Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Swells

FOX (households: 3.2/5, #4; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3) then took the bronze among adults 18-49 thanks to fresh installments of "The O.C." (households: 3.7/6, #10; adults 18-49: 2.6, #8)… -

Do you people realize how bad that is? A 3.7 is, I believe, a .7 drop from last week. I don’t pretend to know exactly how ratings work, but I know enough to know that this means that fewer people watched this week’s show than ever before, and that, my friends, is not a good thing. And this is coming off of the best episode of the season last week, the first episode back after baseball. What does this mean exactly? It means a group of people waited in anticipation for the show to return and when it did, they were disappointed.

And I have a good feeling that I see a pattern that’s going to start developing unless the writers do something quick.

Welcome back, folks, for another week of random musings about our beloved Josh Schwartz created melodrama.

I’ve seen a lot of people say this was a good episode. One called it “damn great” and another said it was the best episode of the show since the second season premiere. To those people I ask: what episode were you watching? I certainly didn’t get a great episode on my television. I got mediocrity and a lot of frustration. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

Let’s just say that if the ratings dip next week, I only have two words for why: Marissa Cooper.

In fact, let’s get into America’s favorite uninspired couple first.

Ryan and Marissa…

Let me say that there is no worse character on television than Marissa Cooper. I honest to God mean it. There have been bad characters in television – many of them popping up on teen dramas just like The O.C. – but I defy anyone to even tell me that there is a worse character on television now. Any show (except for UPN or WB sitcoms because if you’ve seen them, you’ll know they just don’t count as actual shows). I promise you’re wrong.

So let’s first remember that Marissa whined and whined last week about Ryan leaving. She didn’t want him to leave. She wanted the relationship to work out. She wasn’t in the least bit bothered by anything that’s happened with Trey. As a matter of fact, with the exception of the drama it’s caused her by having to go to PUBLIC SCHOOL~!, has she even mentioned the Trey stuff outside of the premiere.

So when does she decide to suddenly start complaining about it? 4 A.M. She calls Ryan up in the early, early morning, probably scaring him to death because the only phone calls you should receive that early are ones about death and destruction, and expects him to suddenly have a heart-to-heart with her.

Now, exactly what is there to talk about? I mean, I’ve never taken anything other than intro to psych, and I’ve never been involved in a shooting, but what exactly did she expect Ryan to tell her? That he’d “be there”? He was there. He answered the phone. All he asked for was some sleep. But she decides to a bitch about it.

And we’re supposed to feel bad for Marissa and believe that it’s okay for her to go to Johnny for an ear to talk to? I commend the guy for beating his dad with the baseball bat, but really, those two situations aren’t really that similar.

But it gets worse because as Marissa flirts endlessly and blows Ryan off, she continues to complain that he’s just not there for her. It’s hard to be there for someone when they won’t come around. And don’t get me started on the ridiculous innocent scene where they were in Chili’s bedroom. No one with a significant other that they love actually flirts like that with someone they don’t know that well. It just doesn’t happen. And, if it does, it’s ridiculous. Don’t do it.

Still, Marissa’s the victim because Ryan just doesn’t listen.

And Marissa can’t see that Johnny likes her? Hmm, this sounds familiar. Oliver, anyone?

Now, I admit that there’s something intriguing in the fact that Ryan and Johnny have seemingly forged a friendship. There’s potential in the idea. At the same time, it has the risk of just being stupid. I’m not sure how either way but trust me. It’s likely going to blow since that’s how this whole storyline is.

Poor Ryan. He just sits back, does what he can do, and gets screwed because of it. He deserves better than this. The writers should have paid more attention to Ryan readjusting to life at Harbor. That’s far more compelling than watching him run around like a lapdog for his stupid whore.


