Friday, March 16, 2007

THE O.C.: Welcome to Syndication, Bitch

I saw an ad on SoapNet last night that One Tree Hill and The O.C. are about to join the lineup of syndicated soaps, both daytime and primetime, that air on that network. I could sit here and deny watching SoapNet out of my own free will, but who am I kidding? They were showing re-runs of 90210 when it was still in the glory days of the David/Valerie relationship - I couldn't have resisted no matter how hard I tried.

Anyway, it made me laugh because these two new shows being added to the network still seem too... new. Seems odd to me that they would be on there. When I think of the primetime soaps that get picked up by SoapNet, I imagine the aforementioned 90210 or Melrose Place or even the classically old Dynasty and Dallas. But hell, I'm not going to complain. I may already own every episode of The O.C. on DVD so far, but there's something inescapable about the chance to watch it again on television. I don't know why it is, but I always feel this pull to sit and watch if my favorite show is re-running somewhere on TV even if I do have every episode at my fingertips on the other side of my bedroom in their box sets.

So I find it very exciting that I can re-watch Seth and Summer fall in love from the very beginning. I can sit and enjoy the early days before Marissa ever truly, utterly got on my last ever loving nerve. Season One is something to be treasured, and I'm all about the happy dance now that I know I can catch it randomly on SoapNet from now on. I may have just watched several episodes on DVD last night, but that's kind of beside the point.

Oh and I also have to say, regarding the series finale, that sometimes I scare myself. I never mean to gloat and it's not like I flat out expect my "predictions" to be correct on a regular basis, but there are times when I'm simply frightened of my own brain. I took a shot at naming Baby Girl Cohen ahead of time (mainly because I had scared myself in the past by freakishly guessing correctly the name of Baby Girl Vaughn before we ever even knew Syd was pregnant.), but I still choked on my martini when Sandy and Kirsten actually did name her Sophie. Seriously, sometimes I really scare myself shitless.

One of my friends was bitching all throughout the finale about how it seemed really rushed. She felt like we were being ripped off not seeing the actual birth of Sophie and how many other moments seemed to get passed over rather quickly. However, when we reached the end of the episode and that final montage she came to realize that it was worth having everything else get time crunched earlier on in the show. I mean really, when you think about what Josh managed to pull off in a one-hour episode, it's really a beautiful thing. I had been worried and a bit skeptical about whether or not the "rules of a series finale" would be followed - there just didn't seem like there was nearly enough time to wrap things up properly - but in saving time here and there (like in brushing past Sophie's actual birth), he managed to save up a few extra minutes to show us the future of our beloved Newport friends.

Sure, the episode felt rushed at times. But I wouldn't trade seeing three seconds of Seth & Summer's wedding for anything else in the world. It was more than worth it. And everything that happened with Julie was such a pleasant surprise - I was so off base and wrong about what would happen with her character, but once it happened and I sat back to analyze it all... well, then it all made perfect sense and was the perfect ending for her and her family. As for Ryan and Taylor, their ending was very vague to me and I still can't figure out what that look at the wedding was all about. Are they together? Are they apart? Are they apart but still in love? No idea. It's up to our own imaginations, I suppose. Although I'm believing in the "apart but still in love" choice, because that's what it felt like to me. It seemed right for Ryan, to move on with his own life and build a world for himself that didn't involve a woman or drama.

The beauty of that final moment was so fabulous, too; to come full circle like that with Ryan deciding to take in a kid and help him in the same way that he himself was rescued. The show may have waxed and waned from brilliant to cheesy over the years - and it may be classified as a "soap opera" that most people roll their eyes at - but in the end it was beautifully put together and perfectly executed.

I can't wait to experience it again even more than usual when it finds it's place between the kids of Beverly and the jocks of Tree Hill. DVD owner or not, syndication is a beautiful thing!

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