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precarious since 1997 | by maryann johanson

The O.C.: The Complete First Season (review)

So far, no gorgeous amnesiac who just blew back into town has turned out to be someone’s long-lost spouse/child/evil twin, but there’s little else that could make this hit Fox series any sudsier than it already is. Mere months after the final episode of its debut season was broadcast, it arrives on DVD, a hedonistic, voyeuristic orgy of conspicuous consumption, vicious gossip, and musical sexual partners in ritzy Newport Beach, California. Everyone’s bored and rich except for unlikely newcomer Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie), the soulful, puppy-dog-cute juvenile offender from the wrong side of the O.C. (Orange County, that is). Ryan is just nonthreatening and underage enough to be worthy of a “second chance” — courtesy of his court-appointed lawyer, Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher: How to Deal), who has taken the lad in over his wife, Kirsten’s (Kelly Rowan), objections — but aggressively masculine and grown up enough to fully participate in all the adult shenanigans his sudden presence stirs up. The idea is supposed to be that Newport Beach society is just as much a jungle as the working-poor life he knew before, where his low-class mom let her live-in boyfriend beat up on Ryan, but that’d be laughable if only this weren’t yet another in a long line of aren’t-you-glad-you-aren’t-rich anti-wish-fulfillment dramas that invites its audience to sneak an illicit peek at the life of the impossibly wealthy while also suggesting that there’s no way you’d want to live it. Extras include deleted scenes, commentary on the pilot by creator Josh Schwartz, an onscreen music guide for select episodes, a sneak preview of the already-airing second season, DVD-ROM features, and more.

MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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tv on dvd

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