Derek Phillips fills in for Johnny Loftus who is busy hanging with Sebadoh in Detroit and forgot to set his VCR, so unfortunately he couldn’t stay up all night watching it and writing his weekly wrap-up. Let’s chip in and buy the dude a TiVo.
The O.C. from the eyes of a baby
By Derek Phillips
I’m new to “The O.C.” I’ve only seen it twice before last night so forgive me if I don’t get all the nuance and complexities of the show.
First off, I’ve been told this show is the new “Beverly Hills 90210.” I watched “90210” in college and am well versed in the lifestyles of the rich & young in southern California. I followed through with an unhealthy addiction to “Melrose Place” and, therefore, also understand the woes and trials of the slightly older & rich of southern California. “The O.C.” blissfully combines the best and worst of both shows into a tanned and tucked hybrid worthy of the Spelling name.
Last night, our hero Seth Cohen loses his shit trying to impress Summer’s dad and comes across like Tom Hanks on crank at lunch. Dad is less than impressed with the boy’s geeky knowledge of comic books and Summer begins to question their relationship. Dads and daughters have a special relationship and the fact that Summer second guesses Cohen on dad’s disapproval is believable, but Cohen’s handling of the situation is mature beyond his years—hell, it’s mature beyond MY years and I can’t help but wonder if a girl writes his dialog. But it is during these passages that the best lines surface. Remember kids, celery is gay.
Where “The O.C.” diverges from the “90210” formula is with the parents. On the latter show, the parents were mere window dressing; placed on the set to reinforce that the characters were teenagers and occasionally impart wisdom or the moral of the story. “The O.C”‘s parents are almost universally more fucked up than the kids and bare at least as much midriff. Marissa busts her dad Jimmy and new gal Hailey dry humping on the couch; Julie’s sister Cindy shows up from LA just in time to louse up the wedding shower (and to drop knowledge that Julie was into Def Leppard in her youth—how old are they supposed to be?); Jimmy again gets busted making out with Hailey on the Peter Gallagher’s front porch…it goes on and on.
I don’t live in southern California and have only been there twice but how does anyone there ever know who the parents are? It’s fucking freaky how young some of these adults look. No wonder that meathead boned Marissa’s mom a few weeks ago.
I am a Dylan McKay fan. The “90210” anti-hero was second only to Johnny Depp’s character on “21 Jump Street” in angst and brooding and was perfectly played by Luke Perry. “The O.C”‘s anti-hero is Ryan, who tries his little heart out, but where Dylan was based on James Dean, Ryan is based on Sean Penn. The problem being that James Dean was an icon, and therefore easily impersonated, and Sean Penn is an artist. Trying to mimic art ends up looking like that boring shit on the walls of hotels. Sorry, dude.
“The O.C,” like all teenagers, takes itself VERY seriously. It deals in serious issues, including domestic abuse. Theresa, who I am assuming was Ryan’s honey back in Chino, winds up with a black eye courtesy of her boyfriend, Eddie. Knowing that Ryan will go apeshit and kill Eddie if he finds out about the abuse, Peter Gallagher wisely decides to keep it from the boy lest he “fly off the handle, break his probation, and land back in juvie.” Who is this kid and why is everyone so afraid of him? Did he kill someone? Is he a gangbanger? Not even Peter Gallagher could stop him from storming out of Julie’s shower to beat Eddie’s ass, and I am sure Gallagher works out!
Luckily, Ryan wises up and realizes that the person he needs to talk to is Theresa. He finds her in a hotel and tells her she can break the cycle of violence. She says that’s easy for him to say since the richies adopted him in Orange County and she has to go back to shitty Chino. No problem, Ryan says, “You can live with the Cohens too.”
Theresa shows up at the Cohens’ with Ryan and they welcome her with open arms. (That house is becoming a coed Boystown. If they invite anymore ruffians from Chino to live there they’ll have to rezone.) But the deal totally fucks up Ryan’s groove when he loses his bachelor pad in the pool house to her. It was just like when Greg lost that killer opium den in the Brady’s house. Girls ruin everything.
Forced to bunk with the new Tom Hanks, Ryan lumbers upstairs to find his Bosom Buddy moping on the bed, cradling a toy horse. Seriously, the resemblance to Tom Hanks and that other dude from that 80s comedy was unnerving. Poor Tom Hanks was sad as all get out about Summer and doesn’t know what to do (the previews for next week show our boy mashing with a hotty in Vegas—nice!) and Ryan meets up with Marissa in the backyard to reassure her that just because Theresa is sleeping just feet away, his heart belongs to her.
