Thanksgiving Prep – TV Time

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, Y’all! Since tomorrow, despite the holiday, is still going to be Crisis Management and Marina day, (Have you noticed The Marina Chronicle is back! Because it is! Hooray for beating writers block!) I decided today would be when I chronicle my favorite pre Thanksgiving tradition.

I watch my favorite Thanksgving episodes of TV shows that I love.

The West Wing – “Shibboleth”

This is the single greatest 45 minutes of Thanksgiving content to ever air on TV. Ever. President Bartlett has to pardon a Turkey, but also a bunch of Chinese refugees who fled claiming they are persecuted Christians.  It’s stunningly good TV, and I watch it every year. (I also usually watch the Season 3 Thanksgiving episode “The Indians In the Lobby,” but it’s less essential and this list has gotten long.) (I did watch it though)

Friends – “The One With All The Thanksgivings”

The episode where they flashback to those college Thanksgiving in the Gellar household that point towards the inevitability of Chandler and Monica. Aside from being hilarious and featuring several characters putting a Turkey on their head, I’ll never love Friends more than these seasons, where Chandler and Monica were falling in love.

Gossip Girl – “Blair Waldorf Must Pie”

This episode is Gossip Girl’s greatest hits all in one. Revelations of secrets in the past. Blair having angnst about her parents, and Chuck, and Nate. Nate and Serena looking at each other longingly. Dan and Jenny trying to preserve their bohemian Brooklyn roots while fitting in with their new friends. Lily and Rufus drama. Everything. It was also the first episode I ever watched, so it holds a special place in my heart.

The OC – “The Homecoming”

Ryan goes back to Chino for Thanksgiving to visit Trey in jail. Trey asks him to return a stolen car. He and Marissa get in a car chase and we meet Theresa! Meanwhile, back in Newport, Sandy and Seth try to keep Kirsten from cooking, Kirsten tries to set Jimmy up with Sandy’s coworker. It’s a fun episode that again, like the Gossip Girl on this list is everything the show does well. (It’s not the top Holiday episode of Season 1, which is of course “Chrismakkuh”)

New Girl – “Parents”

Jess “Parent Traps” her parents, played by Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis. It works, in that they definitely bang but do not get back together. Meanwhile, Nick and Jess’s dad bond, Scmidt and Cece do some stuff, and Winston continues his march into total madness.

Crazy Ex Girlfriend – “My First Thanksgiving With Josh”

Oh boy, I love this episode. It’s not my favorite Crazy Ex, but it’s up there. Including all time great songs, “I Give Good Parent” and “What’ll It Be” plus some excellent bathroom humor and Valencia realness.

Brooklyn 99 – “Two Turkeys”

There are a few great Brooklyn 99 Thanksgiving episodes, but this is my favorite, when Jake and Amy try to bring their parents together for the Holiday. It doesn’t go well, but it’s really fun anyway. Plus it’s a low level West Wing reunion. (Bradley Witford and Jimmy Smits) and a low level Sons Of Anarchy reunion (Katey Sagal and Jimmy Smits) Also, you know, Jimmy Smits!

How I Met Your Mother – “Slapsgiving”

“Slapsgiving” is not only on my list of great Thanksgiving episodes. It’s also on my list of perfect episodes of television and probably my second favorite “HIMYM” episodes (after “The Pineapple Incident”) it uses the show’s conceit about storytelling and unreliable narrators perfectly and introduces the “General Knowledge” bit, includes the Slap Bet and the song “You Just Got Slapped”enters the proceedings.

Happy Turkey Day, dear friends. I love you and am Thankful for each and every one of you. We’ve got a crowded December. (Last burst of movie season! Favorites Lists! The Fangirl Airing of Grievances!)

Ultimate Teen Drama FanFic: That Day At The Docks

A few weeks ago I put together what I consider to be the Ultimate Teen Drama Cast Of Characters. I mentioned at the end of that post that I might start playing with some fanfiction with them. Here’s the first attempt at that.

