The show which gave the world aspiring comics creator/cool nerd Seth Cohen (Adam Brody), as well as Mischa Barton, Rachel Bilson and Allan Henberg is going gently to that goodnight of reruns:
Fox started the new year right, announcing yesterday it was putting onetime sensation “The O.C.” out of its misery next month. Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows began looking for a new role, while inconsolable teenage girls contemplated the meaninglessness of life without Ryan and Seth on their blogs.
The teener soap that debuted in August ’03 in an ecstasy of hyperventilation next month will be reunited with its too-dumb-to-live sweetheart Marissa Cooper in that Great TV Treacleheap in the Sky. Starting tonight “The O.C.” will begin to plow through the last of its original episodes, calling it quits on Thursday, Feb. 22, according to the Fox announcement. The news wasn’t much of a surprise, given that the network had ordered only 16 episodes this season; in the past it had ordered 20-something episodes per season.
Nikki Finke blames lesbian kissing for the demise:
Then it began the exploitative lesbian scenes intended to titillate audiences, and everything went to hell after that, including a major series’ no-no: killing off one of the leads. Mischa Barton may have been a wooden actress, but her character was pivotal to the overall plot. As for that other lead, Ben McKenzie, he never had the acting chops to engage the audience. Think about it: did the guy ever once show an authentic facial expression? Plus, the bitches and himbos on MTV’s Laguna Beach series — aka The Real O.C. –kinda made the fictionalized O.C. seem tame. This year’s ratings have stunk (for its first seven Thursday airings, The O.C. has averaged fewer than 4 million viewers per episode, off from last year’s 5.7 million per episode), but so have the ratings of nearly everything on Fox.
Despite its lowkey ending, THE O.C. doubtless had am important part to play in the ascendance of comics/graphic novel culture over the last four years, as the plethora of comics references and sympathetic treatment of Seth’s comics dreams put such things in America’s livings rooms and made them safe, friendly and even, for a moment or two, not even all that dorky.