In the end, we learn a valuable lesson in that we should all think about our actions or something. I’m not sure. There weren’t any parents to tell us. My question is, where is Wendy Jo Sperber?
Be sure to read our previous coverage of “The OC”: Razzmatazz and Stud Finders, Subdue the Hebrew Honey, What’s Your Obsession, Escape to The OC, and Cali Is Where They Put They Mack Down.
15 thoughts on “The OC: Go Ahead With Your Own Life, Leave Me Alone”
First thing I have to say is,OMG, wasnt Summer’s dad a total hottie, so hot…and I want that concealer Kikki owns, that stuff was amazing.
Derek you are a f’n riot and summed up the show perfectly
Even though I do find the Chino chick storyline boring,I feel like this is the calm before the storm, the season finale looks promising…
Johnny has turned me on like a dope fiend. You can bet the O.C. has been bumped in rank on my TiVo and I’ll be keeping it real in Vegas with Seth and the gang next week.
It IS freaky how young the adults/parents look on The OC look… Were they like 15 when they had these kids? Did Seth’s parents have to get married? Will there be a teenage pregnancy episode with flashbacks? I lived in Newport for 4.5 years after college and none of my friends had parents who looked that young and that attractive. I did see a lot of leathery-looking people who, obviously, never learned the value of SPF 45… Maybe that excellent concealer they use on the show is hiding the parents’ true ages…
Ryan has to sleep on an air mattress in Seth’s room? You’re telling me that they don’t have one guest bedroom in that house? Maybe they do, but P-Gal knows that being roomies will foster heart to heart chats and witty banter.
ENOUGH WITH THE OC ALREADY!
I agree with wotan. Enough pointless summarizing of an irrelevant show. Perhaps this profundity of articles about The OC has increased readership on this site? Maybe more people want to read about The OC than rock and roll? If this is the case, the losers are those of us who come to the site to read about how rock and roll, and not the newest Aaron Spelling fad, can change your life.
Haters, feel free to skip over the OC articles to read the many fine articles about rock and roll we feature here on Glorious Noise. Please keep in mind that at this point we do not force you to read everything we write. And while we enjoy hearing your opinions, you may count on seeing a new OC piece right here after every new episode. You may continue advising us on what we should and should not write about, but please keep in mind that we will write about whatever the fuck we want to. Thank you.
Yeah, rock on with the OC articles. When I found a site on the web that was fanatical about both good rock and roll (a la Wilco) *and* the OC…well, it was friggin’ awesome.
For I did attempt to watch it for about twenty minutes the other night til I was then told I had to turn it off, I do believe you’ve made me curious enough so that next week I shall tell that meany “no, I am watching this whether you like it or not”.
And I still think Seth is adorable. I like geeky. Geeky is good.
You should make a deal with Mean Mr. Mustard: You can watch the O.C. if he can watch the Chapelle Show. Do it for the Brothers Darkness.
i like the chappelle show, but have not had a chance to catch the oc yet. when is it on again? i watched 90210 too when i was a kid, but embarrassingly moved on to 7th heaven in college. everybody was doing it, had to fit in. at least in living color came out on dvd.
“Johnny has turned me on like a dope fiend. You can bet the O.C. has been bumped in rank on my TiVo and I’ll be keeping it real in Vegas with Seth and the gang next week.”
Et tu Derek?
After reading these articles on the OC, i might have to start watching this shit.
I also spent my wednesday nights in college with a six pack of the Beast beer, and Dylan and Sydney.
oh how i miss them. (i don’t miss the Beast though).
I’m going to kick Johnny’s ass the next time I see him. Like I need another show to become addicted to… I’m sure that when I have kids, I’ll be a very sexy mama who wears tube tops and high heels like the parents in the OC. Hopefully, I won’t be having sex with my daughter’s high school boyfriends, but like they say, you can’t help who you fall in love with. Can’t wait for tonight’s show!
Do u guys have any articles that completely deface the O.C.? if you do could u plz post the article or the website in which the article was found here so i could use for my speech on the hypocricy and clichés on todays television. Thanx!!