Friday, November 10, 2006

Feasts and famines

Spoilers for "The O.C." and "Survivor" coming right up...

On "The O.C.," I quote Fox's own ratings release from last night:
Although still modest, THE OC outperformed last Thursday's performance by +12% among Adults 18-34 (1.9/5 vs. 1.7/4) and +9% in Total Viewers (3.7 vs. 3.4 Mil)
Woo-hoo! Well, not really. But improvement's improvement, and those extra three hundred thousand or so viewers saw a very good episode, one that for the most part laid to rest all the Marissa angst in satisfying, surprisingly understated fashion. Ryan gets his face to face with Volchok and realizes there's no point in using his Kid Chino fists of fury on the guy (in a scene reminiscent of Tommy Gavin with his brother's killer on "Rescue Me"), Summer confesses that she misses her friend, and in the end, Julie comes to Ryan and says, simply, "Tell me about her." Again, it's so much easier to feel bad about Marissa when Mischa Barton isn't around to remind you of what an irritating character she was.

(Here's a question: I watched the first four episodes in a rush, and when I got to the start of next week's show, I made this note: "Have they referred to Marissa by name at any point this season?" Her name definitely pops up next week, but I'm curious whether they actually avoided using her name during these mourning episodes, and Josh couldn't remember for sure. Has anyone heard it come up in these first three?)

The comedy blended better with the tragedy than I felt it did in Wednesday's episode, especially the presence of the increasingly hilarious Taylor at the Cohen family Thanksgiving and Seth introducing the homeless guys to the wonders of "Battlestar Galactica." (So we know Seth watches it, Dwight Schrute is obsessed with Starbuck and Veronica Mars has started using "frak" as a curse word; how many other network characters can we get to start referencing it?) Decent "Grey's Anatomy" in-joke with Dr. Roberts, too.

I keep trying to watch "Survivor" on CBS' Innertube, and it keeps vexing me. Last week, I couldn't get it to play on any of the four browsers on my Mac, and this morning at the office, the episode completely skipped over the act featuring the mutiny and the reward challenge. Shame, too, as it sounds like that was the most memorable moment of the entire season. Poor, stupid Jonathan. I suppose an argument could be made that he was next on the chopping block at Aitu and has now moved over to a tribe with more potential room to maneuver (either by going with a White Power strategy or banding together the minorities to get rid of Adam and his harem), but that would require the kind of skills he hasn't displayed since he was chopping up Bill Paxton in "The Last Supper."


Anonymous said...

Another impressive episode. Alan, what is the difference this year? I think Marissa really pushed the show into melodrama because you couldn't write light romantic comedy stuff and she was blank and cold. Funny that in death she's much a better character.

I love Autumn Reeser and Willa Holland. They are the first really good additions to the cast in years.

Why couldn't the shows have been this good last season? I wonder if this show would be getting drubbed as hard in the ratings if the quality was at this level last year.

Anonymous said...

I actually thought this was the weakest of all the episodes so far. I'm glad they've at least put the Volchok thing to rest, though, and it won't be a season-long arc.

Summer is REALLY annoying me, though. Her behavior is really inconsistent and also not very believable. I hope they fix that soon.

Anonymous said...

I am loving everything about The O.C. this year, and I haven't said that since Season 1. Taylor Townsend is just fantastic. I feel like these people are real characters again, not people pretending to be people from a television show, if that makes any sense. I'm not sure it does.

I disagree about Summer, anonymous. I think the fact that her behavior is really inconsistent is the point -- Marissa's death has left her emotions all over the place, and she doesn't know how to get back to being herself. I loved, loved her line "I miss my friend." Simple and perfect.

Anonymous said...

I think they have used Marissa's name on occasion, but not much. They definitely had Summer going out of her way not to use it, though, which made sense, because she's been the most in denial about the whole thing.

Jon said...

I was already primed to pay attention when I watched the show yesterday. Dr. Roberts said Marissa's name once; that was it.

Anonymous said...

I believe Seth said Marissa's name in the premiere, when he was telling his mother that he doubted Ryan would come to the Cohen family dinner, as he hadn't gone to Marissa's funeral.

Anonymous said...

The mutiny was a thing of beauty, especially because Aitu *still* kicked Raro's asses all to hell and back. Jonathan is an idiot, but he may last longer now that he's on Raro. Which...dammit!

Anonymous said...

autumn reeser is you think girls are cute too?