Friday, August 24, 2012

King David, The Pool House, And The Big, Comfy Bed

It is Friday.  I am in a celebratory mood. And I am just going to have fun writing this crazy-ass post. ;-)

As I have said before, my daughters and I are engaged in the endeavor of watching The O.C.  This is a TV show which ran for four seasons starting in 2003.  And, yes, I am quite behind in my television watching.  The main character is a young man of 17 named Ryan Atwood (played by a 20-something Ben McKenzie).  Ryan is truly a King David-type character (but, that is another post), though possessing a rather troubled past.   He is taken in by the family of his public defender after a scrape with the law.  The public defender makes no money, of course, but is married to a fabulously wealthy woman, with whom he has one son who is the same age as Ryan.  Thus, they all come live together in the very upscale community of Newport Beach in Orange County.

When Ryan arrives at his new home, the mother of the family decides that he will take up residence in the pool house.  When the doors to the pool house are opened, we see, in the middle of the room, a giant comfy bed -- made up with masculine linens and all sorts of fluffy pillows.  Uh-huh.  If I was the mother in this household, there is no possible way I would put my new, handsome, 17-year-old, King David-like, worldly-wise stepson all by himself in a pool house with this big, wondrous bed right smack dab in the center of it.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  Perhaps I am just narrow-minded, but anyway....

As the story of Ryan and his new family and friends unfolds, I have come to see this bed being used to indicate the status of this boy's relationships with all the different characters, and also his own moods.  Fascinating.  Everything revolves around the bed.  If Ryan is feeling lonely, he reclines by himself in a mopey mood on the bed.  If he has decided that life must take a more serious turn and he is thinking about his future, he is seen studying on the bed.  If he is not feeling so close with his girlfriend, they sit on the edge of the bed; and if he is feeling closer to her, of course they make out on the bed atop all the fluffy pillows.  With a platonic friend, a closer relationship is indicated if they talk on the bed together; more distance is reflected if Ryan is sitting on the bed and his friend on the floor or a nearby chair.  A tentative new relationship with a girl might be illustrated by both of them sitting on the floor at the foot of the bed, perhaps playing a video game.  When the girl that Ryan gets pregnant comes to reside with this family for a while, she is given the pool house to stay in and the big, comfy bed to sleep in, with Ryan being moved into the main house (where I personally would have put him in the first place; but, then nobody would have watched the show).  You see her -- a very beautiful young woman -- through the windows of this lovely structure, making the bed.  Meanwhile, Ryan and his current girlfriend sit together outside, with Ryan looking, understandably, concerned (drastic understatement here).  The visual effect of this scene shows us and causes us to feel the pain of Ryan's situation in a way that 1000 words never could.  And when Ryan leaves his happy new community to go back to his hometown with the pregnant girl, because he feels it is his duty to do so, the image of the mother of the family stripping this bed while crying many tears is stunning -- leaving the audience to grasp fully the impact Ryan has had among the people who have come to love him.  He eventually does return, but during his absence, there are shots of the bed with the blankets and sheets carefully folded at the foot of it.  A stark illustration of a heartbreaking situation.

Maybe I am imagining this whole thing, through the oft-strange workings of my mind, but I don't think so.  I believe what I am seeing is some delightful creativity and compelling story-telling.  And I tip my hat to the creators, producers, writers, and actors of The O.C.  Kudos!!!

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