Monday, November 22, 2004

Welcome to the O.C., Bitch!

Everyone has been like, "Worker #3116, you're so savvy about American pop culture, when are you going to weigh in on the hit T.V. series The O.C.?"

Now, bitches.

Having seen the first two episodes, I can now make an educated judgment of this show. First of all, everyone has been saying that it is this generation's 90210, but obviously this is incorrect. It is this generation's Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and apparently this generation prefers melodrama to hilarious situation comedy. Beyond that, it trades loosely in adolescent cliches, most notably episode 2's clear nod to Rebel Without a Cause in the set-up of Troublemaker living in abandoned house shown to him by emotionally needy social outcast, along with beautiful girl who secretly abandons socially celebrated but morally and attitudinally maladjusted boyfriend to hang out with dangerous and mysterious new-to-the-neighborhood Troublemaker. Beyond this, of course, is the lovable Orphan Annie storyline that under-girds the show's basic structure, although it is too early for me to know whether or not the mother will return to lay claim to Benjamin's good (but totally unbelievable) fortune. I would like to point out that in typical "Hollywood" fashion, the role of Seth is one of the most enjoyable and least convincing aspects of the show. It is, of course, impossible to believe that someone who looked like that and had such a sharp sense of humor, and who liked to skateboard, would be so unpopular. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to watching Seth's social skills develop now that he has such a great new best friend. And actually, even less believable than Seth's unpopularity is that he and Benjamin would ever become friends. Ever. Your bubble is now bust.

Here are my two favorite plot-lines of the first two episodes of The O.C. reduced to their basic premises:

"Hello poor teenager who has a history of criminal activity. Come stay at my house."
"Hello old boyfriend. Here is $100,000. Do you need more?"

All of this, of course, only makes me more convinced that the time is right for my televised melodrama, The A.C., a teen soap that takes place in Atlantic City, involving a kid from a troubled household who moves into an even more troubled household.



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