24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Pretentious title? Not so. The final season of the OC flows seamlessly between comedy, drama, romance with intelligent cohesive writing and fluidity. The show went 'back to the beginning' to the originality and vibrancy that once made it so enjoyable. This final return to form came after a string of asinine storylines mainly those of season 2 & 3 where more often than not the dowdy Marissa was at the centre and causation of the conflict. After said characters death in the season 3 finale the show was finally able to progress the narrative forward and deliver one of the greatest seasons of romantic comedic television in years.
The OC was at its creative height in the first season; here the final chapter closes the door in a remarkable flurry of quirky, nostalgic and romantic episodes. I have always been of the opinion that this show worked better as a romantic comedy and with much gratification this strength was put to appropriate use this year. The OC never worked as a serious drama henceforth this season sought to fix that issue and consequently delivers numerable episodes which can be easily considered some of the strongest of the entire series. Please ignore the disparaging reviews there is absolutely nothing wrong with season 4 (unless one is a Marissa fan) it is about as flawless as a narrative in this medium can be. Even though losing a favourite character is difficult one cannot deny that there is little fault in such a funny and innovative season of television such as this.
The new-ish characters, namely Taylor Townsend et al. and the new relationships formed this season really drive forward the considerably shorter run of episodes (16 in fact) in a way one has not seen since the beginning. Autumn Reeser, an incredibly nuanced actress, is quite the revelation as she steals almost every scene she appears in. Having said that without giving away any plot points Taylor and her new love interest couldn't have more electric and beautiful chemistry; the romance in season 4 was poetically handled all round with humour and wit, something that has been in deprivation previously. Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson prove they can still be one of the only couples on television that are actually more fun together than apart; Ben McKenzie absolutely shines this season and Ryan has a wonderfully realized character arc that assumes the focus of the story as it should. One can really tell the actor was enjoying himself this year.
The series finale is moving, poignant and I freely admit to blubbing my way through much of the entirety of this season, the finale being no different. But never fear there is plenty of sqeeing like fangirl to be had too :)! A thoroughly enjoyable run of episodes in a series that was sadly cut short. But thankful for small mercies the OC went out in a blaze of glory not to mention a creative high. The final episode acts as a rewarding payoff for both long and short term fans with a healthy dose of irony and melancholy the sun finally sets on the OC as we flash forward several years in the future to revisit our favourite characters. The finale could not have been more fitting; the last scenes might just stand as the most perfect 10 minutes of the entire series as the story comes full circle. So why watch this season? If you want funny situations, tongue in cheek dialogue, romance abounds and the haunting tribute to characters past watch the season that had critics everywhere praising it's creative choices and led to so many old fans returning. Watch and judge for yourself, no one can quibble at the quality of the writing.
So that's it. The end of an era. The OC it's been an interesting and (at times) irritating ride but I wouldn't take back any of it, not one single second. Redemption was had in the end, season 4. The perfect way to say goodbye to a transcendent show.
Highlight episodes include: The Ends Not Near, It's Here, The Shake Up, The Metamorphosis, The Sleeping Beauty and The Chrismukk-huh?
106 of 118 people found the following review helpful
I've noticed a glut of bad reviews on Amazon regarding The OC Season 4, so I saw fit to write a review myself. This time, my fellow OC fans, I will bring you the truth.
The shiny truth. You see, Season 4 of The OC set everything right with the series, and left it in a semi-ironic haze of romantic comedy and glorious characters. It was bloody brilliant.
I was there for it all, my friends. I started watching The OC in March 2004, right from the start. I was in school, then, wearing a uniform and loving school like everyone else. So were the characters. Bright hopes about university, the future...all that crap.
Anyway, on April 24th 2007(the day before my birthday, no less), I sat and watched the last episode of The OC along with all the fans who undestood the show and the characters as well as I did. By this point, I was a journalist. I'd moved out, I gave up on University and found myself in a different place to when I started, and The OC Season 4 saw the characters doing exactly the same thing. We've come so far since it started, us fans, that you just wonder how life becomes such an insane blur.
