I was a fan of The OC before it even premiered. Not by watching an early pilot release, but simply by being mesmerized by the previews. The shadowy figures on the beach, the bright orange. I didn’t know what it was about, but I was already hooked. I annoyed the hell out of Melissa, my then-girlfriend, as we were flailing about in a pool in The Valley. It was wonderful, I said, but it would be perfect if we were in The OC.
Then I watched the pilot. I was wholly, wholly disappointed. A main character that barely even talks? Feh. I had no interest. Months of anticipation for absolutely nothing. But that’s not how I work. The replayed the pilot twice. I hoped that somehow it would be better. It wasn’t. But I kept watching. The second episode, I liked a little more, other than an overly dramatic turn away that Ryan had in the model home. A couple more episodes and I was hooked.
As far as the first season went, there was an excellent blend of humor and gravitas. As the seasons went on, it got more self-referential, which bounced between funny and annoying. While I didn’t like every main character on the show, I believed them. For something to feel ‘real,’ it doesn’t need to be like your life or like anyone’s, per se. It just needs to feel like it could exist. And that’s what they did. They created a world. A world that can become engrossing, both visually and emotionally.
If you go to California, you won’t find “The OC.” Sure, you’ll find Orange County. You can even find the rich and elite. But their lives aren’t exactly like the show and the places that they’ve created only exist to an extent. And good luck finding the locations. It was filmed in Los Angeles County. And, of course, it was shot beautifully.
Beyond the first season, you can watch at your own peril. And if you get as emotionally invested in the characters as I did, you will. Second season definitely stands up, but it does have an increasing amount of the self-reference, which can turn people off to any number of series. Third season has some moments, but Volchok is an annoying character that is poorly acted, the first main character that I feel fits the bill of consistently “poorly acted”. Fourth is really for people who just can’t get enough. (Coming soon, my favorite episodes from the series.)
I still am a die-hard fan. I still call it my favorite show of all time. Sure, I like House, Life and The Wire a great deal, but none of them has ever made me bash the carpet with my fist going “Nooo!! NO!!!!” with a huge grin on my face. And no other show’s soundtrack is something that I occasionally avoid due to wanting to avoid the strong emotions that are associated with it.
As much as I’m still a fan, there are people that won’t let go to an even greater extent. Multiple people have gone so far as to create trailers and commercials for a non-existent 5th season. Another person made a trailer for a Pre Season 1 concept.
pm513 has gone so far as to create commercials for the whole made-up 5th season, as well as starting on the just as imaginary 6th. I may preach the gospel, but I’m not writing any Testaments or letters to the Ecclesiastes. Now that’s dedication.