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November 28, 2014

Has The O.C. gone too far?

by Ryan j Budke, posted Jan 26th 2006 4:53PM
willa
holland; the oc; kaitlin cooperAs I've mentioned in some of my other reviews, I've got a big problem with the drive for every woman in America, regardless of their age, to all of a sudden pretend to be 20-somethings. From nine year-old girls in grade school, to grandmothers collecting Social Security, every girl seems to want to emulate Paris Hilton, or at the very least, to have that "look".

Just last week on American Idol there was a 16-year-old girl, Crystal Parizanski, who looked so absolutely ridiculous that Simon actually called her mother into the room to ask her if she was "proud" of the way her daughter looked. Of course, when the mother walked in, to no one's shock but the judges, it was very apparent the apple had not fallen far from the tree. Crystal's mother's skirt was shorter than most of the contestants, her heels looked like they had walked off of a strip club's stage, and she had enough Botox in her face to stop a charging rhino. This is just one of many examples; within the past couple of years, Abercrombie & Fitch (the hip line for wannabes) came under fire for producing and marketing a line of suggestive thongs in children's sizes. So my question for today is this: where does a cultural phenomenon's responsibility end?

There's no denying that TV influences everything around us. Whether we like it or not (or it's us or the world around us), the most popular shows' impact can be seen everywhere. Who didn't know a girl with "The Rachel" haircut in the past 10 years? There are also very few shows that are as popular with the "impressionable" crowd as The O.C., and this is where my problem lies.


Since The O.C.'s winter break last November, we've been getting flooded with previews and teases of the return of Kaitlin Cooper, Marissa's younger sister. Jimmy and Julie Cooper shunted her off to boarding school in the first season so they had one less thing to worry about. The actress who played her was a redheaded 10 year-old, but with Kaitlin's return came a new actress: fourteen-year-old Willa Holland. While there's no denying Ms. Holland is a very cute girl who will, I'm sure, grow up to be gorgeous, she's just that - a girl. Yet FOX has insisted on promoting her as a sex icon in their ads. Whether they're scenes of her stripping and running into the ocean in her underwear, or of her "prowling" and hitting on every male cast member, they're all tasteless.

Now, I'm not playing the "holier than thou" card, or being completely naive; we all knew who the "hot girls and guys" were even when we were in grade school. Plus, the dream of being all grown up is definitely a large part of that pre-adult era The O.C. is exploring. We all fantasized about what we would be like and do when we were adults. Willa apparently thinks she's already there, something that Fox categorically denies. That said, there's better "dreams" to give the masses of underage viewers than yet another wannabe shell. The responsibility and weight of this matter should fall solely on the network's shoulders though. It's not like I (or anyone should for that matter) expect epic, moving shows on the network. I mean come on, they're the home of Married with Children and Stacked, among other gems, but I still held hope for some standards from them. I'd like to think that they'd have done their part to calm this disturbing trend of "plasticization," not promote it, but that's something they were just not interested in. Needless to say, I'm sorely disappointed in FOX and have even had troubles watching The O.C. because of it, and there's a pretty good chance they've lost me completely as a viewer.

Keep in mind, these are just my ramblings about something I feel very strongly about (I have a new god-daughter coming along soon that I have to freak out over). You may agree with me, or think I'm an over-reacting prude, but I have a stage I can deliver my sermon from and thought I'd use it. Let me know what you think.

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Jacqueline D.

Personally, I think the answer to all of this is plain and simple. If you dont like what you are seeing on the OC..DONT WATCH IT. If you dont want your children seeing the so called "garbage" then put a parental control, dont allow them to watch it...there are plenty of things you can be doing then sitting at your computer and complaining about a television show. This will in no way help your situations. I am 16 and i religiously watch the OC, and so do practically ALL of my friends...even the guys. Just because we are teenagers doesnt mean we dont understand what is right or wrong, and if we are whores or bad kids....whose fault is that. Its your job as parents to teach us what is right and wrong...and inforce it. If thats what you need to do..then do it. I totally agree with what the OC is doing and everyone else that says they are just trying to show everyone what is going on in the world. Trust me, there are girls and guys younger then 14 prancing around like Kaitlyn Cooper...and shes FICTIONAL. Its not fake...what they are showing is really happening...and i dont think pop culture is the only thing to blame. I know 12 year olds that are already talking about sex..etc..So stop blaming it on shows, because the truth is...television gets their inspiration..from REAL LIFE. So do something about it. Thank you.

February 19 2006 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nikeesa

This article deff caught my eye. ok, first of all i am the fan of all fans of the o.c. And, ryan, u do have a point, however.. sex sells. Everything is business when it comes down to it.. the bottom line is all the matters >> how much money did we make on that show? how many viewers did we pull in from those tantalizing previews and advertisements. Of course, i agree with the ridiculous lows that hollywood is stooping to to make money but when that is what a business is built on, its kinda not logical to change something that is so profitable. This is like taking on an army with like a sling shot.. if u want to tackle one show, u have to tackle them all.. nighttime television thrives off of things like this.. so, bottomline, kids don't leanr their behavior from just television, parents need to step up and be a bigger part of their kids lives and what their children do and watch.

