The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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‘The O.C.’ returns after death and graduation

It is rare for a show to drastically change plot and characters, but that is what the FOX show “The O.C.” decided to do in its fourth season.

Some of it was by necessity with the four main characters graduating high school and moving on to college or the next phase of their lives.

Some of it, however, was out of creativity as creator Josh Schwartz said at the end of last season.

The new season picks up five months after the devastating tragedy that took the life of Marissa Cooper, who was played by Mischa Barton.

As fans will recall, she was killed by her ex-boyfriend Kevin Volchok, played by Cam Gigandet, while on her way to the airport with her on-again, off-again boyfriend Ryan Atwood, played by Benjamin McKenzie.

Volchok, in a jealous, drunken rage, slammed his car into Ryan’s car which made him go down a cliff. Somehow he survived, but Marissa died in his arms.

In light of Marissa’s death, Ryan decides to forgo college at UC Berkeley, move out of his foster parents’ house and get a job bartending and cage fighting, while still obviously dealing with the loss of Marissa.

One of the biggest complaints that I had about the previous season, along with many others, was the show was focused too much around other people and not enough on Ryan.

However, McKenzie does a great job portraying someone who has experienced one of the worst things that could ever happen to an 18-year-old and not know how to deal with it.

Fans will know that Ryan never did talk much on the show, especially about feelings, but we always knew by his body language what he was feeling.

This use of body language is seen extensively in this season’s premiere, “The Avengers.”

McKenzie shows his emotion very well, without saying a word most of time. The look of pain in his eyes is seen as almost scary and too real.

Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) is attending Brown University and after Ryan moves out, Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) goes back to spending the majority of his time with adults – whether it be with his father, Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher), who returned to life as a public defender after running the development firm known as the Newport Group or if it is with his mother, Kirsten Cohen (Kelly Rowan), and her gossiping friends.

The only people close to Seth’s age who he spends time with are people he works with at a comic book store or Marissa’s little sister Kaitlin Cooper, played by Willa Holland, who moved back to Newport last season from boarding school.

The other person who is having as much trouble with Marissa’s death as Ryan is Marissa’s mother Julie (Melinda Clarke).

Julie, who is still living with her fianc?, who is Summer’s father, seems to be taking a lot of painkillers while trying to cope with the death of her daughter.

She has been trying to do home improvements as a way to focus her mind on things other than death.

This season, which could be the last season, is shaping up to be the best season since the first.

Even though a lot of fans might be upset with the loss of Barton because her character and Ryan will never live happy ever after, the writers should be allowed more storylines with Barton gone. With the character of Marissa dead and buried (literally) some diversity and new creativity will benefit the season four episodes of “The O.C.”

The first episode is already less predictable than last season’s offerings.

It is also clear that we will get to see a more evolved character with Ryan.

Barton’s departure may be a blessing since the writers seem to have lost ideas of what to do with her.

How many times can she get into trouble, only to have Ryan save her and them get back together and then break up?

It is true that as of right now this season is shortened. FOX said it only ordered 16 episodes, while a full season usually consists of 22.

But based on its timeslot, “The O.C.” might not be given a legitimate chance, due to having to compete with “Grey’s Anatomy” and “CSI.”

With a promising start, however, people might just start saying, “California here we come.”

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