Ryan starts the season in a tough place. We all know what happened with Mischa Barton in Season 3, and I could see why people were dropping away from the show. It was an extraordinarily long season at 27 episodes, which actually made the year longer than any other US show on air(including Lost and Desperate Housewives). The on-off romances were getting stale(even Josh Schwartz, creator of The OC, said that the notorious "Johnny " storyline was the one he would've taken back), the Kirsten alcoholic story was a mess and it felt without real direction.
Then, suddenly, everything was perfect. Season 3 still has a lot of good qualities; the gorgeous-yet-illegal Willa Holland was a spicy version of Kaitlin, Marissa's sister, and the brilliant Taylor Townsend(Autumn Reeser( suddenly gave the whole thing new energy. As well as that, 2006's season left us with the characters we still loved. They were funny, well-acted and you felt as if you knew them. For me, a viewer of TONS of diverse television shows, I believe that Seth, Ryan, Sandy, Kirsten, Summer et al are literally the best characters to ever grace television. They feel like a wider family, in a way, and knowing the show was cancelled was killer.
And what did I see on here? Idiots. Idiots saying that the departure of Mischa Barton ruined everything. As someone who actually knows The OC, and realised that Mischa was the only one of the magic four who couldn't act, I came up with two magical words for negative reviews of this season: "Get out".
So there it is. Get out. All the stuff that made season 3 shine is included here, with Taylor and Kaitlin joining the cast. Thank God. Literally the most beautiful set of women ever, most of them end up living in Dr Roberts' house, who sees his role in this season reduced to a minor, if brilliant attack on Grey's Anatomy.
All the characters react to Marissa's death differently. At first, this seems to be the thrust of the series in a dark way, but as soon as Summer finds Taylor in her Brown College dorm, you know the tone is going to be a little less melodramatic.
It's still there, though. One favourite moment of mine is in the first episode, which finds Ryan cage-fighting every night at a distance from the Cohen's. A brilliant cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill"(by Placebo) is played over the top of his final fight there. I won't say what happens, but there's one perfectly dramatic shot in that episode that they couldn't show on TV. It's brutal, it's iconic, and I love it.
Rather than telling you about what happens in the series(I reckon you already know, and you want to read something by someone who loves The OC to bits. Here I am), I'd rather just tell you how good it is, and how it fits into the scheme of things.
Obviously, this is the last year. If you've already got the first three sets, get this one without question. It's only 16 episodes long, but thanks to some cracking stories and perfect dialogue, it's easily The OC's best since season 1. When Marissa dies, so did all of the show's baggage and hang-ups.
Just to dispel a myth, though: The OC's viewing figures had already sunk to their final levels before Mischa Barton left. They were already at 4 million, and they never changed. She meant little!
Anyway, Taylor does enough to put Marissa to shame. Funny, beautiful and feisty, some of the episodes on offer here will just blow your mind. It's so energetic, especially when you factor in some of the crazy that they have going down.
I'm not spoiling it, though. "The Summer Bummer", "The Avengers", "The Chrismukkah-huh?" and "The End's Not Near, It's Here" are the best episodes.
Speaking of which, how is that last episode?
Best hour of television, ever. The last five minutes sum up everything.
When Ryan walks through the house...all the memories come flooding back. Good times.
And now it's gone; but remembered forever. Screw the critics who wrote it off as a mere soap opera; this season is tighter than God. Fantastic.
A complete boxset is on its way this year, though, so bear that in mind when you think of buying the season. It's a reasonable price, however. A very reasonable price...
