Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bad Californian Vibes

WARNING: The following contains explicit OC content. It was requested, so it is done.

Oh OC,, why must you forever disappoint me?

After the worst Chrismukkah episode anyone could have imagined, I’m left to question the show that used to be the rock of goodness in my week. Maybe it was just the hype we continually put on it, or how we always made it an event or picked out the best parts of every episode and hung on them in an attempt to black out the negative prospects of every show.

The negative aspects, you ask? Last year they revolved around the supporting characters and rushed lesbian storyline. Lindsay was boring, Zach wasn’t used correctly until his heel turn at the end and DJ the Yard Guy was a joke. It seems like the only supporting characters that can act they ship off to Pittsburgh (Anna), Portland (Luke), LA (Alex), gun down (Trey) or just randomly write out of episodes (Taylor, although it appears she will be returning, thankfully). When you consider that Mischa Barton and Benjamin McKenzie can’t really act, it puts a lot of pressure on the Seth & Summer/Sandy & Kirsten duos to not embarrass the show.

Last season would have been basically irredeemable if not for Trey coming in at the end and mixing things up. This season started up promising, but the other problem that plagues my beloved – the crack-addict like speed at which they rush through everything – killed it. The Fall of Dean Hess should have lasted at least until December. Taylor Townsend’s pursuit of Seth had more than three episodes in those beautiful, shapely legs. It seems like they want to delve into purely high school issues, like student government or college issues, it gets skipped around.

Maybe my problem with the show starts that I do not care about Marissa or anything her character does that doesn’t involve a mental breakdown or her struggles to find a shift key on her laptop. She’s whiny most of the time, and when she’s not whiny, she’s so faux happy you have to question the legitimacy of anything and everything she says. She has her moments of smoking hotness, but most of the time she looks like an anorexic with zero fashion sense. While this paragraph just seems to be based on the bashing of Marissa, it has a point in that if I don’t care about Marissa, why should I care about her friend Johnny who concocted the worst plan ever to get money for his knee surgery?

(Caitlyn actually had a request on my AIM when I got back from Kong to write about this episode sometime over break just because it was so ridiculous. I agree.)

And you know what the worst thing about the show is? It’s not the removal of my favorite supporting characters or the rushing through storylines, but the fact the “Next time on The OC…” always looks so good. I mean, they might make this Marissa/Johnny think interesting by injecting 150 cc’s of Caitlyn “Look What A Re-Cast And Black Bikini Can Do For Me” Cooper into it, just so Marissa can attempt to explain to Ryan with grunts and hair twirls how her being jealous about Johnny and her sister totally has nothing to do with her feelings for him, but can I trust them? They made Chrismukkah look good, and it was the biggest letdown this side of the Tennessee Volunteers football team.

The OC is on hiatus until January, so hopefully they can put together some long term storylines that make things interesting. When you look back at the Golden Age (the first season), the long-term storylines were the Seth/Summer/Anna love triangle, the Luke/JuJu tryst, Ryan impregnating Theresa and Sandy and Jimmy’s restaurant ordeal with Caleb. Granted, it wasn’t all good - *cough*Oliver*cough* - but for the most part, you had a reason to be tuning in the next week. Last season, until Trey came into town, it was just Seth’s re-pursuit of Summer along with Ryan and Marissa getting back together, so basically a redux of everything that worked before, only we’d seen it all before. This season, the only long-running plot was the Jeri Ryan thing, and we all know how fantastically that turned out.

The OC is going to be run off the air by the likes of Grey’s Anatomy (the new “It” show among my friends), Smallville (which is doing the unheard of and gaining an audience on it’s new Thursday night slot) and the new hip show bound to spring up and erase Phantom Planet from our weekly list of needs.

My short list of suggestions:

1) If you think something is a good storyline idea, don’t be afraid to milk it for a while. We don’t mind having to tune in next week as long as every Thursday at 8:58 we’re left with another random cliffhanger. This isn’t the end of every Goosebumps chapter, but you can throw in some suspense and drag it out if it’s good. We’ll complain and hate you for making us wait, but deep down, we love having something to look forward to.

2) Give Taylor Townsend more screen time. Guys love her, girls hate her, everyone cares. That’s more than you can say about Lindsay or Zach.

3) Milk this college “We’re not going to be together next year” thing as much as you can. When everyone eventually reveals they’ll be going to the same school, it’s a surreal, high-fiving moment (ala Buffy). And if you don’t think this whole thing gets resolved with the Big Four going to the same college, then Sandy going there to teach while Julie and Kirsten move their business there, I’ve got some pet rocks I’d like to sell you as holiday gifts. If you’ve seen Boy Meets World, Saved By The Bell or the aforementioned Buffy, you know how this goes.

4) Don’t hold up on the Caitlyn Cooper. Since Trey’s The Slut last year and the skeezos Luke hung out with in the first season, we haven’t had an all-out “Throw yourself at every guy” whore. Have her eat Johnny alive, toss him aside and move onto Ryan. Drag it out. Have a twist thrown in. Have Julie give her advice in order to break up Ryan and Marissa. Go nuts with it.

5) And please please please please please please give me one Anna or Luke cameo. Just one episode. Please.

That is by no means a full-proof plan to save any further descent into television oblivion, but the effort is being put forth. Don’t let me down, FOX.

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