Hello! Welcome to my very first review of The O.C. Like with the Gilmore Girls before it, I’ve chosen to review this show because it was a popular show that I have never seen. I don’t know much about it outside it features very attractive people doing very sexy beach things. I think.
I felt this was a good show to pick up because it ties in to my other reviews in the following ways:
- It stars Ben McKenzie a.k.a. Jim Gordon on Gotham, a.k.a. the WORST DETECTIVE ON THE DUMBEST TV SHOW TO EVER EXIST
- It stars Adam Brody a.k.a. Dave Rygalski from Gilmore Girls, who left Lane and “went to college” leaving her with no choice but to marry terrible, bad at sex Zach
- The O.C.‘s very existence was a key factor in torpedoing the Gilmore Girls backdoor pilot for Windward Circle, a spinoff featuring the character of Jess as the bad boy of Venice, CA.
- The entire show is available for streaming on Hulu
One more note before we get into this – I cannot promise any sort of thoughtful analysis of this show. I’m, uh, dumb, so there’s a lot of me being a grade A idiot all over this blog. I can promise stupid nicknames for characters and a lot of swearing. Oh my God, the swearing.
Let’s get into it!
We start with Ben McKenzie’s character and his brother, Trey (the most TV of TV names) stealing a car and getting busted by the cops. Trey is in Trouble with a capital T because he was an adult who had a gun and record. But Ben/Jim Gordon/whatever this character’s name is, hasn’t been in trouble before. Luckily, Peter Gallagher and his eyebrows have been assigned to his case. He sees that Young Jim Gordon is smart, smart enough to be a detective in the worst city in America one day! (I’m just pretending this is a Gotham prequel. It’s a prequel to a prequel!)
Ryan, which is Jim Gordon’s name before he moves to Gotham, is waiting outside with Eyebrows when his mom pulls up. Pulls up is the wrong term – “Jumps the curb and almost kills everyone” is probably better. She jumps out of the car and the show is very clear on telegraphing a Ryan Has Never Had A Chance message with everything she does or says. She drinks and smokes and has some trash boyfriend who likes to watch TV and dream of the next tattoo he’s going to get on his bicep. Trash Boyfriend and Ryan get into a fight once Stereotypically Bad Mom decides she wants Ryan out of the house.
Ryan leaves and tries to find somewhere to stay as the theme song plays. Eventually, he calls Eyebrows to pick him up from some shit strip mall. I know this location was chosen to showcase that Ryan is from a Bad Part Of Town but really, strip malls like this one are all over LA. I don’t know why. Everything is in a damned strip mall. EVERYTHING.
Eyebrows drives for about a million years and they arrive in a gated community in the O.C. Oh boy, Orange County! The seat of rich people and Republicanism in southern California. I’ve been to the O.C. a few times. You can tell you cross into it because the pavement on the highway goes from regular/shitty to really nice and smooth.
Eyebrows has somehow forgotten to tell his wife, Irritated Gwyneth Paltrow, that he’s brought an additional human being home with him for the night. Irritated Gwyneth Paltrow, who we are told makes all the money in the family (that’s right, you go girl) is wearing whatever the fuck this shirt is?
A moth attacked this woman and her husband can’t even be bothered to ask what that was like. Poor Irritated Gwyneth Paltrow. Truly, her life is a nightmare from which cannot wake.
I think the most off-putting thing about the premise of this show (poor kid who did a bad thing (but is luckily both white and attractive) comes to live with nice rich people) is that it makes Ryan’s story only worth knowing when it’s related to wealth. We don’t stay with him and his mom to see how a poor kid who feels hopeless manages in his impoverished neighborhood. We aren’t going to get to watch his mother, who is an imperfect person, try to deal with her own problems. Instead, we’re whisked away to a big house in a gated community which, according to all TV shows, are the only types of homes/families that are worth talking about. But if we were stuck with some tiny home in San Bernardino, how will McG show us great cars and hot babes and big houses with granite countertops? GUYS ONLY RICH PEOPLE SHIT IS WORTH SEEING! Besides, Ryan got out. “What about all the other kids like Ryan trapped in the cycle of generational poverty from which there are very few ways to escape?” you may ask. FUCK ‘EM! WE GOTTA SHOW RICH PEOPLE!
Outside, Ryan goes down the driveway to have a bad boy cigarette. Standing at the end of another driveway is Mischa Barton! This scene is downright hilarious because Ryan is trying so hard to be a sexy bad boy but he just comes off like Futurama’s Zapp Brannigan.
Mischa Barton’s character is obviously going to have sex with Ryan sometime in the show’s future. (My guess – end of the 2nd season.) I would warn her – he’s 16 and he will in no way know where her clit is or how to please her at all, but she’s 16, too. We all make dumb decisions at 16.
Mischa, whose character is named Marissa, gets into a giant truck with some fuck who will probably try to force Marissa into sex by the end of the season and then get punched in the face by Ryan the Savior.
The next day, Ryan meets
Dave Rygalski Seth, Eyebrows & Irritated Gwyneth Paltrow’s weird kid who likes to make O faces while playing video games.
