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Desperate Measures For Orange County
on 9 September 2006
Season 1 catapulted The OC into the history books, and Season 2 was an under-rated follow-up. But in Season 3 you get the feeling that the producers are scraping the bottom of the barrel to create storylines we can relate to or care about. Realism was never what The OC did best, but in Season 3 the boundaries are pushed and even Bad Girls can be said to be as realistic as this 25-episode marathon which shows all the signs of a show nearing its expiry date; which is a shame because the brilliance of the first two series' showed promise for The OC to become a long-term installment in TV schedules.
The season isn't without its plus points. Rachel Bilson's Summer continues to be the quirky, funny, attractive counter to Mischa Barton's Marissa, who for some strange reason turns to the dark side. Adam Brody's Seth continues to hold up his smart sense of wit but at times it's a bit too much, and Kelly Rowan, Melinda Clarke, and Peter Gallagher continue to give spectacular performances as Kirsten, Julie and Sandy respectively. On the down-side, Ben McKenzie's Ryan is even more wooden than before, and the insinuation that we're supposed to interpret the stunningly sexy Taylor as a Billy-No-Mates is asking alot.
Giving the characters so much drama means they reach their expiry date too soon, so keeping additional characters like Season 2's Zach, Lindsay and Alex could have given the show a bit more mileage. How much more can they do with Seth and Summer's relationship? Or Kirsten and Sandy's marriage? Apparently the producer has promised a "complete re-invention" of the show for Season 4 - if he doesn't deliver, the end of The OC could be upon us.