The Cooper home gets a little more crowded with the return of Marissa's scheming little sister, Kaitlin; meanwhile, Taylor's mom goes for Summer's dad
Mischa Barton, The O.C.
Credit: Mischa Barton: M. Haddad/FOX
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”The O.C.”: New angles and love triangles

Welcome back to your weekly analysis of The O.C., or, as the Fox promo put it, ”the show that redefined a generation.” Oh, right. You know, there’s been the Beatles, Vietnam, and now The O.C. This generation might be in trouble.

Speaking of excessive hype, Kaitlin Cooper is finally back in Newport for the ”mid-winter break” that she normally spends with wealthy Europeans. Seth went ahead and aptly nicknamed her Mini Cooper, a cute and timely reference that also happens to be shockingly true, as Kaitlin is one of the few people on the planet who can make Mischa Barton look huge. She does have that whole 14-year-old thing going for her, as well as the ”lanky-limbed jailbait” thing, also called out by Seth. Ew, Seth! Don’t go there.

Personally, I dig Kaitlin and her mysterious dog-pursing ways (she probably keeps her weed in there), but I’ll admit I was already biased because Willa Holland’s last gig was two episodes of The Comeback in which she played Kalla, a fashion-friendly waif who persuaded Lisa Kudrow’s daughter to smoke more and eat less without uttering more than an occasional ”Bananas!” (I realize my affection for that character makes me look really insensitive to the dangers of cigarettes and eating disorders.)

Anyway, some boring fast-forward-worthy stuff happened with Little Miss Columbine (that’s Seth’s rather untimely nickname for Marissa) and Johnny, even though last week had me convinced we’d never have to see him again. What Seth dubbed ”the surf-tastic love triangle” may keep going strong, with Kaitlin subbing in for Ryan down the road. It’s a good thing the newly feathered Marissa signed on with Jessica Simpson’s hairstylist for the rest of the season, or she might lose the man she never wanted in the first place.

Love triangles were all the rage this week. If the Johnny-Marissa-Ryan one was surf-tastic, then I guess the new one with Veronica (Taylor’s mom), Julie, and Dr. Roberts would be…surg-tastic? (Because he’s a plastic surgeon.) Neil’s line to Sandy that he knew ”every former A-cup in town” was brilliant, but as much as I’m digging his character, I don’t really buy that he’s been golf buddies with Sandy this whole time. This is the man we saw only twice in the first two seasons (both times set up with the sole purpose of having Seth embarrass himself, which he did convincingly), and all of a sudden Dr. Roberts and Sandy chat on the phone all the time? Eh. I don’t think Neil would have been such a jerk to Seth back then if he and Sandy were tight. Just sayin’.

The surg-tastic triangle did provide us with some delicious Taylor-Seth-Summer scenes wherein Taylor shrieked most of her lines and seemed mildly excited at the prospect of being related to Summer. Hmm…what would their love triangle be called? Sar-tastic, maybe? Taylor grated this week, but in a lovable enough way, and the entertaining resemblance between her and her TV mom helped me get beyond the actual dialogue.

As for this week’s mandatory pointless party, I was on Kaitlin’s side — Julie and Kirsten’s New Match gala was pretty weak. Were those guests supposed to be Orange County singles who would potentially join a dating service, and if so, why were they all so attractive and chatty instead of weird looking and socially awkward? I know the service is ”exclusive,” but come on. Julie came up with an uncharacteristically cheesy and possibly heartfelt line to describe New Match’s mission: ”In a world of wealth and luxury, the only thing really worth pursuing is a soul mate.” Awww. ”So drink up!” added her alcoholic partner. ”Enjoy, and flirt.” You heard them, Newpsies. Let’s do this!

It wasn’t so easy for Veronica Townsend, a.k.a. ”some skanked-out ho-bag,” which ironically was my own personal nickname for last season’s Jess. (The more refined moniker Skankalicious was the one that actually made it into the column.) Summer’s idea to scare off Veronica by telling Taylor that Dr. Roberts voted for John Kerry was inspired, but Seth’s choice to say that the doctor has genital warts was hilarious. More important, it worked.

So after a minor setback, Julie Cooper Nichol, local survivor and star of MTV’s upcoming Pimp My Double Wide, now gets to make a villain-free beeline for Dr. Roberts. Julie was great this week in trying to warm Kaitlin up to her Tiffany-blue trailer (”This is exactly the kind of place Britney Spears is from!”) and in speaking melodramatically about her lot in life (”I’m like the Gulf region. At this point, what’s one more hurricane?” Wait. Too soon? Probably).

And just because I want to throw this in, my favorite moment of the episode was this:

Marissa, flailing while rooting through clothes: ”I’m trying to find my stupid jacket. It’s brown, with things on it…”

Nice description. Typical Marissa. But get this:

Ryan: ”…and stupid?”


What do you think? Was Taylor too over-the-top? Didn’t Kaitlin’s tank top under her dress sort of make her look like a sailor? And will Seth’s premonition of doom in the near future come true?

Okay, that last one was almost obnoxiously rhetorical.

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