Is this, like, for real?

Lauren Curmi

For many high school and college students, Orange County, California has become a television addiction. Kids across the nation are hooked on Fox’s “The OC” and MTV’s “Laguna Beach.” Although both shows attempt to display two different towns in Orange County, both boil down to similar themes of money, popularity and superficiality. East coast viewers can’t get enough of the land of bonfire parties, mansions overlooking tempting ocean waves and incredible shopping. But do these shows give us the real deal?Orange County residents here at Villanova have mixed opinions. Thanks to the publicity their hometowns have been showered with over the past year, they often feel branded by a stereotypical image. Sophomore Kristina Tucci thinks that while many people think that Newport Beach is the be-all-end-all of luxurious living, she desired to leave her sheltered bubble and experience something new. “Villanova is more close to the ‘real world,’ which I know may sound ironic,” Tucci says. “Yet, unlike the East Coast in general, Newport Beach is truly centered around superficiality.” “The OC” is rumored to be based on Tucci’s high school, Corona del Mar. Her yearbook includes senior superlative awards for the “Biggest Flirt,” “Best Dressed,” “Life of the Party,” “Best Legs,” “Best Body” and “Biggest Strut.” Tucci describes in detail the number of girls in her grade who underwent breast implants, nose jobs and lip injections, laughing as she states that “the show is somewhat accurate but people now perceive Newport Beach as a joke. Not everyone is like that.”Kate Bernay, also a sophomore from Newport Beach, says that while “The OC” is somewhat accurate, it shows only the most extreme end of society. She felt that the show failed to give a fair impression of the city as the whole. “I sure am not like the girls from ‘The OC,'” she said.The reality show “Laguna Beach,” which premiered on MTV just over a month ago, has also been received with open arms. The smash hit shows the lives of eight flawless and popular high school students living in one of the most beautiful beach communities in the world. Kristin, a high school junior who vies for the heart of a senior heartthrob throughout the season, said in an MTV interview that “it’s not a misconception; but almost everyone or almost every girl is spoiled or stuck up.” But Alex O’Gorman wants people to know there’s more to the county than beach. A resident of Laguna Beach whose close friend worked with, knows and likes LC of “Laguna Beach,” she insists that the show failed to reveal other aspects of her society such as the “cultural diversity and the artsy, hippie people” in her town.Running her fingers through her long blonde hair, O’Gorman adds that East Coasters have no idea how amusing their own yuppie staples are to California kids. “You need to know that in reality people do not throw balls for the hell of it,” she points out. “While popped collars, Abercrombie and Fitch and Ralph Lauren are not popular designers [to us], we are still accepting of people from the East Coast.”