For some context notes. I’ve decided to set it in Capeside in the summer. This way I don’t have to deal with how the hell Blair is at a suburban high school, or Seth is on the east coast. (I’ve transplanted Dylan, Wallace and Brooke east and north respectively. And as Riverdale is both everywhere and nowhere by design, Jughead isn’t a problem) They’re summering there, problem solved! Also, having watched Dawson’s Creek about a dozen times, I know Capeside’s geography better than other settings. (The OC’s Newport seemed to grow and shrink as necessary and Gossip Girl’s Manhattan was completely nonsensical. Tree Hill and Capeside are quite literally the same place…) Other nuances of my imaginary mash up will come out in time. 

Joey Potter was not as excited as her classmates that it was summer. For her, unlike most them, the closing of Sophomore year meant working at both the marina gas station and a local diner to save for college, rather than lounging around at the beach all day. At least at school she got to focus on things she liked, reading and art. Work was just, work.

“Joey Potter!” She turned hearing her name and smiled seeing two boys approaching her dock. Wallace Fennell and Jughead Jones were her closest friends at Capeside High and at the moment, a week into the summer a welcome sight.

“Hey,” she said as they reached her. “How’s freedom?”

“Boring,” Jughead shrugged, jumping down onto the dock. “I thought you were at the diner today.”

“I was this morning,” Joey said, “then here until six.”

“Guess what we’re doing tonight?” Wallace grinned. Joey looked at Jughead who shook his head.

“Um,” she pressed her lips, “nothing, like always?”

“Mr. Fennell here has garnered an invite to the beach party,” Jughead rolled his eyes. “He’s spent the past hour trying to convince me to go. You’re the deciding vote.”

“We’re not going to that,” Joey laughed.

“Why not?” Wallace shrugged. “It could be fun.”

“It won’t be,” Joey said. “That party is just an excuse for Brooke Davis to scope out which summer people she’s going to sleep with until Labor Day.” Wallace shook his head.

“You two, need to broaden your horizons,” he said, “not all summer people are evil.”

“Just most of them,” Joey pointed out.

And Brooke’s actually really cool,” Wallace pointed out. “We hung out a bunch during basketball season. People misunderstand her.”

“OK, one,” Jughead chimed in, “I agree with Joey, summer people are like ninety percent evil. And, two, I don’t care how nice Brooke Davis was to you while she was in cheerleader mode, she is probably the devil.”  Joey nodded.

“Well, I’m going,” he said, “and I would like to go with my two best friends,” Joey sighed. “Just think of all the material for making fun of people you’ll get. Just in this one night, this will fuel an entire summer worth of snark, I bet.”

“Fine,” Joey sighed, “I’ll go but if one, I mean it, even one, douchey summer dude asks to show me his boat, I’m not speaking to you until the fourth of July.”

“I’ll go to protect Joey from said douchey summer dudes,” Jughead agreed, “and that thing you said about making fun of people.”

“Great,” Wallace said, “pick you up at 8?” Joey sighed and nodded.

***

Blair Waldorf sighed miserably sitting on the back porch of the large beach side mansion she’d arrived at the night before. What had possessed her mother to decamp them to this sleepy Cape Cod town for the summer instead of the Hamptons like everyone else they knew? Blair picked at the croissant in front of her and sipped her mimosa mindlessly. It was going to be a long summer, she knew that for sure.

“Miss Blair?” Dorota, her maid walked out. “There’s someone here to see you?”

“Who?” Blair said. “Dorota, we don’t know anyone here!” A girl about her age walked out the door and waved somewhat awkwardly. The other girl shared a few similarities to Blair, similar dark hair, and wide brown eyes. She was dressed in a pair of yoga pants and tank top that said “Minute Men” across the chest though, which Blair realized was probably from her school. So the similarities ended with the physical, because sartorially Blair wouldn’t be caught dead out of a gymnasium dressed like this.

“Hi, yeah, hi,” the girl said, “I’m Brooke, I live a few blocks away and I was going for a run and saw you and wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood.” Blair smiled placidly.

“Oh,” she said, at least the run explained the outfit. “Sure, I mean, whatever. I’m Blair Waldorf.”

“Right,” Brooke nodded and shook her hand. “Anyway, there’s this party on the beach tonight, we have one every year, to welcome the summer people. You should come.”

“We?” Blair said, her eyebrows raised. “So, you’re like what, a townie?”

“Unfortunately,” Brooke sighed, “but some of us are more civilized than others.” Blair smiled. At least this girl knew enough to acknowledge her lower social status. She could work with that.

