You can tell a lot about a show from one episode.
The O.C. (2003-2007) is a high budget teen soap opera set in wealthy Orange County, California. In spite/because of its ridiculousness, this series is very popular. I enjoy mocking bad tv while secretly enjoying it, so I watched (most of) an episode.
Unfortunately, The O.C.’s terribleness baffles rather than amuses me. The choppy editing gives the impression that sections are missing. A boring, poor kid (Ben McKenzie) lives with a nerdy, rich kid (Adam Brody). The rich guy, who is smart because he is “writing a novel,” is codependent on the poor guy. The poor guy is in love with a rich girl (Mischa Barton) who is neither interesting nor believable. Their extremely original courting scenes involve giggling and falling into a pool.
The rich girl and a girlfriend (Rachel Bilson) discuss their fathers’ credit cards. Her girlfriend makes fun of someone for being poor. The rich girl’s ex (or is he?) boyfriend laughs at a poor person. Remember, they are privileged.
Also, you should know that parties with poor people are hardcore because they feature strippers and guns. Because of this, the poor guy has to babysit his rich friend.
Their parents are busy fulfilling other stereotypes. Mothers are bitchy, backstabbing gossips. Fathers are too boring to watch.
There are a few good lines and a few good actors. Most of the time, the writers’ and actors’ attempted manipulations of the audience were painfully evident. TV really IS bad.