As part of our continuing service to you, The Correct, we continually find things for you to be in favour of. In our crazy, fast paced, webmanic society, it’s easy to miss something. Our “A Case For” series presents something (a TV show, film, Book, Band etc) that might deserve a look.
Our first installment “A Case For: Farscape” was presented by one of our regular readers, and we encourage that sort of behaviour. If you have something you’d like to make a case for, write it up and send it to us at email@example.com . See the end of the article for more info.
This week, we bring you A Case For The O.C., brought to you by Correctness regular and High Council member Keith.
A case for The O.C.
I refuse to call The O.C. a guilty pleasure because I don’t feel guilty about loving it. Having grown up on the original 90210, The O.C. was like an old, overly-dramatic friend turning up.
The series began with Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie, now to be found on super-great cop drama Southland) getting arrested with his brother for car theft. Left-wing defense lawyer Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) and his family take Ryan into their home, and a fish-out-of-water story begins with the poor kid from Chino thrust into the life of the uber-rich in Orange County.
Ryan falls in love with the rich girl next door, Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton, yes she was once famous for something) and helps his best friend, Adam Brody as Seth Cohen, win the heart of Summer (Rachel Bilson). Along the way are evil step-mothers, corrupt developers, liberal guilt, and a ton of comic book references.
Unlike so much teen melodrama, The O.C. never took itself too seriously. Most of the time it was just a fun show. Never has a teen show taught less of a lesson to the audience than when Seth started smoking weed and screwed up his SATs.
One of my favorite episodes was the meta-episode where the characters meet the cast of “The Valley,” a teen melodrama that seemed an exact duplicate of the O.C. archetypes including Paris Hilton as the poor little rich girl.
2. Comic Book fan lead character
Not only do Seth and Ryan constantly read comic books, Seth and his sometimes rival Zach created an indie comic called Atomic County using super-hero versions of their circle of friends. 14 webisodes were produced during that era of the series and are on youtube.
Side note, Adam Brody who played Seth was cast as the Flash in the Justice League movie that never got out of pre-production hell. Ben MacKenzie was announced this week as the voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the animated Batman: Year One.
As fun as it was to have a serious comic fan trying to break into the serious comic industry, most importantly it gave us this
and when Summer (Rachel Bilson) was trying to win Cohen’s heart, we got this
3. Olivia Wilde
The top of season 2 added a pile of new characters as the four leads got shuffled around. Among the new faces was bar manager Alex, played by big-break-getting (and blonde) Olivia Wilde.
Alex gave Seth a job at the bar, the addition of which gave the creators a way to get up-and-coming indie bands into the show without complex plot machinations. The Bait Shop hosted such acts as Rooney, Modest Mouse, Seth’s favorite act Death Cab For Cutie, and one of mine, The Killers.
Alex was a fix-up for Ryan that failed, briefly dated Seth and then hooked up with Marissa.
Did I not mention her character was bi-sexual?
4. Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows
Seriously, it’s like a whole extra show.
5. Season 4
Even devoted fans had wandered away by the 4th and final season. Which is a pity because those are my favorite episodes. After the death of a lead character in the season 3 finale, it was a rocky start going into the next year. Ryan set off for Mexico to murder someone and it got super dark for a couple of episodes.
And then along came Taylor Townsend.
Introduced in season 3 as a rival for Seth’s affections, Taylor (Autumn Reesor) quickly became a comedic foil for the whole group. Early in the 4th season she developed into a much more complex character and brought back the fun and humour of the early episodes.
6. Kevin Sorbo as just some guy
The elephant in the room (or in this case in the prison cell) of the early episodes was Ryan’s train wreck of a family life. His brother gets jail, his mother abandoned him, and there is the specter of the alcoholic criminal father he hasn’t seen in years. It isn’t until the fourth season that we finally meet dear old dad and it’s freakin’ Hercules!
7. The ending (there is one)
There are warts, of course. Mischa Barton was a creative dead-end, the show gave Chris Brown his big break (and that shames us all), and the repeated on-again-off-again of Ryan/Marissa was deadly boring.
But the creators knew the end was coming and were able to wrap things up. A final episode set a couple of years in the future let us know how things would turn out for the leads. Nothing will ruin a series for me like a dud ending (my pvr-full of Terminator got a big erase when the show was cancelled unfinished). When I watched through the whole series, I felt a nice sense of closure.
On the stereo
Listen as we go
Nothing’s gonna stop me now
California here we come
8. Obligatory series of photos of the female regulars.
It wouldn’t be A Case For… without some TBinnsing to show off just how smoking hot the female cast members were. In Mischa Barton’s case, I do mean “were.”
(I know this is the 3rd Olivia Wilde pic in the article and this photo is after she did the show and she has black hair instead of blonde.)
(Jailbait honourable mention)
The preceding was written without irony. Other favorites of Keith’s: Babylon 5, West Wing, MASH, Buffy, Twin Peaks, Jeremiah.
If you have a show or film or book or band you’d like to make a case for, we’d love to hear from you. Read the rules below, and drop us a line.
1) Give us 5 good reasons we should care, or watch, or listen etc. Make them compelling. Remember, you’re trying to sell this to us, and our readers.
2) Send pictures along with the article. Admin_rock doesn’t like to work harder than he has to, so be sure to send pics, or links to pics in the article.
Check out the previous installment(s) to see how it’s done.