After video games they go sailing. It’s the perfect first date.
The boys have to go to a fashion show thrown by Marissa, because that’s what you do when you’re an attractive teenager with money. You know what I was doing when I was an unattractive solidly middle class teenager growing up in the flyover? Working at Target (40 hours a week in the summer, weekends during the school year.)
Marissa’s dad is being hounded by federal agents, presumably because he has been involved in some illegal bullshit that allows his family to finance their lavish lifestyles. Like any good dad, he lets his teenage daughter lie to the government to avoid facing the consequences of his actions.
Everyone gets dressed up for the fashion show, including Marissa who wears whatever the fuck this is:
Wow. That is…something. Luckily she’s thin so this just gets called “fashion” instead of “hybrid freak dress created by aliens disguised as fashion designers who then went mad with power before taking over several countries a la Germany in the 30s.”
The fashion show starts and Marissa literally says that the battered woman’s shelter that they’re raising money for is “such a good cause, you guys.” L. O. L. “Like, it’s so great, you guys! OMG! Saving women from whatever is, like, important? Here’s fashion! YAY!” All the hot popular high school girls model the fashions and Seth is being all creepy over a girl he’s never met. “I NAMED MY BOAT AFTER YOU, OBJECT! WE’VE NEVER SPOKEN SO YOU ARE NOT AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING JUST A PROP FOR MY ADOLESCENT DESIRES!”
Truck Fuck notices that Ryan is looking at Marissa when she’s on the runway. Oh no. Not looking. That’s exactly the same as fucking! And not regular fucking, either. The extreme kind.
As the fashion show goes on, it dawns on Marissa’s dad that he’s a criminal. So he goes to the bathroom to have a freak out in one of the stalls. On the way out of the show, Summer runs up to Ryan and is all “HEY! I AM DRUNK BUT I LIKE YOU! PARTY?” so Ryan drags Seth along so Seth can stand in the corner lusting over the literal object of his desires.
At the party there are kids drinking, smoking weed, and doing cocaine. It’s hilarious that the “good” side of town (aka the side with all the money) is seen as safe when it’s crawling with drugs. These kids may not be stealing cars or committing petty crimes, but don’t pretend that the thousands of “good” neighborhoods throughout this great country don’t have plenty of kids engaging in illegal activities right this very second. Their parents just have money so they’re less likely to be caught. And if they are caught, it most likely will not be a life-destroying event like it would be for a poor kid.
Truck Fuck decides that he needs to fuck another girl so he wanders off with her while Ryan stands aside all “WHHHAAAAATTTT??????” Summer comes up to him and is all “I HAVE A VAGINA WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IT?” and Seth is all “BUT SHE IS MY OBJECT NOT YOURS! SHE SHOULD HAVE NO AGENCY OF HER OWN!!! I WILL SHOVE YOU AND TELL EVERYONE YOU ARE POOR!” Once everyone learns he’s poor the kids scatter away from them like he’s a flaming bag of shit left in a doorway.
Outside, a drunk Seth starts getting pounded on by popular jocks because popular jocks are the worst the world over. Ryan runs out to help him which draws the attention of Truck Fuck. They fight, Seth and Ryan lose but become total bros in the process.
Back at Seth’s place, Ryan goes outside for a smoke and sees Marissa’s friends dropping her unconscious body off at her house.
What the fuck is this nonsense? Do you have any idea what my mother would have done to me if I’d come home like this? Time for an Old Woman Jen Complains About The Youngs Rant – YOU ARE 16. YOU DON’T GET TO DO THIS SHIT YET. I can’t tell you how much I hate TV shows where the characters are supposed to be teenagers but none of them have any sort of supervision or support system so they fuck and drink and go on trips just like any adult would get to do (the show Casual is one of the most egregious offenders.) Here’s the thing – being a teenager sucks because people who are older than you get to tell you what to do. Yes, that blows. But you aren’t an adult yet so you don’t get to do all the things adults to, including drinking until you pass out or sleeping over at your boyfriend’s house or whatever. THERE ARE FUCKING RULES, KIDS. THERE IS CURFEW! Why don’t any of your fucking parents impose a curfew on you? Why aren’t there any consequences for you? WHY DON’T YOUR PARENTS SEEM TO GIVE TWO SHITS ABOUT YOU?
Marissa’s friends don’t care either so they leave her on the doorstep and drive away. Ryan, the only person on this show who is somewhat human (because he has not yet been poisoned by money) carries her into the pool house and puts her to bed.
The next morning Irritated Gwyneth Paltrow gets her knickers in a twist because her son got into a fight the night before. She’s not mad that he came home drunk. She’s not mad that he still is drunk. She’s mad because some meathead fuckface punched him. Obviously, this is Ryan’s fault for being a “bad influence” or having biceps or whatever.
Ryan says goodbye to Seth in what is actually a very touching scene. I don’t think either one of them ever had a friend before.
When Ryan gets back to his crappy house (which, let’s be real, probably costs upwards of 500K in the crazy CA real estate market) everything is gone. His mother has upped and moved away. So Eyebrows takes him back to the OC.