the oc cover

TV: The OC #Rewatching

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been adding music recommendations before my posts. The shows I love usually have amazing soundtracks and here is where I recommend at least one song that I think shapes the series and is just a great listen.

“If You Leave” – Nada Surf (re: OMD)

Also, this month’s theme must be teen dramas in terms of television. I mean I couldn’t watch Beverly Hills, 90210, One Tree Hill, or even Felicity without thinking about The OC. Trust me though guys, my love for television spans multiple genres. But I think that’s how I’ll posts my favorite shows for now on – by genre or style. So for the rest of the month and maybe the next few weeks, let’s talk about teen dramas.

And without further ado –welcome oc

A little background: I started watching The OC in high school. It was actually the first series that I purchased on DVD and then I couldn’t break the habit. I really should make more walking space in my room. Anyway, watching this show in high school made me super anxious and feel unfulfilled with my own life. I wanted to be in California. That was all. I wanted friends like Seth, Summer, Ryan, and even Marissa – with all of her drama. I wanted to hang out on boardwalks and eat California tacos. I wanted to sail to Tahiti. I wanted to debut at a cotillion ball. I wanted to have the beach be practically in my backyard. Like I said, I was anxious. My high school life just didn’t seem up to par with the crew in Newport Beach. So, I watched the show and became something of a shell. And yeah, this kind of sounds depressing, and at the time – it was.

seth music

Basically, this was my life.

The OC didn’t cause my depression though, it was actually a form of escape like all of my favorite TV series. I was able to live through these characters and situations and just go through the motions in my real life. Maybe if I was more social and watched less TV, I could have healed my situation, but I seriously doubt it. I was always thinking beyond high school – unconsciously ignoring that whole era in my life as I was living it. Thinking about other worlds, societies, and groups of people. I could go on, but since this is becoming something else outside of a post about The OC, let’s get right into why I love this show: “California, here we come…”

Seth Cohen’s World

Naturally, I watched this show through the lens of Seth Cohen. I related so much to him as a high school student, being a music-holic and all-around fandom enthusiast. His taste in music was the same as mine. We both loved comics. We both made the people around us endure our film and pop cultural references and general sarcasm about everything. Even today,  my own mother doesn’t know if I’m being sincere or NAH. The same for Kirsten and Sandy Cohen.

Seth was just Seth. He lived in his own bubble (until Ryan came along) and had his own quirks and interests.

His love for music, comics, games, and film was the reason why his life was so colorful. His real life shut him out, because he was different from most of the teens in his hood. So, like a natural outsider and dreamer – he took refuge in the fictional worlds that appealed to him. Sounds familiar?

comic books

Geekin’ out about comic books, video games, and film made him knowledgeable about just about every type of ‘character’ (person) and ‘world’ (society). This is what made him brilliant and a little annoying to be around, because sometimes his references would go over any other person’s head. Again, I can relate. But then again, Seth was creative and could connect his world with the world of comics and eventually developed his own series (with that one guy Zach).

atomic county

When Ryan came along, Seth had someone to talk to – about himself. He spent pretty much his whole life inside of his own head and when there was someone around who would listen (re: had to listen) – he wouldn’t shut up about his many issues and interests. Actually, you guys are kind of like my Ryan – here to read my spiel on everything that interests and annoys me. Thanks, I really appreciate it.

seth self- absorbed

Having Ryan around meant that Seth could voice is thoughts about things that he would normally have to deal with in his own head. Unfortunately for Ryan, he had a lot to talk about and his thoughts usually just revolved around himself and Summer, but mostly himself. This made him somewhat self-absorbed and edgy all of the time. Great for us, but bad for Ryan – because he’s got his own problems to sort out. More on that in a bit.

talk about himself

Seth and Ryan’s relationship opened both of their eyes to worlds beyond anything they could’ve ever dreamed of understanding. Ryan, with his life with a drunky mom (Seth and Ryan would later learn that they have this in common) or him living from couch to couch – having grown up watching his mom get smacked around by asshole men – including his own dad. Then, his older brother, Trey, wasn’t much of a positive influence as he stole cars. This is actually how Ryan ended up living with Seth and The Cohen family in the first place. Guess I forgot to do a premise. But, that’s pretty much the gist of it. Ryan grew up on the other side of the tracks, so to speak. Seth, on the other hand, grew up in the world of the affluent and entitled. His father Sandy, though, was an ordinary Jewish guy from NY who put himself through law school and ended up falling in love with Kirsten – the doorway to this rich world. So, Seth grew up wealthy, but he was always an outsider. He and Ryan would learn quite a bit from each other. The process was entertaining to say the least.

seth ryan 1

An essential part of Seth’s world was his taste in music. He loved the classics and emo/ indie rock, but most beloved was the band Death Cab for Cutie. Watching his passion for the band is when I truly fell in love with the show. Basically, the soundtrack of the series his just Seth’s personal playlist. Which of course I had to download. I have mentioned before in other posts about my love for Coldplay, a band similar to Death Cab in genre, that also gets labelled as ‘whiny’. But, I will arm wrestle anyone that says this within earshot. You see, their music is emotional and their sound is what got me through high school. I STILL need to write about them, but I don’t even know where to start. They are a band that, I think, cannot be merely described in a few words – but I’ll try. One day. Anyway, my love for Coldplay is equally compared to Seth’s love for Death Cab.

seth death cab

Basically, Seth is just a guy with all of the questions and none of the answers. He may be prone to being bullied and pushed around by the popular kids who feel like their world can’t be breached by those different from them, but he’s full of heart and wit. I think we all can relate a little to Seth, because he represented the ‘normal’ high school kid – just trying to get by.

seth ridicule

Me too, Seth. Me too.

The Friendship (and Odes to Classic Movies)

Did anyone else notice all of the movie references in The OC? I have to admit, the first time I watched this show, some of the references went over my head – like the ode to Rebel Without A Cause in season one’s episode, The Model Home. This was such a great episode, by the way. Actually, the entire first season just flowed so nicely with nonstop entertainment. The episode was the start of a beautiful friendship between Ryan, Seth, Marissa, and later Summer.

marissa seth ryan

The friendship moments on The OC always had the perfect soundtrack. Like the perfect moment with Caught By the River by The Doves playing as Seth and Ryan race down the boardwalk with Marissa chasing them and tagging along. You know, watching these guys together was the best part about this show. I think their friendship even helped me cope with how dull  my social life was as a teen. Just breezing on by on the boardwalk with some friends seemed like the most epic thing ever.

marissa seth ryan

Summer would soon come around and join the gang on their many adventures. She had to first get over Ryan being from the other side of the tracks.

chino ew

The series, especially the first season, seemed like a lengthy John Hughes film. With Summer, the four always had each other’s back when drama went down. From saving Marissa in Tijuana to saving Ryan from his psychotic brother. The four were a solid group and of course, squad goals.

the oc gang

The Cohen Family

Speaking of squad goals, the Cohen + Atwood family were the ultimate family. Of course they weren’t exactly perfect and had a number of issues – like Kirsten’s drinking problem and ass of a father (Caleb), Ryan punching out everyone on a reg and burning down houses, and Sandy being vocal about how much he loathed the rich and entitled people in their community – which really wasn’t THEIR problem, but kind of alienated them from the rest of the lot in Newport Beach. Which was great!

