The O.C. continues with episode two, ‘The Model Home,’ in which Kirsten and Sandy agree that Ryan cannot live with them any longer. He would be far better off, they decide, in foster care with other kids like himself. Ryan isn’t particularly thrilled with this idea, and in the middle of the night he attempts to sneak off. Thankfully, however, Seth catches him and convinces him not to leave town, but to hang out in one of his mother’s vacant model homes. Ryan agrees to this, and for the next day or two he, Seth, and Marissa spend time riding their bikes on the beach and hanging out together.
Honestly, I’ve got to say that those few minutes of this episode really made me envy the characters. It made me want to grab some of my own friends and catch a plane to California, just to have a little change of scene. To run around on the beach, to take a jetski out on the open ocean, to sit beneath a palm tree with a book or a journal…yeah, call me crazy, but when you live your life surrounded by cornfields and are 10+ hours away from any ocean, seeing balmy beaches like this can be extremely frustrating, especially when everyone appears to be having the time of their life. I have a similar experience whenever I listen to Yellowcard’s album Ocean Avenue. Why couldn’t I have just been born there…you know? While I may or may not feel differently if I had grown up near the ocean, The O.C. certainly manages to succeed in giving the illusion that everything is better—if not perfect—in places like Orange County.
Speaking of perfection. Am I the only one who’s noticed that there has not been a single unattractive person on this show so far? Everyone is just so flawless and well put together 24/7—literally! Even the parents are stylish and exceptionally attractive. They also, I might add, have been fortunate enough to look strikingly young for people in their mid 30s to early 40s…I don’t know what’s up with that. Maybe Katy Perry is right about California. Maybe there really is something in the water. Or maybe it’s simply due to the fact that Melinda Clarke (Julie) is only ten years older than Benjamin Mckenzie (Ryan) and Adam Brody (Seth) in real life. I will say one thing about that, though. Despite it being more than obvious that some of the actors on this show are closer in age than is intended to be portrayed, I cannot tell you what a relief it is (for me) to finally see a teen drama in which the parents have their own compelling storylines. In most of the teen dramas that I am familiar with, the adults are there simply to fulfill the role of parents or authority figures. They don’t have lives. Nothing exciting ever happens to them. I mean, they’re just parents, you know? Only cool stuff happens to teens. Totally…
I realize I could be very wrong in saying that most teen dramas are this way—I haven’t watched many teen dramas, to tell you the truth—but despite my limited experience I think I can safely say that The O.C. is quite refreshing in that aspect. For instance, right now Jimmy, Marissa’s father, is having some serious financial issues. By the looks of it, Jimmy is guilty of fraud; he has taken money from all of his close friends. He claims that he always intended on paying them back, but things have gotten out of hand, and right now he has absolutely no way of doing so. His wife Julie is all about money and prestige, and it seems very likely that she will leave him if she discovers this. Talk about a total mess. In addition, it looks like Jimmy might be very much in love with Kirsten, Seth’s mother. Apparently Jimmy dated Kirsten in high school, and it has been implied several times that Jimmy never really got over her. And when you stop and think about it, it kind of makes perfect sense. I mean, he did buy the house right next door to Kirsten and Sandy when he and Julie first moved to Orange County. Funny coincidence? I think not. Personally, I don’t think I would like living right next door to one of my ex-boyfriends, but Kirsten doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, she and Jimmy are still very good friends, so much so that she is willing to help Jimmy when he admits to her that he has no money. She generously gives him a loan of $100,000 dollars to help him pay off his debt, but it’s clear that his troubles are still far from over.
Unfortunately, the same can be said for Ryan. After some time it becomes evident to Marissa and Seth that he can’t hide out in Kirsten’s model home forever, and so Ryan announces that he is packing up and leaving the next morning. Marissa is upset at hearing this, but Ryan insists that she is much better off without him. Heartbroken, Marissa leaves in tears. Little does she know that her boy Luke sees her as she is leaving.
Now I realize that Luke is hated amongst many O.C. fans, and I can understand why that is. The guy, to put it bluntly, is an ass. That being said, I am going to jump off the bandwagon for a moment to say that I get why he’s being such an ass. Some random guy just waltzed into town and started hanging out with his girl. I think he’s got every right to be ticked off. I’ll be honest, though, what really made me start to sympathize with Luke was when he and a bunch of his buddies came to the model home to confront Ryan. They initially intended on beating the crap out of him, and they did do that, but in the process someone accidentally knocked over a torch and set the entire house on fire. Luke and his buddies fled, leaving Ryan behind, but at the last minute Luke stopped, turned around, and came back to help Ryan. Up until this moment we thought there was next to nothing redeemable about Luke’s character, but now that we know that that isn’t true…well, I think that earns the guy a little sympathy. Jocks have feelings too, guys.
Anyway, when Kirsten hears that one of her model homes has burned down she is very upset, and even more so when she discovers that Ryan and Luke were both involved. She doesn’t press charges, though both boys are arrested. Unfortunately, Ryan seems to be the type of guy who is in the wrong place at the wrong time—a lot. Once again, I think Luke should be given a little credit for stepping up and doing the right thing, though. I mean, he could have just left Ryan there. I wonder what will happen between these two, now that this has occurred. Could this be a budding bromance, perhaps? Ha. Just kidding. I’m definitely not going to go that far…yet.
Keep your eyes open for episode three, ‘The Gamble.’ I know that I originally said I would do four episodes a week, but I appear to have overestimated my amount of free time this summer, and therefore will be recapping two episodes a week. Expect to see them every Monday and Thursday, as originally stated. Thanks for reading, guys! I’m so glad to see that there are lots of O.C. fans still out there!
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Tags: The O.C.