“Alright,” Blair said, “so tell me about this party.” She gestured to a chair and Brooke smiled and sat down.

***

“Damn it,” Seth Cohen mumbled, as the sail boat he’d rented for the summer failed to catch the wind. “Once again, I have been foiled by Atlantic weather.” He knew that eventually he’d get the hang of east coast sailing, but for now, he was missing the calmer Pacific Ocean and the spots he knew in Newport.

He could almost hear his dad teasing him about it, though. He, Seth Cohen, who had always obsessed about moving to New England, bitching about it.

“Need some help, man?” A guy in a wet suit carrying a surf board jogged up.

“Sure,” Seth said, as the mysterious surfer helped him pull the boat into the dock. “Thanks for the help.”

“Sure thing,” he nodded. “You’re here for the summer? I don’t recognize you.”

“Yeah,” Seth nodded, “um, a couple of pushes to the parents and I managed a summer away from California sunshine. I’m Seth.”

“Dylan,” the surfer grinned and shook his hand, “yeah, I blew of Cali a few years ago too. Dad decided work would be better in Boston, and we wound up here.” Seth nodded. Something about this Dylan guy reminded him a little bit of his foster brother, who had not made the cross country trek with the rest of them.

“Alright,” Seth nodded. “You surf?”

“Whenever possible,” Dylan grinned, “you?” Seth shook his head. “OK, cool meeting you man, nice boat, and see you around.” He left and then turned around. “Do you want to go to this party thing, tonight?”

“Party?” Seth said. Yeah, definitely a Ryan.

“Yeah,” Dylan shrugged, “it’s the townies way of saying, ‘hey summer people, we can all drink cheap beer together. No need for dividing lines.'”

“Capeside is very different from Newport then,” Seth said.

“Different from Beverly Hills, too,” Dylan said with a laugh, “but in a good way mostly. You in?”

“Sure,” Seth nodded. “Party sounds good.”

Ultimate Team Ups: Teen Drama Edition

I like to consider myself something of a scholar of the teen drama television series. While I haven’t watched every entry into the genre, I still need to finish Felicity, I don’t speak Party of Five at all, I’m woefully ignorant of anything in the post Gossip Girl era, save Rivderdale, and anything Degrassi that happened after Spinner became the sage older character belongs in a flaming trash can, I do have certain episodes of The OC actually memorized, and I could probably write a book on the various film allusions in Dawson’s Creek. Plus, you know, One Tree Hill. 

So, that gives me some cred, I think.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to create the ULTIMATE TEEN DRAMA CAST Avengers style. We’ve got some archetypes to play with, and I think it’ll go well.

The Brooding Bad Boy: Dylan McKay – Beverly Hills, 90210

Dylan.jpg

There is only one choice, and it is the original. I firmly believe that without Luke Perry as Dylan, this genre would not exist. Everything about Dylan is perfect. His agnst, his chip on his shoulder, his dumb 50’s haircut, his ability to cry at the drop of a hat. I recently rewatched season 1, and I think that the scene where he sits on the floor of his hotel suite, crying into the phone when he can’t reach his parents might be the peak moment of the entire genre. It’s been all downhill from there.

The “Slutty” Girl Who Just Wants To Be Loved: Brooke Davis – One Tree Hill

Brooke davis

While 90210 and Dawson’s did excellent work with this archetype in Kelly and Jen respectively, it was perfected in Sophia Bush’s Brooke. Desperately insecure and insanely confident at the same time, Brooke is fun, funny, brilliant and perfect. Not to mention in the right circumstances she is also an excellent shit stirrer.

The Comic Relief: Seth Cohen – The OC

seth cohen

If the genre wouldn’t exist with Dylan, it would have gone away in the 90’s without Seth. The OC was going to bring twenty somethings playing angst ridden rich teens into the twenty first century kicking and screaming if it had to. And the biggest part of that equation was Seth. Ever quippy, indomitable, perfectly cast in Adam Brody, sometimes a little bit too much Seth.

