Thursday, September 26, 2013

An "O.C." Reunion That Might Be Acceptable All-Around

I'm just taking a wild guess about this.  But, here goes.

Recently, the TV show "The O.C." (which ran from 2003-2007) celebrated its 10-year anniversary.  Of course, I only heard about the thing a little over a year ago, so I don't have that long of a history with it.  Some people, though, have loved and adored it from its premiere episode all those years ago right up on to the present day.  And many, if not most, of these long-time fans would love to see a reunion.  But, there are apparently some problems with this reunion concept, not the least of which is the reluctance of a couple of the main stars of the series to do such a thing.  I don't really blame them for this.  Life goes on; other appealing and challenging projects present themselves.  A reunion may seem a bit like going backwards to something that -- even though it was a wonderful cultural phenomenon -- might be best left to iTunes and DVDs.

On the other hand, I feel a bit bad for these scores of faithful fans.  So, I have been wondering about an "O.C." reunion format that might be amenable to those who may be a bit hesitant to participate.

I get the impression that when most people think about a reunion, they think about a continuation of the story.  They imagine the original actors reprising their roles, bringing the tale of the Ryan Atwood and Company up-to-date.  To my mind, there are difficulties with this concept.  The series ended on a very satisfying note, bringing the hope of happiness for each of the beloved characters.  Each fan has his/her own idea about the details of what the future will hold for Ryan, Seth, Summer, and everybody else.  Of course, we are given some clues, such as a glimpse of Seth and Summer's nuptials.  A lot, though, is left to the imagination.  And this, to me, is a good thing.  If the story were to be continued -- a la Josh Schwartz -- there is a lot of risk.  Because of the necessity for tension in stories -- not everything will be happy -- many fans may find themselves being let down.  And even if everything ends happily once more, it may not end happily in the manner each die-hard fan has been imagining for the last several years.  The show left all of us with many warm, fuzzy feelings and good memories.  Introducing controversy into that equation is at least a little bit dangerous.

There is an alternative, though, to this.  Instead of continuing the story and requiring Ben McKenzie to once again don his white wife beater, maybe there could be a rather informal gathering of the cast members to reminisce.  Each actor could choose favorite scenes to be shown, describing his or her memories and feelings.  Anecdotes could be told.  There could be a general atmosphere of levity.  This would require a minimal financial investment and would not require a great deal (if any) preparation by the actors.  Mischa Barton could even participate, even though her character died tragically at the end of Season 3.  And I know many people would enjoy that -- seeing "Ryan and Marissa" together again on TV, even though they'd be appearing as their real selves.  Perhaps audience members could submit questions -- either in advance or in real time -- via Twitter or some other internet mode.  It could be a lot of fun for the fans.  It could even be fun for the cast members and Josh Schwartz.  No pressure on anybody.  Just a celebration of what is -- at least to many people -- one of the biggest television joys of our time.

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