The End Is Here… (An O.C. Retrospective)

I think I’ve mentioned my love of The O.C. here before. Well, I just got done watching the series finale. I am quite sad…

Let me put it into perspective…

Season 1: I was more than a little hesitant to watch this show because it reeked of typical teen drama and I usually tend to hate those (see: Beverly Hills 90210…uh can’t even remember any other right now…) A lot of people recommended it though and I figured…what the hell…and the show was awesome. It made fun of itself on more than one occasion (The Valley…) and the characters were fun to watch. The acting also seemed to improve every couple of episodes so everything was good. Best of all…the season finale was an actual ending. Sure it might have seemed like a to be continued thing…but to me the show had ended and if there had never been another season…I would have had no problem with it. I had had closure. Then came season 2…

Season 2: The return to status quo was too quick and well…just didn’t really work. Plus the hanging plot-line of whether Ryan had a baby running out there did vex me mightily for the remainder of this show’s existence…but I digress. The show suffered from the “season 2 hump” where your successful formula from the previous season needs to be modified but not changed so that the show becomes unrecognizable. It wasn’t a bad show by any means…I still enjoyed it and the storylines were fun…most importantly the actors had improved on their craft and things progressed nicely. Lindsay (Caleb’s illegitimate secret daughter who was dating Ryan…) was interesting but got boring too quickly and I think they waited too long to get rid of her. Same goes for Trey but at least he was used to advance a plot point. What plot point was that? Why, the Ryan loves Marissa one…again…Either way the season ended with a real cliffhanger and I was actually looking forward to season 3 because of the possible implications of Marissa’s shooting Trey.

Season 3: I really can’t say much about this since I gave up on the show sometime around episode 6 or 7 of this season. I still loved the characters and I really wanted to continue watching, but time was at a premium and I just couldn’t stick with it. From what I saw, apparently Ryan and Marissa were breaking up again…only to reunite near the season ender I’m sure (yep…season 4’s recap revealed as much), Seth and Summer were happy…as they should be, and Taylor was introduced! Taylor is the classic case of how a throwaway character can be completely redeemed with the right writers. Much like the redemption of Rachel Bilson in the latter half of Season 1, the writers managed to truly bring the character into leading lady status during I assume the latter half of season 3 (when they found out Mischa Barton would have to be replaced…I think) and all of season 4 of course. Either way the season ended with Marissa shuffling off the mortal coil and I think I was actually tempted to watch the episode but decided I didn’t want to torture myself…season 4 is making me rethink my decision though…

Season 4: I had washed my hands off Orange County. Ryan, Summer, Seth and the rest would always live on in the season 1 and season 2 dvd-sets I had, but I would never watch the show again. Or so I thought. Then I started hearing about how season 4 was a return to greatness. I was skeptical…naturally. I’ve been reading comics long enough to know that returns to greatness are almost always ridiculously over-hyped. But I missed the Fab Four. And while they were down to the Terrific Trio, I still wanted to watch the show again. I caved. I watched the first 2 episodes of season 4 in one sitting. It was like I never left. The show definitely wasn’t up to season 1 level…but it wasn’t the same show anymore. It was darker…a necessary result of a main character dying…and more fun at the same time. I found myself drawn back in to the world of Orange County. I found myself rooting for Taylor and Ryan to get together. I even hoped that Theresa and her baby would make some sort of appearance (no such luck…) But the show was fun to watch again. I loved watching the “new” lighter Ryan and the transformation of Summer from well-meaning air-head to eco-power woman. Which brings us to the series finale…finally. I actually got choked up while I watched the Cohens rebuild everything they had lost (no…I don’t cry at anything…I’m practically made of ice…but I did come close…) I felt like I was losing friends when I watched Ryan walk through the house that changed his life for the last time. The scene where he finally says goodbye to Marissa was heart-wrenching. And the ending was totally satisfying. The theme of the episode was coming full-circle. The end brought the whole show full-circle. When Ryan tried to help the boy that reminded him of himself as a vulnerable young boy looking for something to hold onto…the show’s purpose was completed. It had brought closure. It had truly ended.

Whew…wrote a lot more than I was planning on that topic, but I think I needed to get it out.

Oh…and this has been Day 3 of the planned 30.

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One response to “The End Is Here… (An O.C. Retrospective)

  1. Pingback: Fox Upfronts 2007 « Skewed Perspectives·

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