cohen family

Taking Ryan in seemed to be just what the Cohen family needed as he came from a damaged family and needed stability. He somehow made them more stable in return. He became a brother to Seth and a different kind of son to Sandy and Kirsten.

you're a cohen now

The Ryan and Seth duo kept Sandy hip and softened Kirsten up a bit. In the beginning, she was a little hard around the edges and the least thrilled to have an outsider stay with them. But, I think she and Ryan had the most in common and by him needing a mother figure, she became an even better mother to HIM and to Seth. She even tried to cook! That says something.

seth and ryan

Kirsten and Sandy now had a well rounded household and a pair of teens that always needed them to keep them in line – but Ryan and Seth kept the grownups in check as well. In her darkest moment, Ryan reminded Kirsten of what it felt like to have an alcoholic mother and that was the moment, I think, Ryan truly became her son. Sandy deeply appreciated how much of a man Seth became when Ryan was around.

salt his game

I just love their kitchen conversations – usually centered around Seth and Ryan’s lady troubles with a basket of bagels for Sandy to schmear. Or, Sandy cooking in general. Most of the time it was Seth and Sandy doing the talking while Kirsten and Ryan shrugged or shook their heads in reply to the madness.

shuck corn

Also, someone always seemed to walk in at the right moment to hear the wrong thing.cohen family weed calebPlus, they had Christmukkah! Enough said.

christmukkah 2

The DRAMA (basically, Marissa Cooper)

Ryan loved Marissa Cooper from the moment that they first met.

who are you ryan

The drama on the show essentially centered around the two of them. Being the outsider in this new world attracted Ryan to Marissa, the girl with a knack for falling for damaged guys – like herself. I think this is why she was first drawn to Ryan, because he was supposedly the bad boy coming to invade her little world and the people in it didn’t accept him. Marissa probably figured that he was a way to piss off a few people and show them up (which yeah, that’s what happened). She basically was a magnet to drama. Guys with issues seemed to be the type that she naturally was drawn to. But Ryan was different. He not only was smart, but he was just trying to change his life and make a new path. He occasionally had to intervene between the rest of the guys Marissa got herself involved with.

ryan marissa luke

Luke was just the stereotypical rich guy jerk, but he would eventually turn things around. But, Oliver was just a prick. Johnny was depressing. Trey was unstable. Volchok was unfortunate. She also dated Alex, played by Olivia Wilde. Alex had too much to prove – making her too feisty.

I really hated Oliver. But Volchok would be the one to really ‘drive’ Marissa to the deep end (for those who’ve seen the show – see what I did there).

Oliver

ryan volchok

Yeah, I was in Twilight.

Indeed, Marissa was a basket-case and her rich girl status only made those around her ignore the truth. She was deeply depressed. Her own parents were as mature as her high school classmates. Julie Cooper [Nichol-Cooper], was the Queen Bee of Newport (even when she wasn’t) and she made Marissa’s life a living hell. She basically believed money could buy happiness and could also mask unhappiness.

Julie rich girl status

Jimmy was a guy that married the wrong wife and couldn’t help but make the wrong decisions – in terms of keeping his family afloat. He also didn’t seem to have a spine and Julie was mean with the whip! The Cooper family’s money only gave Marissa the resources to turn to the bottle and get into trouble.

Ryan grew up saving his alcoholic mother on many occasions and meeting Marissa only made him privy to saving her – when he could. Though he truly loved her (and I think Marissa loved him too), Ryan spent more time rescuing Marissa from her own world rather than allowing himself to be happy and in love (this is why I love him and Taylor – stay tuned).

marissa ryan

I would even argue that Ryan was a parental figure in Marissa’s life, because her parents were anything but good parents. Just look at the example Julie sets for her daughter.

julie cooper gunmarissa shoots trey

Ryan’s life eventually became more stable while Marissa’s was extremely spinning out of control. Though Ryan continued to insert himself into her problems, there was only so much that he could do.

caitlin ryan

And eventually the crap that Marissa got herself into overcame her chance for happiness. Even from the very beginning, Ryan should have known that his love for this girl would only cause him pain in the end.

marissa ryan

ryan save marissa last time

Bye, Felicia.

Seth and Summer

Despite all of the ultra drama between their best buds, Ryan and Marissa, Seth and Summer managed to be the strongest couple in this series. I mean with Seth’s insecurities and self-absorbed tendencies and Summer’s raging back-outs, they were a match-made in heaven.

seth and summer

Summer was just what Seth needed and vice versa. Her spunk and his dorkiness made for some of the funniest moments on the show. He fought for her attention and love and they were perfect together. Endless babble and constant name calling is the stuff of a winning relationship – right?

quirks

The thing about their relationship is that they were from different worlds, but were so much alike (even when it really didn’t seem like they were).

When Anna showed up, she was the perfect someone test Seth and Summer relationship. Being totally like Seth on the outside, she could talk some sense into Seth in terms of becoming his own person rather than obsessing over not being enough fro Summer. I honestly believe that Seth truly did love Anna as well, but they were stronger together as friends rather than lovers.

seth and anna

That doesn’t mean that their bond wasn’t lovely to watch. Even Summer knew that there was something special between them and thus she began to realize that she truly did love Seth and would not stop fighting for him. I love watching Anna and Seth torture Summer with their matching outfits and mutual interests.

Summer, Seth, Anna

Twinsies!

As much as I loved Anna though, I knew that Summer was the one for Seth. I mean they both had toy horses as bedside buddies. Yes, I’m talking about Captain Oats and Princess Sparkles. It was fate!

captain oats

Being with Seth influenced Summer’s choices and gave her someone to grow with. Marissa was her best friend, but the girl seriously had issues and wasn’t the greatest influence. The amount of growth Summer has throughout the series is amazing.  I think having to buckle down to team up with Seth and Ryan to occasionally rescue Marissa definitely had something to do with it.

drinking buddiesSummer gorws upWhat a change!

Ryan and Taylor 

After all of the Marissa drama for the first three seasons, poor Ryan was in need of some fun and lovin’. I am so glad that the show brought in Taylor as Ryan’s love interest in season four. I mean the girl was a little off her rocker, but that was exactly what Ryan needed. Their moments were so hilarious and adorable!

taylor and ryan

Ryan had to deal with drama from other love interests (Theresa, Sadie, and Lindsay) and they were always putting his life at risk, because Ryan had to be the one to punch out the jerk causing problems for them. But Taylor was different. Yes, she had issues to say the least, but she wasn’t always so dark and gloomy. Her drama usually resulted from something ‘out-there’ that she had gotten herself caught up in – like marrying a french guy that called her breasts his peaches and wrote a book about it. Despite her silliness, Taylor had real insecurities resulting from her hard ass mom not loving her enough (or at least expressing it in the harshest way). She latched on to Ryan as soon as he showed some sort of kindness towards her. Ryan was dealing with his loss of Marissa, so he struggled to let someone else in. It took him a while, but…

taylor ryan

Julie Cooper-Nichol-Cooper + Kirsten

Ju-Ju needed her Ki-Ki. These two were a regular ol’ Thelma and Louise on the show. Julie was too much sometimes with her basically being the root of all evil in Marissa’s life (starting with sleeping with Luke) and being something of a gold-digger after Jimmy bankrupts them and she cuts him loose. Though, even with all of the drama, Julie was hilarious and knew how to turn the party up a few notches. She loved her Queen Bee status and challenged anyone else that tried to step on her expensive shoes.

