Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The O.C. Basement: Early Season 1 Review by Adweek


The following is an article written during the first season of The O.C. by Craig Russell of Adweek.com. This will give you an idea of what some people were thinking during the shows first run! Enjoy!

So Far, So Good, But...
Before beginning my weekly take on the O.C., I figure I should let my overall opinions of the show be known. First things last: All the hype is pretty much deserved. Not since 90210 has a prime-time soap been this much fun. And while there have been better quality teen dramas in-between (My So-Called Life, Freaks & Geeks), there haven't been any quite as shamelessly entertaining. 

That said, the O.C. is not without its flaws. When it debuted back in the summer of '03, it was terrific. The first seven episodes flowed seamlessly (my personal favorite: the Rebel Without a Cause influenced Model Home). But something was not quite right when the show returned in October. The first few episodes were slow and awkward. Then Oliver came along, and things got even worse.

It's not a good sign when people are throwing around the term "jump the shark" in a program's first season. But that's how much some of us disliked Marissa's therapy buddy Oliver. And while I was part of that group, what troubled me more was how they rushed the storyline along at breakneck speed, and poof! Oliver had come and gone in six less than stellar episodes, including the horrendous Third Wheel - a.k.a. The Rooney Infomercial...

And the pacing has stayed that way ever since. It's as if they have little confidence in the buzz behind the show lasting very long, and want to capitalize now - which is a mistake. At the rate they're going, they'll run out of storylines by the third season. Dawson lasted longer than that. How else can you explain the writers already resorting to something as ridiculous as the affair between Mrs. Cooper and Luke?

Some friendly advice? Slow it down. Fox should know it has a good thing going, almost a phenomenon considering reality television's chokehold on the medium as a whole. There are good characters on this show, and not just the kids. We're not living in 90210's Peanuts-like existence. In fact, most people I talk to have a tough time deciding whether their favorite character is Seth or his father. And that's a good thing too (I'd give the slight edge to Peter Gallagher's Sandy)...

Overall, The O.C. has been a blast. But, call me selfish, I'd like to see it hang around for a while. As long as they keep the adult plots at least on par with the teens, this show has the potential for longevity - even in today's short-sighted TV world.

- cRAIG
CRussell@adweek.com