February 01 2006 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Orna Zadeh

Just a little fyi to all you parents out there - many people I grew up with started smoking marajuana when they were 14-years-old long before there were any TV show characters to blame their behavior on. If you are a positive part of your children's upbringing and leave the lines of communications open, no TV personality or outside influence - because as you know there are many out there - could have any affect on your kids. Reality check, the 14-year-olds of today are experimenting with drugs, sex, and their own sexualty. Rather than brushing these topics under the table, as most of you would like to do, maybe you can use this show as a forum to discuss drugs, and sex and all the other issues you'd rather not broach with your children. Maybe you should spend more time with your children, listening to them rather than using your time to assign blame to anyone but yourselves by writing these comments.

January 31 2006 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Keith

I think at the end of the day it's just a show, I mean we can get into this question about media effecting culture. As a 20 year old male I see but don't agree with what you are talking about, I think marketing has more to do with it then just a flat out show, I think cosmo girl, seventeen, and all of that form of media has more of effect than a basic show like the OC. I believe they're two diffrenet issues. Yes I'll admit that they somehow cross cause of demographics but I think media is too massive and complex to say "this is whats causing this and this is whats causing that"

January 31 2006 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Natalie

I think you guys are making a bigger deal than you should. If you have watched the oc then you should HATE kaitlin... and most people hate her because she is such a slut. i dont know of anyone who is going to "look" up to her... but what can you expect? shes been shipped off to boarding school, pretty much forgotten and neglected by her family, and you guys expect her to be a modest little girl? Give the show some time... sure Willa is GORGEOUS but dont hate on the show because of how they portrayed their bitchy little sister character.. thats exactly what she is. and dont count on people looking up to her for it.

January 30 2006 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kaitlin

Heyy
Well i just wanted 2 say i think its wrong to abuse our children. That shows them that thats how u deal with problems. Violence. But i do think that parents dont parent anymore. Of course sum do, but others think taht its ok to give the responsibilty of themselves to the teacher. My sister happens to be a teacher and complains about this. Also, I just think this is a show. This is true. Girls are sluts. I am in middle school nd mayb the rest of my opinion wont matter bcz i am a child. But i feel i am mature. And not bcz im havin sex(which im not) but bcz what ive been through. Ive seen my mom been beaten. Been kicked out of many houses. I am only 12 nd ive been asked 2 do drugs, smoke, drink nd well u kno the rest. And this started whn i was in 11(6th grade) All the girls in my schools are sluts I think its disgusting. From 7th grade theyv been having sex and some people did it at our school and got caught.. NOw this is only middle school So theyre just tellin the truth. I mean i understand how people try to be what they see on tv, but if theyr starting to be like her, i doubt she was the only aspect of it. Well thats just the opinion of some 12 year old.
love-
Kaitlin

January 30 2006 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melody

i mean, lets get real,
the OC was made for young adults because most young adults can relate.
but either way,
no matter what any of us say the OC will have tons of viewers...

The end.

--and this is coming from someone who has not watched the OC, not once.

but i think i just might start watching this show, it sounds interesting!

whens the nest show?

January 30 2006 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robyn

Okay, i disagree with your article. The OC is just a TV show that teenagers can relate to. The drama is a substitute for their drama. I, personally, love the OC. Yes, they've introduced Kaitlin as a sex icon, but thats reality. In highschool, there are so many "whores" and such. Its not uncommon to see people like Kaitlin at the mall or at school. I think the OC is the best thing thats happened to television.

January 30 2006 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melody

My 2 girls love the OC, and Im perfectly fine with them loving it, and they aren't influenced by what a television show has broadcasted. They dress appropriately, and they act maturely at their age of 15 and 17.

Its not the networks fault, its the lack of parental consent.

Because your child may run around in "revealing" clothes, I don't think you should blame a television show.

January 30 2006 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
reese

I don't know who all these old people are that are watching this show but yes everyone that agrees with the author is a prude. The put the show on later because of its sexier content. Who are these parents that are allowing their children to stay up and watch this show on a school night anyway?? As you can tell I love this show and I do not believe this new character has gone too far. She has brought some edge to show and has brought a new idea that's happening in America anyway. Please let's not all be naive and say that there are not promiscuous youths in todays societies. It is up to the parents to raise their children properly and stop blaming everything on tv. That is soooo old!! I grew up watching 90210 and Melrose Place in high school and even though they were not as young as Kaitlin, they were still doing the kinds of things that make impressionable minds curious. When we as parents and society have decided to let the networks raise our children we can then seriously argue what goes on tv, until then let the network decide on their own characters so that those of us that are watching can enjoy it. Here's another pointer, if you don't like what's on tv, TURN IT OFF!!!

January 30 2006 at 6:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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