Anyway, I said my part. This truly is TV at its best, and I'm glad it ended on such a high. Great in every way, and now it's time to move on...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2011
I have enjoyed the previous three seasons of the OC but I had mixed feelings about where the final season would go without one of the four main characters. Although I enjoyed OC4 I felt like there was something missing (and not just Marissa). I was never a die-hard Marissa fan but the show just felt like it was trying too hard in her absence. The arrival of new characters and romances kept the storylines fresh but at times were a bit too comical - there's spirit animals, cagefighting, marriage and divorce just to name a few! There is more emphasis on neurotic Taylor this season but her [spoiler] romance with Ryan just feels a bit, well, wrong. I was a tad disappointed that Anna wasn't in this season, especially after she appeared at Brown in season 3. She would have made a great addition in OC4. This season is definitely different and worth a watch even if it's just to see what happens next but it is much shorter at only 16 episodes. If you are hoping for something like the previous three seasons you may find yourself disappointed with OC4.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2008
The OC, season 4 - I think I have to agree with some of the sentiments on here that season 4 was the best since the first season, and I do think that's largely due to the departure of Marissa, but not necessarily Mischa Barton. I think Barton is a great actress and have liked her for years, however the character of Marissa seemed to be stuck in a rut and going nowhere, so getting rid of her helped the show a lot. It's such a huge shame the show was cancelled after season 4 because I thought it had found itself again with the introduction of Kaitlyn and Taylor - they should have a least given them a full season to explore the new characters and relationships properly, because I think it might have saved the show in the end and it could have carried on. Summer is still without a doubt my favourite character, and had been since season one, and I still found Seth to be as annoying as ever.... All in all though, this is a DVD set worth buying if you're an OC fan. :)
Oh, and while I think about it - one pet peeve I always had about the OC was that they didn't explore Summer's "anger blackouts" in more detail, I think that would have made a good story arc for her character.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2007
Ok So we all knew that it was cancelled after this season before it begun. Then it got chopped down to 16 episodes!
Still despite some quite obvious quick re-writes to cover what was to be shown in the missing 6/7 episodes that were cut this season was brilliant, the best since Season 1 by miles.
Firstly no moany Marissa. Thankfully she died in Season 3 and took her negativity with her. Season 4 starts off showing the residents of Orange County Coping with her death, Summer at Uni, Taylor in Paris (AND MARRIED), Seth Working until he goes off to uni, Julie going mad, Caitlin moving to Harbour and the Cohens worried for Ryan who is working in a bar and cage fighting. The show moves 6months pasat Marissa Death, the one error I feel they made this season was not showing the funeral, I really would have liked to have seen them all at a funeral,even if it was just before the first episode opening credits. Anyway.
This season sees Taylor come to the forefront, be part of the foursome, and becomes Ryans Love interest. At first I was wary, surely that wouldn't make sense. But it did. Much moreso than Ryan and Marissa ever did. Taylor was hilarious, she really shone through this season, constantly funny, but at the same time completely believeable, her best moments I thought were the Earthquake and the Chrismukk-huh (Possibly the best episode of the OC Ever)
Caitlin also came to the forefront, another thing i was against when I first heard but all the problems I had with her in season 3 were gone. She was a great character, got on with Julie (the best Character in the show, something Marissa never even tried to do) yet still have an on/off relationship with her, showing herself to be much like her mother, but mainly just the good traits along with some bad ones of her own. Willa Holland is great this series, especially when Bullit arrives on the scene.
Finally she has a father figure and has to set up Bullit(Who is absolutely hilarious also, I hated him at first but grew to love him and now he is a favourite character of mine) with Julie because she sees him as being a great father. It is especially touching when she realises she likes being around him because he is like a father, not because of his money.
There is another new character in this series but to say who it is would ruin the surprise but it is quite shocking at first and dramatic but fits in well with the series.
The old favourites are still brilliant, Kirsten gets Pregnant, Julie falls in love, almost gets married, falls pregnant, runs a prostitution ring, falls for a man, and his father, finds another rich older man but most importantly forms a good relationship with her Daughter. Ryan helps taylor get divorced and then falls for her.Seth and summer are as strong as ever despite a possible threat from Che who is at Brown with Summer, Summer becomes a political activist whilst at college. There is an Earthquake which covers two episodes and is done brilliantly but it is the finale that makes this series a must own.
