The O.C.
The New Era

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Trimming The Hegemony

Previously on The O.C.: We got a week off because this show figured it was falling too deep in the ratings shitter to make us watch a special holiday-themed episode on the wonders of Thanksgiv-Veterans-Purim-Mukkah. And this is exactly what I was thankful for.

Morning time comes to The O.C. again, and we discover Seth and Ryan in the pool house, enjoying one of their patented before school conferences so typical among average American teenagers. Joining a Seth-begun, Seth-sanctioned, Seth-tastic conversation already in progress, we discover Seth "Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth" Cohen chasing Ryan "The Architect Skit" Atwood out the door, practically screaming, "So you're saying you won't help me?" Ryan responds that he has "a Physics quiz" that's making him "kind of busy," and I wish someone would cement him as the science nerd he's so clearly become and buy him a kitschy t-shirt from some Contemporary Scientist catalogue I've just made up that reads, "Physicists Know What Matters" or some other, better delicious pun about Physics. Seth begs that "this is a crisis," which, in modern Seth parlance, means, "This is about me, me, me, and my needs. And me." More specifically: "Zach and Summer. They're full-on dating now. And that means I need a new girlfriend. Pronto." Is that really what that means? Dorky Seth Cohen, whose girlfriends pre-Summer were all featured on a poster of the animated Josie and the Pussycats hanging in his childhood bedroom, now feel entitled to serial monogamy? Well, it doesn't so much fit with his character, but without this inciting event, we wouldn't be able to embark on this hour of Molière-esque, date-swapping hilarity, so, fine, Seth wants a new girlfriend. Then I too want a new girlfriend, which doesn't make any sense either, but if I say it really fast and wear a cute hoodie, I'm sure no one will notice.

Ryan smells this rat, asking Seth whether he intends to date someone just to show up Summer. Seth promises that "there's [sic] other reasons," like maybe he's looking to meet someone who will agree to teach him subject/verb agreement, because I know I'm getting really nitpicky now but that just drives me insane. They reach the kitchen, and Seth throws Ryan a bagel (in some cultures that officially means he's just been Bar Mitzvahed) and begs, "Let's break bread. Let's discuss broads." And I would totally call them out on their chauvinism except another character is totally about to do that for me, so instead I'll just mention the fact that the last time someone referred to women as "broads," they were talking about the comparative sexiness of Christie Brinkley versus Linda Evangelista. ["Probably more like the comparative sexiness of Farrah Fawcett versus Suzanne Somers, because it was a long time ago." -- Wing Chun] Ryan, however, does not have time to choose "Sexpots of the '80s" for $200, as he remembers as this point that he left his graphing calculator in Seth's room and that he has to go get it. What was he graphing? In Seth's room? Seth doesn't care either, asking, "You know what else is in my room?" A copy of the real script that allows you to express sentiments other than the static and self-obsessed? A copy of London Calling on something even cooler and more retro than vinyl? A painting of you that ages while you, Adam Brody, remain exactly as you are? Ryan here too starts exhibiting a wee spot of impatience, sniping, "What? What is in your room?" Don't worry. Seth will tell you. Seth knows lots and lots of words: "My yearbook. Full of new ideas for fresh-faced loved ones." Seth suggests that they go through it and pick a few lucky finalists for the "Win A Date With Seth Cohen!" contest he's apparently just invented, and that Ryan can even have a few of Seth's "leftovers." Ryan tells Seth that he's "not dating this year," giving Seth a hard rap on the chest with his bagel (in some cultures that officially means they are now married) and reminding him, "That's the game plan." Ryan means for that to be the end of the conversation -- it's all graphed and calculated and everything -- but Seth chases after him and insists, "I'm not entering this new era alone." Oh, you won't be alone. You'll have hundreds of enraged viewers who can't stand hearing the words "new era" again during this episode chasing you out of the county with lit torches and shouting.

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