Friday, May 05, 2006

The O.C. Report

Some friends of mine who, unlike me, have remained loyal watchers of "The O.C." recently took me to task about the disappearance of my weekly report, and instructed me in no uncertain terms to resume it forthwith. As a tribute to their friendship and to the golden days of season 1, I defer to their wishes, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that this season's practically over and that I pretty much gave up on the show a while ago. That said, I still have a lingering affection for the core characters, and still catch the occasional episode now and again - and I'll admit that a couple of the more recent ones still show a spark of life.

Tonight's, though, was pretty moribund. Apparently all the action was in last week's - which I missed - and this one was the painful morning after. Having also missed the recaps and the first five minutes, I never completely figured out a lot of what happened at the prom. So Ryan went with Theresa and beat up Volchok - big surprise there. Less clear was the impetus for the latter. I assumed it had something to do with Volchok's two-timing Marissa, but it apparently also had something to do with Taylor's money? And did Ryan try to put a move on Theresa tonight? I was in the kitchen at the time, and came out to find Theresa simultaneously rejecting him and telling him she would always love him. Women.

As for Ryan's forced return to Grand Theft Auto: Newport Beach, I have to say it's a strange police force that doesn't nab a guy who's seen in the company of the carjacker and who leaves his own car in the driveway but in the same night manages to link a fire and the roll o'weed that started it to a kid they had no reason to suspect. Go figure.

As for the girls, not much to report. Summer nurses her first hangover and accidentally precipitates the Great Cohen Family Truth Telling - yawn. Marissa comes to her troubled sister's rescue - double yawn. I never really got what it was Caitlin had Marissa retrieving for her, either from their mother's mailbox or from Preppy-Boy's pants. All I can say is that for a girl who recently saw (and was partly responsible for) a guy falling to his death from a hundred-foot cliff, baby sis seems awfully chipper these days. But that's the O.C. all over - every character in it has been through enough trauma to institutionalize any real person, yet none of them look a bit worse for the wear.

Well, perhaps the Cohens do. They are, after all, the soul of "The O.C." Amid all the fakery, glitz, melodrama and incestuous complications that surround and engulf them, they remain a remarkably coherent and convincing family unit. Whatever their issues, deep down we know they'll always come back together again, and bring others with them. And tonight's episode was no exception. Yes, Sandy's final decision to cooperate and do the right thing was a foregone conclusion, and his speech calculated for maximum "aww" effect. But so what? It worked, sealing my conviction that Peter Gallagher is the glue that holds this show together. I'd marry Sandy Cohen if I could, and he actually existed.

We're not out of the woods yet, of course. There's the little problem of Seth being arrested for arson, as well as Kiki's relapse and the ghastly prospect, blared by the season-finale previews, that someone may die! "May" being the operative word. Not that it's impossible by any means; killing off a major character on a TV show is so passé by now, it's ridiculous. The other thing they might do is to put the character in an indefinite coma - but I hope it doesn't come to that. The day any of the characters needs life support will be the day that this show does, too.

Lines of the week:

"You're surprisingly principled." -Dr. Roberts to Julie

Summer, briskly: "I want to be on top this time."
Seth, puzzled and possibly stoned: "You're always on top."


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