Thursday, August 5, 2010


I didn't watch the pilot episode of "The O.C." when it premiered exactly seven years ago today. I vaguely remember seeing the commercials for this new FOX drama, something about a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, some sort of fight breaking out at a coming out party, and lots of teenagers. I'll admit, I didn't go seeking out this 90210-lookalike, despite the fact that the critics were already declaring it a winner.

It wasn't until about six months later that I started to take notice. I was spending the semester in England, and I specifically recall one of my fellow students, Joey, petitioning his housemates to come gather in the common rooms to watch this awesome new show. He swore that it was funny, and interesting, and we wouldn't regret it. And since Joey was one of the decidedly "cool" students, I had no choice but to believe this mysterious show to be "cool" as well. I settled down to watch, and was intrigued. Nearly every Sunday evening thereafter we'd all gather together to savor this small bit of American culture coming to visit us through the television set and remind us of home.

Upon returning to the states, my roommates and I kept the tradition alive by watching every episode togther, laughing at Seth's quick wit and sarcasm, feeling bad for the cards poor Ryan was consistantly dealt, aww-ing over the sweetness of Sandy and Kirsten's marriage, and maybe also yelling and throwing things at stupid Marissa.

I now find myself going back to the DVDs and feeling particularly nostalgic about those first few seasons that I watched in community. I feel so tied to the show and the characters; everything that happens comes with a wave of memories, both of what happened on the show and what was simultaneously happening in real life. Every character, every twist, and every storyline feels somehow weightier, more realistic, and more... SOMETHING because of its reminders of that period of time in my life.

I'd originally intended to use this space to write about why The O.C. really is a good show, no really, I'm being serious. I was going to talk about the vivid characters, self-aware storylines, and laugh out loud (lol, if you will) moments. I planned to talk about the genius of the show not only being a somewhat soapy teen drama, but also simultanesouly making fun of soapy teen dramas.

But I can't convince you to watch the show, or expect you to love it like I do. My personal biggest draw to this show is in its reminder of the days of watching it with my friends, sometimes screaming at the story developments, and creating inside jokes about the ridiculous fringe characters.

So here we are, seven years later. I find myself bizarrely grateful for... a television show, of all things. I'm delighted to find that The O.C. conjurs up more warm fuzzies and fond memories than I ever could have expected.

Here's a look at the start of the show that somehow got wrapped up in my own story:

1 comment:

dc said...

So good. So, so good.