Julie cooper

But this lady needed to take a chill pill! With that, she latched on to Kirsten, whom she envied for years for growing up wealthy and being the first love of Jimmy. Kirsten seemed to have everything that Julie ever wanted, but she (Julie) didn’t deserve. After realizing how much of a mess she was making of things (including marrying Kirsten’s father, Caleb and secretly trying to kill him) Julie managed to turn things around with a little help from Kirsten. Kirsten was the quiet one with her head on straight (when a glass of chardonnay wasn’t calling her name) and she influenced Julie to clean up her act, as much as she could anyway.

Julie, on the other hand, helped Kirsten lighten up a bit and live a little. Kirsten came to liking Julie more after she was no longer her step-mom. How cruel that was! The two had some fun times, though.

julie kirsten

I always enjoy watching this show and if you’ve never seen it – check it out!

It does bring back memories of my struggles in high school, but at the same time the joy of having this little world to escape through. Being an adult and rewatching it reminds me to only be an outsider on my own terms and enjoy the world around me. I also like to kick back and listen to some great tunes with friends and overwhelm them with my pop cultural references. They love me for it though! Got to keep them on their toes. Great show. Great music. Non-stop entertainment. I just wish that it would have lasted longer.

‘Til next time.

OTH thenandnow

TV: One Tree Hill #Rewatching

Cue Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” and let’s head back over to the fictional town of Tree Hill, North Carolina.

I’m a huge fan of One Tree Hill. The show is inspirational. I mean, some of the things that it touched on would hit my core and I would either be in tears, start thinking about how short life can be (while feeling ever ending at times). Thinking about how PEOPLE walk into our lives, and back out again. How we’re stuck with memories or regrets based on their momentary impacts.

pal

FAMILY can shape us and sometimes break us if we let them. FRIENDS are a gift to us. Think about it: With family, we can’t pick and choose, but friends are these people that we connect with and they essentially become our family. I think the idea of friendship can be taken for granted, because these people voluntarily love us and choose to be around us. And I am not talking about normal acquaintances – I mean the people that know us better than we know ourselves and will do anything for us (and vise versa). The next time you see your friends, hug it out – just because. Then again, this too can be said for family.

Here’s a little background: One Tree Hill begins about the story of Lucas and Nathan Scott, half brothers fathered by Dan Scott (the funniest and most hated guy on the show). Lucas is the rejected son, but grew up with a supportive mother, Karen, and loving uncle, Keith Scott. Nathan is the spoiled rich brother who had a dad growing up, but was subject to the mental abuse of Dan. You see, Dan always wanted to win and be the best. When he didn’t go all the way in his basketball career, he pushed Nathan to be the best. And oh yeah, basketball is the common thread in the show – along with music, literature, and art. Both brothers have talent, but their different upbringings make them competitive and the game becomes more than a just a sport.

basketball

One Tree Hill is essentially about life, family, friendship, love, and loyalty. The show really allows the audience to grow with the characters and over time, you can look back at the spectrum of the characters’ growth and it is a beautiful thing.

growth

Here’s what I love about the show: 

Family 

I mentioned earlier that Lucas, the protagonist of the show, grew up without a father. However, I should rephrase that by saying that he grew up without his biological father, Dan. But, the thing is that he was better off without the SOB. Lucas had Karen and Keith, two people that raised him to have character and to be the best version of himself – no matter what life threw at him (and it threw some mean curve balls). When Lucas decided to go for his dreams (basketball and later writing), the lessons that Karen and Keith taught him shaped him to be a person that would inspire his friends and family.

karen lucas

lucas keith karen

Though Brooke Davis virtually grew up without any sort of parental support, she managed to allow her friends to teach her valuable lessons and to let her own mistakes shape her to be and do better. Her parents financially supported her, but love was the missing factor for a while. Until she became a successful fashion designer, her parents were no where to be found. Her mother, Victoria, became her MANAGER and their relationship was vile until Brooke had the strength to rise up and teach her own mother what it meant to love.

bj10

As a teen, Nathan was the most grown up in his household (and that’s saying a lot). His parents couldn’t seem to grow up and rise up. Dan was probably the worse person to be raised by and Deb (Nathan’s mom) was too strung out on prescription pills (because she was married to Dan) to be coherent enough to be a mom to Nathan. Nathan’s love came from Haley and their support of each other lead him to teach his parents a thing or two about being a family. Through all of the crap that Nathan had to put up with (including Dan’s “betrayal” of his own brother), Nathan had enough love from Haley and their own family to forgive the broken one that he was raised by.

dan diesnathanhaley jamie

Off camera, Haley grew up with a large and supportive family, but Lucas and Karen were her surrogate family while hers travelled and led their own lives. It seemed that she was the most adept to “staying” (until she left) among her parents and many sisters. Her parents idea of parenting was teaching their children valuable lessons, and once they were adults – they were on their own to use those lessons to be whoever they wanted to become. A very loose way of parenting, I think. They were free spirits, though and Haley was mature for her age. Haley and Lucas’s close friendship kept her grounded until she fell in love with Nathan (and later music) and was starting to find her own way. One of the saddest moments in the show is when her mother, Lydia, returns to Tree Hill only to spend one last moment with her daughters.

hmomq

Adopted, Peyton also grew up with a limited amount of parenting. You know something, all of the (teen) characters basically had a fractured family. I don’t know if that can be said about ‘real life’, but jeez, this is kind of sad the more I think about it. Anyway, Peyton lost her adoptive mother when she was young and her adoptive father travelled a lot for work and was hardly ever present. But, Peyton was truly loved by the both of them and this made her kind of a downer (but very artistic). Eventually, a handful of Peyton’s ‘real’ family walked back into her life and she struggled with not having them growing up and allowing them to affect her present life. Again, another sad moment is when Peyton’s biological mother, Ellie, comes back – and (you guessed it) leaves again.ellie peyton

Music, Art, and Literature 

The lives of the characters are very much affected and shaped by their natural talents. Peyton is the artist and music enthusiast, Lucas is the writer (he too is very skilled at b-ball, but it’s not his first gift if you ask me), Brooke is the fashion designer, Haley is the brain and musician, and Nathan is the athlete. These talents connect the characters to one another and ‘save’ them in their darkest moments – but as well as produce some of their happiest moments.

