Even The O.C. reruns have jumped the shark, for me (and I blame this on SoapNet)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/12/27 10:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/12/27/6873622.aspx

If you have never seen The O.C. then this post will be entirely useless to you....

So yesterday was one of those weird days, when SoapNet decided to show the series finale of The O.C. (The End's Not Near, It's Here) at 3pm and the series pilot at 4pm.

It is hard to get over the contrast.

The O.C. was a very strange experience for me, going from a wonderful show in its Golden age (the first season) to a good show with a strong flavor of its former glory in its Silver age (the second season) to an okay show with an occasional glimpse of what was in its Bronze age (the third season) to an Are Ya Kidding Me? what-the-hell clusterfuck of craziness that was simply never going to recover in its final season.

Somehow it is stranger when it is two episodes a day, perhaps proof that shows with just four seasons to draw on would not be on twice a day, even on SoapNet.

But I haven't really been following the reruns in this last run so watching the series finale was kind of a culture shock for me, because I kind of realized something.

It is not that the last season was bad compared to what is on television in general; it is just bad compared to itself, or more accurately what it once was.

And then compared to the first show, with Marissa Cooper's Who are you? and Ryan's answer around his just-lit cigarette Whoever you want me to be, I suddenly realized that if not for the contrast I could probably have gotten the hang of all the weirdnesses, from Ryan beating people up and getting beaten up gratis to Summer not caring about personal hygiene to Julie's tilt-a-whirl Dr. Roberts/Frank/Bullit merry-go-fun to Ryan sleeping with Seth's dysfunctional rejects (Taylor), and so on.

I could go on but between the spiritual exhaustion and the moral despair of comparing that to Luke's Welcome to The O.C., bitch! and Ryan's You know what I like about rich kids? {punch} Nothing! to Kirsten's shocker (after walking in on Ryan and Marissa making out) Sorry. It never happened with Seth to Summer's Chino? Ewww! to Marissa's You have no idea and so on and so on and I could go on way too long on this (and these ar all from memory!), and I realized there is if nothing else one very good thing about the way The O.C. died.

It was painful, sure. But it was mercifully quick.

It seemed like it took forever, sure. But compare that to multiple seasons of Dawson's Creek or Beverly Hills 90210 or Melrose Place that dragged on way past their usefulness -- not just most of a season but on and on for several years of that, with no one even really aware that there was a problem with the whole world they were in.

I miss The O.C., but you can't really go back, even in reruns. Not like you can when you accidentally flip the channel to some random episode of Star Trek, or to point put a more mediocre show like a random episode of Dallas.

You simply can't there from here.

Especially butted up against the series finale in the same day. That is as close to soap opera sacrilege as one can get....


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