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Monday, February 26, 2007

The O.C. Series Finale: Saying goodbye to The O.C.

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.

27 comments:

kathy said...

Jennifer...what a beautiful and fun tribute to The O.C. Thank you. It's one of the best I've seen, including EW and TV Guide. To the cast and Josh, THANK YOU!!!!! This show was one of my favorites and always made me laugh. You will be missed.

Kathy

mason said...

To Josh and the cast, thank you guys for such a fun, hip show. Jewish folks in The O.C. taking stabs at the water polo team... who knew that would be a hit? Thanks for the job well done.

Mason

ally said...

Jen, I feel your pain. I can't believe it's over either. I wish we could have had another season. It was fun again. But, it did go out on a high note, so thank you Mr. Schwartz. You rock!

Ally

julie cooper said...

Nice column, Jen. I tuned out of The O.C. when it went South, but after you raved about it again this season, I came back. I'm so glad I did. Thank you to everyone involved with The O.C. We'll miss you guys.

bethany said...

Ben, Adam, Josh and the gang,
Thank you for four wonderful years. Your show has meant so much to me and my friends. We love it! We don't know how we'll spend our Thursday nights without the Cohens.

Bethany

the berkeley gals said...

For Ben,
We LOVE YOU!!!!! Please get back on our screens, too.

Love ya,
The Berkeley gals

the berkeley gals said...

Adam,
Good luck. We'll miss you. And thanks for Seth Cohen. He was the coolest geek we ever met.

The Berkely Gals

marissa said...

Folks of The O.C.,

Thank you for four AWESOME years! We'll miss you guys.

Marissa (not Coop)

love the o.c. said...

Josh and the cast of The O.C.:

Thank you for such a great four years. This show wasn't just for teens. It made us laugh, cry and wish we all had parents like the Cohens and a hot guy in the pool house.

Alex

kelly said...

To the cast of The O.C.: Thank you so much for an amazing show. Good luck in all you do and know that you created something truly special.

Kelly

avery said...

Great article, Tube Talk Girl. Thank you to the cast and creator for such an AWESOME show. We love it and will enjoy it for years to come on DVD.

Avery

The Duke Divas said...

To the cast & creator,

Thank you for an amazing four years. Our whole gang at the dorm watched faithfully every week. We'll miss you guys and the magic that was The O.C.

mike said...

To all those at The O.C.---"Welcome to unemployment, bitch!"

Just kidding. Loved all of you, especially Sandy and Kirsten. The Cohens ruled.

Mike

charlotte said...

Great column, Tube Talk Girl. I think you said it all. It's a sad week, with no O.C. and even sadder that I'll have to watch my DVDs for a Ryan/Seth fix.

Shae said...

To Josh and the cast...

How can we thank you enough for such a great show? You made fun of water polo players and gave us cool bands and a new vernacular. Long live The O.C. and all those involved!

Shae

lisa said...

For Taylor Townsend;

You single-handedly got me interested in "The O.C" again. Damn you. Now, I'm even sadder that it's gone. You were so refreshing, I wish you'd had a bigger part during the previous years or had even been cast as dark/twisty Marissa. Thanks to you and the rest of the cast for the best year of The O.C. ever.

Lisa

OC fan 4 life said...

Please pass this on to Josh and the cast....

THANK YOU!!!!! I loved The O.C. and remained faithful even through the rocky days i.e. Volcheck, Oliver, Marissa's in danger AGAIN...

One of TV's best show's ever.

lost rules said...

It's only a great show if TV Land, Soapnet, or TBS picks you up. Which is it gonna be folks? Frankly, I can't deal with not having the Newport gang on my tube. I'm begging here...syndication...please....

pancakes said...

For Ben & Adam and the rest of the cast,

We'll miss you guys. Good luck in the future. We look forward to your next projects.

grace said...

Thanks everyone. You made a truly special show that made me laugh when even the comedies on television couldn't. You rock!

grace

Julie Cooper Nichol said...

I still can't get used to Thursday without the Newport gang. So sad. Why did FOX cancel one if its best shows? UGHHHHH!!!!

sasha said...

What's gonna happen to Pancakes? I'm worried.

Sasha

Melissa said...

Ryan,

Please sell your wifebeater on eBay!

Melissa

Michal said...

Ben,
Thank you for bringing Ryan to my TV screen in the last 4 years and doing an amazing job at it, good luck in your future career I miss you already.

Josh,
Thank you for creating the wonderful character of Ryan and most of all, thank you for casting Ben for the job.

Adriana said...

To Jennifer, that made me have so many OC flashbacks, I'm glad you appreciated the show as much as I (and the fans) do. I'll miss it so much!

For Ben,
You're a very talented actor and I hope to see you in future projects! I'm so glad that I got to see your character, Ryan, grow-up and change so much. You too have changed, even though I don't know you off-screen, I'm sure it made you into the person you are now. I hope the best for you!

Anonymous said...

To Josh,

Thanks for The OC. When it was good, it was very, very good, and even when it was bad (The Marissa Cooper Hour), there was still always something smart, sly, or witty to make it worth watching.

To Ben,

Thank you for Ryan. You made him an indelible character, vulnerable, tough, troubled, noble, sexy as hell--and you did it with so few words! I look forward to seeing you bring other roles to life.

To the whole cast,

Thank you for the fun, the sense of community, and the genuine emotion you brought to the screen. I wish you all the best.

MCD said...

Summer " You know those teen dramas, they go on forever"

Copyright 2007 Tube Talk