The O.C hits borderline

Francis Burns

Orange County is a little sour according to Fox’s new show “The O.C.” A one-hour drama similar to “Melrose Place” meets “Beverly Hills 90210.” Initially, we find our hero, Ryan, in lock-up awaiting a hearing after he and the resident pretty boy, Luke got into a scuffle over the girl next door.

The result of that was a fire, which burned down a housing development. To add insult to injury, the development belongs to none other that the mother of Seth. Needless to say, mommy’s company drops all the charges and all the rich brats think Luke is just darling, while Ryan is the terror of O.C. and deserves whatever nasty fate befalls him.

Enter Sandy, Seth’s father and do-gooder lawyer type. Sandy tells our hero that he must wait 30-60 days for a hearing because the poor boy has no legal guardian, it seems his mother’s run off. Seth, best buddy that he is, is busy trying to convince mommy (Kirsten) and daddy (Sandy) to take the poor wayward boy from Chino in.

Of course, after taking a visit to the prison, Kirsten takes him home. All of a sudden, Dawn, our full-bodied trailer trash mom, shows up and embarrasses herself and the whole clan by toppling a waiter and ranting in front of the whole crowd of underfed beautiful. As Ryan’s mom attempts to take her not so graceful final exit the next morning, she is confronted by Kirsten, and her little bleeding heart story moves Kirsten to embrace Ryan as the son she never wanted and so, in three episodes, our hero goes from rags to riches.

Despite itself, this show seems to work. The malnourished, over-pretty cast is tolerable, and sometimes even likable. Story-wise we find the old favorite ‘fish out of water’ seems to work. We love to hate the Barbie coven. Their leader, Julie, whose husband happens to be an old flame of Kirsten’s, is particularly despicable. I suppose it’s worth an hour on Tuesday night if you’re staying in anyway.

But there seems to be a little controversy surrounding this latest installment in teen drama. I’ll admit that the portrayal of Orange County is relatively one dimensional, but hey, it’s a prime time soap opera, who cares? I mean, really. Is the staff of Johns Hopkins up in arms about ER? Heck, I think there is, or was, a show that took place at that specific hospital, but I could be wrong. Either way, it doesn’t really matter how this show portrays Orange County. Keep in mind, its just TV, guys.