Thursday, March 19, 2020

Guest Opinion: Why Anna Stern is the Best character on The O.C.



Recently, we reached out to O.C. fans across the world for a chance to write something interesting about The O.C..This time it comes from O.C. super-fan Reba Terlson! Check out her article below and be sure to like and subscribe to her socials! Instagram @rebajesse and Twitter - @rebajesse


We’ve been on the run, driving in the sun, looking out for number one,
California here we come…if you are of a certain age demographic, and
even if you’re not you can probably finish these lyrics to the ever-popular
song, that launched an iconic show in the early 2000's. Yes, I’m talking
about The O.C.

While I will fight anyone, who says I’m not a true obsessed fan of The O.C.
I will be the first to admit that I did not watch it when it aired. I do remember
one of my friends saying that she couldn’t hang out on Thursday nights
because she was watching The O.C. and I think my reaction was:
Seriously? But trust me I totally get it now.

As it was, I watched it post high school. The O.C. officially ended in
February of 2007 and I graduated in June. In September, I was starting
university and didn’t have a full course load. So, in my free time I would
hang out with my best friend at the time, who conveniently had all four
seasons of The O.C. on DVD. She had already watched it all from what I
remember and invited me over to watch it with her. I still remember
watching it in her basement on a small TV, on her pullout couch with
blankets and sleeping bags and just being OBSESSED. Let me tell you
there were many sleepovers that involved us watching The O.C. until 3 am.
Also, to be noted, that this was before Netflix.

Within the first episode I was already hooked on these characters and
wanted them to be a part of my life; the immediate love I felt for Seth
Cohen, being intrigued by Marissa and Summer and thinking Sandy and
Kirsten were possibly the coolest parents ever and how much I wished my
parents were like them, was just the tip of the iceberg. And Ryan just
wanting to fit in in general and his attitude of “whoever you want me to be”
was, let’s not deny it, sexy a.f.

A long tangent to say that all these years later I am still obsessed and I am
here to talk about all things O.C. with you, at any time.

There are many topics I feel like I could cover and hopefully can delve into,
but the first one I’m going to tap into is one of my favorite, underrated
characters on The O.C., Anna Stern who is played by the lovely, talented,
Samaire Armstrong.

First of all, I would like to say that I related to Anna so much it hurt. I had a
major crush on a friend of mine who was dating a different friend of mine so
basically everything that Anna did I related to in my own sad, non-romantic
life. Although I never got gifted a starter comic book/ graphic novel pack as
a lame Christmas gift like her and Summer did. Seriously Cohen, THE
SAME GIFT?! BE BETTER. Enough about Cohen.

Anna was the character that if you felt like you were out of place watching
all of these white privileged kids (and yes, I know, Anna is white) in their
mansions and their fundraiser parties and cotillions, she became the
outsider you could relate to.

Also, she made Pittsburgh sound DELIGHTFUL and I still want to go there
for their peanut butter cup pies tyvm. She puts all the other characters at
ease in some way or another, starting with Ryan who at first, she has to
dance with at cotillion. Their first interaction also indicates that you already
KNOW you’re going to love her:

Anna: Wait. Are you the kid from Chino who steals cars and sets people’s
houses on fire? So, you’re saying I’m making my debut into society with
Newport’s most wanted?
Ryan: Is that gonna be a problem?
Anna: I can’t wait.

At the same time, we root for Anna and Seth to be together because they
hit it off right away over their love of comic books, or more accurately as
Anna corrects Seth, “And I call them graphic novels.” Reminding us that
hey, you know that females can like comic books too right Cohen? Let’s
dismantle the patriarchy a bit, shall we?

Anna is also full of sass, brutally honest, smart and while never wanting to
severely rock the boat of the core four doles out some of the best advice in
season one, unintentional or not.

As she leaves in The Goodbye Girl she says two important things one to
Ryan and one to Seth. The first being to Ryan that she hopes he has a
good life because he deserves it. Through the course of The O.C. Ryan
goes through such a great character arc that when he finally gets to the
end of season four, we are rooting for him way more than we thought we
might at the beginning of season one. To Seth she simply says,
“Confidence Cohen”. Seth definitely becomes more confident over the
course of the show, he proves this by winning Summer over and being able
to call his parents out on their bullshit.

Anna even wins over Summer by bonding with her over Golden Girls.
Which is honestly refreshing as they clearly set up Summer and Anna to be
rivals over who would win Seth’s affection.

Also, let’s not forget the return of Anna in season three where once again,
she ends up giving advice to Seth to win over Summer and somehow
manages to get him an interview for RISD?! And when Seth doubts his
chances of getting into RISD? Once again Anna to the rescue where she
says, “Cohen! Confidence, remember?”

This girl can basically do anything. Seth never deserved her, and tbh we
probably didn’t either, as we were all too busy fawning over the will
they/wont they of Seth and Summer’s relationship.
Her reaction to Seth thinking that she’s leaving because of him is too
perfect as she replies with “What?”

Again, a call out on the narcissism and self-absorbed character of Seth
Cohen. Anna chose to leave because she missed Pittsburgh not because
she couldn’t stand Seth or Seth being with Summer (this is not a Felicity
situation here).

She simply says, “I’m leaving because I need to leave.” Because she
freaking missed Pittsburgh, her family, her dog, all very understandable
things that um had nothing to do with Seth and Summer getting together.
She even helps Seth get Summer back later in season three, proving that
she’s really the best friend anyone could have, and showing up to prom last
minute? That’s the stuff bff’s are made of.

Anna was very much the sassiest, wise and no bullshit friend that Seth
needed, and at the end of the day the one they all needed.
Her parting line to Seth is so perfect and very quintessentially Anna that I
almost tear up thinking about it, (or because I just watched this scene) and
I feel like my Pisces moon is showing.

“Who knows maybe one day we’ll be perfect for each other?” While we
know that this doesn’t happen, (season three really got us, there, didn’t it?)

I’d like to believe in a world where that relationship probably would have
lasted longer than Summer and Seth’s. Also, my theory is that Seth is a
water sign and Anna is an earth sign (or maybe that’s just because I’m an
earth sign) and Summer is clearly a fire sign. So, in the long run Seth and
Summer’s relationship may not have worked out as well as Anna and
Seth’s relationship would have.

Anna Stern is the character that we don’t deserve and clearly the character
we didn’t get enough of in The O.C. Although it’s clear from the start that
Anna is “the outsider” to these California teenagers, the second she gets
introduced, she’s possibly even more of an outsider than Ryan, she still
finds her way into their group and of course into all of our hearts.

As talks of The O.C. being rebooted are surfacing, I would love to see more
of Anna if any of the original cast decides to come back. Would her and
Seth still be good friends? What about her and Summer? Would Seth and
Anna go on to create a comic book together and / or open a comic book
store together? Sounds like a good re-watch of The O.C. may be in order as
I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy this character, and this show. So, does
anyone got a DVD player I can borrow?

Again, thank you so much for writing this excellent article Reba! Follow her below!Instagram @rebajesse and Twitter - @rebajesse

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