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The OC and My Fear of Straight, White Teeth

I watched my first episode of The OC tonight. I suffered, but I didn't alone.

The reason, you might very well ask, for why I was watching the OC was simple: education. You can use any text in existence to teach a student how to analyse literature. It doesn't much matter if it's a film, a TV show, a book. There are differences, of course, and that's in the form, but once you start ripping it up for character motivation, arcs, tone, and various other craft based things that don't relate to form, and which write about in essays, one thing is as good as another, really. Plus, these days, the telly and film is all through school. So as far as I'm concerned, as long as something connects with a student, fine, I can teach that. It's less painful for me to dislike something at the front of the class, than it is for a class full of students to dislike something. I, for one, can still recognise elements in a piece, and won't tune out on it.

Yet still, I have this blog, and I justed watched the OC. I was at D's place, and while he sat and drank rum and coke (more and more rum as the hour went along), and we played, "Who does that guy remind you of."

"Jason Priestly," I said, first off. "That main dude there. He reminds me of Jason Priestly. And the dark haired girl there, she's like a young Tori Spelling."

"All your comparisons are going to be with 90210, aren't they?"

"Not at all. At a certain angle that main dude reminds me a little of Edward Norton, too."

Pause.

"Well?"

"It's kinda like his right profile is like a young Edward Norton, isn't it?" D said.

As a show, however, the OC is pretty shit. For example, a character died at the start of this episode. I can only assume it was an important character since he got a the most boring funeral scene in the world, and everyone was talking about him, but no one seemed particularly cut up about it. A bit of disaffected sadness, but no tears, y'know? Mostly, the characters appeared to sit around admiring each others teeth and trying to get a shag. Which is all very well and fine, and the line, "I only swallow something that foul when there's something in it for me," made both D and I laugh aloud (it was easily the best line in the whole show) but there was clearly a lack of shagging. Whereas the teeth appeared to be flashed everywhere, and the new character who arrived had particularly large, straight why teeth that frightened me.

It made me think of Hillary Duff, actually. My trash quota limit has just exceeded any kind of plausible reality, hasn't it? Anyway, the fact that I was thinking about Hillary Duff at any point in my life is purely S's fault, for she introduced me to the concept of veneers, and now I am completely fascinated with before and after shots of Hillary Duff:



There's a more detail comparison here, but it's quite clear that the girl has destroyed her natural cuteness to embrace porn queen plasticness. It's impressive, in its own way.

But now, of course, whenever I see someone with big, frightening white teeth, I always wonder how more naturally attractive that might have once been. I wondered that for a while during the OC because it took my mind of the bad acting and the fact that the dialogue was as interesting as anything that the pretty people on Big Brother gave. (Due to channel Ten's inability to play any show when it's listed, I ended up catching the end of Big Brother. The few minutes of that was enough to convince me that, as a species, we deserve to be culled, and now.) I decided that in the case of the dark haired girl who was the cousin of the dead guy and who appeared to only exist so that the love triangle which was meant to previously exist could continue being written but from a different angle by lazy oh so lazy writers... Well, I decided she was just a replacement for a guy whose contract was up. I also figured that once, before she had been drawn into television and given giant white teeth, she was once attractive.

"You know," D said to me towards the end, "I don't know any of their names."

"Well, that guy's Seth."

"It was just written on the card he gave the new Tori Spelling."

"I still knew his name when you did not."

So, you know, the OC is rubbish. D tried to convince me that the clean cut lead of the show was originally from the wrong side of the tracks, and lives in a swanky pool house while he gets his life together, but I was kind of dubious. For starters, he kept telling me he had never watched the show ("Well, just one of the first ones. Briefly.") and the clean cut Jason Priestly who looks like Edward Norton from the right was... well, totally not from the wrong side of the tracks. Those characters were in the show. You could tell them apart from the others because they were not cleanly shaven. This is apparently the key to understanding good and bad in the OC.

About the only surprise in it was seeing Morena Baccarin from Firefly in it. She was in the episode for about two minutes, and said maybe a handful of lines, but she was there, and her teeth looked quite normal and pretty and unfrightening, thank fuck.

Comments

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(Deleted comment)
benpeek
May. 17th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC)
you know, i did keep waiting for everyone in the show to die. but it didn't, which made me sad.
ex_chrisbil
May. 16th, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC)
Morena Baccarin covers a multitude of narrative and orthodontic sins.

