‘The O.C.’ fills all the requirements

Vanessa Brochin

We said goodbye to Brenda, Brandon and the rest of the gang from “90210” a couple of years ago. Heather Locklear hasn’t been seen around “Melrose Place” for a while now and the lifeguards of “Baywatch” have moved to sunnier shores. What does that mean? It means that with the exception of reality TV, television viewers are devoid of any quality, guilty pleasures!

Well, FOX has come to the rescue to solve that problem, and while it may be getting cooler outside, it’s heating up on FOX’s new drama, “The OC.” “The OC” premiered a week before Labor Day in order to capture an early lead in the fall frenzy of TV shows and it has managed to do just that. It premiered with ratings of 7.5 million viewers and these ratings have been growing steadily ever since, especially among 18 to 34-year-olds. However, the question remains: Is “The OC” up to par with guilty pleasures of the past?

The answer: oh yes! If there was a recipe book for melodrama, “The OC” would be a gourmet masterpiece. Here’s the basic plot: poor boy Ryan Atwood (played by the very vulnerable, yet stunningly handsome Brian McKenzie) gets arrested and tossed out of his home by his drunk mother. He is then taken in by rich defense attorney Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) to the OC. Once inside this rich, California community, he meets his new geeky, but good looking step brother, Seth (Adam Brody) and falls in love with the beautiful next door neighbor Marissa Cooper, (Mischa Barton), who just happens to have a popular, great looking boyfriend who she has been dating throughout high school.

Essentially, it takes all the teen-angst of “Dawson’s Creek,” mixes it with a helping of “Melrose Place” sexual tension and adds a dash of “90210” likeability to create a show you’re dying to watch, but are embarrassed to admit that you do. With this show, FOX is at the top of its game.

But wait. There are more reasons a Villanovan should forget about calculus and philosophy for an hour. First of all, in many ways living in the OC is like living at Villanova. Skeptical? Take a look at this. Orange County is a bubble where the inhabitants aren’t in touch with the, “real world,” similar to Villanova.

So if you want to expand your mind, read Plato. However, if you want a delicious hour of lies, sex, drugs and all that good stuff, grab the girls (or guys, if you’re man enough to admit it) in your hall, flip on FOX Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and get ready to be entertained.