The OC Season 4 -- An early look
This show has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I didn't watch it during the first season though. I waited for the DVD. Needless to say I was glued to the TV set for a whole weekend once I got it. Let me go on record as saying that the first season of The OC is one of the best seasons of television I've ever watched. That first season? Yeah, it's that good. Then came the sophomore slump. Not bad but not great. Then last season? A stinker? A bomb? I could be harsher, but the general consensus seemed to be that season three wasn't all that good. At least I didn't think so. To top it off, Mischa Barton killed the finale for die-hard fans when she blabbed about Marissa's death days before the episode aired. Frankly, that didn't bug me and I was glad to see the demise of the ever-moody Cooper sister. So going into this season, I don't think expectations are too high, especially since FOX has only ordered 16 episodes as of right now. Well let me cut to the chase and dash away all The OC naysayers. I've screened the first four episodes of the new season and they are impressive.
Josh Schwartz and Co. have really done a bang-up job re-inventing the show. It feels much darker, much grittier, much more grown-up. Don't take that the wrong way though. I mean all of that in a positive sense.
The season picks up five months after Marissa's death and all the characters are in different phases from when we last left them. To make up for the loss of Barton's character, Taylor Townsend (Autumn Reeser) and Kaitlin Cooper (Willa Holland) have both been added as full cast members.
What we end up getting though is a truly powerful look at how everyone has attacked the grieving process. Julie is medicated, Kaitlin is even snottier than I remember, and Summer is doing everything she can to forget her Newport past. Ryan, as you would expect, has taken the loss the hardest of anyone and without giving away too much, his current path seems to look a lot like his brother Trey's. Ben McKenzie finally has a real reason to play Ryan to his fullest and he does a great job. His performance in the season four premiere is Ryan Atwood at his best.
I'll give you all one thing to look forward to though. But sit tight because it doesn't happen until the fourth episode. As I said, everyone is grieving and Summer seems to be hiding her pain the best. Until the opening scenes of the fourth episode. You'll never look at Summer the same way again. It's wonderfully done. What I just said doesn't do the scene justice, but believe me -- it'll be worth the wait. In the meantime, check back here on Thursday night when I'll have my review of the season four premiere up.