Friday, January 19, 2007

The O.C.: Like sharing a sweat lodge with the Blue Man Group

Five episodes to go! I couldn't be happier that this show is ending on such a high note, but it does feel like a bit of a waste that all this great material is coming so late in the game for The O.C., especially after two very mixed years. Methinks part of the reason the storylines are much smoother than usual is because Josh Schwartz & the gang know the end is near, and thus feel less compelled to go for the extreme drama of the past to try and reel in viewers.

All in all a cute episode, although the wheel-spinning on the Ryan/Taylor relationship was slightly yawnsome (Taylor saying she wants to figure herself out - is that not the same note that Seth/Summer ended on in the previous episode?). It's great how quickly these two have so quickly outstripped Ryan/Marissa in every aspect of coupledom: chemistry, humor, looks (oh no he didn't!). Taylor, like Ryan's other great girlfriend Lindsay (of season 2), is a sexy dork, and that mix of intelligence and neuroses seems to mix much better with his stoic, super-deadpan approach. I guess it's a good thing that they won't have future seasons to turn into the on-off monster that Ryan/Marissa became. Also, Ryan's poem was adorable, and the drumroll when he announced he had a poem was just hysterical.

The best aspect was easily the full-blown return of Che and his misadventures with Seth. Todd told me about someone's fantasy O.C. spinoff that featured Taylor and Kaitlin living large on campus--why not throw in Che too? His big goofy grin when Seth slapped him had me giggling like an idiot. His major 'revelation', that he seems to be interested in being more than just friends with Seth (who--lest we forget--he serenaded naked earlier this season), is a funny new spin on the Seth/Summer love triangle storyline, and right out of left field. Here's hoping they mine that one for all it's worth.

The other plots of the week were less compelling. Kaitlin and the band geek is fairly uninteresting, although I guess they had to give her something to do. I enjoy her more when she's sniping from the sidelines and being deliciously amoral, rather than actually appearing to give a damn about...basically anything going on. Julie's latest screwup also does nada for me, considering that her little dramas always go the same way--she commits some horrible wrongdoing, one of the Cohens bitches her out, and by the next episode she's back to being a hilarious bumbling sidekick for Kirsten. A return of the Bullet to lecture us on the Jewish media conspiracy would be nice. Where did he go, exactly?

Oh, and one final thought--just when you think there won't be better sweat lodge hallucinations in the 06-07 season, Seth goes ahead and out-Lockes John Locke. I want to meet my spiritual otter!

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