Friday, November 18, 2005

Laguna Beach recap

So Entertainment Weekly has already pointed out why LB: TROC is better than The O.C. this season. (Which I can totally not link to! Sorry) Since my expectations for The OC were greatly diminished, I myself have mostly been digging this season. However, some rumblings have been making me nervous. I know show runners around the world (I’m looking at you, J.J. Abrams) might have a heart attack to hear this, so I’m going to go slow and emphasize this point: I LIKE it when main characters, i.e. Seth and Summer, stay TOGETHER. I DON’T LIKE it when there is constant breaking up and getting back together. I know the show is called a “drama” but contrary to standard notions and practices, that does not automatically mean every couple must break up once a season.
However, the exception to that rule is reality shows, like our beloved Laguna Beach. If those people could break up and get back together once every month or so, that would be pretty much ideal. And the good news is, they usually do. After the first season’s archetypal Kristin-Stephen-LC triangle, I was fully convinced they would not be able to produce a compelling second season. What could possibly live up to it? And at first, I think I was right. When the season one finale aired, MTV had Kristin on as a guest host in the TRL studio. They show preview clips of the second season which totally focused on Casey, the new drag queen, I mean student, at LB High. Even from those short clips I knew she was too weird and not nearly slutty or conniving enough to be interesting, though not from a lack of trying on her part. So while I didn’t watch all of this season of LB, from what I did see there was mercifully little Casey and a continued focus on K-S-LC, until Jason started making things interesting. What a giant tool that guy is. He looks older than Luke Perry did back in the Bev-9er days, but apparently the chicks dig him. Why he was ever dating perennial wing-girl Jessica to begin with entirely escaped me. You all are totally thinking this, but I’ll go there-she had bad skin, fuzzy hair and always wore unflattering tops like she had raided Kristin’s closet unaware that the two of them are not the same size. Dieter was in her league; Jason not so much. Their spectacular break-up was arguably the highlight of this season. It was satisfying in that you were rooting against both of them. Inevitably, when he got together with Alex M, I was rooting for Jessica to mess that shit up. It’s the opposite of being a shipper-you don’t want to see either of them happy, alone or together. And then came LC.
Digression: there are two distinct camps of Laguna Beach watchers-team Kristin and team LC. I was always Team Kristin during S1. Maybe LC’s narration was too harsh, maybe it’s like the Yankees and I enjoy rooting for winners, but I could never get behind LC’s pathetic pinning away for Stephen. However then S2 began, and Kristin seemed a bit over the top. There’s bitch and then there’s Bi-Yaatch! and she was setting up camp in the second category. And LC seemed over Stephen enough to hook up with him in Mexico and not really care too much. Kinda cool. Still, I felt myself wanting to slap I’m-too-pure-to-wear-makeup Taylor and realized I was still Team Kristin, though perhaps with a little less disdain for LC.
Back on topic: even though I am not on Team LC, I still like her enough not to want to see her with Jason. She did turn him into a high-pitched-baby-talking idiot when he was around her (“You’re cute. Hee.”) which funnier than it should have been. But, inevitably, back comes Jessica. Did I miss something or were they both drunk at the fashion show? Or is Jason that much of a monumental blockhead that he managed to kiss J in front of LC while sober? My favorite moment of that episode actually came before the kiss, when Jessica was getting her makeup reapplied and LC went just slightly psychotic on her. She was literally unable to control her annoyance and frustration despite a really valiant effort and that’s when the magic happens. It’s so much less interesting when someone is all set to throw a hissy fit, but I really think LC wanted to play it mostly cool and snarky but she failed. That moment totally turned me on LC and now I am able to love her and Kristin. Though not together. Or, together, if that’s your thing.

Wow, this was totally longer than I meant it to be, and it actually took me three days to finish! Without actually making a point about anything. Christ on a bike. Next time: something brief. (There I go with the underwear again)

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