Thursday, February 22, 2007

60 Minutes of Sadness

Well --- Nothing Lasts Forever.
After a brilliant run, my favorite California residents are saying goodbye. Tonight, I am attending an O.C., R.I.P. party to which I will wear black and playback favorite clips before we say our sad farewell. Let us take a walk down memory lane and reminisce. I know most of you don't care. Indulge me. Or pick and choose your favorites.

It All Began With a Stolen Car.
Marissa: “So, what are you doing here, seriously?”
Ryan: “Seriously? I stole a car. Crashed it. Actually, my brother did. Since he had a gun and drugs on him, he’s in jail. I got out. Then my mom threw me out…pissed off and drunk, and Mr. Cohen took me in.”
With that, Ryan was swept from the rough streets of Chino to the waspy town of Newport Beach. Here, he finds a new family, a new love, and a lot of fights…Welcome to The O.C., Beeyatch.

Power Packed Parties.
Seth: “Welcome to the dark side.”
When people get together in Newport, somebody is gonna get sucker-punched. Luke punched Ryan at Holly’s cookout. Holly’s Dad clocked Jimmy Cooper at Cotillion. Zach wacked Seth at The SnO.C. Eddie and Ryan duked it out over Theresa at the Riviera magazine party honoring Caleb. Marissa slaps Volchok at Senior Prom. Julie and Hailey catfight and end up in the pool at Julie’s bachelorette party ("Just one little stripper all alone in the world?").

Chrismukkah.
Seth: “If my sense of cultural Zeitgeist is accurate – and I believe it is – this is the year Chrismukkah sweeps the nation.”
What’s not to love about a holiday invented by a half-Jewish, half-Christian kid with no friends? It’s no regular holiday, but a super holiday that’s got twice the staying power of a normal holiday…thanks to Jesus and Moses, who both have beards.
Season 1: Marissa gets caught shoplifting and goes on a drinking binge while Anna and Summer battle it out for Seth’s affections (remember Summer as Wonder Woman?!?).
Season 2: Yamaclauses and a Chrismukkah miracle (thanks to Summer, aka ‘Tiny Tim’) after the revelation that Lindsay is Caleb’s illegitimate daughter.
Season 3: Ryan has a Bar Mitz- vahkkah to raise money for Johnny’s surgery (a noble act considering everyone knows Johnny hearts Marissa).
Season 4: Ryan and Taylor both get concussions and see what life would be like without them in The O.C. (And we get closure: Ryan really couldn’t have saved Marissa in the end).

Anna Banana.
Seth: “Anna, wait a second. What am I going to do without you? Who am I going to play Jenga with? You’re so wise, and all your sage wisdom, what am I going to do without that?”
Anna Stern is the female Seth. Though not one of the core four, Anna made her mark in Newport. Anna’s friendship (romance?) with Seth brought he and Summer together. She helps Seth get noticed by Summer, then decides to steal him back for herself. But Anna eventually moves back to Pittsburgh. Anna’s best episode? When Seth and Anna say goodbye at the airport and Nada Surf’s cover of “If You Leave” is playing in the background.
Nights at The Mermaid Inn.
Julie ‘Juju’ Cooper: “Is this a booty call?”
While it could arguably change its name to the Julie Cooper-Nichol Inn, it set the stage for many a dramatic moment. Illicit affair with Luke. Meetings with her old pornographer boyfriend, Lance. Rallies with Ryan to get revenge on Volchok. Oh yea, and Theresa stays there for the short time she’s around.

Family.
Seth: “It’s a tale as old as time. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy finds out girl is surrogate mom’s illegitimate step-mother.”
Centered around the Cohen/Nichol clan, by Season 4 nearly every character on the show is somehow related. Cohens adopt Ryan. Julie marries Caleb Nichol. Marissa and Kaitlin become Seth and Ryan’s step-aunts. Julie is engaged to Dr. Roberts. Summer and Marissa become sisters (almost). Jimmy has dated both Nichol sisters – Kirsten and Hailey. Lindsay is Caleb’s illegitimate daughter. She ends up being Seth and Ryan's step-aunt too. Confused?
Atomic County.
Seth: “And the demon water polo player throws his plasma at Kid Chino and The Ironist, shouting ‘Welcome to Atomic County, B****!’”
Seth and Zach’s comic book/graphic novel almost tore Summer and Zach and Summer and Seth apart. Featuring Marissa as Cosmo Girl (with a magic flask), Summer as Little Miss Vixen (black leather whip, suffers from rage blackouts), Seth as The Ironist, Ryan as Kid Chino (check out those fists of fury), Sandy as The Litigator, and Kiki as The Ice Queen.

