You can’t beat escapist television like The OC, a refreshing and addictive addition to the teen soap opera genre. What initially started as a guilty pleasure soon became genuine and the more I watched, I found myself becoming increasingly engaged in the plot.
An array of characters make up The OC, some of whom are brilliant. Others appear somewhat irrelevant, mainly Ryan and Marissa’s string of love interests and the Cohen’s extended family members, all of whom are irritating and stick around for much longer than necessary. However, you can’t help but root for The OC’s protagonists. For me the Cohen family and Julie Cooper are strong enough to maintain the momentum of the show as well as its popularity a decade on. Special mention to Rachel Bilson too, arguably the break-out star of the series.
You can always rely on an hour of The OC to be eventful. The show has abandoned the drawn out pacing of most soapy dramas; its episodes are fast paced and cover a lot of ground, always ending with a cliff-hanger.
The show also deserves credit for producing emotionally compelling musical moments. Creator Josh Schwartz has a knack for employing the right song at the right time and throughout the show, scenes are transformed due to strong music choices. Imogen Heap’s ‘Hide and Seek’ has created some unforgettable OC moments and Phantom Planet’s ‘California’ works perfectly as a catchy theme tune for the show.
Set in the favourable setting of sunny California, The OC should be taken for what it is, which is undeniably entertaining, trashy and fun.
If you find enjoyment from television with unoriginal storylines, bad acting and a spoiled rich kids setting, you can rely on The OC to deliver all three. The American teen drama series revolves around a group of friends growing up in Newport who are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is regarded as acceptable and responsible behaviour in a way that is not only predictable, but also very annoying.
With the exceptions of Sandy and Kirsten Cohen, it is difficult to warm to any of the cast, but one of the most irritating characters has to be Marissa Cooper, played by Mischa Barton. Marissa is the typical girl next-door character, queen of making poor decisions and bad choices, the consequences imposed on everyone around her. The character has a knack for making your blood boil. Although pretty enough, Mischa has a permanently stiff demeanour whilst delivering emotional dialogue and throughout The OC is something of a blank slate. Not only is she generally non-expressive as a performer, Marissa’s on-off relationship with Ryan Atwood (Benjamin Mckenzie), the love story christened by fans as ‘Ryissa’, that spans through the first three series of the show, lacks any form of chemistry and comes across as staged and unconvincing.
Like the majority of teen dramas, The OC will give you regular love triangles, a who’s-the-father baby scare, a lesbian ‘phase’ and alcoholism. The show comes hand in hand with clichéd plot lines, as well as minor situations and characters escalating before you know it to bulldoze full throttle through multiple episodes.