The OC: A Review

So, I just finished watching The OC and, I must say, I was skeptical about the show near the beginning. I even got bored at certain points but, now that I’ve finished it, I realize how much I truly loved the show. For those who haven’t watched, it’s about a 14-year-old kid named Ryan, whose mother is an alcoholic and whose Dad and brother are in jail.

The show begins with public defence lawyer Sandy Cohen bailing Ryan out of jail (Ryan’s brother forced him to help steal a car) and, after seeing how hopeless Ryan’s situation is, he decides to bring him home. Sandy lives in Newport Beach, where everyone is extremely rich: they all have huge mansions and all the teenagers have their own cars. Soon, Ryan becomes part of the Cohen family and bonds with Sandy’s son, Seth, who is a social outcast until Ryan comes into his life. From there on, Ryan meets Marissa, who is a popular and attractive girl. Things get especially complicated as Marissa’s boyfriend starts getting into fights with Ryan. By the end of the show, you see how much everyone’s lives (including Ryan’s) have been impacted because of Ryan’s arrival to Newport.

This show does a believable job of presenting the class issues involved in having a “poor kid” move in with a “rich family”. Others have pointed out that it avoided the initial cliché by having Ryan and Seth become friends, but later episodes have shown that, in spite of their friendship and common interests (like comic books), there are still deeper issues of class and sexuality that show how different their worlds really are.

Finally, I was surprised to see that the writers were actually able to make me care about the problems of the rich characters! (The adults, anyway.) For too many nighttime soap operas, portraying the “problems of the rich” are just a way to get us “unwashed” types to sneer at the problems that money brings (“I wish I had those problems!”). In The OC, the writers actually explore questions of money, class, and love in the various adult couples in a way that brings Jane Austen to mind; we can relate to the struggles the characters are going through even if their day-to-day lives are completely foreign from our own.

If you haven’t watched this show or still feel skeptical, I suggest you watch the first 5-6 episodes. I’m sure you’ll be hooked.

Time To Live It Up!

I just turned 20 a few days ago and it was – shockingly – a very awkward day for me. I am usually very cheerful and excited on my birthdays, as I’m sure everyone is at some point in their lives (if not always). But, for the first time in my life, I felt depressed. I consider myself a kid at heart and, up until the age of 19, I have always felt young and tell myself that I have time: time to do things I have always wanted to do; time to live the life that I have always dreamed of; time to find the right person. But now I feel that, soon, I’ll be 30, then 40, then 50… and my life will flash by before my eyes so much faster than I can imagine. Where I’m trying to go with this is to emphasize the fact that as students we spend so much of our time studying, cramming, writing exams, sitting in lectures, tutorials, and labs, and that we don’t realize that we are missing out on the best time of our lives. We are at our physical and mental peaks and are probably more energetic than we will ever be in our entire lives yet, although we all realize this, most of us don’t change our lifestyles. This is not to say that studying isn’t important – I study very hard and strive for the best grades possible all the time but, aside from doing part-time jobs, pulling off As in our courses, and getting amazing scores on LSAT/MCAT/GRE/DAT exams, we must also prioritize other aspects of our lives such as friends and relationships. At this point in our lives, our careers are our first priority (as they should be), but I think that we become so focused on our goals and become so detached from the outside world that we get lost and forget that all these accomplishments and possessions that we dream of probably won’t mean as much at the end of the day without love, friends, family, relationships, etc. I feel that it is an endless chase that we indulge in for the rest of our lives. Even after we get into  law school/med school/dental school/a business internship, we always want to get a promotion, get paid more, want more money, want more possessions, and we keep working harder and harder. Our desires are endless. I don’t want to seem very depressing, but I think as students we should all take a look at our lives and maybe readjust a few things here and there. Our grades/career take first priority, but we must also equally prioritize and make time for things that make us complete. This could be a hobby such as playing the guitar or piano or hanging out with your best friends or partying. You don’t want to wake up one day when you’re 30 or 40 and look back at your late teens and early 20s and regret that you didn’t fully ‘LIVE’.

Do you agree? I would love to read your thoughts on this. Until then… Happy New Year!