O.C. Can You See

No doubt you are all aware of FOX's mega-hit "The O.C.", but what you don't realize is how it has ruined my life. I can recall my first viewing of this drama-drenched masterpiece. I was on an overnight vacation in Newport, Rhode Island with my girlfriend. Being that we were both Irish and had spent the entire day at the beach, the sunburns were blistering and popping by 8 o'clock. We smeared Aloe Vera gel on each other and argued about who was to blame for this debacle. Sex was out of the question as we both fear we would flay our skin off in the process. What to do?

The TV glowed to life and I sat and watched three episodes of the then-brand new show. I liked it; it had drama and skinny girls in bathing suits without pussing sunburns. But then I left for England and quickly forgot about the show. Upon my return, I came to find that all of my friends were deeply, emotionally involved with the show. On Thursday nights I had nothing to do but watch The O.C. since that was what every single person I knew was doing.

They say you get hooked on crack after your first puff. Well, The O.C. takes a little longer" like cigarettes. You watch one, you go, "Eh, it's ok." You watch two, you go, "I dunno, it's pretty good." You watch three and that's it, you're hooked. You start to get anxious at about 7 PM because you know that you need to finish all your business before 8. You rush calls with Mom, you leave unfinished sentences in papers, you don't even bother wiping yourself because if you did, you would miss the opening teaser. You know, the two minute little clip of action that precedes the theme song and always ends with a witty little comment.

Now, let me take you to Best Buy with me where I browsed alone clutching a $50 gift card I received for Christmas. What to buy, what to buy? Ah, a scanner. I've been wanting one and I could certainly use it. Oh wait, what's this? A new digital camera card with more memory? I could definitely use this" but, wait. Is that what I think it is? The O.C. season 1 on DVD! And that was it. I dropped all thoughts of buying something useful and instead opted for this 27 episode (with extras!) time killer.

Needless to say, the next three days and nights were spent sitting in my parent's living room watching the love triangles unfold. My trusty sister, Heidi, was by my side in the other La-Z-Boy and we would take post-episode breaks to discuss our feeling about various plot developments and character flaws. It was pathetic. I finished off all 27 episodes plus the season 2 sneak peek feature and immediately looked down into my pants to make sure I still had a penis.

Now look at me – a hopeless addict, emotionally entangled in the lives of people that only exist in pixels. If an episode ends on a depressing note, I become depressed. If an episode ends on a happy note, I'm on cloud nine. I ceaselessly worry about Marissa and the demons she wrestles with. I wonder what ever happened to Oliver and Eddie and Teresa. I wish, against all hope, that Seth and Summer get back together. I am, in short, a total wreck when it comes to this show.

But, at least I know I am not alone. My father tormented me for watching the show to know end. He used phrases like, "I have no son", "I hear that you're kind can still get married in New Hampshire", and "Thank God you're the mailman's kid." Well, he tormented me until he watched an episode or two. After that he was asking me to fill him on all the plot twists. "Who's that? Why doesn't he have a car? Where is that kid's parents? Are they related?" The questions abounded. I answered graciously as it gave me a chance to showcase my knowledge and make sure that knowledge was razor sharp.

The fact that my Dad got into the show – and this is a man who laughs out loud at Heineken ads – proves my theory that even if you don't like anything about the show, you will watch it. To this day I'm not sure if I think the show is good. But what I do know is that you better not call me on Thursday night from 8 to 9 or all hell will rain down on you.

Jesus, I need a life.