The O.C.
The Debut

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Fisticuffs and Wristicuffs

Tinkling.

Kirsten enters the pool house wearing a fetching wraparound chinoiserie-style shirt and explaining that Ryan will need bedding and towels, while Seth and Ryan slowly trail after her. With her back turned, she asks how the bed is -- is it comfortable? Seth falls onto the bed then completely spazzes out on it -- rolling around, flopping from his back to his stomach, and getting a decent amount of air. A bemused Ryan looks on, before responding that the bed is indeed great. But since people in Chino sleep on splinter-filled wooden planks, any old mattress would probably do. Kirsten wants Ryan to have some privacy, but acknowledges that it's a pool house and needs "a little warmth." She lists that he'll need chairs, a desk, and a bookshelf. Seth adds to this, "Also a flat screen, couple of turntables, a minibar..." Considering that the pool house has a full bar in plain view, I'm not sure why the minibar would be necessary. Also, there are already several chairs, and it looks pretty warm to me. But Kirsten is clearly nesting. She adds that they should clean out the pool house so that there's room for Ryan's stuff, and then realizes, "Right. You don't have any stuff." That means, she says, that they'll have to go shopping for "clothes and shoes and underpants." Seth whines, "Mom! Don't say 'underpants.'" Hee. Ryan assures Kirsten that he has everything he needs; she points out that he doesn't have a tux, and that he'll need one. He asks why, and she explains that it's for Cotillion. And now that we have identified the formalwear event, we need only come up with a fight scene to complete the episode.

Now Kirsten is unloading her car, still trailed by Ryan and Seth. She expositions that Cotillion is the annual debutante ball and Newport's biggest event: "It's the day when Newport's most accomplished young women make their formal debut into society." I think Kelly Rowan's got some chops, but Meryl Streep couldn't deliver that line without sounding like a cardboard cutout. And besides, would her character really buy into the notion that the debs -- distinguished by the fact that they are the richest of Newport's teens -- are also the "most accomplished"? In any case, Seth translates Kirsten's explanation of Cotillion to Ryan by claiming that it's "another excuse for them to get wasted and throw up on themselves." Kirsten defends her past as a "deb" who made her debut "at this very country club not so many years ago." As they head inside, Ryan decides that he should skip the event, but Kirsten insists that he attend because it's a "family tradition," and he's now part of the family. The snitty "it's called puberty, honey" lady from the fashion show appears to be directing this event as well; she greets Kirsten with air kisses to both cheeks, and then sends the Cohens plus Ryan off to the fitting room. Kirsten unconvincingly insists that this will be fun.

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The O.C.

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