California, here I come…
Eric Retter | Friday, February 4, 2005
When I hear that opening chord, I know where I belong – on the couch watching television. Who would have thought that a weekly melodrama revolving around the rich and beautiful and the trouble associated with their lifestyle would become such a smash success?
Every Thursday at 8 p.m.,17 of my closest friends and I crowd into an 11×14 dorm room to watch the latest installment of “The O.C.,” the only thing on network television worth watching since Tom Brokaw signed off earlier this winter.
In fact, in light of “The O.C.” phenomenon, I no longer regard the people whose lives are actually intertwined with mine in the same way. My real friends are Seth, Ryan and the gang over in Newport. It used to be that I could only spend one hour a week in their magical world, but now, thanks to the magic of DVD technology and corporate salesmanship, I can spend as much time as I want escaping reality on the sunny beaches of Southern California.
Now I know the arguments against my newly found addiction. I know I’m a guy and that, when watching TV, it is my duty to watch sports. As much as I love contests of athletic ability, I know how they are going to end before they even begin. Someone’s going to win, half the competitors are going to be heartbroken and throughout the event, people are going to commit rules infractions that slow the action.
However, with “The O.C.,” events happen that don’t conform themselves to any kind of predetermined guidelines. Hypothetically, a young man from the wrong side of the tracks could, after burning down his adopted mother’s house, date the sister she never knew she had.
Indeed, the possibilities are endless.
I say now, more than ever, we need “The O.C.” Like it or not, we live in South Bend, a winter hell from October to early May. I, like many I know, hate South Bend weather; I hate it like I hate Julie Cooper, the Mussolini-in-heels devil-woman on the show. As we trudge from test to test bundled against temperatures the human body should only experience when reaching for another sample at the local Ben & Jerry’s, what is the harm of living vicariously through beach kids whose toughest decision is which Cover Girl model they should take to the spring dance.
All I know is that I wish I had their problems.