Due to the episode cut, the finale takes place months after the Earthquake. The Cohens are living with Julie, Seth and Summer are recluses, Taylor is back in France. Bullit and Julie are about to be Wed. Kirsten is due any day and the Cohen House has been condemned. What follows is brilliant, quite unbelieveable but then again the OC has never been 100% lifelike all the time. Let your imagination expand just a little(Its not aliens or anything like that, just some coincidences) and trust me you will agree it is the best season finale for a show EVER. There is a brilliant scene with Julie and Summer, that is the only real mention of Marissa since about episode 6 but it is so touching, Julie giving Summer advice about not settling for comfortable and making the mistakes Julie did were the saddest part for me. Then we get a flash forward a few years and see some great moments. Some made me want to cry (julies end moment was brilliant, I was so proud of her and happy, go Team Julie) and some just made me feel happy inside (Seths, Summers and Sandys)
Overall after the absolutely amazing Season 1, poor Season 2 and Patchy Season 3, Season 4 was a step in the right direction, back to the brilliant drama, laugh out loud comedy and great acting that The OC was founded on. Makes me wish Mischa had left a year or two earlier rather than killing the show, then it wouldn't have been cancelled.
The fourth and final season opens with two very grim episodes showing the aftermath of Marissa's death. Then, however, it's hilarity all the way as romances bloom for young and old and the series concludes with happily-ever-afters for everyone.
In his commentary, the show's creator labeled this season "broad, romantic comedy," but for me, it was just ludicrous. The plot lines were dumber and crazier than anything in Seth's 'Atomic County' comic book. I think the writers knew the show was cancelled and decided to drop any pretense at serious drama and go for cartoon laughs. Taylor Townsend had no redeeming qualities, yet she became a leading character and love interest for Ryan, who lost his noble and heroic edge. Summer became a silly activist and acted like Seth's squabbling sibling. Julie became entangled with a buffoon billionaire and Ryan's once-loathsome-now-good-guy father, and her suddenly-15-year old daughter Kaitlin went from unlikable delinquent to selfless daughter and true friend.
It's all too much and insulting to loyal fans who loved the show since it's wonderful first season. They should have stopped after Mischa Barton left; the show was pointless without her. There are only 16 episodes in this set and limited extras.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2009
I bought this item for a friend of mine who is mad on the O.C, she loved it and whats more I bought a used copy to save money during these hard financial times and found it to be in absolutely perfect condition. My friend tells me that it is faultless and exactly what you would expect for your lolly if you had paid full price..Extremely pleased will definately purchase again.
This box set presents the sixteen episodes of the fourth and final season of The OC. For me, after watching and loving the first three seasons, this one felt a little strange as it is almost like watching a different show. Gone is the light hearted humour to be replaced in the initial episodes by a much darker experience. This is to be expected as the characters grieve and move past the death of Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton).
Season four was always going to be a challenge as they had to juggle the diverging lives of the kids once they left school. On the whole I think it works but at times it feels forced and the humour for me loses a lot of its sting. For example Summer's college friend Che just doesn't work and the dream sequences just seem a little daft.
If you have watched and enjoyed the first three seasons, then you'll want to buy this and will almost certainly enjoy it - it's just very different. If you haven't seen the first three then go and watch those first as this season doesn't show what made The OC the great show that it was.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2008
Maybe one of the best of the 4 seasons. Ends brilliantly. Some parts left me completly shocked! As amazing as it always was!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2007
It finally arrived after long speculation about Th O.c's falling ratings. I myself though hate the fact that it ended. This series rounded everything off in a way which wasnt very fitting to the show. The last few episodes were too rushed as everything happened in the last five minutes!! But alas this season has some of the best episodes for comedy such as when Taylor acts as Ryans sleep therapist!! But if your an O.C fan like myself then you would have already pre-ordered it if not then do so now!!