Lucas’s love of literature and his first published work, An Unkindness of Ravens, lends to some of the show’s most inspirational quotes and narration.

lucasandpeyton2

Haley’s gift of music nearly destroyed her relationship with Nathan, but it also made them closer than ever. She was her truest self when she was able to sing and be surrounded by music. This also taught Nathan to value his gift of playing basketball and to become even greater at it. Music played a huge part in the show (the show has one of my favorite soundtracks ever). Artists such as Gavin Degraw, Fall Out Boy, Explosions in the Sky, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Eat World, Sheryl Crow, Michelle Branch and The Wreckers, Tyler Hilton, and many were featured. New artists debuted on the show and Bethany Joy Lenz’s (Haley) real life musical ability was spotlighted. 

haley singing

p.sawyer

DJ P. Sawyer

“The boy saw the comet, and suddenly his life had meaning”

Lucas and Peyton’s relationship was the stuff of legend. In the beginning, the two of them were connected by their mutual brooding, but their connection exceeded that throughout the show. Again, because they were both artists in their own rights, they found a connection that out-phased everything else.

comet lucas

When Peyton was too afraid to let someone love her, Lucas moved on to Brooke, which I think was genuine, but not true love. Brooke was merely a substitution and Lucas was someone that made Brooke feel insecure about herself. He never truly let her in as he was subconsciously (and consciously) waiting for Peyton to realize the truth. Of course with all love triangles – things got very messy, especially since Brooke and Peyton were best friends.

lucas brooke peyton

Torn between two lovers

number 3 heart

When the three of them were honest with themselves and each other, Lucas and Peyton finally got together. But with love, the road is filled with many obstacles and detours. For years, these two continued to fight for each other (even when others were in their places – cough Lindsay, cough Julian). Both of Lucas’s novels were about Peyton, even when he thought they weren’t. He subconsciously wrote to her to let her know – “It’s you, Peyton.”

peyton happy lucas

lucas peyton wedding

“Always and Forever”

Nathan and Haley had one of the most surprising, but beautiful relationships. They started on the opposite ends of the high school totem pole – the jock and the brainiac. Yeah I know, stereotypes, but they come from somewhere right? Anyway, while Nathan was getting tutored by Haley, he fell in love with her and she with him. Kind of a Cinderella story.

Haley Nathan s1

But again, love is not this smooth sailing thing. They got married in high school –  so they still had a lot of growing up to do on their own ends. They had yet to realize what they wanted for themselves and from each other. Indeed it was a bumpy ride, but this couple seemed to be the one that the others admired and aspired to be. For the most part, they were together through the length of the series. Always and…

nathanhaley100

“Brooke Davis is going to change the world someday, and I’m not sure she even knows it”

Brooke is my favorite character in the show. She began as the stereotypical cheerleader – boy crazy and kind of ditzy. She ‘slutted’ herself around during the first few years of high school, until she had her heart-broken by Lucas. Actually, she still kind of ‘worked her magic’ after both big splits with Lucas. Brooke fell so hard for him that somewhere in the process, she lost herself, but eventually found someone that she didn’t even know that she could be. For a while, she put all of her energy into partying and dating, because the alternative – the big picture- was something that she didn’t want to think about.

brooke2

After being the third wheel in Lucas and Peyton’s love story for far too long, Brooke made a name for herself by creating her own fashion line and grew up to be a responsible and tough as nails chick.

Clothes Over Bros, yo.

Eventually though, she wanted more than just work and money, and sought after forming her own family – because hers sucked. After fighting with her mother and dating the wrong guys, she wanted a family that was truly her own.

Brooke1

Eventually though, she got everything that she could ever want – literally taking a few cuts and bruises to get there.

brooke babies

“Every good story needs a villain, I’m sorry but I’m yours”

Dan Scott. The most hated guy in Tree Hill. Like the quote says above, every good story needs a good villain, and this guy takes the cake. I’ll try to list some of the crap Dan did in the series and you try to figure out how he continued to worm his way into his family’s lives. First and foremost, he truly was a self-righteous guy.

Dan and Nathan

The next thing (and creating the premise of the show) he left Karen while she was pregnant with Lucas. He then knocked up Deb and stayed with her all in a matter of months. Then, he pit Nathan against Lucas, making Nathan feel more superior. He chastised Keith for sticking around and supporting Lucas, when he was too proud to do so himself. Few years later, after all of the pushing to be the best, he alienated Nathan and Deb – making them two more people to hate him. There’s also a bunch of crap that he pulled with Whitey – the basketball coach and voice of reason in the show’s the show’s early seasons. Their feud made up for some great moments.

dan and whitey

I can skip all of the bullying that he continued to do, including paying someone to fall in love with and break Keith’s heart. I mean, the guy was truly an ass, but there’s one thing that he did that sent the characters and the show on a painful path – shooting and killing Keith – his own brother. Yep, he took away the person that everyone loved, because he envied him. Pretty Shakespearian, huh?

dan and keith

As you can imagine, the characters would never be the same again and Dan could never truly be a part of his family. Though honestly, Nathan was someone that he truly loved and in some way, he tried to make him a better man than he ever was or could be. When Nathan became a NBA player and had a family of his own, the thing Dan regretted the most was not being a part of it. Hey, he even regretted not being a part of Lucas’s family. Their hatred didn’t stop him from trying though, because –

dan scott kill

An Unkindness of Ravens 

As mentioned before, basketball is a huge part of One Tree Hill. In the beginning, it was used to pit Lucas and Nathan against each other, but before long, it was the game that brought ALL of the characters together. Though I enjoyed all of the competitiveness and how the feud made for comedic moments – it was when the game fostered moments of joy that made it special.

nathan lucas

bond brothers

For a while, Lucas and Nathan fought over the game and kept score of who was the best, but it was indeed Nathan that was the most gifted at it. From being someone raised to be competitive and have little character, the game was something that he truly loved. Before we knew it, Nathan was training to be the best – not just at the game – at being a husband, a brother, a father, and a son (to Deb). He rose above Dan, but became all that Dan wanted him to be and more.

nathan scott

Lucas also loved the game, but his role exceeded being just a player. Inspired by Keith and Whitey, Lucas became a coach to share with the next generation all that he learned from the game. He even helped Nathan get back on track after his accident.

lucas coach

I’ll end this, because my caffeine high is coming to a halt. There’s so much more to talk about, but the best way to appreciate the show is to watch it. So yeah, pop some popcorn and binge watch. Don’t forget to take in all of the inspiring moments. Dance to the music. Cry when the ones you start to love – leave. And laugh at all of Dan’s belittling and Nathan and Whitey’s incredible comebacks.

dan whitey 2

‘Til next time.

hotel lights

Music: “Follow Through” by Hotel Lights

“I’ll break down if you come around”

Aside from my infatuation with television and film, I listen to A TON of music. But, who doesn’t? The thing is, I become so obsessed with a song that I have to know all about the artist(s) background and inspiration behind making it – at least when I can find these stories and interviews online. Anyway, a song that I have been listening to on a reg is “Follow Through” by Hotel Lights.

This song is just perfect. I mean, it’s soothing, it’s upbeat, it’s emotional, and it’s a little hypnotic. I first heard it on One Tree Hill (season 5), a series that had a knack for including amazing music. Then again on Grey’s Anatomy (season 2) – and I had to make sure that I had this song in my arsenal.

The song is perfect for sitting in a coffee shop and reading a great book or going out on a sunny day (or a matter of fact, on a chilly day) for a jog. It’s also a song that will make you reminisce about moments in your past that make you smile.

You know, it’s one of those whimsical songs, and I tend to be attracted to the sort of music.

Have a listen if you’re in the mood for something light and mellow.

-‘Til next time.

felicity

TV: Felicity #Rewatching

“Everybody Hurts” – R.E.M.

Dear Sally –

In order for me to do this show any justice in terms of ‘reviewing’ it, I need to focus on the reasons why I love this show. I mean, for a show that only had four seasons, it had such an impact on my entire college experience. I probably would have had more of a social life in college if I watched less of the series amongst the many other shows I spent my free time watching. Most of the time, I would knock out those papers and chapters just so I had more time to watch TV. Truthfully, I’m not even ashamed to admit this. Felicity was one of the first shows that I re-watched in college and I even got my first roommate into it. We would shut ourselves in our little cave (re: dorm room) and watch the hell out of this show, even when we had a crap load of work to do. We’d be like, “let’s just finish this disc” (I have the series on DVD). Or, “let’s just watch it while we eat.” I don’t know anyone else who took five hours to eat their lunch.

