Friday, March 18, 2005

The O.C. Report

So could Seth *be* any more annoyingly juvenile?

Ok, so his character’s supposed to be only, what, 15? 16? so maybe it’s excusable for him to regress occasionally. It’s part of his charm. But his fixation with “last year” and turning the clock back isn’t so much nostalgic, or wistful, or childish, as vaguely creepy...There’s something Neverlandish about it, and I mean that as much in the sense of Michael Jackson’s domain as Peter Pan’s...The only good thing about his obsession is the reaction it triggered in Summer: “Oh, I am going to kick his ass back to last year.” I love that girl.

Anyway, thanks in large part to Seth’s inept but unwittingly successful plotting, we bid an indifferent goodbye to yet another of this season’s new characters. They’re dropping like flies! And I have to say, of the three exits so far (Lindsay, Zach, now Alex), this one was by far the most clumsily engineered. Not for a minute did I buy Alex’s abrupt transformation from too-cool-for-school hipster to jealous psycho (even if she does share the same first name as the woman scorned in “Fatal Attraction”). But I found it even *more* ridiculous that after a two-minute conversation with teary-eyed Marissa, all her rage would magically disappear and she graciously opt to withdraw—no strings attached, no hard feelings, not even a real knockdown fight with Ryan. That’s called *bad* writing, folks. Character coherency is the first requirement for anything worth watching, and it was sadly lacking here. Bye bye, Alex, we hardly knew ye...

The latest departure apparently leaves the road free and clear for Ryan and Marissa, though I'm sure we can expect a few more roadblocks before (and/or after) those two fall into bed together...One of my friends posits that Teresa and her baby will resurface. It’s possible, and in my opinion there needs to be some explanation for how Ryan could just walk out of Teresa’s life and never look back. Again, it’s not so much plot as character coherency that’s at issue here.

The “adult” storylines in this episode weren’t much more compelling, though I’m finding the ghost of Julie Cooper’s pornographic past mildly diverting—and totally in character. (No coherency problems here! And oddly, I *do* buy Julie as the concerned mother, even if her motives are 90% selfish.) Once again, Sandy’s expression was the perfect punchline in response to “The Porn Identity.” Next week’s previews suggest that either Julie or Sandy is going to sic Caleb on the skeevy blackmailer dude: bring it on, say I. Meanwhile, trouble clearly lies ahead for Kirsten and Magazine Dude, but I still place my bets against anything R-rated actually happening. All I can say is if it does, I fully expect Newport Beach to be swallowed up in an earthquake. (Although I suppose that isn’t so far out of the realm of possibility, either...)

Line of the week:
“It was the ‘80s.”
–Julie Cooper
(But then why the pun on “The Bourne Identity”? Isn’t that a bit anachronistic?)

Happy St. Patty’s Day, all. Peace out.


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