obsession straightaway. Rather it aged and became stronger, better like--no, that's a bad comparison. Does anyone know something that actually smells better when it gets rotten? Anyway, I watched the first few minutes of a couple of episodes when it aired after, I think, 24? My full addiction began when I purchased the first season on DVD, and it's been downhill ever since.
After watching three recent episodes in one go (all except this weeks, so don't spoil me!!!), I've witnessed the unshakable marital fidelity of the Cohens become suddenly, overdramatically shakable; I've seen Julie Cooper-Nichol go deliciously past camp into extreme camp as former teenage porno queen (complete with 80s-style faux footage); I've nearly averted my gaze when it took a whole episode's worth of orchestrations to get to an over-the-top, completely strained yet still enjoyable homage to the cheesy upside-down kiss from the first Spider-Man movie between two of the teen leads; and I went through an agonizing break-up right alongside ol' Ryan, knowing the relationship couldn't work in a "meta" sense simply because the girlfriend wasn't a regular cast member (I love you, Shannon Lucio!).
And on last week's show, I laughed out loud (and often) when two of the leads jibed back and forth about how things weren't as fresh as last year, and one tried his best to make things like the year previous by manipulating his friends back into a relationship! The funny thing is, this is just what the online fans have been kibitzing about since around the beginning of the season. I've decided that part of the fun of the show is the self-awareness it often displays, trying to straddle the line between keeping the show static (i.e. giving the fans what they want) and forging boldly onward, not resting on laurels. I like change, I like evolution, and I like seeing how loony the plots can get and still have a millionth of a degree of plausibility.
Now then, without further ado, the 5 things I like best about the show, in no particular order:
1. "California, here we come! Right back where we started from! Californiaaaaaaaa!!!!! Here we coooooooommmmmmmmeeee!!!!!" At the risk of sounding crazy myself, The O.C. has the most infectious title ditty this side of--oh, let's date myself here--Hardcastle and McCormick. No cheap hype. (Now look up H&C on imdb.com!)
2. Allan Heinberg isn't just a savvy TV writer; he's also one of the biggest comic book fans around, and he's just been crowned writer of the brand-spankin'-new Marvel Comics series Young Avengers. A series, I'll add, which is at least twice as cool as you think. In fact, the second issue, in stores now, features a growing, nearly-nekkid fourteen-year-old girl. In a pink thong. Get your mind out of the gutter! (Okay, mine's there too, sicko!)
3. Mr. Heinberg and his many comic references peppered throughout the series (including that delightful plot of Zack, Summer & Seth going to San Diego to pitch their comic to Wildstorm) are far from the only comic-related business. Q: Which cast member's father and grandfather worked on the short-lived 1990 TV adaptation of The Flash? (Doo dee do, de doo doo doo...) A: Rachel Bilson, who plays Summer. Her father Danny was co-developer of the show (as well as Sentinel, Viper, and the oft-forgotten Human Target series starring Rick Springfield...anyone got that last one on bootleg DVD?:-D). Her grandfather, Bruce Bilson, directed some Flash episodes and a lot of TV back through the 1970s. So she comes from good stock.
4. Something I ordinarily wouldn't admit unless I was really, really drunk: I like Ryan Atwood (played by Benjamin McKenzie). No, I don't just like; it's straining the barriers of platonic guy stuff. He's just beyond cool.
5. Forget Mischa, forget Rachel, forget Melinda, Samaire, Olivia, Amanda (oh, God, Amanda!), and even Shannon...Ms. Kelly Rowan has it all. She's blonde, she's gorgeous, she's smart, she's sassy. Girls, take some lessons.
On that note, I bid you adieu. (And that DVD quiz is still forthcoming, promise!)