Anyway, let’s start off with a little preamble: Felicity is about a girl from Palo Alto, California named (you guessed it) Felicity, who decides to go to college in New York City after her high school crush, Ben, writes in her yearbook. Once in New York, she meets a number of interesting characters and has to decide what path she wants to take for her life and love life. She begins college communicating with her friend, Sally, via cassette tape – recording her thoughts about how things are going in college. The recordings sort of stop once she’s thrust into the college life and made new friends. It’s a little more extensive than that, but that’s why you need to watch the show!

felicity-ep-1-photo

What did I get myself into?

Here are some of the reasons why this show is so amazing and addicting.

The Opening Credits

The first two seasons of Felicity open with flashes of black & white photos of Felicity and the other characters in the show – pondering and hanging out in the wonderful city of New York. Felicity drinks coffee in a cafe, pets a dog, waits for the subway, laughs with her friends – daily life sort of things. The music is mellow and doesn’t have actual words, adding a calm and chill nature to the credits. The photos aren’t perfect either, which is a nice wink to the ‘realism’ approach the show tries to emulate (at least most of the time). Some of the shots are blurry, or the characters are out of focus, or they are not completely in frame. Great stuff.

felicity opening 2

I also like the opening credits in the third and fourth seasons too, but they are your basic in-color episode clips with actual lyrics in the new theme song: “New Version of You.” Yeah, we get it. I still wonder why they changed the credit style? Anyway, the black & white credits are stills from moments that we don’t see in the actual episodes – a look behind the scenes of the lives of the characters.

felicity opening

Team Ben vs. Team Noel 

Before there was Team Jacob vs. Team Edward or Team Stefan vs. Damon or even Peeta vs. Gale (or any other fictional love triangle after the 90s) – there was Team Ben vs. Noel. Yes, Felicity was caught between two lovers, but not in a weird kinky sort of way. She came to NY to follow her high school crush, Ben, but found herself unexpectedly falling for someone else in the midst of dealing with the struggle of college, Noel. She had the best RA, who eventually became someone she loved and who loved her from the moment he first saw her. Sounds great, right? Going to college and finding your soulmate and living happily ever after. The end. But no, Felicity’s little world is all but a fairytale. You see, this chick isn’t someone who can make up her mind or make the right choices – until after she’s made the wrong ones. I mean, obviously from the premise of the show. Following a guy to college doesn’t sound like the smartest thing to do, especially if you’ve only had one conversation with him. Felicity says “obviously” a lot, by the way.

Even though Noel is into her right away, Felicity is at the University of New York (it’s a fictional college based on NYU) for BEN. She’s so determined to get Ben to fall in love with her that she’s blind to see how Noel feels for her. It takes having Ben call her “crazy” and rejecting her to get her to see what’s been right in front of her. Noel is there to hear all about her crazy antics in wooing Ben, and he even bails her out of some of the situations she gets herself into. More on that later. But, eventually she falls for him too – and presto! The end.
noel and felicity3

Yeah, I think you all see where this is going. Allow me to continue. So after Noel and Felicity get together, guess who comes around and see’s how amazing Felicity is – despite her impulsiveness? You guessed it, Big Ben. That’s when all hell breaks loose, because now Felicity can have what she wanted in the first place. And then Noel’s “past” comes to get him as well. Let’s just say, Ben and Felicity get together. The end.
felicty and ben

Sure….. Yeah right. You guys, need to keep up.
noel and felicty and ben

Noel was the best RA, even when he wasn’t the RA anymore

Freshmen year was a hot mess for Felicity and she always seemed to get her nose stuck where it shouldn’t have been. From retyping Ben’s paper and nearly getting them both expelled for plagiarism, to stealing his admission file and again almost getting him expelled. There was one person that Felicity could always count on to help her out with her impulsiveness. Noel was the RA of the century – even when he didn’t want to be. He was in love with a girl, that was in love with someone else. He didn’t let that bother him (for a while) and came to Felicity’s rescue on many occasions. His best advice, “Stay in New York or perish.”noel felicity office

But Felicity wasn’t the only one living in the dorms so Noel had his hands full with the rest of the freshmen crew. Even Elena, with her toughness and desire to be the best in class, needed Noel’s help from time to time. From sleeping with the ‘tin-man’ (Halloween episode) or trying to figure out how to actually date someone you just met (and slept with). Somehow, Noel had the answers. He also realized that she could help him out with his Felicity troubles. An eye for an eye. Their budding friendship and partnership made up for some very hilarious scenes. They eventually became roommates in season 2. I secretly always wanted them to hook up.

noel RAnoel and elena 2

Then there’s Richard, the sort of guy that will annoy the hell out of you, because he’s so self-righteous and oblivious to his asshole-ness. He tried Noel on many occasions, including hosting a BBQ in his dorm room – violating so many rules. Noel threatened to get him kicked out, but then Richard caught Noel making out with another resident – Felicity. So, um yeah, their friendship and endless dueling became the stuff of legend. He even became likable as you felt for the guy who just wanted friends and to fit in. Who can’t relate to that?
richard and noel2Richard and noel noel and richard

Another problem that Felicity continuously had was with her roommate, Megan. More on that later. But Megan and Noel had their own relationship. Megan’s bluntness and know-it-all ticked Noel off, but made him keep coming back for info – because who didn’t know more about what Felicity was up to than the person sleeping across from her? Even after Megan gave Noel beet powder (he’s allergic and becomes neurotic after consumption) calling it ‘smart powder’ during finals, he continued to put up with her crap. A necessary evil.
Noel and meganMegan blunt

After an entire school year of assisting the residents, Noel was no longer their RA, but the gang continued to depend on his guidance and friendship. The job was never-ending.

noel laughs

Elena was the best, best friend 

Elena began as the girl living across from Felicity who just happened to be around when crap was going down in Felicity’s life. She was also the smartest and most determined premed student that Felicity knew and Felicity leaned on her for guidance – both academically and personally. When Felicity was dealing with Ben rejecting her or Noel’s confession of love, Elena rolled her eyes but gladly became the best friend a girl could ask for. Even giving Felicity sex tips. You see, Elena was the most confident person ever (next to Megan and Sean), but she was kind of clueless when it came to dating. Especially freshman year. So of course, her advice doesn’t help and lends to one the most hilarious episodes ever in the series.

elena

“Keep your eye on the ball”

Their friendship lasted all four years and beyond (if you don’t include Elena’s fate and reversed fate at the end of the series). Her kickass attitude even attracted the other characters. Though Julie was Felicity’s first best friend in college, Elena became the glue to keep them all together, because Julie and Felicity had issues when it came to Ben.

julie and elena

What are you up to now, Felicity?

