Friday, February 18, 2005

90210 vs. the OC

last night was the OC. tomorrow I'm going to see edward albee's play The Goat about an architect whose life is falling apart. who's starring in it? the one and only james eckhouse, aka jim walsh of 90210 fame. in honor of those two, I present espn's comparison of the two. read the entire article (its near the bottom of the page) but here are some highlights:

Premise: "90210" revolved around two twins from Minnesota moving to Beverly Hills and dealing with rich people. "The OC" had a troubled kid from Encino moving to Orange County and dealing with rich people. The lesson, as always: You're probably going to have a hit show if an outsider is dealing with rich people. "The OC" pilot was better -- actually, it was probably the best episode in the history of the show -- but "90210" gets points for originality. Too tough to call. EDGE: EVEN.

Breakout Sidekick: I'm already on record as saying that the guy who plays Seth (Adam Brody) has the best chance of anyone to become the next Tom Hanks ... and yet, I'm not sure Seth could carry his own show. He's a little too manic. Dylan McKay? He could have carried his own show. And then some. I'm just saying. EDGE: 90210.

Wet Blanket Character: This boils down to Andrea (90210) against Caleb (OC), which is ironic because they're both the same age (bah-dum-cha!). But at least Caleb serves some sick, twisted purpose -- he's a villain, just a bad one. Andrea murdered entire episodes at a time -- she was like a cross between Adrian Balboa and Ted Bundy. EDGE: The OC.

Theme Song: I can't believe I'm saying this, but ... EDGE: The OC.

Gratuitous use of half-siblings and step-siblings: It took a few years for "90210" to master this one, whereas "The OC" jumped right in -- at this point, Seth is related to everyone on the show except for the gardener. EDGE: The OC.

Glaring and embarrassing exclusion of any African-American characters: At least "90210" had a black manager at the Summer Club, or the episode when Brandon butted heads with Vivica A. Fox, or the one where Brandon nearly exposed the rule-bending on the hoops team. I'm not sure I've even SEEN a black person on "The OC." Has it happened? Did I miss it? WORST OFFENDER: The OC.

Inexplicable homoerotic overtones: When Brandon and Dylan grew matching sideburns and started calling each other "B" and "D," you would have thought they were a lock for this category. But between Seth and Ryan's "Single White Female"-like friendship and Marissa's new relationship, this isn't even close. GIANT EDGE: The OC.

Cultural Impact: Brandon and Dylan started the sideburns trend back in 1991, leading to my ill-fated attempt to grow them during my senior year in college. I'd rather not discuss this again. Ever. But "The OC" never inspired me to do anything. Not even throw up in my mouth. EDGE: 90210.

entire comparison by bill simmons, sport's guys world, espn.


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