The Bitch – Blair Waldorf – Gossip Girl

Blair-Waldorf-Self-Love-Beauty

Look, I love Brenda Walsh, I love Cheryl Blossom. Neither of them can hold a candle to the queen of the Upper East Side, and really everything, Blair Waldorf. Never learns her lesson, treats everyone around her like they’re beneath her (they are), and we root for her anyway. (To be fair our other options were Jenny, Serena and Vanessa…which no.)  Also, in a fun meta sense, Leighton Meister is now married to Adam Brody, which means that Blair and Seth can be a couple in this imaginary show.

The Normal Boring One – Wallace Fennel – Veronica Mars

250px-Wallace_Fennel

While his classmates dealt with murder investigations, rape recovery, gang wars, learning they were switched at birth and any number of other insane plots, Wallace was worrying about things like basketball, whether Tessa Thompson liked him (even she was a secret teen mom!), if he was OK with his mom dating his best friend’s dad. He’s very normal. Also, unlike his competition for this slot, Dawson Leery, Archie Andrews and Dan Humphrey, Wallace is neither the worst nor totally boring, he’s got a fun personality. And keeps the list from being completely white people! (It’s a genre that’s only just starting to do well on a diversity basis. It’s been very white for a very long time)

The Girl Next Door – Joey Potter – Dawson’s Creek

JoeyPotter

The secret main character of the show she was on! (Blair, Seth, and Dylan also fulfill this requirement) Again, with deference to the “perfect” version of this Betty Cooper, she’s not as perfect as dreamy, weepy, constantly put upon Joey. So wonderful is Joey Potter that Dawson rewrites their story every time so that they end up together, even though they never end up together. (TEAM PACEY!) And just imagine the amount of cry-shouting that would go into a Joey and Dylan romance!

The One From The Wrong Side Of The Tracks – Jughead Jones – Riverdale

jughead

While Jughead also qualifies for Brooding Bad Boy, he does double duty as the character from a slightly more disadvantaged background who hangs around to tell people that they “don’t understand.” Sometimes this person is barely from the Wrong Side, (Andrea Zuckerman was from The Valley! The Humphreys lived in Brooklyn!) and sometimes they’re there to provide culture shock (Ryan Atwood worked construction on his summer vacations!)  and sometimes they are genuine criminals (Weevil Navarro CHAINED A DUDE TO A PIPE TO GET EXPLODED!) But Jughead is all of those things. He still goes to school with Archie, Betty and Veronica, but he lives in a drive in for a while and HEY REMEMBER WHEN HE CUT THAT LADY? Bonus Points: He and Joey can bond about their ex con fathers who now work in food service.

Obvious Pairings That Are Obvious:

Brooke and Jughead, they’d banter and be the best, and one day realize that they’re both much more sensitive than they let everyone see. Then there’d be trailer sex.

Blair and Seth: While Blair would initially go for Dylan (with the brooding and hotel living, how could she resist) we’d all succumb to the fact that real world couples need to be fictional couples on these shows. Also, Seth is the not the worst version of Dan, who Blair also dated, although we all pretend that never happened.

Joey and Dylan: SO MANY FEELINGS!

Wallace And A Series Of Lovely Recurring Guest Stars: Much like on Veronica Mars no one in this main cast is a functional enough human to deserve Wallace. Though there would perhaps be a short and ill advised Brooke/Wallace hookup, and the writers would try to keep making Joey and Wallace happen.

I really enjoyed making this list, and I might do more of these ultimate team ups. Or just write some really fun fanfic with this group. Would you guys been up for that? Feel free to suggest plotlines.

 

Right Back Where We Started From

The past few weeks I’ve been rewatching The OC. This came out a desire for comfort food TV…and to remind me what I love about the teen soap genre as I attempt to write my own through the prism of epic fantasy. (The Marina Chronicle, get on board!)

As I worked my way through the dramatic glory that is season 1, the self aware diminishing returns of season 2, the super slog of grossness of season 3, and the delightful breath of fresh air of season 4, I was struck by a few things.

The first is how refreshingly low stakes the show is. Everything stays very personal, to the Cohens and their world, and for at least the first season and a half, the problems themselves aren’t terribly epic.

The second is how the show rolled with it’s various punches. Not every show handles becoming a pop culture phenomenon that well. (I’m looking at you Glee) Not every show figures out where to cut and run on troublesome storylines (Trey Atwood, Newport Drug Dealer and Attempted Marissa Rapist). Not every show figures out which recurring cast members should become permanent so perfectly. (Summer Roberts, Taylor Townsend).

