By Rich Kane
By Joel Beers
By LP Hastings
By Dave Barton
By Patrice Wirth Marsters
By Erin DeWitt
By Taylor Hamby
By LP Hastings
As time marches on toward The Big Lesbo Kiss, Alex and Marissa exchange jewelry, Marissa snubs Caleb's lame attempts at fathering, Caleb snubs Lindsay's lame attempts at daughtering, three amigos Ryan, Seth and Zach brainstorm to create a comic book on a Jewboy with special powers struggling to fit in f'd-up Orange County, Summer watches boyfriend Zach slide over to the nerd side while gaining new respect for the torch Seth still carries for her, Julie's off camera "spa-ing" in Europe, Kirsten may as well be and Sandy receives confirmation the love of his life is dead moments before she walks in the door.
But the real star of tonight's episode? Ladies and gentlemen, your OC Weekly! Right after the first commercial break, Sandy is flipping through the back of a tabloid newspaper, searching for an office to rent for his new law practice. (You mean there are more than just escort ads and Savage Love back there? Who knew?) Sandy, kibitzing with Kirsten, then turns to the back cover and our usual Tilly's ad. After a couple close-ups on the player's faces, we cut to the original longer shot, only the mag's now right side up (methinks the Continuity Dept.'s on the pipe), exposing our Oct. 15, 2004, "Watching the Defectives" cover. Go ahead, check your TiVo, we'll wait. . . . Didja see it? No? Okay, like I said, it's right after the first commercial. Sandy's sitting at a table in their kitchen, reading a paper. . . . SEE?!? SEE?!? Oh. Try playing your TiVo backward at one-quarter speed. THERE, YOU HAD TO SEE IT THAT TIME!!! Well, trust me, it's there. I can't believe we had to sign a clearance form for a blink-of-the-eye cameo. Oh well: at least we get mentioned by name later in the same show.
Which leads to this painful announcement: This will be the final The O.C. Watch. Showing an OC Weekly cover (Didja see it? Go back to the scene right after the first commercial, the one where Sandy's sitting in the kitchen flipping through . . .) and by mentioning us by name proves that The O.C. has now, finally, officially jumped the shark. (For those who do not know what that means, visit www.jumptheshark.com). You see, they are a mainstream television teen soap opera and we are an alternative weekly newspaper, and while we agreed at first The O.C. was worth our mocking affections, it has become clear that we cannot be a participant in this charade. It's the whole not-caring-to-belong-to-a-club-that-would-have-us-as-a member thing (see Marx, Groucho. The Groucho Letters, 1967). It's the whole biting-the-hand-that-feeds-me thing (see Costello, Elvis. "Radio Radio," 1978). It's the whole staying-the-hell-away-from-any-real-or-perceived-association-with-Fox-tentacles thing. (Murdoch, Rupert. Reign of terror over OC Weekly's mothership, Village Voice, 1977-1985).
Now I know what most of you are saying: "Wethinks The O.C. Watch is on the pipe." But some are no doubt confused, convinced that The O.C. already jumped the shark in Season 2, Episode 8, when Sandy sang in The Bait Shop, or Season 1, Episode 14, when Ryan sprinted in slo-mo toward the Four Seasons penthouse suite to plant on New Year's Eve midnight kiss on Marrisa, or Season 1, Episode 1, during the opening theme song, where Phantom Planet's Alex Greenwald first blasted out the tortured "CAL-IFFF-FFFORN-YUHHHHHH, HERE WE CUUUUUUUUUUU-UUUHHH-UUUMMMMM."
Look, we're sure the hell not going to disagree. We're just looking for a dignified, convenient way to bow out. Now seems as good a time as any because, whenever it happened, The O.C. has assuredly, most definitely, climbed onto the back of Arthur Fonzarelli's motorcycle and cleared that shark tank.
The O.C., we wish you well in syndication.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOUR FINAL LINE OF THE WEEK: "According to the OC Weekly, he's pretty much everything's that wrong with western civilization all wrapped up into one guy." Lindsay to Ryan, on her dad Caleb.