One of my favorite episodes is when Elena and Noel decided to dress up as Subway (yes, the restaurant) employees for the Halloween party at Ben and Sean’s. The deal was that they BOTH had to attend as a duo. However, Noel’s RA duties got in the way of him attending and Elena had to walk around the party taking people’s sub orders. Oh, hell no! Check out that uniform.

elena halloween

Elena was the best friend that anyone could ask for in college. She was smart, tough, funny, and the men loved her! Felicity’s impulsive tendencies and never-ending boy troubles always led her in some crazy situations, like the time Ben saved a woman’s life after she was shot at a party. Turns out the woman was filthy rich and became obsessed with Ben – while he was dating Felicity. She tried to let Felicity know that she would fight for him, but Elena had Felicity’s back and helped her learn some martial arts. What more could you ask for in a bestie?
elena could kick butt Elena felicity

Dean & Deluca w/ Javier

Boy troubles isn’t the only thing that Felicity had to worry about. I mean the girl is going to college in NY – against her parents wishes by the way. So without their support, she’s got to work. Dean & Deluca is one of the jobs that she gets freshman year, and continues to be her main job throughout the series – because she’s had an awesome manager named Javier.

Javier becomes one of Felicity’s best friends and offers her some great advice about her love life, like Elena. Felicity and Javier even try to get married at one point, but it’s not how you think. He’s even a fan of “Ben-ja-min”, and eventually hires him – despite all of the drama with Felicity. He’s kind of like the Cupid in the group. Plus, his thick Spanish accent makes everything that he says feisty! You could grab a cup of coffee and a scone with a side of saucy Javier.

javier and ben

Sean and his Smoothaise

You know, the most refreshing part about Felicity was that the show didn’t limit the friendships to be composed of only kids in college, like including Javier. Sean was the guy with all of the ideas. Literally. He was a self-proclaimed inventor and entrepreneur. He always tried to make a buck. He was the perfect example to teach the kids about that hustle life, because sometimes life doesn’t work out exactly like you plan it to (during) and after college. His presence assured the gang to keep working for what they believed in. I do find it hilarious that he befriended a bunch of college kids, but hey – got to keep those ideas fresh and where else can you get characters for the most bad ass documentary series, “Docuventary” (because he’s an inventor making a documentary). Get it?

I think teaming up with Richard was the best part about Sean’s documentary. Showcasing some of the most private moments of his friends while keeping the price of the moments on his mind and having Richard be his PA is just GOLD. Who wouldn’t buy this?

Sean the directorsean reality show

Sean always had a get rich master plan. Even having all the peeps over at his great apartment wasn’t just about socializing and demonstrating his hospitality, because he was charging most of them rent. And while having them there, he had an audience to test out his new inventions and hear out his new ideas.
sean inventions sean inventions 2

He also sold things to benefit the college students, like essential study kits or that time he sold fruit during finals. I mean, that’s pretty genius.

sean selling fruit

I’ll never forget the time Sean inserted himself in the catering biz with Ben at Dean & Deluca just to have people try out his new food condiment – Smoothaise. Sounds delicious, right? Ben was having some relationship issues and Sean, instead of being supportive of his friend, was asking people to try out his Smoothaise.

Ben, try out my Smoothase?

Ben, try out my Smoothaise

Megan was the best roomie, even when she wasn’t

The scary part about college is when you have to move into your dorm with a stranger for a roommate. Some people get really lucky with someone amazing, but other’s aren’t so lucky. Case in point: Felicity’s college roommate, Megan. Their living arrangement was the most pivotal during their freshman year – when they first met. But, somehow due to television circumstances, they ended up living together at one point or another during all four seasons.

Megan and Felicity were two totally different people. Felicity was the straight-lace neurotic college student, while Megan was the Gothic club-nympho, with something pretty epic in a box. I honestly still don’t know what she had in there, even after the ‘artsy’ (being nice) episode that showed us what’s in the box. All I know is that she was paranoid with Felicity looking in the box.

As you might have guessed, they did not get along in the beginning, but Megan was always there to be totally blunt about Felicity’s struggles. The first few episodes, she would just pop in the room with some outrageous outfit ensemble on and say something rude during the perfect time. But Megan became someone to steer Felicity back into reality. Her ‘rudeness’ was something that Felicity needed (that all of the characters needed, actually), because most of the time (not all of the time) she was being honest. Down the line, she couldn’t help but be in Felicity’s little circle of friends (even when she didn’t want to).

“Did you open my box?”

Living with Sean and Megan

The best of the roomies collide. Someone’s got to tell Sean how ridiculous his ideas are and someone’s got to tell Megan how much of a bitch she’s being. Both of them mature tremendously during the last few seasons, and I’ll just leave it at that.

sean and megan

“New Version of You” (Felicity’s infamous haircut) 

Well, if you’ve ever heard of Felicity, you are probably familiar with the whole Felicity haircut fiasco. Yes, she starts college with a head of glorious big curls and chops them off in season 2. Why? She went crazy, of course!felicty hair

No, but in all seriousness – Felicity cut her hair because she needed a change. Sounds like a cliche, but that’s what happened in the story. Now, the reason behind KERI RUSSELL cutting her hair, I don’t know. Maybe she went crazy – or needed a change as well. I think it was all about growing up and shedding away all of her past mistakes. She became anew!

I similarly cut off all of my hair during my junior year in college for similar reasons. One of my friends even asked me if I was pulling a Felicity. No, I wasn’t exactly inspired by little miss busy body, but I was in need of a huge change in my life. So adios to the hair that has been with me my whole life, and hello naked head. Ready for the world!

felicty hair cut

Throughout the first few episodes of ‘the new Felicity’, her friends and (a heart-broken and angry) Noel questioned her big decision (well he just laughed). Even Felicity questioned herself at one point. Her love life was in shambles and she also decided to change her major from premed to art. She was starting all over and it was kind of scary.

oops

Eventually, everyone got over the haircut and Felicity was growing up. She started dating (outside of Ben and Noel) and was enjoying her new artsy and independent lifestyle. She was rockin’ that haircut! And even in the midst of the big changes in her life, two things returned to normalcy – or should I say two guys!
hair felicity

Maybe the haircut was just Felicity being impulsive as usual, and yeah people hated it – within and outside of the show. Despite this, Felicity continued to be a great show even without the big curls. Hair grows back guys!

felicty hair 2

Finals Week

Every season of Felicity has finals week, or hell week. I mean, it’s a show about life in college and we can’t forget the week that sends college kids into a definite frenzy. Felicity and the gang aren’t safe from the week of utter terror. So finals week is basically a week of cramming everything that you (were suppose to) learn during the semester – in hopes of passing the final exam or write a great paper. Wow, just thinking about my finals week makes the hair on the back of my neck stand. It’s like you have to pull a miracle and relearn everything and remember it when you’re actually tested!

finals

So basically, all of the students in your university are on edge – which makes for a number of hilarious situations. During the first season of Felicity, Noel and Felicity are newly dating, but haven’t actually made it official that they are dating. So the whole time they just want to make-out and talk, and make-out some more – but they have to study for their finals. This is where Richard catches them and it’s such a funny moment.finals2

Eventually, they have to separate and Noel has to try to convince Richard not to get him fired from being an RA. Felicity then runs into Ben, who asks for help on studying. He and Julie (Felicity’s supposed BFF – I can’t stand her) are sort of dating by this time as well.

julie and ben finals

Felicity of course helps Ben out, because she owes him after almost getting him expelled in an earlier episode. Plus, I don’t think she knows how to say no to him. Meanwhile, Noel is running around looking for her and runs into Megan, who gives him “smart powder.” Noel finds Felicity studying with Ben and his insecurities added with the beets in his smart powder make him totally overact. All the while, both of them still need to study for their finals. Sean is walking around selling fruit by this time as well.

