"Welcome to the O.C., bitch!"
I caught my first episode of O.C. tonight. Part of it. I was eating dinner and it was on in the background, and enough latent buzz was ringing in my ears that I looked up from my laptop from time to time. For most of the episode, I was unimpressed and I couldn't even name many of the characters just five minutes later. But things took a turn for the better when the water polo-playing bully Luke started pounding the show's main character Ryan in a house where Ryan was hiding out. Luke was upset over some incident from the last episode and over a budding relationship between Ryan and Luke's girl whose name I never caught.
While fighting, they knocked over some candles and set the house on fire. Luke and his buddies started to flee as the flames erupted to the ceilings, but then Luke underwent a sudden change of heart and went back to pull Ryan out from the burning house. It was like the moment in Karate Kid when the bully Johnny hands Daniel the trophy at the end of the movie and congratulates Daniel on his victory. You realize that no kids are really cruel, just misguided. Taking things to another level, the two kids come back to the scene of the crime and both openly admit to having caused the fire which burned down the house. As the episode ended, the police were leading them off in a squad car.
It's the type of kitschy teenage drama which usually means a second season renewal. And it's set among the wealthy denizens of Orange County. All ratings-winning television teens lead lives which bear no resemblance to the lives of any normal, real-life teenagers.