Thursday, March 31, 2005

California...Interesting Again

You won’t find many people who will argue that The OC this season is as good as The OC last season. Actually, you could say no one likes this season better than last season. Was Lindsay better than Anna? Of course not. Zach better than Luke? Not even close. Rebecca better than Jimmy Cooper? Probably the most lopsided comparison I’ve ever made in the blog.

It probably bottomed out when the Seth-Summer reunion carried over into a terrible mall episode, which rolling along with the ratings stunt lesbian storyline they didn’t want to give legs and the boring duo of Lindsay, Ryan’s flame, and Rebecca, Sandy’s ex-fiancée, had the show on life support. We hadn’t celebrated an OC Thursday in a month or two, simply catching the show if we could and focusing on other things, as opposed to the beginning of the year when starting Tuesday you were looking ahead to Thursday evening in the Welsh Fam lounge.

But I don’t know if it was the amazing weather yesterday or the fact the version of last Thursday’s episode we downloaded looked like it was made on high-definition movie film, but I loved it. TVGasm loved it. Sports Guy loved it (March 25th post). I’m sure you loved it, too.

So why was this week’s episode so much better, and after the non-episode tonight, excitement just busting at the seams for what looks to be an awesome offering next week? Let me count the ways.

1) Absence Makes The Heart Grows Fonder - When Zach was around all the time, we got sick of the fact he was getting pushed around by Seth Cohen and couldn’t seal the deal with Rachel Bilson. He’s gone for a couple episodes, comes back and expresses happiness he doesn’t have to deal with Seth and Summer and I’m interested again. I don’t like how he plays water polo – just brings up memories of Luke being gone – but I’m actually happy Zach is back.

2) Caleb Being Evil - There’s nothing cooler than Caleb being evil, other than perhaps…

3) More Sandy Cohen - If someone made a show where Sandy Cohen just interacted with people for forty-two minutes, I would not only watch it, I would tape it and watch it again just to miss the lighter quips he throws out there. Did you not enjoy Sandy talking with Trey last week? Or Sandy talking to Alex at the Bait Shop? Or Sandy and Caleb playing arcade games? And did you not hate it when we were limited to seeing Sandy only communicating with Rebecca, her elderly Jewish father and an angry Kirsten? Nobody wants that.

I love Sandy Cohen, you love Sandy Cohen. We need more Sandy Cohen.

4) The Outside Factor - Trey coming in again brings up the idea of someone from outside Newport just trying to digest all of the wealth and excesses. He’s floored by the idea of a two hundred dollar watch, yet doesn’t understand his severely dressed-down style will attract security. He’s also a solid addition because he’s a complete wild card. Does he self-destruct within the next couple of episodes, or can he find a job in the Newport area, move out (because he won’t live with the Cohens for more than another episode) and incorporate himself into the show?

I feel he’ll be gone, but I don’t mind having him around, either.

5) Julie Cooper Being Julie Cooper - People actually were starting to feel bad for JuJu because of the way Marissa treated her. Did they forget she slept with her daughter’s ex-boyfriend? Even when Julie’s being playfully mean and agitating, like with Kirsten and Carter, you still can’t help but want to punch her in the face and hug her at the same time.

Sure, there’s some flaws, like the fact nobody’s a true villain anymore (Come on, like if you’re Kirsten and you thought Sandy had messed around on you, you wouldn’t be staying late at the office with Carter and some pinot noir) and that Marissa is still maybe the most cardboard, boring character in the history of television. I really hope they don’t put her and Ryan back together, despite the constant teases, because they’re so damn boring as a couple.

Ryan’s so blissfully awkward dating, put him back out on the market, and why not fiddle with Marissa and Trey? Or, and this is a really fun idea, have her overdose and die. If you were to rank OC characters on how much you wanted them alive, don’t pretend that Mischa Barton wouldn’t be pretty low on that list, and most definitely behind DJ The Yard Guy and her dad.

So I’m happy The OC is getting better, and I hope it can make that final push to the season finale. We need OC Thursdays in our lives, because without them, the weekend just doesn't seem to get off to the right start. Here's hoping last Thursday's episode was the beginning of a move back to greatness as opposed to the peak of the season.

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