on 19 April 2006
Thinking of buying this boxed set for a friend, I was immediately struck by the two (identical) one-star reviews at the very top of the list, written by an incomprehensibly enraged 'viewer' who condemned the OC as shallow, badly acted trash before grandly predicting a second Wall Street Crash as a symptom of modern society- and all this from someone who, amongst other things, spelt 'lobotomy' with an 'a'.
I'm writing this, then, for two reasons; firstly to encourage prospective buyers not to be put off and to give it a go, but also because I seriously do enjoy the series.
The OC is described on the official review as 'edgy', a term which sums it up well; it may be set in the materialistic, artificially beautiful world of Orange County, but a more than desultory flick across channels makes it clear that this is completely self-aware. The OC is a show about outsiders. Revolving around Ryan, a resented lower-class arrival into the community,and Seth, a geek despised for not fitting in, the mere fact that the series was written by Josh Schwartz,(who in his teen years suffered bullying in Orange County) should make it clear that while it may take us into the homes and stories of beatified, trivial rich kids, it is far from celebrating them. It will not be too much of a spoiler, hopefully, to say that Marissa, who with her water-polo playing boyfriend fits initially fairly well into the 'rich kid' category, finds that when her desperate attempts to break away from the Orange County tight social circle lead to emotional disaster; society is unwilling to let go of her, a beautiful 'rich kid', as much as it is the customary outsiders.
I could say more but hope I've made some case for the OC. If further evidence of its edgy intelligence over real soaps (and many British ones in particular) is needed, just look both at the unknown yet interesting indie singers found for every episode(their appearance contributed hugely to the Killer's success) and the post-modern banter between the two male leads. The OC is a treat for the mind and frequently the tear ducts as well; whether on TV or DVD, don't let pseudo-intellectual moaners spoil your fun.
The story of a delinquent who finds himself living in wealthy Newport Beach, California, is fun to watch over and over. We can again meet Chino bad boy Ryan (Benjamin Mackenzie) and follow him as he is rescued from jail by his attorney, Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) and becomes part of his family. Wife Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) isn't sure she wants the brooding boy near her son Seth (Adam Brody), who is the quintessential comic book geek. And then there are the girls: Moody Marissa (Mischa Barton), Seth's secret crush Summer (Rachel Bilson), and spunky Theresa from Chino. Marissa's troubled parents and Kirsten's parents have their share of drama, too, and who could forget Luke or Haylie. It's simply the best season of the show, with the most memorable one-liners. Who can forget Summer's first "Ewww!" or Luke's "welcome" speech to Ryan.
Teens like the show for the trendy music and fashions, while people over 20 consider it a guilty pleasure; it certainly is deliciously decadent, romantic, funny, shocking, and, of course, luxuriantly beautiful. The secret lives of the fabulously rich Newpsies contrast nicely with the outsider's two-fisted approach to life, until he realizes they're not so different after all. Season One has all the angst of high school junior year, as well as the social and financial machinations of the middle-agers. The action all revolves around Ryan, sensitively played by Mackenzie, and the loving Cohen family, with the wonderful Peter Gallagher anchoring it all as the kindly and wise dad. Creator Josh Schwartz has made fascinating characters and an addictive story line. Extras are few; there are no bloopers or commentary, but it's still a terrific DVD set that will satisfy your craving for all things O.C.
on 29 December 2004
People everywhere have been talking about the OC, and I never really gave it a chance. But after receiving the box set as a Christmas present, and having watched the whole of the first season in a span of no less than 3 days, I can confirm that all the hype is necessary. I have never watched anything so gripping, dramatic and unpredictable as the OC. The plot is so engrossing and addictive, it's almost impossible to stop watching. There is comedy, as well as tragedy. You will be shocked by many of the intense revelations and it'll have you both laughing and crying. The balance between the two is what makes the OC particularly special.
The OC has it all. The overlapping storylines include relationship problems, covering themes like jealousy, infidelity and heartbreak, as well as the development of other relationships and friendships, with the odd punch-up or cat fight in between. The introduction of new characters keep the flow of story interesting and there is always something new going on. It never gets boring.
Entertaining, full of surprises, with an amazingly talented cast, 18 hours of television masterpiece. What more could you ask for?
