by Jennifer Squires Biller
Four days of wallowing in self-pity should be ample time to process the fact that The O.C. is done.
But, this is me, and it’s The O.C., a show I loved and pimped to readers so often in the last four years in my newspaper column that I was accused of being on Josh Schwartz’s payroll.
But, I can’t put off saying goodbye any longer. So here goes…
The O.C. finale, much like season four, did not disappoint. It was an hour that gave us a glimpse of what the future holds for the Cohens. We watched Ryan head to Berkeley and become an architect. We saw Julie Cooper pull a Kelly Taylor and choose herself, instead of marrying Bullit or Frank, and then receive a college degree. We saw Sandy and Kirsten raise their daughter, Sophie, and Sandy leave law to become a professor. And the quintessential couple of The O.C., Seth and Summer, made it down the aisle to embark on happily ever after. All in all, a happy ending for the folks of The O.C.
Let’s take time to give thanks for this heartfelt drama that gave us the new holiday Chrismakkuh and made wife-beater tank tops cool again. I’ll miss Seth, his pop-cultural references, and his hatred of water polo players. I’ll miss Sandy and his bagel slicer. I’ll miss monosyllabic Ryan and his favorite word, “Hey.” I’ll miss Julie Cooper and her schemes and Taylor Townsend and her interminable enthusiasm. And I’ll miss that gorgeous infinity pool at the Cohen mansion. I’ll miss trips to TJ, the Nana, Captain Oats, Pancakes, and Summer’s obsession with The Valley. And I’ll miss singing ''Cal-if-orn-yaaaaaaaaahhhhhh,” during the show’s opening credits on Thursday nights. But most of all, I’ll miss the well-written family drama that The O.C. gave us again in season four.
The show did hit some bumps during its tenure. At one point, it became The-Marissa-Cooper-hour, putting the character in peril on a weekly basis, despite the fact that most of the audience didn’t care. (Oh, and then there was that lesbian fling and the ridiculous plots with Oliver/Volchek, which I hate to mention, but I don’t want to be accused of seeing the show through rose-colored glasses.)
Yes, it was a bumpy ride at times, and that’s even more reason the show should be heaped with praise at its conclusion. The O.C. rebounded to its original glory in its final season. They killed Marissa and all the horrific angst that went along with her. The show was suddenly fun again, and thankfully, we were in on the joke. The addition of Bullit and Taylor Townsend gave us a reason to smile again. (Bullit could read the phone book, and, I swear, his delivery would make me cackle.) And Taylor made Ryan smile, something seldom seen in Orange County.
The flashbacks in the finale made me realize just how far the show had come, most notably, how far Ryan had come. (And how buff Benjamin McKenzie had gotten in the past two seasons.) From a troubled, abused teen in a hoodie, to a well-rounded young man, who finally felt love, Ryan’s journey was the story that tugged our hearts. I do think it would’ve been funny if someone had uttered, “Welcome to Berkeley” (minus the “bitch” part) just to show Ryan’s complete evolution. But, I won’t quibble. The O.C. didn’t limp across the finish line. It sprinted at record pace. Thank you Mr. Schwartz and the cast and crew. You will be missed.
I leave you with three of my favorite quotes from the show. Also, if you’d like to leave some comments for the cast or creator, I’ll be sure to pass them on.
“They don’t even have a P.F. Changs.”
---Summer, on why Ryan’s hometown of Chino is just “Eww”
“A few grunts. The occasional shrug.”
--- Sandy, predicting how much chitchat Ryan will participate in at dinner
“Men to me are what chardonnay is to you: One sip, and I’m upside down on a chandelier.”
---Julie, telling alcoholic Kirsten why she won’t be dating anymore.
Monday, February 26, 2007
by Jennifer Squires Biller