I Heart Sandy Cohen.
Seth: “Gosh! Dad, those eyebrows are out of control!”
How great would it be to kick back with a schmeared bagel and chat with Sandy Cohen? Somehow the former NYer always knows the right thing to say and do --- and he isn’t afraid to tell you. Sandy has a heart of gold and stands as the moral backbone of the show (we’ll forgive one minor grievance with fugitive former flame, Rebecca Bloom).

Live From the Bait Shop.
Summer: “Where other than the Bait Shop are tickets always plentiful and the band is never too loud to talk over?”
Besides pumping my brain with tons of teen angst and drama, The OC introduced me to some of my favorite mixes. Rachel Yamagata, Sonic Youth, Jem, The Killers, The Subways, Death Cab for Cutie, Rooney, Imogen Heap. Even Sandy Cohen grabs the mich there!

Alex Hearts Seth…and Marissa.
Seth: “Alex and Marissa? No longer welcome in the red states.”
Seth applies for a job cleaning toilets at the Bait Shop to get free tickets to The Walkmen show to give to Summer and Zach. Seth ends up falling for bad girl bartender, Alex Kelly, who’s been kicked out of 3 high schools and emancipated from her parents. Their relationship never really leaves the runway, and Alex takes off with Marissa on a romantic ride. Marissa moves in with Alex and, (gasp!) has to do her own laundry, (oh my!) take out the trash, and (not that!) pay rent. The love affair doesn’t last --- Marissa realizes she loves Ryan (again), dumps Alex, and moves back home.

Good Girls, Bad Boys.
Julie: “Listen up, Tommy Lee. You’re just the latest in a series of experiments my daughter likes to make when acting out. So enjoy it because right here, right now is as good as it gets for you. Soon, Marissa is going to wake up and realize she is so much better than you and your life."
Even with her pick of the litter, Marissa gets into the worst relationships ever. Luke Ward – a water polo player who cheats on her. Oliver Trask – maniacal therapist buddy who becomes suicidal over her. D.J. – the in-over-his-head yard boy. Trey (Ryan’s brother) – makes believe Marissa is interested in him and then tries to rape her. Johnny Harper – surfer boy who suffers from Marissa’s unrequited love, drowns his sorrows in alcohol, then fatally falls from a cliff. Kevin Volchok – bad news boy who ultimately causes Marissas untimely death. She should have stuck with Ryan.

There Goes My Hero.
Marissa’s final words: “No, stay. Don’t leave.”
Ryan’s number one priority: saving Marissa from harm (and herself). From the first episode when he sees her passed out in her driveway and moves her to the pool house, Ryan is always ready to dive in head first when Marissa needs saving. He carries her out of the alley when she overdoses in TJ. Saves her when Oliver takes her hostage. Goes buckwild on Trey when he finds out about the attempted rape. Manhandles Volchok when he finds out he’s cheating on Marissa. And when Marissa is fatally injured, Ryan carries her away from the wreckage one last time.
Captain Oats and Princess Sparkle.
Zach: “Even when you’re not being a couple you’ll always be a couple. You’re Joanie and Chachi, Luke and Leia.”
Where would we be without the Spider Man kiss? Or Seth’s coffee cart confession of love? Who would have worked with Seth so feverishly to get Ryan and Marissa together? Or shared a love of plastic horses? Who else but Seth would remember (and save) Summer’s (ok, Taylor’s) sixth grade poem? Who else would dress up as Wonder Woman to get her man ("I hear you like comic books, Cohen")? No other girl would put up with Seth’s neuroses, sarcasm, and geekiness. No other guy would adore Summer’s vanity, materialism, and initial standoffishness.
It’s All About The Memories.
Hopefully this got the wheels turning. Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite O.C. moment?Ryan and Marissa’s first kiss on the ferris wheel? Cal's jaw-dropping death as Julie tries to save him to the background music of Imogen Heaps 'Hide and Seek.'? I understand if you don't have one, but am amazed if you made it this far.

Fare thee well dear friend, fare well.

4 comments:

ali said...

Ooooh. What a great tribute, James! You helped me remember so many great things that I forgot about. Anna? This was the best!

And way to track down some of the best one-liners to ever exist. I'll probably print this out and hang it on my inspiration board next month.

Did you read the thing on MSN? http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=252022>1=7703

Lorilee said...

Jamie, I love reading every line in this long entry.
It, too, helped me remember so many scenes that I had forgotten about. I think all the hilarious one-liners is what makes this show my favorite over all the others.

Thanks for your entry!

ali said...

Hey ... look how funny Summer's shirt is in the second picture down.

This is the transition that I speak of. I can't believe she ever wore that, but hey, maybe she was in TJ.

lane said...

I can't even read this. I'm not ready. I seriously woke up Friday morning and felt sad. Not exactly like I'd lost my best friend, but like I'd lost my best fictional teen escapism friends.

The humanity!

Thanks for the memories, James. Thanks for the memories.