Bring on Season 2!
on 26 October 2004
I was counting down the days until this DVD came out and now I finally have it! Anyone who has seen the OC will understand why it is such a good show, but for those who haven't, I will explain why it's a must have DVD!!
It's essentially about a young kid named Ryan who is chucked out by his mother and brought into the home of his lawyer, Sandy Cohen. But it's not any old home. Sandy lives in Newport, an incredibly superficial world full of the rich and the beautiful; the complete opposite of his home town Chino.
The series follows Ryan as he starts a new life living with Sandy, his wife Kirsten and their son Seth. Seth is the dorky but adorable one who doesn't quite fit in. He loves sailing and comic books and doesn't really have any friends until Ryan comes along. Nextdoor neighbour Marissa appears to have the perfect life but her Dad goes and ruins all that!
We learn how Seth has been in love with Marissa's best friend Summer for years and years, but she doesn't even know who he is. (He named his boat "Summer Breeze" after her) That soon changes as the super popular Summer falls for geeky Seth. Oh dear, what will that do to her reputation?!
Other important younger characters include Marissa's boyfriend and then ex-boyfriend Luke, Marissa's therapy buddy and all round weirdo Oliver, Seth's other lady Anna, and Kirsten's sister Hailey.
Although the OC is largely a teen drama, the parents have just as big a part as the youngsters. Sandy's wife Kirsten, Marissa's parents Jimmy and Julie not forgetting Kirsten's father Caleb, the scheming and manipulative businessman.
There's not a bad or boring episode in this series. Every episode is so witty and the sarcasm from characters such as Seth is hilarious. The writing is slick and the only wooden actor is Paris Hilton who pops up in one of the later episodes.
Even if you've already seen the OC on TV its worth getting the DVD for the extras. The casting of the OC featurette and season 2 preview are particularly good. The deleted scenes are fun to see and the commentary of the first episode from the creator and one of the producers is interesting to hear.
If you watched the show first on C4 like I did, you may have noticed certain scenes were cut short as it was pre-watershed. The DVD contains the un-edited version. (I don't have E4 so I don't know whether they edit it or not!)
Even if you can't afford it now, you can always pop it on your Christmas list!
on 1 December 2004
On the face of it, this box set looks rather expensive, but it does comprise seven DVDs and a monster 27 episodes, running to over 18 hours. Suddenly it looks rather better value! And, of course, the OC is great. Let's be honest, it's not rocket science. It isn't even Six Feet Under. But it's a fun, well crafted drama with some good performances (especially Benjamin McKenzie and Adam Brody), great locations, good soundtrack (apart from the title music, which is pretty lame), and some enjoyable storylines, most of which revolve around teen angst, young love and the dysfunctional modern family. I'd say the OC falls into the category of lavish escapism. Think Beverly Hills 90210 but with better dialogue and a bigger production budget. Oh, and more fully developed characters. 99.9% of us don't live like the Cohens or the Coopers, but that's the point: when you're sitting at home, listening to the rain drumming on the windows, with the heating up high, it's great to escape to Orange County, where the sun always shines, everyone's buff (especially Mischa Barton's Marissa), and the token poor kid, around whom the story revolves, is an SAT whiz who looks like a toned Russell Crowe. It isn't Dostoevsky, but for enjoyable human drama and a touch of OTT the OC gets my vote.
on 29 March 2005
WOW! Oh my god how brillant is the OC. I definately recommend to everyone that you buy this boxset it is worth every penny. As soon as you see the first episode of this fantastic show I can promise you will be hooked not only on the huge storylines but also on the fitness of ben and adam.
I am a massive OC fan and couldn't wait for the second season. But to feed my appetite of this great show while I had to wait for the second season to air I watched the first season over and over again.I can honestly say this show is one of the best shows around and you never get bored of watching the episodes again and again.
The storylines have a purpose and the fact that the show is based on the trials and tribulations of teenage life and love just helps you relate to the characters and love them even more.The show has a brilliant cast and every episode you are left wanting to know whats going to happen next.
