Episodic Classics: The O.C., "The Outsider,“ ”The Girlfriend,” ”The Escape” | Season 1, Episodes 5, 6, & 7
The summer season finally sets on Newport Beach
Revisiting The O.C.’s first season summer run, it’s always impressive to realize what confidence the series had from the very first frame. The series captured lightning in a bottle early on with these episodes, and then it really stuck the landing with “The Escape,” the last episode before it took a break for a little over a month. By the time it finally returned for the rest of its 27-episode season, it came back with the reputation of being “the summer’s biggest sensation.” It was a cultural phenomenon, and I hope that my reviews help provide even the slightest bit of context as to why and how that was.
While those earlier episodes had the instant confidence, I would say this run really solidified its characters, especially the Core Four and their dynamics, as well as Julie Cooper. (For Sandy and Kirsten Cohen, I would argue that they were already on solid ground pretty much from jump. As was Jimmy Cooper, as the villain of the piece.) And with this run of episodes, i…