Finals week creates some of the best moments in the series and the characters each approach the week in their own way –  surviving the best way that they know how.

noel finals noel and Elena noel and felicity finals ben finals odes

The Squad

As Felicity is trying to find herself and survive the college life, she meets all of these amazing people. The group is there for one another – when they are not killing each other. Without a doubt, Felicity’s friends are the BEST reason this show is amazing. Without the love triangles, the fights, and Sean’s terrible inventions – the show wouldn’t have been what it was, because each character literally had an important part to play. Felicity wouldn’t have survived without her squad.

squad

I watch this show when I need a reality check or when I need to remind myself that friendship is important and finding myself is essential. College wouldn’t have been the same without this show and I’m betting the more I revisit Felicity and the crew, I’ll understand and accept becoming an adult even more.

Thanks for reading. ‘Til next time.

P.S. I’m still Team Noel. noelWait…

benNo, no. Definitely Noel.

Noel and felictyDamn it!

ben face

Noel inside his mind

Why don’t they ever pick me?

before sunrise

Films I’m Watching: Before Sunrise Trilogy

I’m going to take a deep sigh and just pause for a second.

You know, I’m kind of disappointed in myself for haven’t watched these films earlier. I mean, Richard Linklater is one of my favorite film writers and directors. I aspire to make movies about life and growing with characters over time. Even if the setting is in a day – like Dazed and Confused or over 18 years like The Before Sunrise series. He has a real talent for catching the essence of human existence and interaction with friends, loved ones, and the people around us.

So I was in a mood for a romance film. I just love seeing a connection between two people and seeing different personalities find and complete each other. The Before Sunrise series was everything and more than I was looking for. I had just finished watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Pride and Prejudice, two of my favorites by the way, but I wanted something a little more authentic. Google was my friend and I stumbled upon Ethan Hawke’s face in Google images under romance films and boom! I saw Linklater’s name tied to the film so I had to see what it was all about. Before I knew it, I was on the third movie and in a pit of emotion.

I don’t want to make this post super long, because I have a lot to say about these films. Just the conversations alone can call for 5 or 10 separate posts. But here is what I loved, and I’ll talk about the series as a whole even though it’s three separate movies.

1) The conversation

Beginning with Before Sunrise, the two characters get along so well due to their endless thoughts just about everything. Life, love, time, self-growth, family, etc. They share their deep thoughts about things that we continue to sort out in our minds and they sort them – out loud and to a stranger. Open to judgment, but more open to acceptance. In Before Sunset, the conversation is all about catching up and resolve. What has your life been like without me? Seeing two people reconnect after falling in love and not seeing each other for nine years is bound to be interesting to see and hear. It all boils down to, how could we ever be apart again? Before Midnight introduces more characters in the mix for a period of time – couples of different ages  and with different connections. They share what works in their relationships and what it means to be someone  else’s other half – most of the time. Then, there’s this epic explosion of feelings between our main couple as they let each other (and us) know what time can do to love. It’s not always sunsets and long walks where time seems to become irrelevant. It’s messy and painful..but all the same beautiful. What they say to each other is hurtful (to the other and to themselves), but necessary.

before midnight

2) The body language

Most of the time the characters are talking in the films, but when there is silence the characters are still saying something and it’s powerful. The body language between the two characters is so natural and unforced. You can feel them falling in love even by a simple glance or a quick smile turned away. One of my favorite scenes is from Before Sunrise, when the characters listen to music at the record shop. They are trying to hide how they are feeling from the other, but they are so curious to know how the other is feeling.

eyes

3) The Scenery

Europe is the perfect setting these films. In the midst of seeing all of the ruins and the old buildings, there’s something true and unkept about falling in love. Strolling around and getting lost in conversation and seeing old churches and scattered tourists, then wandering into a coffee shop. People speaking different languages all around you, but all you hear is each other. There’s a foreignness and dreamlike element to the whole situation. Two people from two different worlds, meeting and connecting. Plus, Before Sunset is set in Paris, so yes…we’re going to fall in love. 

walking

4) Time

Each film operates under a day for the most part. The titles set the time and cause a sense of urgency. In ‘Sunrise’ the characters learn about as much as they can about each other, because they have to return to reality and fly back to America and take a train back to Paris the next morning. They met by chance and their time together was to buy time until facing the real world, but it turned into something more prominent. The second film is the most urgent, I think. They have reconnected and fallen in love all over again and leaving makes less and less sense. There’s a flight to catch back home to America…to a family. They also learn that they were both in New York at the same time for a number of years and never crossed paths. The pain of ‘what if’ eats at both of them. if they would have reconnected sooner, their lives would be so much happier. The third film answers the question of what happened after reconnecting in Paris. We can see what time has done to the pair and they let each other know in a fit of rage and emotion. What have we done to each other? Is this the price of love? Can we beat it…before midnight?

trilogy

The films kind of remind me of the 1960s French New Wave film, Breathless, with the famous jump-cut editing.

breathless

Anyway, the series is powerful and a pleasure to watch. It made me really think about what could happen when you fall in love. What happens when you separate? What happens when you stay together? Linklater is a genius and I applaud him for this masterpiece.

‘Til next time.

FullSizeRender

TV: Beverly Hills, 90210 #Rewatching

“Heavy” – Collective Soul

So I’ve watched Beverly Hills, 90210 through its entirety  3 or 4 times in my lifetime. I’ve laughed at the ridiculous outfits from the early 90s, cried at poor Kelly’s sealed fate of having her life ripped into pieces on multiple occasions (rape [twice], burn victim, coke addict, victim of infidelity (though she had that one coming to her), miscarriage, shooting victim, single-white-femaled, child of divorce, child of an addict, etc. etc.). Basically, I stood up an cheered for Kelly during the series finale just because, you know, she made it out alive. So yeah, I rooted for the characters, I hated them sometimes (some more than others) and overall, they felt like family or my best friends.

So we're besties, right?

So we’re besties, right?

Substitutions for the real thing I guess, since I started watching this show during my years of social awkwardness and teen angst. Basically, I grew with the show and with its characters at a time in my life where I had no idea what it meant to be an adult. So either I was taught valuable lessons, distracted from the real world, or somehow replacing my real life. I honestly think all of the above. With a show like BH 90210, and honestly any show that you feel compelled to, you can tend to push the pause button on your actual life and become consumed by the [fictional] lives of the characters in the show. It’s like reading a good book.

I was totally team Brenda after that backstabbing stunt Kelly and Dylan pulled in season 2/3. I mean I’m still not over it. Then, there’s Brandon – the boy that you hope to marry someday / Mr. Perfect. His flaws surfaced on a number of occasions, assuring that he’s only human like the rest of us. Donna’s high stance on abstinence is something I still think about. I mean she wanted to wait until marriage (she folded eventually) while the rest of her friends where knocking boots in high school. She slept with the guy that she loved though and eventually married, so I still give her props for waiting for right time and someone. And Dylan – I don’t know where to start honestly. He’s the cool guy. The surfer. The guy with all the answers – philosophical and all. The heart-breaker. The bad boy. The guy that your parents may not approve of. But then, he’s got a heart of gold and he’s family oriented. He loves with his whole heart and doesn’t waste time on the ‘minute dame.’ Well, he’ll stay for a minute…but that’s it. He’s ‘there’ for the ‘one’ that he loves.

Spreading the Love?

Which one?