And finally, I want to talk about Ryan Atwood. And Ben McKenzie as Ryan Atwood, and Ben McKenzie’s chemistry with Adam Brody. And Peter Gallagher. And Kelly Rowan. And Mischa Barton. And Rachel Bilson. And Melinda Clarke. And Willa Holland. And Autumn Reeser. (Do you see where I’m going with this?)

The OC is about a group of friends and about a family, but it’s seen through this kid. This kid who takes the opportunity of a lifetime and becomes someone special. (“He’ll always be a bad boy!” “BUT HIS HEART! IT IS PURE GOLD!” – My cousin Tommy and I last Sunday as we watched the last few episodes of season 3. You’ll be hearing from Tom more, in the coming weeks, as we’re going to Disney World together next weekend.) It’s about opening up to trust and love. As hard as it can be to emotionally square Marissa Cooper’s death (it’s still not a great choice.) I always loved the idea that as an adult, Ryan was about to move on to someone who could appreciate his steadiness rather than take advantage of it. (Also, Taylor Towsend is the best, I might just feel this way because she’s pretty much Proto-Blair Waldorf).

And that final moment, when leaving his fancy pants architecture job, he sees a kid like himself sitting worried, and calls out, “Hey Kid, you need some help?” It’s the perfect ending to this story, which while it is a TV show, so follows a lot of different people, is primarily about Ryan Atwood breaking a cycle and starting a new one.

Next on my Teen Soap rewatch? I’m knee deep in Gossip Girl. I watched season 1 in two nights.

It’s sooo good, you guys.

The Schwartz Factor

Most showrunners have a pattern. You can spot their shows from a mile away and they tend to go really well for their fans if they stick to that pattern.

Joss Whedon: Group of misfit adventurers fight demons/evil space empire/evil mind control corporation/supervillains while bucking conventional social ties and falling in love. BUT DON’T EVER ADMIT THAT YOU LOVE SOMEONE BECAUSE THEN YOU AND OR THEY WILL DIE!

Aaron Sorkin: Impossibly good looking and intelligent idealists talk a lot about saving their corner of the world and do. Also everyone else is stupider than them. Hooray!

Brenda Hampton: Self righteous teens and their parents deal with issues in a ridiculously straightforward way. Lead actress turns out to be actually talented but her character is the WORST.

JJ Abrams: Strong concept and characters devolve into useless twists, but you’re hooked so you keep watching anyway.

Matthew Weiner: WIN ALL THE EMMYS!

But I’m not talking about those guys. I’m talking about my favorite show runner of all. Mr. Josh Schwartz. I’ve mentioned before how much I love his shows, but last night I started watching Chuck again and of course started thinking about his pattern again.

So here it is outlined:

Affable (And good looking) Nerd

Schwartz heroes

Gets together with a Hot Blonde

Schwartz 2s

They have quirky friends and family!

Schwartz Casts

One of whom is just better than all of the others!

Schwartz BestSeason 3 on kind of blows, and there are a lot of pop culture references.

Also, there are foods that they talk about, over and over.

Schwartz Food

And Love Triangles!

There weren't really any love triangles on Chuck, so Gossip Girl gets 2!

There weren’t really any love triangles on Chuck, so Gossip Girl gets 2!

There’s True Love

Schwartz True Love

There’s great clothes and improbable story lines and great music and it’s all wonderful.

I like formulas, especially on TV. But Schwartz’s formula sticks with me the most, probably because it’s so character driven and falling in love with characters is the main reason I watch TV. Plot is great. It really is, but I watch movies and read books for plot. TV and Comics? Those are for characters.

The OC had some memorable for all the wrong reasons story lines. I mean, Ryan’s ex girlfriend gets pregnant, then fakes an abortion to set him free? Luke sleeping with Julie Cooper? Volchock? No. Just no. But it also had Seth Cohen, Ryan Atwood and Summer Roberts, three of the best characters ever. And Sandy Cohen. Oy! With the bagels.

