Since the culmination of The O.C., I can’t help but feel as if a part of me died. Not only has my weekly television viewing schedule been disrupted but I can’t seem to get over the fact that Seth married one of the greatest TV characters of all time. Bold statement I know, but I adored Summer. I loved to hate her in season one and just simply loved her by the end of the show. Summer Roberts, while snotty and spoiled, was tough as nails and walked a fine line between “Newpsie” and down to earth. She was reliable, stable, and surprisingly pure. Yes, while Summer had several questionable moments, she ultimately had a heart of gold. She was honest, honorable, and gave the show a sense of subconscious balance which was overshadowed by the constant unimaginable drama. Summer’s obsession with The Valley and tabloid magazines didn’t distract us from her fundamental character values. If anything, her preppy quirkiness was endearing because she continually proved to us the complexity of her personality. Summer’s character held the show together and indirectly became a pop culture role model for young people saturated with exposure of Brittany, Paris and Lindsey.
Not being able to see her on a weekly basis isn’t why a part of me died though. I mean, it certainly didn’t help but I’m more concerned with dynamics of Seth and Summer’s relationship and how the show ended. The Seth and Summer saga was pure TV gold and they were somehow able to keep it interesting for several years- without ruining it. That’s the biggest surprise and achievement that came from the show, the writers didn’t take the easy way out. They could have added bubble-gum drama where the two of them were off-again on-again but instead forced them to face their issues and work them out.
The writers impressed me by doing this, not only did it add a true humanistic portrayal of love to the story but it reiterated to the audience that relationships take work. The writers incorporated notions of heart, time, forgiveness, understanding, patience and honesty to make things right. The story usually revolved around Seth growing into these traits but the fact that the writers didn’t shy away from the importance might have influenced the social maturity of a generation. While The O.C. was filled with tons on nonsense, it was also filled with morality. Often times they made examples of what not to do but in Seth and Summer’s case they made a conscious effort to lead by example. That is until they got married.
The reason I can’t get over this is because Seth won. I wanted him to win, I rooted for him from day one. However, it gives me the same sense of disbelief that I had when Marissa died. Oh, I so wanted her to die. It was two and a half seasons too long if you ask me. But as she lay dying in one of the worst acting scenes in the show’s history, I felt bad. Worse then I felt when Johnny drunkenly staggered off a cliff. Marissa embodied so much of what was wrong with the show that by her not being there we were left with a sense of peace. Peace makes for horrible TV and that’s why I couldn’t believe it actually happened. The same goes for Seth. The only other crutch that the show had was Seth and Summer, them living happily ever after completely sealed it’s fate. I was never under the impression that there would be a spin off or it would resurrect itself several years down the line, but the marriage was just so absolute.
By Seth and Summer marrying, not only did I have to come to grips with my weekly television escape truly being over but now I’m left with another sappy romantic comedy that will further hinder my future relationship judgment and expectations. The silly entertaining involvement between these two have subconsciously programmed viewers, yet again, with the notions of a socially retarded emo outcast having the ability to not only hook up with, but marry the girl of his dreams. I suppose it’s possible, but it’s not realistic. It’s just another Hollywood fairy tale that geeks have eaten up since Sixteen Candles, Can’t Hardly Wait, Gidget, and When Harry Met Sally. We’ve been force-fed the idea that love holds no bounds and me, along with the rest of our society, hold on to the fantasy that our love life will take shape of that which we see on the silver screen.
Seth and Summer are the reason for half of all marriages failing in the United States. From a young age pop culture has lead us to believe that we have the ability to become the next movie god or rock star. As we hit our twenties and thirties depression levels have also spiked, leaving most of us wondering where we went wrong and feeling utterly unfulfilled. Love has followed a similar suit, we get wrapped up in falling in love but have no idea how to live with it once we have it. The TV show or movie always ends once the guy gets the girl. No matter how many episodes of Joanie Loves Chachi you’ve seen, we’ve never been subconsciously taught how to deal with longevity. The O.C. further perpetuated this cycle.
I can’t say if I’m more disturbed by the social implications of the relationship or if I’m just upset that the now Summer Cowen isn’t Summer Hammond. It’s not that I can’t cope with a few more divorces but it’s going to be really hard for me to find a girl saving the sea otters while at the same time wearing stilettos.