(S04E16) Does this count as the end of an era? I'm not sure. When The OC first began, it sure felt like the beginning of an era. Now that it's over, I'm not exactly sure what it's the end of. Other than something that I'm really, really going to miss.
I have to be honest. The first twenty or so minutes of this episode fell pretty flat for me. I really wasn't enjoying the six-month jump, only to find out that everything we thought we knew was no more. Julie was engaged to Bullit, Taylor was back in France, and Seth and Summer had become "comfortable." Nothing was right, and despite the fact that we all knew how this was going to end, I was a little put off by the way it started. But it picked up steam and by the episode's end, I was completely satisfied with the way it all turned out.
(S04E14) It's the end of the world as we know it. Well... not really, but it might be the end of Newport Beach. I have to say, I kind of like the idea that the finale Josh Schwartz "always planned to do" for The OC involves an earthquake. It's the ultimate closure for a show that takes place in California and depending on how bad you want to make it (it looked pretty bad), it can immediately force everyone into a situation where they're forced to start over.
Closure is key though. With only two episodes to go now, a lot of the broad ideas that have been lingering since the beginning of the season were brought back into play. Seth's indecisiveness, Ryan's emotional awkwardness, and Sandy's dislike for Newport all manifested themselves in some pretty creative ways. It was a satisfying episode.
(S04E10) You can tell that Josh Schwartz and his writing team are having fun with this season. They knew the show was going to be canceled well before we did. So it only makes sense that these remaining episodes feel fresh, like the writers are taking chances. Why wouldn't they? The show is over -- they can do whatever they want.
There are pros and cons to that though. Sometimes too much creative freedom can be a bad thing. Example one? I feel like Sandy and Kirsten have been forgotten. Especially Sandy. It seems that lately his only role has been popping in here and there to offer brief words of advice to Ryan. Although I will say that his Jerry Lewis impersonation was hilarious.
(S04E08) If this keeps up, the current season of The OC won't just rival the first -- it'll beat it. Everything that was great about this show in its debut season has returned. The writing is stronger than either of the middle seasons and it seems clear that Josh Schwartz and Co. are flexing their creative muscles fully knowing that this may be their last chance to do so. Seth's dry wit is in full force. The storylines are funny again (no more Marissa to bring it all down). But they're believable storylines too. And the relationships? I actually care about them again.
To illustrate what I'm saying, just look at this episode. It ripped a page right from the Alias playbook and gave us an opening scene only to jump back seven hours earlier. Before this season, I would have never expected to see something like that on The OC.
(S04E05) Thus far this season has been great. So I went into this episode with high hopes, and don't get me wrong -- I liked it a lot. But it was just sort of so-so, right? Nothing too mind blowing happened, save for Summer's predicament, but even that was just kind of weird.
Everything that went on was just a little too obvious. Taylor falling for Ryan? We all knew it was coming. Of course, I support it though. She's better looking than Marissa, smarter, has less emotional baggage, and best of all? She's not a raging alcoholic. So yeah, I'm all for that and I hope it works out. But taking the entire episode to get to what we all knew was coming (the kiss) was just a waste of time if you ask me. It was cute I suppose. The Chinese tea didn't get Ryan to finally overcome his insomnia. Taylor did. Awww....
(S04E04) This is it! The episode I had been telling you all about. How incredibly cool was that opening sequence? Summer zooming through the grieving process, the classical music, the skewed camera angles, the on-screen text. Rachel Bilson really gave her character new life with this scene. I have a new found respect for Summer Roberts after seeing that. I don't even think The OC has tried taking on something like that before. It reminded me of something out of... well I don't know. But it was very un-OC and I loved it.
So as the title suggests, everyone and everything was changing in this episode. We're starting to get a better idea of how things are going to be post-Marissa and not everyone heads in the direction we might expect.
(S04E03) We weren't supposed to get this episode until next week, but because of the season premiere's poor ratings and sweeps, FOX is giving us another new episode right on the tail of last night. So it might seem early for a Thanksgiving episode because well, it is. But that's OK because keeping with the season four trend, this was another spectacular installment. I really can't stress enough how impressed I've been with this season so far.
Plenty happened but the biggest news is that Volchok is back in Newport. This had to happen eventually. I just didn't expect it so soon. Although I suppose it makes sense after his little run in with Seth in Mexico. I think he actually feels guilty about his involvement with Marissa's death. Whatever. I hope they wrap this up soon because once everything tied to Marissa is cleared up, the show is only going to get better.
(S04E02) After last week's outstanding season premiere, I had very high hopes for this episode. With last season still fresh in my mind, The OC did something I'm not entirely used to -- it delivered.
Picking up right where we left off, Ryan is dead set on finding Volchok and gutting him. It's all he wants, all he thinks about. It's great to have some serious moral conflict in this show instead of all the "Will Seth pick Anna or Summer" or "Uh oh, Marissa got drunk again" drivel that got fed to us last season. This is the side of Ryan we never fully saw. It's what left him the second he became a part of the Cohen family in the pilot episode. Well, newsflash. Ryan Atwood? Extreme badass.
(S04E01) The OC is back with a vengeance... big time. After what I think most considered to be a lackluster third season, I think both die-hard and casual fans are going to be impressed with what this show still has to offer. We pick up five months after the death of Marissa Cooper and everyone, especially Julie and Ryan, has had to adjust their lives in the wake of her passing. Corny as it sounds, nothing is going to be the same.
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.
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?
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