Gossip Girl plumbed terrible plot depths that The OC only dreamed about. Remember when Serena thought she killed that guy? Or when Serena was sleeping with Nate’s married senator cousin and he pulled a Ted Kennedy, leaving her to die in a car that he crashed? Or when Jenny lost her virginity to Chuck? Or when Chuck’s dad came back to life? But we also got Chuck Bass, Blair Waldorf and Lilly Rhodes Vanderwoodsen Bass Humphrey Vanderwoodsen. Two of the best prime time soap characters this side of Alexis Carrington and Blair Waldorf.

Chuck is to me one of the greatest bait and switches in TV. It’s so utterly ridiculous that pretty much anything that happened could be excused and then redeemed by how likable Zachary Levi is. More dead parents who weren’t really dead! And partners, and The Intersect getting passed around like crazy.

And Hart of Dixie, ohhh, my poor Hart of Dixie. It’s so good. Just so lovely and small and character driven, and stupid. And I love it so much.

I can’t wait to see how he screws it up after this season. Because he’s not good at keeping things going after season 3. As I previously noted.

The Best Crime Fighting Duo Of All Time

No I don’t mean Batman and Robin, let’s not be obvious in our decisions here. See, the new season of Southland started this week. I love Southland. I love everything about it. I love the characters, complex and in the shades of grey where they are. I love the actors, all of whom kick serious ass. I love Ben McKenzie.

Ryan Atwood, always Ryan Atwood

Ryan Atwood, always Ryan Atwood

But this season. Ohhh, boy, I am so excited for this season, which I didn’t even realizes was happening, let alone did I realize the greatest thing in the history of gritty cop dramas/former prime time teenage soap opera stars/crime fighting in history.

Chad Michael Murray is now enlisted in the fictional LAPD.

In case you’re not a woman between the ages of 18 and 30 and you don’t understand the significance of this, this means that Lucas Scott from One Tree Hill and Ryan Atwood from The OC are FIGHTING CRIME TOGETHER!

Of course Ben Sherman isn’t Ryan, and Dave Mendoza isn’t Lucas, but how great would it be if they were? There is of course already a precident for this. In The OC, Seth Cohen turns all of his friends in to comic book characters. Ryan was Kid Chino, with an Atomic Armband and Fist of Fury.

Remember  God, The OC was the best.

Remember Atomic County? God, The OC was the best.

And Lucas Scott saved the love of his life from a school shooting and then solved his Uncle Keith’s murder by talking to his ghost and listening to emo with Peyton.

 One Tree Hill  was also great, but  consistently lamer

One Tree Hill was also great, but consistently lamer

So here’s the premise. Haunted by the death of Marissa Cooper (blech) aka Cosmo Girl, Kid Chino runs from Atomic County straight to North Carolina, where he saves a young girl from an attack by a gang of angsty mainstream pop punks. She thanks him and tells him her name is Sawyer Scott, and brings him home to meet her parents. Kid Chino sighs as The Cure or The Smiths or some other cliche “off beat” 80’s band plays from a turntable in Sawyer’s living room. “Do you have any Journey?” He asks, as Lucas, Sawyer’s father comes in to thank him.

Because Lucas is a stand up guy he and Ryan go get a drink and talk about their lives. Lucas explains that his wife, Peyton, Sawyer’s mother recently disappeared. There was a note supposedly written by Peyton saying she that she left because of something, something, I’ll always love you, but I have to go something, something, emo song. Lucas doesn’t buy it and thinks that his father Dan Scott, had something to do with it.

Not wanting Lucas to suffer the same fate he has, being forced to couple up with a replacement cast member, Ryan agrees to work with him to find Peyton.

They do, eventually, with the help of Kid Chino’s fellow team mates, The Ironist (Seth Cohen) and Little Miss Vixen (Summer Roberts), and Lucas’s family, Nathan and Haley Scott. (Jamie and Sawyer Scott may be inspired to create a Teen Titans style spin off group by their parent’s heroics…) They’re all reunited and hang out in a club that mysteriously allows teenagers in every night and watch an awesome band.

Or of course, Chad could play a scumbag cop and Ben could play a hero cop. Which is what appears to be happening.

Look John Wells, I’m just saying if you really want girls my age to love Southland this much go for the whole enchilada. Cast Milo Ventimiglia as I dunno, an overly earnest DA with a dark streak or something, or just put him in a cop uniform too, and have Lucas Scott, Ryan Atwood and Jess Mariano on the force.

Let the brooding commence!

