“You will not believe what Sandy Cohen said to me. He basically called me white trash. He said I was from Riverside!”— Julie Cohen (Season 1 of The O.C.)
When I was younger I saw Lawn Dogs with Christopher MacDonald, Kathleen Quinlan and Sam Rockwell. The main star of the movie was an unknown child actress Mischa Barton played the role of Devon. I became obsessed and followed every role that she had taken since. She starred alongside Burt Reynolds and Cameron Van Hoy in the movie Pups. Where she played a modern-day Bonnie & Cylde but they both soon realize that they are not well equipped for this job. Full throttle speed ahead, this young actress was well on her way with roles in Tart, Lost & Delirious, Octane and many more. Very bright and talented I believed in her and the direction in which her career was going.
This show is nothing like 90210, you remember the show from the 90’s with Shannon Doherty, Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth? The OC set in Newport Beach, a California beach resort town. The first season focused on how they would deal with an outsider coming into their protected enclave and the shift in change that it would bring to everyone’s lives. Mischa Barton would be playing Marissa Cooper, the popular, rich, promising relationship with the Captain of the Water Polo team and all around good girl. However in the first episode, it’s clear that not all is how it seems in this town.
The show was an instant success. I couldn’t stop my chatter about the show. I became obsessed with The Cooler Kids song “All Around The World(Punk Debutante)”, I watched it every week and even VHS’d it for my friend who wanted to see it.I never saw that VHS again! Every week was better than the one before. The drama that unfolded so quickly was unreal….
The show focused on Ryan Atwood, delinquent kid with a rough background from Chino, California. He’s adopted into the Newport Beach home of his attorney Sandy Cohen and his wife Kirsten. Marissa is the next door neighbor and they soon begin a on and off again romance throughout the series until she becomes a lesbihonest so I hear. Marissa’s father Jimmy is trying to “Keep Up With The Joneses” and is on the verge of being found out. He’s taken money from his client accounts and is soon under investigation from the SEC Fraud Commissions…..UH OH! I smell trouble! It all unfolds at the Debutante Cotillion when a client asked for $250k of his own money and he was told that it wasn’t there. He did the math and came out with the correct answer.
Also, we’re introduced to a character named Anna from Pittsburgh. Note: I haven’t been too many Debutante Balls but I’m pretty positive that you can’t move to a town as a new student and then debut into that society. How awkward must that have been? She moved here in the summer and debuts with people she doesn’t know? Think About It!!! Their relationship only lasted half a season because the producers decided enough with that. *Chuckles* No, Anna moved back home to Pittsburgh….Buh bye Samaire Armstrong’s career.
So a lot of other stuff happens through out the first 7 episodes of the season. Luke(Marissa’s Hot Boyfriend) and Ryan are constantly fighting but coming together at some eye level type of an agreement. Luke is shot by some other punk kid but that kid is from Corona. Ryan saves him. Luke saves Ryan when they burn down one of Kirsten’s developments. Julie tells Jimmy she wants a divorce because she wants to look like the hero. We meet Kirstin’s father, Cal who owns the Newport Group which is a development company in the real estate market. My Gosh!!…..Can you keep up?…….I COULD…….
Get ready for the break in the season. You know how sometimes the show premiers in the summer, so they do a few episodes to test the market and see how it works out? Well, that’s what FOX did and they left us with quite the cliffhanger for the season. What happens in Tijuana stays in Tijuana until you go looking for your Captain of the WaterPolo team boyfriend only to discover him dancing in a skanky nightclub with the girl’s whose father punched your father at your Debutante Ball because he realized that your father stole money from him? Payback is a BITCH! Is it ok for what has happened in Tijuana to stay in Tijuana when it requires you being emergency lifted out of Mexico back to Newport Beach because you require urgent care? Oh, Marissa Cooper!
I mean the first 7 episodes of this show really went there. Looking back at it, the themes were definitely too mature but I guess if you went to a high school where kids acted this sexually aware, then this might have been normal. The season progressed and we saw stronger character development. Ryan and Marissa started dating. Seth had a torn love/hate relationship with Summer(Rachel Bilson) and we are even introduced to the character Oliver who threatens to kill Ryan and Marissa(I haven’t rewatched that episode yet). The best part of the season was when Luke walked in on his father……………….and that was when we were introduced to Luke’s Gay Father!!
That was when we saw the last of Luke. His parent’s got divorced and his father moved to Seattle. Luke decided that it would probably be best for him to move with his father. I actually haven’t made it to the episode again yet, I just watched the episode where Marissa tried to escape from the hospital and Ryan almost didn’t get accepted into the Newport Harbor School because of it. After the first 19 episodes, I lost interest and never really watched it again after episode 27. I saw the episode where Ryan saved Marissa’s life yet again because she was in a car accident. Sometimes I wish I did keep up with the show but it’s funnier watching it now and looking back at all the things I remember or didn’t notice the first time around. However, I bet nobody remembers that Holly was a contestant on American Idol back in the day? or that Luke was in episode of Strangers with Candy as one of Jerri Blank’s love interest? Do you remember that Mischa Barton was in a play on Broadway called Slavs which was really good.
Unfortunately the show didn’t last very long. Only about 4 seasons,why I’m not entirely sure. Pushing the envelope too son on certain subject matters perhaps. Giving a false perception of Southern California….oh wait…..I remember because everyone became obsessed with Laguna Beach:The Real Orange County which spawned 3 seasons in Laguna Beach and one in Newport Beach, a spin-off called the Hills in which we see the main star develop her career and her womanhood, as well introducing us to the fabulous Heidi Montag. I love Heidi.
It even spun off a series on BET called Baldwin Hills which was basically like watching a ghetto version of the Cosby Show on BET. However, I was glued to my BET the first two seasons…… In closing, I really loved this show. I wished that Mischa Barton had a better career because she showed so much promise from the very first time I saw her. Unfortunately for her Rachel Bilson became the sensational star and for what….Nobody really acted again from that show or so I’ve seen. Chris Carmack did a few LifeTime movies, Kelly Rowan went back to her LifeTime movie roots, Tate Donovan went back to being upset that his only claim to fame will be Potion No.9 with Sandra Bullock, Hercules and a failed relationship with Jennifer Aniston(because everyone has a successful relationship with her), Benjamin McKenzie found success on TNT with Southland.
Just A Note:I had a friend from Corona and I knew someone from Chino and I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as they tried to portray it on television……