Admit it: you’ve already forgotten about them. You felt your brain forgetting them even as you watched “The OC” series finale tidy it all up. It’s a week later, and you’ve moved on to “Heroes.” Or maybe, if you’re slumming, “Wicked Wicked Games.” But here are a few pitches for series spinoffs anyway, because anything’s better than “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” Briefcase or no briefcase? No briefcase.
Husband-free for the fourth time (or fifth? I already forgot), Julie Cooper and her daughter Kaitlin discover Julie’s beat-up orange Plymouth Sundance from high school parked under the San Diego Freeway, right where she abandoned it in 1986. There’s even a few wisps of dried-up pot in the ashtray. Ready for a new life, Julie and Kaitlin head east in the battered-but-lovable subcompact, and find adventure, laughter, and a little bit of romance in all the nowhere towns and hard-luck havens along the way. It’s “Promised Land” meets Thelma & Louise, or maybe “Gilmore Girls” in a car. Recurring special guests: Shelley Hack and Tracey Gold as a “Cagney & Lacey”-type detective team convinced the Cooper girls are part of an illegal cross-country road race.
MENSCH AT WORK
Peter Gallagher reprises his role as Sandy Cohen, World’s Best TV Dad, in this heartwarming spinoff from “The OC.” Sandy, Kirsten, and their new daughter are happy as clams in Berkeley, California, where they resettled in their old home after the demise of the Cohen home in Newport. While Sandy is busy as a law professor at the university, he can’t quite keep his nose (or eyebrows) out of other people’s problems, and they don’t want him to. This soulful show with just a schmear of comedy is about one man with the ability to get anyone to do what they probably should’ve always been doing anyway. It’s “Stingray” and “Booker” without horrifying leather jackets, and Road House without the roundhouse kicks. Pain don’t hurt, unless it’s the good kind. Recurring special guest: Mr. Smith, the wise, chatty orangutan from the 1983 series of the same name.
Oh, and one more aside to Schwartz: The DVD box of “The OC” better include as bonus features the trailer for Julie Cooper’s porn movie and a behind-the-scenes look at a typical day on the set of “The Valley.” Or just pitch “The Valley” as an actual show, and cast JoJo in the lead.
Songs in this episode:
• Clinic – “The New Seeker” from Visitations
• Jet – “Shine On” from Shine On