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Watching ‘The O.C.’, season 4.

Taylor and Ryan. Photo by FOX.

I finished watching season four of “The O.C.” last week, and since there are only four seasons, it’s overrrrrrrrrr!!! I was slowly savoring the episodes when I started on season three, but season four was just… weird.

But, let me offer up the official description from Amazon before I go any further:

High school is over. Time to move on. But events conspire to reunite Ryan, Seth and Summer in posh, seaside Newport. And there may even be a new Core Four. Because after Taylor Townsend says a quick if not passionate au revoir to her education in France, she just might pursue Ryan until he catches her. Time, too, for the series to move on with these 16 Final Episodes. Seth marries Summer? (Maybe.) Ryan goes through life like it’s a steel-cage brawl? (Sometimes.) Kaitlin tries to hook up her mom Julie with a billionaire? (Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) But things happen, sometimes quite unexpectedly. Time to hit the beach for all the surprising events of a cool, compelling and revealing conclusion of The O.C.

Okay, so if you read my review from season three, maybe you guessed that I didn’t realize Marissa DIED. Obviously, I accidentally found out (thanks, Google) that she was going to die, but I didn’t think they’d kill her off with an entire season left!

So, when season four began and everyone was sad and grieving and Ryan was living in the back of a bar participating in cage fights, I was REAL confused.

Also, I know I’ve got a great group of readers here because no one told me that CHRIS BROWN would make a cameo appearance this season – this was perhaps the best thing about season four.

I mean, I wasn’t a huge fan of Marissa, but without her, it just seemed wrong. I couldn’t get into Ryan dating Taylor, and the scenes of them together just weren’t right.

From the reviews I’ve read, it seemed like lots of people stopped watching during season three, and the ratings plummeted for season four.

I am glad that Seth and Summer ended up together, and that everyone survived all of the earthquakes (random plot twist) and the new baby’s arrival.

So, that’s pretty much that! I’m really glad I decided to watch this show – and if I would have watched it in high school, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it quite as much.

The question now is – what should I watch next? I’m thinking “Glee” – I have never seen it (I’m hanging my head in embarrassment right now). But what other shows are oldies but goodies? I also have “The West Wing” on DVD that I have yet to watch.

Let me know your favorite old TV series in the comments!

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Watching: ‘The OC’, Season One.

Unfolding the drama that is ‘The OC’, season 1.

That’s right, I have NEVER watched a single episode of “The OC” – until now. Of course, I’d heard it was a good show, but it premiered in 2003, when I was strictly watching “Laguna Beach”.

After discovering that my library has NO copies of “The OC” on DVD, I asked for season 1 for Christmas, got it (thanks, mom!), and starting watching it pretty much immediately. Before I dive into my thoughts, here’s the official description from Amazon.com:

When Ryan Atwood, a tough, guarded, fiercely intelligent 16-year-old plunges headlong into the wealthy, privileged community of Newport Beach, he soon discovers that the ruling families of Orange County are every bit as territorial as the tough crowd with which he ran on the streets of Chino. For Sandy Cohen, the idealistic public defender who takes Ryan in; his wife Kirsten, the linchpin of O.C. society; their awkward adolescent son, Seth; and the beautiful troubled girl next door, Marissa Copper – Ryan’s presence will forever change their lives.

Ok, let’s get into this! And yes, there’s about to be loads of spoilers, because I’m assuming I’m the only person who hadn’t seen this show (I’m always late to the game). The season starts with us meeting Ryan in an interesting way – he’s attempting to steal a car with his brother, they mess it up and end up with the cops.

I was shocked – this is what all the hooplah was about? Some loser trying to steal cars? Ugh. But of course, Sandy Cohen, that public defender with a heart of gold, comes to Ryan’s rescue and offers to take him in (duh, there’s room in the pool house) temporarily.

Of course, a kid like Ryan isn’t immediately going to straighten up at the sight of Spanish-tiled roofs and granite countertops, so his presence in the neighborhood does not go unnoticed. He’s new, rough-around-the-edges, and he can’t seem to go anywhere without punching someone.

But alas, he catches the eyes of the girl next door, Marissa (Mischa Barton), and we’re given the romantic side of all the drama. Of course, Marissa’s not without her problems – cut to her drinking an endless bottle of room-temperature vodka.

As the season goes on (there are 27 episodes in season one), drama unfolds with all of the characters, including Marissa and her family, and the Cohens’ extended family members. Each episode ends on a cliffhanger, which explains why I watched a majority of it within a week, and then kept putting off the final three episodes because I wasn’t ready for it to be over.

Honestly, I didn’t grow up watching shows like this. I wasn’t allowed to watch “90210”, and have only seen a few episodes of “Dawson’s Creek”. “The OC” falls in-line with shows like this, the teen-soap type.

It’s good; not too cheesy, and I like the characters. The one that really won me over was Seth (Adam Brody), who is Sandy’s son, and he quickly befriends Ryan upon arrival. Seth is a nerd and despite his family’s name, he hasn’t been able to make many friends or get a girlfriend, well, ever. But once Ryan shows up and throws Seth into the cool scene, Seth is getting all the attention and I got a big kick watching his personality unfold.

For the record, I wanted so badly for Seth to end up with Anna, and was sad to see her go back to Philly. Summer is funny, but her character got stale for me.

Before I forget, let’s discuss Teresa, Ryan’s ex from Chino. I am not a big fan of her, and when she wound up pregnant in the second-to-last episode of the season I was about to scream! She toys with the idea of getting an abortion, but says she just HAS to have this baby (No, girl, you don’t! Your body, your choice!) because, cable TV.

So, the season ends with us not knowing exactly WHO the father is (cue Maury) and Ryan heading back with her to Chino to help her out. NNAAAAOOOOOO! Obviously, I haven’t watched season two yet (please, no spoilers), but I do not think she will end up having the baby and getting a paternity test. I am mostly thinking she will have a miscarriage and/or her and Ryan will get into a fight, sending him back to Orange County at the start of season two. We’ll see.

Probably my favorite two things about this show are 1. the nostalgia, and 2. the theme song. “The OC” is packed with things of my teenage life – silver flip phones, all things Hollister, and the stereotypical California lifestyle. Having said that, the show seemed rather low-budget to me now, but I’m sure if I’d have watched it in 2003, I would have thought it was very glamorous.

And then there’s the theme song, which is highly important (the theme to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” is another favorite) and I would be lying if I said I didn’t belt out “CALI-FOR-NNIIIAAAAAAA” every single episode I watched. The soundtrack was also key, and brought me back to lots of bands I listened to in college.

So, there you have it! I haven’t started season two yet, but I promise you, I will! I’d love to hear if you watched this show, and why you liked it, or didn’t like it. In the meantime… “Californiiiiaaaaaaa, here we cooommme!”