Also, I couldn't agree more on Big Brother, and I have been known (repeatedly) to quote you almost word for word. If there was ever a sign that trench warfare had it's place for skimming the skidmarks off the underbelly of society, Big Brother is it!
benpeek
May. 17th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC)
i don't often wish for trench warfare to thin out the population, but, fifteen minutes of big brother and i'm there...
sonanova
May. 16th, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
I was told once that I look like Kelli Dayton/Ali, the former singer from the Sneaker Pimps, because of my teeth. I think I hated them and wanted supermodel teeth until I someone told me that.

Kelli usually hides them, but at least she hasn't had major cosmetic surgury that I know of:

http://www.kelliali.com/assets/pages/photos/pages/Kellitigre_jpg.htm
benpeek
May. 17th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)
the real question, however, is do you have her tattoos?

i remember the sneaker pimps. vaguely.
sonanova
May. 17th, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
By the end of the summer, I will be well on my way. I only have one now, but I plan on doing modelling for a local artist who also happens to be quite experienced in tattooing:

www.canibol.com

That should be him.
benpeek
May. 17th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
what's the one tattoo you've got of?
sonanova
May. 17th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
Sorry: www.cannibol.com

The flash really doesn't convey much of what he does, sadly.
benpeek
May. 17th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
i shall go look anyhow
ex_benpayne119
May. 16th, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
The OC is great. I love it.

And dude, there is no way in hell that that girl even vaguely resembles Tori Spelling. There is nobody in the world I've seen who resembles Tori Spelling, thank fuck.

I'm with you on the teeth thing though. There are some disturbing smiles out there... it's not the straightness that disturbs me but there are some actors and actresses whose teeth are just *too* white! It's like, I don't want to have to squint to look at you! If you speak and I think the apocalypse has come, then you've gone too far....

benpeek
May. 17th, 2006 12:36 am (UTC)
come on, man, have you not seen the chin on that girl? seriously. it's a smaller version of tori spelling's. that chin'll just grow and grow soon enough.

you can watch some trash though, you know.
ex_benpayne119
May. 17th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC)
Trash? Me? The very thought...

Now if you'll excuse me it's nearly time for Big Brother and then I have some Dawson's Creek dvds to watch...

We shall have to agree to disagree on Tori Spelling. All I can advise is that you look up some pictures of her on the internet, upon which I'm sure you will agree that nobody of human genomes could possibly resemble her, without being hit several times by a shovel.

ataxi
May. 16th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
It's not a great show, and it's getting worse. But it's always been better than 90210. I watch it.

The guy that died wasn't a major character. Basically he was this season's excuse for the two leads to break up and get back together again, because the writers need to destabilise their relationship from time to time.

In the early days people developed an affection for it because Seth is indie-kid cute, insults people cleverly and has a genuinely depicted geek obsession with stuff like comics, Death Cab and yakuza films. So someone like me tends to (a) identify with him and (b) wish I was as cute as him. Makes the show very watchable. It also has parent characters significantly less annoying than the par for this genre, for examples of which I address you to Dawson's Creek, Smallville, and 90210.

It will probably more or less die at the end of this season, since these high school coming-of-age shows rarely survive the transition to the college years.
benpeek
May. 17th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
are you aware you just justified your watching of THE OC by connecting with one fo the characters? heh.

i have never watched a lot of any of those shows listed. i think i lasted half a season of SMALLVILLE before i had to give it up. though i ssupect that you're right about the high school coming of age thing.
ataxi
May. 17th, 2006 12:50 am (UTC)
"are you aware you just justified your watching of THE OC by connecting with one fo the characters?"

Yeah, I know. I get depressed about it as well. Still, if you can manage half a season of Smallville, The OC is much less degenerate, even if it is still crap warmed over ... and that's as far as I'm going to defend it *drops shovel, pokes head above trenchline*
benpeek
May. 17th, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
well, i'm not going to bother defending either. heh. have fun in that trenchline, man :)
bodhichitta0
May. 17th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC)
I've never seen an episode of the O.C. but Sarah Vowell, who I adore, evidently tied together the plot of the O.C. with the assassination of a president in "Assassination Vacation." I may have to watch an epi after I read that...
benpeek
May. 17th, 2006 04:41 am (UTC)
it just sounds all wrong to me.
roberthoge
May. 17th, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC)
The teeth thing makes me think about Simon Crean's time leading the Australian Labor Party - if nothing else, at least he got a new set of teeth out of it.
benpeek
May. 18th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
new job, at the end, as well.
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