Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek
benpeek

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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.
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