I still don’t believe Kelly was his true love though. I guess I am just team Brenda when it comes to that whole love triangle. Although, he an Brenda were high school sweeties and you know, that’s not certain true love. You still have to grow and change with one another. Indeed he and Kelly saw the true sides of each other and maybe that’s why they belonged together? I honestly argue that Brandon was Kelly’s true love – because he made her grow up and stop being so self absorbed, while she made him break out of the perfect guy role and grow into a man (flaws and all).

Are we going to grow together?

Are we going to grow together?

They humanized each other, while Kelly and Dylan were too similar and too self absorbed to mold into true love. Was Dylan and Brenda meant to be? I think they were. Both artists in a way. Aware of the world around them and beyond them.

triangle

I didn’t forget about Steve, David, and Andrea (I’m focusing on the original cast, so sorry Valerie and the rest). Steve really grew up throughout the show. From someone that had everything handed to him and was a heart-breaker, he fell for a real woman (Janet). Someone out of his little orbit. David just slipped down hill making immature decisions and continued to be the “young one” until he realized Donna was his true love and somethings just needed to change. Andrea was the brain and the good girl. The nerd that we thought would never be associated with such rad and popular friends. I saw the show and its characters through her lens for a while until I started identifying with how cool Brenda was. It was like Andrea was realistically me and Brenda was who I wanted to be.

Andrea, the Girl on Fire

Andrea, the Girl on Fire

The fact that Andrea became a mother her freshman year in college, I think was the first wake up call to the gang that life was happening and nothing was as it seemed. Adulthood was like a venom that would spread. First Andrea with getting married and with motherhood (dealing with separation later) that forced the group to recognize that their molds in high school wouldn’t stick forever.

Brenda’s early departure was another. This taught them that they had different roads ahead of them and having each other may not be the case forever. We’d soon start to see many of the cast leave and return and leave again. The character sought life beyond the zip code.

Wrapping it up – I guess my point of this is that the show was like an enclosed world that I wasn’t apart of, but kind of was. I got to watch the characters evolve from season to season. Some of them had issues that I could relate to or couldn’t. I’m re-watching the show for like the 5th or 6th time (I lost track). I’m in my 20s and some of the things I related to during the show’s high school years seem petty and ridiculous. The things I looked over, I now see clearly. Like falling for Dylan as a teen, but now see Brandon as the it-guy.

Best of both worlds?

Best of both worlds?

Brenda’s melodrama is kind of a toss, but boy did she have style! I didn’t care for her wanting to be an actress and move to Europe and be out on her own deal – when I was a teen. But now, oh man do I relate! I don’t want to be an actress, but I do want to see the world and have that independence and self assurance that she fought for.

Independence

Independence

Andrea was a character that I used to look over, but I find myself so attached to her now. She’s the outcast, but the one that sheds prospective on the rest of the group. Things like that are what I think make good television. Yeah, it’s a teen drama (and later on more of a soap opera) from the 90s, but it like a time capsule to me. I am reminded of the things I cared about then and how detached I was from reality. Watching it as an adult is even more enjoyable than as a teen. I am ready to see what else has changed about ‘myself’ as I notice the things in the show that I didn’t before.

Squad Goals

Squad Goals

If you love teen dramas, shows from the 90s, soap operas, stories about growing up – watch Beverly Hills, 90210. Hope I didn’t spoil too much if you’ve never seen it. There’s a Lifetime ‘Unauthorized’ film coming out about the show too, so maybe that’s something to check out as well. Or not. The show is something special to me, so of course I’m going to check it out out of curiosity.

When your mom buys off-brand cereal...

When your mom buys off-brand cereal

‘Til next time.

pretty woman

Feeling Kind of Unfulfilled #Movies

You know, as someone who grew up loving (I mean really loving) movies and admiring different actors for portraying an array of characters – movies just do not touch me the way they used to. Wow, great that sounds like I’ve become some sad woman in a hopeless relationship – but I kind of am. Movies used to be there for me, for whatever emotion that I was feeling or that I needed to feel.

See, I was born in the early 90’s so I began watching movies in the early-mid 90’s. Do you remember how great movies were back then? Then, I discovered movies from the 80’s, 70’s, 60’s…at such an early age. I remember getting absolutely lost in those cinematic universes. They were definitely a way to escape and feel like someone brand new. I was just a kid so my life of course was limited on excitement. Some stuff I hadn’t gotten around to learning about in school and I was able to learn by watching movies. And I watched all kinds of movies (except for horror movies – screw that!). As I said before, I would get lost in movies and the worlds and characters became as real as the skin on my body. Imagine what happened when I randomly got a peek of a horror movie. Yes, I’m talking about you Pennywise the clown and Leprechaun. The movies would bait me in as kiddy films (something like Goonies and Fright Night, but more scary), but all of a sudden I would be like “wait a second, I’m scarred and the walls are closing in on me and I think Leprechaun is looking right at me through the screen.” Hmm, no thank you. Even today as someone in their 20’s, I do not watch horror movies. And joy to the remakes of said horror movies.

Anything else was fair game. I was mostly drawn to the fantasy, science fiction, and romantic-dramas. Three of the first few films that I can remember watching and enjoying were Pretty Woman, The Wizard of OZ, and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. Pretty Woman of course had that Cinderella aspect to it and I loved (love) Julia Roberts. She had hair for days and that smile just made me smile. Funny thing about her and Richard Gere was that they looked like the ‘white versions’ of my aunt and uncle – the folks that introduced me to these films. I enjoyed the double-takes. Then, The Wizard of Oz starts off as black and white and I remembered sitting on the floor eating a popsicle and thinking “this is going to be so boring, but I’ll watch it anyway” and then the story got more and more exciting with the tornado and I was like “this black and white movie is amazing” and then the movie goes into color and there are munchkins and witches, “What is going on? I want to live there!” Naturally, I patiently waited on my tornado – oh to being a kid! With The 50 Foot Woman, I became a real sci-fi geek at like the age of 4 or 5. Seeing this gigantic woman get revenge on her douchebag husband was bad ass! Just the fact that she was 50 feet tall appealed to me. I was thinking, how did that happen, could that happen to me? From there, movies got even more exciting with new movies coming out during that time and the sequels, and I was discovering movies from other times. John Hughes became my saving grace. I would watch anything Brat Pack related.

Maybe it was that I was a kid and I hadn’t had the opportunity to, you know live and discover the real world, that made movies so fulfilling. But, I think there’s more to it. There was originality and new special-effects that opened my eyes to the possibility of new things. Fresh things. Now a days, I cannot seem to be fulfilled by watching movies, at least new movies. Even these big block busters are kind of a bore. I’m excited for the first 10 minutes and then I’m like oh, that’s so predictable. That’s what it is – predictability. If it’s not that, it’s all of the reboots and remakes. Gosh, I can’t handle another refresh of anything. Leave the classics alone. But, then I think about it, these new filmmakers and even the older filmmakers are living in the past and are nostalgic about how certain films took them away and allowed them to escape. They want to live in those worlds by remaking them or at least showing the younger audiences how it felt to watch these movies – and ooh how cooler would it be if they came out today, during the time of social media and technology! That’s fine and all, but wow, wouldn’t it be nice to watch a new movie and feel like I’m taking a vacation from my world and entering something unheard of, undreamed of, unpredictable.

Glad to be back guys.

‘Til next time.