Friday, December 22, 2006

The O.C.: If you're here for sex, there's, like, five guys ahead of you

Spoilers for "The O.C." coming up just as soon as I figure out whether Hercules could beat Seven of Nine in a fight...

I'll be frank: I've been so sleep-deprived the last few days that I was drifting in and out of consciousness for a lot of last night's episode. So feel free to disregard every opinion I'm about to express. If this wasn't the last original episode of a show I watch to air for the next two weeks, I might have taken a pass on commenting altogether.

I said a few weeks ago that, while Josh and company had gotten the kid stories back on track, they seemed to have run out of ideas for the grown-ups. Guess they only needed a little more time, because I was much more interested in the Julie/Sandy/Bullet/Hercules stuff than I was in Ryan and Seth's latest disastrous road trip. (Have these guys ever traveled anywhere without incident?) I liked Bullet playing surrogate Jimmy for Kaitlin, I liked Julie's continued panic at having joined the companionship industry, and I'm intrigued by the previews and Sandy literally fighting for position as Ryan's "real" father.

That said, on a 1 to 10 scale of cheesiness, where would you put the introduction of Ryan's suave, international traveler dad? I've got to go at least to 7, but I'll defer final judgment until the next episode airs. Now that Josh has returned the focus to the comedy, the challenge is finding dramatic stories that have some resonance without going to the laughable Marissa/Johnny/Volchok place. Ryan confronting his dad has the potential to work, but Sorbo's character seems to have wandered in from a daytime soap. We'll see.

Taylor continues to be awesome, but, again, I wasn't in love with the desert rave plot, which I feel like I've seen on, like, five different WB shows. Summer's instant buyer's remorse on getting engaged to Little Man Cohen could be good for both yuks and pathos, though.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

The episode was very weird (who came up with the idea for an alien rave??) and I don't get why a bunch of 18 year olds would want to go to Vegas since they can't drink or gamble, but whatever. Taylor continues to amuse and Kaitlin is the character Marissa should have been--a troublemaker who's actually likeable too! I kind of disagree about liking the adult's storyline more than the kids (I really don't know where they think they're going with this) but I was definitely surprised by the twist of Herc being Ryan's dad.

On a side note: what exactly do the writers think they're doing with all this college stuff? Most shows struggle when their characters go off to college, but this show appears to be attempting to avoid that problem by having the characters all be a bunch of drop-out losers. Is this really the direction they want to take things? Frankly, I don't even really understand why Ryan isn't in school or what he's doing these days or what exactly Taylor and Summer plan on doing now that they're back in Newport.

Anonymous said...

Btw, Alan, at what point does Fox have to make a decision if they want more episodes? I'm guessing they won't be ordering anymore, but I at least hope they give Josh Schwartz enough time to create a real finale.

Also, next time you talk to Josh Schwartz can you please ask him what exactly happened with Athens and his proposed Kaitlin at boarding school spin-off? Fox seems to like to talk the talk when it comes to him and his projects, but never seems to walk the walk. I'd love to hear what he has to say.

Anonymous said...

Most shows struggle when their characters go off to college, but this show appears to be attempting to avoid that problem by having the characters all be a bunch of drop-out losers.

Who dropped out? It's not uncommon for kids to delay starting college a semester or two because of bad admissions results the year before, hijinks with unexpected consequences, personal illness or trauma, or whatever. I didn't watch last year and missed the premiere, so correct me if I'm wrong: Seth and Summer will be students at Brown in the fall, as will Ryan at Berkeley; they're admitted, just not currently enrolled (Ryan because of what happened with Marissa?). Seth and Ryan are both working. Summer just got back to Newport and probably is still figuring out what she's going to do. I kind of agree about Taylor, especially since she strikes me as someone who would be panicking without a Life Plan, but then again, she just had one blow up in her face and might be enjoying simply "finding herself" for a while. I don't know how narratively sustainable the current situation is--this ep with them all together was my least favorite of this year so far--but they're hardly suddenly a bunch of directionless losers because they don't have class on Monday. I think it all depends on where they go with it from here.

Anonymous said...

Good. Not as great as the last 7 but it would be hard to keep up that pace. And if this is the kind of "off" episode we get this year then hallelujah cause it still has lots to recommend it and is a lot of fun with good twists. The OC is so vastly improved this season it boggles the mind how bad it got last year. But such is loving a tv show, I suppose, and a teen soap at that!