Seth and Summer…

Again, we should all get on our knees and thank God for creating Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson because they are really the main reasons this show is working at the moment. Maybe even the only reason. They just have such a wonderful chemistry, playing off of each other perfectly. While I don’t enjoy the fact that they focus a lot of their attention on talking about Ryan and Marissa, the moments where they are by themselves and just chatting are always very fun.
And I’m still enjoying Taylor. I know I waver back and forth with her, but overall, she’s pretty good. Without the dean, she’s a much better character, though I have to question introducing the mother so quickly. I know she’s mean and bitter, but it seemed like the writers really tried too hard to push this woman down our throats as a bitch. I find it a bit disconcerting, but I think the writers have to start reaching out pretty quickly, so I don’t completely blame them. But I kind of wish they would just introduce a character like Taylor who is just a bitch for no real reason. I understand that it’s one-dimensional, but I’m so sick of trying to feel sympathetic for people. Just let us hate one or two.

The idea of Seth saving Taylor was actually a pretty good one. Who understands ridicule better? The fact that he stood up and took the abuse was extremely noble. At the same time, it’s very heartbreaking. I think that with the exception of last season, we all love Seth. We all relate to him somehow, and because of that, we root for him. So when we recognize that he still remembers being abused, that people still treat him terribly (“sit down, Seth!” was a great line), it’s hard not to get worked up. Remember when Seth told Summer he remembered her feeding the squirrel who kept getting its food taken? That’s who Seth is. He’s the squirrel. So sad.

Now, is it smart to try to pair up Seth and Taylor, if that’s what they what they’re going for? Depends on how they handle it. Do we get another, “You could have had me…” speech, or do we get, “Oh, it’s on, Cohen!” because the former sucks, but the latter would be fantastic. These guys have to remain the comic relief. Romantic moments work for them, comedy moments work for them, but dramatic fights don’t – at all. The writers have something good going, so I hope they don’t mess it up. I’m more interested in seeing Taylor with Ryan, actually, if only to piss Marissa off.

I think the most important thing is that this doesn’t build off of one instance. I don’t want to see Summer see Seth talking to Taylor and suddenly go bitchy. Of course, this being The O.C., that’s probably what’s going to happen. This show irritates me so much sometimes.

Sandy and Kirsten…

So, what is there really to say? Nothing. It’ll be very nice to see Sandy in a corporate world, even though he’s not a lawyer. Sure, the fans have only been clamoring to see Sandy take on actual case since season one, but working for the new Newport Group is okay, too. I’m sure he’s in over his head, though, and somehow, he’ll be screwed. My guess? The older guy was the good guy, and this young guy Sanford is working with is really the problem. After all, nothing is as it seems in Orange County.

The Charlotte stuff seems to have shifted over to Julie, so Kirsten is actually doing nothing. I’m not even sure I can examine her character because it’s thinner than Kelly Rowan at the moment (za-zing! Thank you, I’m here all week, try the veal!)

Julie Cooper-Nichol…

I was hoping it’d be Julie that uncovered the plan first. There’s far more intrigue in Julie dealing with Charlotte than Kirsten doing it. Kirsten is a very fragile person, and I just couldn’t imagine that watching her fight with Charlotte would be even remotely interesting.

I’m not saying that I want her completely gone from the picture because I do want her to grow some kind of spine and enter this fight. But for me, watching Julie handle the situation will be great.

I was thinking that maybe watching her revert back to her old ways would be an interesting storyline, but now I’m not so sure. I mean, I like the idea that Charlotte is able to play to her insecurities because there are so many – I never realized just how vulnerable Julie was until Charlotte started talking to her last night. It’s actually a terrific bit of psychology on Charlotte’s part.

Still, I think that it’d be great to see Julie fight Charlotte off to defend Kirsten and then use that fame to catapult herself to stardom. She can get news coverage for saving the life and money of Caleb Nichol’s daughter, she can get coverage for turning in a criminal, and she can begin to earn the respect of Kirsten, something that I think she’s always wanted. The important thing here, for me, is that Julie always makes sure that things come back to her. I like the fact that she’s self-centered and that her problems generally revolve around herself. It’s not that I’ve disliked the writers delving into this side of her character, but still, it’s more fun when she’s playing the bitch that divorced Jimmy based on reputation.

