Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Very Merry Chrismukkah (with Survivor providing the soundtrack)

I’m not sure how much space on this site has been spent breaking down and trying to put back together The OC. Jimmy Cooper is a Blog O’ Fun folk hero, the Season One (and bits of other seasons) Cohens some of the best parents in the history of television – take that, Huxtables – and the season one Anna/Seth/Summer love triangle was pretty damn good television. There were flashes throughout the second and third seasons where you could nod your head and go “Yeah, that’s why I enjoy The OC.

But damn that Mischa Barton. Maybe it was bad luck, but every character she touched became terrible and ridiculous. Johnny Harper, Oliver, Volchek and DJ The Yard Guy all killed the show, mainly because they were forced to interact with Barton, who’s just terrible. I gave up on the show after the somber, Marissa-fied season premiere, doubting I could handle everyone being so morose. . .

. . . but I had to Tivo the Chrismukkah episode, if only for old time’s sakes. I didn’t get around to watching it until last night, but oh the joy it brought me. When the critics say the show has its season one charm back, they’re absolutely right. Autumn Reeser truly is sensational, and I’m not just saying that because she’s gorgeous to boot. Taylor manages to be a smart and needy character all at the same time, and her constant energy is a great foil for Ryan, who withered away with his close connection to Marissa’s negative energies.

The basic premise was that Taylor and Ryan suffered a fall off a ladder hanging Christmas lights and their unconsciousness sent them into an alt-world – both Taylor and Seth were able to explain it rather perfectly to Ryan and Sandy, respectively – where Ryan never existed. Kirsten still ran the Newport Group, but was married to Jimmy Cooper, and Sandy Cohen had become Mayor, now married to a still-adulterous Julie Cooper and living in Caleb’s old house. It was charming, it was fun and I remembered why I loved the damn show in the first place.

I immediately felt terrible for abandoning it, as Sandy Cohen was still the coolest cat around and Seth still was rolling out the one-liners. It was like tolerating a friend for a few seasons while he dated some annoying, anorexic, bland girl on-and-off, then when they finally broke up, you just stop hanging out with him because it’s so depressing. Now you find out your friend is back to being awesome again, yet you already drifted away. Can you come back?

Maybe not in real life, but thanks to the glories of YouTube, all of the season four episodes are available to watch. I’m going to spend some day just relaxing and enjoying the good parts of Newport. This might be the show’s final season, which I’m sure gives Barton some solace in her decision to leave, but I feel such glee when I imagine how she feels every time she hears how great it is now that she’s gone. I don’t know what my television situation will be like next semester, but I will find some way to watch the final nine episodes of this season, and possibly the series, out of tribute to Jimmy Cooper punching Caleb in Vegas, Luke’s gay dad and that look Zach gave Seth when he was trying to win Summer.

Sorry I doubted you, OC. Please take me back.


This is pretty much the greatest Christmas video treasure trove of all time, but I beg you not to click it unless you have plenty of time to waste. Some of the videos have already been taken down, but as Dill said “It’s probably really illegal, but since it spreads holiday cheer, it’s all good.”

(Thanks to EW’s PopWatch)


I’m heading out very soon to see Rocky Balboa, and I’m pretty freaking pumped. The reviews on RottenTomatoes are worthy, and this collection ought to get you pumped for Balboa vs. Dixon. The New York Times had a great story earlier in the month about how this movie is 100% analogous with Sylvester Stallone’s attempt at a Hollywood comeback. Mock this entire venture if you want, but I’m hoping it goes well for Stallone’s sake.

(Other movies I’m going to be trying to see before shipping off to the District, in no particular order: Stranger Than Fiction (still), The Good Shepherd, Dreamgirls and The Pursuit of Happyness. I’m sure I’m forgetting something in there - probably will see We Are Marshall, but I think the trailer pretty much gives away the entire movie – and won’t get to see them all, but we’ll see.)

(In other movie news, the Ocean’s Thirteen trailer is up, and it looks as shiny as its predecessors. I’m hoping it’s more Eleven “awesome” than Twelve “total and utterly disappointing mail-in by all parties involved”.)


The How I Met Your Mother Christmas episode is re-airing tonight, and I encourage you all to watch it. With the Chrismukkah episode, this HIMYM and the awesome Studio 60, this has been a great season for Christmas episodes. I’m going to speak flowery language about the Phoenix Suns book and how excited I am for AI on the Nuggets, but it’s time to get pumped…

“Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger”

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