Friday, June 03, 2005

The OC: The Offseason

The OC has wrapped up its disappointing Season 2 but there is still much to be talked about. First, I'm not digging the "let's play the season all over" thing Fox is doing on Thursday nights. I mention this all the time with Arrested and Lost, but those shows are just as good, and often much better on repeat viewings because of all the subtleties the viewer doesn't catch the first time. Well, The OC is the opposite. The episodes get worse with every repeat viewing.

Don't get me wrong, when Schwartzy and the writers are on, it's fantastic television. But the show depends not on subtleties but obvious wink-wink-nudge-nudges and over the top payoffs. I liken watching The OC to sending drunk emails. The messages are the funniest things while you're writing them and there's a certain thrill that comes from being aware that you're drunk and you can't take back what you write. Then you read the messages the next morning and realize how incredibly silly you come off. That's what watching The OC repeats feels like - you're almost ashamed that you got into it so much.

Bill Simmons has a new mail bag and answers an OC question (scroll down to the bottom of the page). Pete pointed this out but there was plenty of buildup to Kirsten's alcoholism. Shit, it was happening before the season started. The intervention was rushed but I thought it was handled okay otherwise. Still, what was up with dropping Marissa's alcoholism? When did it happen? I don't even remember. You can't not resolve a teenage drinking problem!

I agree with Simmons re: the temptation of Sandy. Every show needs a rock and Sandy was that rock. Sure, characters need to be human and have the capacity to change for better or worse, but you can't fuck with the moral center of the show like that. It wasn't so much that he was tempted by his old flame - it was that he was apparently too stupid to recognize that putting his marriage and law practice in jeopardy wasn't such a hot idea.

I do hold out hope for the next season. Despite the early season slump (the Chrismukkah episode was the only highlight), it did get better towards the end, though Seth was insufferable as ever. And Julie Cooper has become an unsung hero on the show. I just hope the reconciliation with Jimmy doesn't take the fire out of her.

I guess one improvement over last season is that it's an actual cliffhanger this time - we don't know if Trey is dead or alive or what kind of legal drama awaits the kids.

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