It’s very Julie-like to discover the ploy while rummaging through Charlotte’s purse, by the way. It’s such a breach of moral conduct that it fits Julie to a tee. I loved it.

Did I mention how hot Julie was last night? Good God, I thought Lindsay owned the record for hottest scene ever – in her glasses and Freud slippers – but Julie took it over last night. Insane.

Other Stuff…

When did Ryan and Summer develop enough of a bond for her to call him “Atwood” or for Marissa to believe Ryan came to offer Summer a ride? I have to say, though, that I’d really love to see a Ryan and Summer pairing, as I believe their different personalities would somehow mesh very well. And I think they look cute together. I don’t know, it’s wishful thinking, but there’s a lot of storyline potential there. I’ll never advocate Seth and Summer breaking up, but if they have to, it better be for Ryan. (Yeah, here comes the hate mail.)

Did I mention that Marissa sucks? Honestly, who decides these stories for her? Certainly it’s not Josh, my hero. It has to be some Nazi feminist who believes that all men are evil and thus Marissa should be worshipped for being a stupid ass. Marissa is in line to be the next Debra Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond, there’s no question.

“I’m already dating a dork,” was a fantastic line. I still can’t wait for Chili and Seth to meet. That could be really great. Eh, it probably won’t happen. Can’t mix the public school kids with the private school kids too much.

Who else misses Caleb a lot?

Who else misses Jimmy a lot?

How weird was it to see a pay phone?

What kind of administration approves a lock-in as a mandated event? That’s too much of a stretch.

So Taylor’s not popular? I thought she was. Didn’t everyone else? You know, shrill, whiney, overbearing girls are always popular in high school as long they’re hot. I don’t believe that Taylor wouldn’t be.

How about Reunion last night being completely AWESOME again? It’s a damn shame the ratings are so low because with the Arrested Development cancellation, I’m starting to believe FOX will get rid of anything. Damn, Reunion has honestly shocked the hell out of me more in two weeks than any other show in a long time.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it this week. I’m sorry if this came off as more of a rant than an actual review, but that’s pretty much what it was. I’m so horribly frustrated with this show after last night. Last week was such an improvement with strong writing, strong characters (even with the ridiculous fisherman premise, it was fun), and a strong direction, but this week completely crapped on all that and it’s thanks to Marissa Cooper. Honestly, it’s just plain bad that they’re allowing her ridiculous nature to overshadow what could be some of the best episodes of the series.

Someone had the nerve to say that Ryan and Marissa are the best couple on the show because they are fixing their mistakes. Must have been a spoiler because everything seems the same to me at this point. And it’s a shame. I want to love what’s going on and I almost do, but this Marissa stuff has to stop. We can only hope that the funeral that Josh said might happen is Marissa’s. It’s the only way to save this show. Because her idiocy is too much to handle.

“[Johnny] just gets me.”

Yeah, I get you too: you’re ruining the show.

Josh, listen to me, if this storyline hasn’t finished filming, then you have to stop it now. Make it a Dallas dream or a St. Elsewhere snow globe vision. I don’t care. Just end it. You’re ruining your baby.

Alas, that does it for me this week. Hopefully there aren’t too many Marissa apologists out there waiting to attack me, but if that’s the case, so be it. There’s nothing I can do to change it. I’m just telling you what I see: a show on the cusp of greatness that’s failing because the writers are determined to let the walking board Mischa Barton take center stage.

Questions, comments, suggestions, anything?



At 1:07 PM, Blogger Rodrigo said...

Please dont die... i loved this episode and i want taylor for the full season,,, AWAY from Seth, she shouldd get closer to Ryan


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