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Second season of the O.C. captures California dream

Liz Byrum | Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Common rooms in dorms all around campus will be full tomorrow night as the new season of “The O.C.” kicks off, but for some students, the “O.C.” parties started a couple of weeks ago – on Aug. 23, to be exact.

That was the day the DVD for season two of “The O.C.” was released, the day fans were huddled around their TVs discussing whether they should start at the beginning or flip right to their favorite episodes.

In its first season, “The O.C.” introduced the characters, and welcomed fans into their soap-opera world. However, it was during season two when fans really became a part of that world. They saw different sides of the characters emerge, relationships develop and fall apart and more complex storylines unfold. They hung on the edge of their seats each Thursday, waiting to see the preview for next week’s episode.

Whether they love or hate them, the connections fans made with the characters on the show during the second season are part of what makes “The O.C.” such a popular show. The connections might be purely physical, like ever evolving debate between guys about who is hotter – Marissa, Summer, or maybe even Kirsten.

For some fans, the obsession may go a little deeper. On any given Friday, someone walking around campus is bound to hear girls discussing the perfection that is Seth Cohen, and what off the wall comment he made on last night’s episode.

No matter what it is about the show that draws people in, it’s safe to say they’re hooked and can’t seem to get enough. With Season two out on DVD, fans can now get their “O.C.” fix any time, any day.

The relationships during the second season explain a lot about “The O.C.” There were love triangles that revolved around comic books, bisexuals and a possible pregnancy. Affairs were commonplace among the “adult figures” in Newport Beach, and even the strongest relationships were put to the test. However, throughout all of the drama, the characters still gave the audience things to smile about.

The episode titled “The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t” showed that almost everyone in Orange County has a little heart. Through-out the season, Ryan tried hard to show his heart when his older brother, Trey, came back into his life. But no matter what he did, Trey kept messing up, which made for a great cliff-hanger ending for season two.

Although some of the show’s principal cast may not be on their way to winning Oscars, there was an obvious improvement in acting ability and experience during season two. Ben McKenzie (Ryan) and Adam Brody (Seth) continued to build the character friendship that was the original platform for the show. Kelly Rowan also rose to the challenge of turning her character, Kirsten, into a struggling alcoholic in the second half of the season.

One of the best parts of season two was the amazing musicians that were recruited to appear in various episodes. Bands such as The Walkmen (who played at Notre Dame last year), Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse played shows at the Bait Shop, the beachside music hotspot, and received tons of amazing publicity while they were at it.

The extensive season two DVD set features plenty of great special features, including one section called “O.C. – Obsess Completely,” fans can get an inside look at some of the musicians “The O.C.” has hosted. The section also shows great in-depth interviews with the cast, as well as the producer of the show, Josh Schwartz.

Another section of special features, titled “Gags and Goofs,” begins with an interesting black and white piece showcasing many of the “kissing scenes” filmed through out season two. This doesn’t seem to be something fans would expect to find on the DVD, but adds a nice touch to the compilation.

“Beachy Couture,” the final section of the special features, gives an inside look on the fashion world of “The O.C.” People who watch the show and play close attention to what each character is wearing will love to learn how the wardrobe designers choose what they do for each scene. In this section, Adam Brody explains how he is “just trying to get away with stuff that’s not lame.” It seems like he may be on the same designer wavelength as his character.

The season two DVD is every O.C. fan’s “California dream,” with plenty of great special features to keep enthusiasts busy. With enough episodes, affairs, scandals and heartbreaks to keep someone occupied for days, it’s a great addition to any pop-culture collection.