Anyone without the OC boxset does not know what they are missing. You may look at the price and be left thinking is it worth it but with 7 discs and a massive 27 incredible episodes plus all those special features I would say this is definately money well spent and I am just waiting fo the awesome second season to be released.
on 3 September 2006
This Season is the best of them all..Season 2 can't even compare..The story of Ryan..who is taken in by his lawyer, Sandy Cohen..from a horrible home life in Chino, to the rich and glamourous Orange County with one of the richest familys there. The show revolves around 3 main couples - Kirsten & Sandy, (Seth's Mum and Dad) The couple with the rock solid marriage ready to take on whatever life throws at them..They have a great relationship with each other, and with Seth, and Ryan. Then theres Ryan and Marissa, who don't get together until Luke (Marissa's long term boyfriend) gets caught, and Ryan steps in after months of flirting between the two. Then finally, there are Seth and Summer..the weirdest pair you will come acros, Summer, a popular girl, & Seth..a total geek. Seth has loved Summer for mayn years, but Summer has sikmply mocked and ignored him..until she finds out what hes really like.
So many more twists and turns happen than what i've described..this is a truly fantastic start to the very popular show The OC. This is a great buy and WELL worth your money.
Hope this review was helpful =)
on 23 February 2005
My husband and I LOVE this show, and it's a bit surreal watching it because we both grew up here in Orange County. The second season is even better than the first so far, but I only WISH we could go right down to the Balboa pier and see gigs like The Thrills or Modest Mouse, The Killers, etc. Oh well, LOL, it's all about suspending belief, I guess.
It's always cool when the characters go to all the familiar places, like South Coast Plaza (the BEST mall), or read our local newspaper, The Orange County Register. You can visit a lot of the places they go to or mention. It's a blast to live here, and they pretty much capture the spirit of O.C. on the show. And Newport Beach is as posh as you think, with gated communities and beautiful homes with infinity pools. But there's also a rich, cultural side to O.C. that exists in cities like Westminster and Santa Ana. By the way, they bag on the Inland Empire a lot on the show (Ryan's from Chino, Julie Cooper's from Riverside), but what the I.E. lacks in moneyed splendor, it gains in a kind of urban, multi-cultural hipness not unlike what you'd find in L.A.
As for the show, the second season totally rules. Marissa begins a relationship that I hope endures for a little while, and is not just written into the show for shock. A little tension takes place between Seth and Summer (I love her!), Julie Cooper's as deliciously evil as ever, relationships are rocked by big-time scandals, and some major bands make appearances (see above). The soundtrack is still stellar, the writing just as clever. This is the best teen soap to come around since my generation's 90210. Surpasses it, really.
on 21 December 2004
I gave this show a try on a wet sunday afternoon and was hooked. Don't be fooled into thinking this is just another teen show. The adults have just as big a role in the stories as the teens and this dynamic gives the show a superb balance. I have never seen a better example of perfect casting as with The O.C. - everyone works well together and the chemistry is undeniable. The same goes for the music. This show contains great tunes and they play expertly with the characters thoughts as well as the visuals.
There isn't an ounce of fat in the entire season, just great storytelling in as little time as is possible-nothing is dragged out for the sake of it.
Just wait for "The Countdown" episode for flawless T.V. - funny, nail-biting,touching & moving - the ending is jawdropping. much like the rest of this extraordinary show.
on 12 April 2005
Sunday nights were boring with everyone dreading the thought of work or school the next day with an early start and then came the OC. I started watching it with not much expectation just thinking that american teen shows are an easy watch but from the moment The OC started I never looked back, I was captivated from the word GO. The acting was brilliant and the storylines like nothing I'd ever seen before I was a loyal fan from then on. I now never miss an episode and sad as it is to admit it i have a little obsession with this show. Season 1 DVDs were a must buy for me so much so I had them pre-ordered 2 months early and when they arrived I didn't emerge from my room until all the episodes had been watched - especially the ones that had yet to be shown on television. The extras are great and you really get to see why the show is so special and unique. Every episode is so funny, sad and sweet with the music in a league of its own. I eagerly await the season 2 DVDs. Buy the DVDs you will not regret it,well maybe just the fact that you can't get Phantom Planet's California out of your head. In my opinion one of the best shows to grace our TV screens in such a long time. Long live the OC