Worst Patriarch Award

Yet another weird actor pattern that I’ve noticed lately.

Alan Dale plays terrible fathers. Just the worst. This guy is like the worst father in the entire world.

He does however, look awesome in a suit

Let’s start with The O.C. where Dale played family patriarch Caleb Nichol. While, just about everything about The O.C. was amazing, one of the greatest things was the complicated family relationships, caused in no small part because Caleb married Julie Cooper, who was the mother of Ryan’s love Marissa, and ex wife of Jimmy, his daughter Kirsten’s first love. He also fathered one of Ryan’s other girlfriends while having a long term affair before Kirsten’s mother died.

Caleb also basically corrupted the incorruptible Sandy Cohen under the guise of “helping the family” and died after getting in to a large fight with Kirsten about it. It was so bad it made her an alcoholic over night. Caleb’s terribleness haunted The Cohen family for seasons after his death, when it turned out he was broke and then Julie tried to con them and all their friends out of their money to cover her debts.

really miss The O.C.

Then there was Lost. On Lost he played Charles Whitmore, father of Penny, who was the constant and soul mate of Desmond Hume. Why was he a terrible father? He separated Penny and Desmond repeatedly, consistently went back to live on the Island, even after Penny was born (it was against The Rules of the Island for this to happen.) and then put her life in jeopardy by changing the rules of the war between him and Ben by killing Ben’s daughter Alex.

Guys, I kind of really miss Lost too.

And now we have Once Upon a Time. Alan Dale plays King George (and anonymous man in a suit in Storybrooke, we saw him for the first time in the last seconds of this week’s episode), who’s wife was unable to bear children. So he made a deal with Rumplestislkin for an heir. He got one of the twin sons of a shepherd, who traded the baby for prosperity. Then he gets that son killed by a dragon, so has to take the other twin and turn him in to a prince. I don’t quite understand why he thinks that he can do this by being a total douchebag but that does seem to be his general plan.

Then Snow White and Charming go to war with him and kick his ass. Presumably he will now do something really manipulative to Charming/David and Henry, as they try to make life in Storybrooke livable without Snow and Emma. (I do not think that they’ll succeed at this…)

The Showrunner That Cried Hit

I’m not going to say that it’s easy to be a “show runner.” I’ve never done it, but I imagine it’s immensely difficult.

From my impression that ones who create consistently good shows are the ones who either micro manage every detail, or let their babies fly after the pilot or first season. I mean, Matthew Wiener of Mad Men basically lives with Jon Hamm right? That’s how that works? But JJ Abrams handed Lost off to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cruse and it became a classic.

Then there’s Josh Schwartz.

Josh Schwartz has created some of my all time favorite shows. The OC, Gossip Girl, Chuck and Hart of Dixie. Schwartz creates relatable, funny characters and places them in compelling dramatic situations.

But then, usually some time around the halfway point of season 2 or 3, his shows go off the rails.

The Yamaclaus was amazing, however.

If you’ve watched Schwartz’s shows you know the moments that I’m talking about. I’m talking about when Lindsey, who was Kirsten Cohen’s secret half sister and Ryan’s not so secret girlfriend decided to move to Chicago for no reason. I’m talking about Jenny Humphrey and Chuck Bass having sex.

This was the worst ever!

 

I’m talking about Morgan getting the intersect. I’m guessing Zoe Hart is going to have sex with Lavon Hayes, or even have unresolved feelings or something else stupid that no one who watched the show wants to see.

The Hart of Dixie season premier was last night, and it ended amazingly. Like, amazingly. It ended with Zoe in bed with Wade, which is the greatest thing ever.

But I know. I’ve learned. I don’t trust Schwartz or his shows. This show that I love is going to get terrible and never deliver on it’s potential and break my heart.

There are ten episodes of Gossip Girl left. Chuck is over (I couldn’t bring myself to care about the final season, no matter how hard I tried.) The OC has drifted in to pop culture oblivion, (it doesn’t even stream for God’s sake!).

Mr. Schwartz, you have given us Hart of Dixie. We love this show. You have reminded us why we love Rachel Bilson, and created one of the best love polygons since Beverley Hills 90210. (Wade/Zoe/George/Lemon/Lavon) Please don’t screw it up this time. I’m begging you!

DO NOT SCREW THIS UP!