It’s hard to explain it to people who don’t watch The O.C.. Yes, it is yet another teen-focused, soapish, hour of television in the spirit of 90210. It can take several episodes of near misses for two of the lead characters to lock lips and only five seconds for them to break-up in alarmingly predictable (mostly because it happened last week too) fashion. And sure, the lead tough-guy teen looks a bit too much like a Keebler Elf and some of the younger cast members seem to have a one expression fits all acting technique.
But there are some differences between The O.C. and its predecessors. It focuses as much on the adult story lines as it does on the teens. It is self-referencial and deprecating in only its first season (they’ve already poked fun at teen shows that feature stars in their twenties). It’s funny. Sometimes really funny. For a show of its ilk, unthinkably funny. The show’s writers seem to want to acknowledge that smart people enjoy slop as much as anyone else. And the theme song is rock solid.
Come on. This show has even managed to make Orange County Seem Hip.
One thing that the show has in common with those that came before it is that is still sort of embarrassing to admit you like it if you’re not a teenager. But I’ll take the risk. I may not, however, be willing to share the fact that I have an OC desktop pattern on my laptop.