Saturday, December 31, 2005


On James's recommendation, the Rabbit and I settled down last night with a roast chicken and the Complete First Season of The OC. Sadly the chicken did not survive beyond Episode Three, but the Rabbit and I valiantly battled through to the end of Episode Nine (i.e. the one in which Whatsisname and That One Who Apparently Designs Jewellery Now finally get to kiss each other).

Watching a lot of episodes of something consecutively is always a bit strange. Earlier this year I spent ages discussing the supposed many layers of significance in the sitcom version of Nathan Barley with my comedy forum chums. It was only when I watched all six episodes back to back that I realised that it doesn't have many layers of significance at all; it's simply about the emptiness of fashion. The irony of this is not lost on me.

Watching a lot of the OC in one sitting demands a lot of the old willing suspension of disbelief. For example, Nice Jewish Lawyer Chappie is seen to have a job interview one day and start the new job the next ("surely he'd have cases to wrap up first") and Jewellery Designer Bird's parents' divorce comes through faster than it takes her to come round from having her stomach pumped of painkillers and tequila (top marks to her for collapsing in such a beautiful, gothic fashion, though).

"I've got no one," sobs Jewellery Bird at one point, having discovered her Evil Jock Boyfriend sexydancing with Evil Blonde Bimbo in a nightclub in Tijuana, just after her Dad's phoned her to say he's leaving her Mum. "What in hell is she talking about," exclaim I. "She's just spent a night in a motel with Troubled Kid Who Used To Be Poor, and she woke up holding his hand. That's the kind of thing you'd notice, wouldn't you?" The Rabbit agreed. "I'd notice if someone I fancied even breathed in my direction," she observes. We both nod sagely.

Clearly the Best Character is (the quite lovely) Seth, who gets all the best lines *and* has a seemingly inexhaustible wardrobe of faintly subversive indie-band t-shirts. Seth goes off the boil pretty quickly though, once he becomes a magnet for The Ladies. "Bring back geeky, socially-leprous Seth!" exclaim I. But no, the lovely Seth is destined to have all manner of smart, sassy girls unexpectedly throw themselves at him. Unfair play!

Err, obviously I haven't become at all addicted to it. Oh no. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have another 18 episodes to watch...


james henry said...

If Adam Brody (Seth) or his dad (Peter Gallagher) left the show, it would instantly become rubbish teeny soap trash. As it is, it's genius teeny soap trash, and I'm proud to have introduced you to it.

Can't remember if the 'Christmukkah' episode is series 1 or 2, but it might be the finest seasonal episode of any show ever.

Happy New Year.

Tabby Rabbit said...

Not just waking up to find they are holding hands but he has his arm around her. Pah. 'Tis true, at the other end of the scale if someone breathes in my direction I can get the wrong end of the stick.

Fact #1: Adam Brody originally auditioned for the role of Ryan* (who is far more gorgeous than Seth - P, you are undeniably a girl that gravitates to geeks - no bad thing);

Fact #2: Watching nine episodes of the OC in one go sitting on a floor makes your arse go to sleep;

Fact #3: Patroclus and I will *not*be re-releasing the theme song 'California' as a single, despite our efforts each time an episode starts up (apologies to her neighbours).

* But I'm not addicted. Honest.

patroclus said...

I might be doing The Way We Get By as a karaoke turn later, however.

ScroobiousScrivener said...

Nonono. Ryan is not cute at all. But Seth, cute *and* funny. P has it absolutely right.

I just had to get that in.

Tabby Rabbit said...

Note to James (great recommendation, btw): I dropped my ice scraper by my car very early the other morning and as I stooped to pick it up I had a feeling that I was providing a perfect opportunity for someone to shoot me in the head. Just thought you may want to know.*

*To everyone else, this may sound like a thinly-disguised death threat, but it's not. Really.

james henry said...

One day, that pub conversation might just save your life...

frangelita said...

Hi Patroclus, happy new year! I love your way of describing characters - may try this with everything. Was about to try this with what I'm currently watching (CHicago) but couldn't think up anything suitably witty. Maybe I should start watching this programme for inspiration.

osraelxp - a special windows system for angels

Albert said...

I watched the entire second series of Nighty Night the other night and then I had nightmares all night about Nighty Night (too much anal rape, exposed testicle and steak and kidney pudding up the front bottom for this gorilla).
Anyone got the first series on DVD?

patroclus said...

Being the pretentious sort, the thing I like best about the OC is the occasional nice little bit of self-referentiality (what Bertolt Brecht would call Verfremdungseffekt, but then he would, being German and all).

The boy Seth seems to get all these lines, which is only right and proper, seeing as he is the Best Character. At one point he says "I see, I'm just here for comic relief". Then at another (something complicated to do with blenders and shouting), he says "Wow, who'd have thought that could happen in real life?". And thirdly, at one point he says to Ryan "It's amazing how you can convey so much with just one look."