The O.C.-Season 1 (The OC) (2003)

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Released 2-Feb-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Pilot - Josh Schwartz (Creator) And Stepanie Savage (Prod.)
Informational Subtitles-Music Guide For Selected Episodes
Featurette-Casting "The O.C."
Featurette-The Music Of "The O.C."
Featurette-Inside The Real "O.C."
Deleted Scenes
Trailer-Season 2 Sneak Peek, With Creator Josh Schwartz
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 1135:48 (Case: 1134)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (7)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Robert Duncan McNeill
Daniel Attias
David Barrett
Sanford Bookstaver
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Peter Gallagher
Kelly Rowan
Benjamin McKenzie
Mischa Barton
Adam Brody
Chris Carmack
Melinda Clarke
Rachel Bilson
Tate Donovan
Alan Dale
Samaire Armstrong
Amanda Righetti
Michael Cassidy
Case ?
RPI $89.95 Music Jeff Buckley
Mike D
Alex Greenwald


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Dutch
Swedish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

”Welcome to the O.C., b****!”

    In my defence, I blame my girlfriend and my boss for this one. My girlfriend, being one of those skimpy blondes who would fit right in as an extra on this show, is an avid fan (she evens owns an ‘I love the O.C.’ T-shirt), but confessed one evening that I was the only one of her multitude of potential suitors who she would miss The O.C. for, which then entangled me in the snare of actually sitting down and watching the show with her so she wouldn’t have to miss it (the things we do for love). And I blame my boss, who has several teenage daughters who watch the show, and so he winds up watching the show himself by proxy, which gave him something to laugh about with me at work, and the girls something to swoon about over the third cocktail at a bar. But enough of my personal life (which admittedly does sometimes resemble an episode of this show) and onto the important business of reviewing...

    The O.C. is set in Orange County, down in Southern California (from whence the show gains its name) and follows the life of Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) who is busted while stealing a car with his brother, abandoned by his mother, and taken home by kind-hearted public defender Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher). While Sandy’s wife Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) is somewhat sceptical of the decision, Ryan is soon befriended by the Cohen’s only son, Seth (Adam Brody), who is an outcast amongst the trendy kids of Orange County, but pines for beautiful spoilt rich girl Summer (Rachel Bilson). Ryan, on the other hand, finds himself immediately drawn to the girl next door, Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), whose long term boyfriend Luke (Chris Carmack) is immediately hostile to the idea. Marissa’s father, Jimmy (Tate Donovan), has a history with Seth’s mother Kirsten, much to the irritation of his poor-girl-gone-rich-wife spouse Julie (Melinda Clarke), who is by far the b****iest person on this show.

    Of course, impending mayhem ensues, as Ryan and Luke fight for the affections of Marissa, and Seth does his best to win over Summer with his offbeat charm. There’s divorce, embezzlement, drugs, alcohol, teenage sex - all the good stuff. Plus plenty of downright cattiness that just makes the show highly amusing to watch. Beware the flying acid tongues.

    The first season of the show plays out like this:

Disc 1

1. Pilot (43:23)

    Can bad boy Ryan make good in the clean environment of the OC?

2. The Model Home (42:03)

    To avoid being sent to juvenile hall, Seth hides Ryan in one of his mother’s incomplete display homes.

3. The Gamble (42:10)

    When Ryan’s mother shows up out of the blue, Kirsten and Sandy are sceptical that she can manage looking after her son.

4. The Debut (42:24)

    With all the young girls of Orange County making their debut into society at the gala event of the year, who will present with whom, and who’s going to get their front teeth smacked out?

Disc 2

5. The Outsider (42:24)

    While Ryan works for his money, Seth finds himself getting in deep with Ryan’s bad-boy co-worker.

6. The Girlfriend (42:12)

    Seth’s grandfather is in town for his birthday, and his young girlfriend has taken quite an interest in Ryan.

7. The Escape (42:01)

    Everybody’s heading down to TJ for a little senior year hazing, but when Marissa learns her parents are getting divorced, things start going from bad to worse.

8. The Rescue (42:05)

    Can Ryan, Seth and Summer get Marissa out of the psych ward before her mother has her committed upstate somewhere?

Disc 3

9. The Heights (41:42)

    Will Ryan be able to hack it at the new plush high school?

10. The Perfect Couple (42:06)

    It seems that everybody at the OC is hooking up with someone.

11. The Homecoming (41:42)

    Thanksgiving at the OC means a coming together of families, although sometimes the OC families just should celebrate apart.

12. The Secret (41:43)

    What’s the big secret? And how will everybody cope with Thanksgiving fallout?

Disc 4

13. The Best Chrismukkah Ever (41:23)

    The dual-religious festival of Chrismukkah is brought into Ryan’s life by Seth who likes to accept the best of Christian and Jewish worlds during the festive season.

14. The Countdown (41:35)

    The countdown to NYE could prove disastrous with relatives back in town causing havoc and relationships at fracture point. Happy New Year!

15. The Third Wheel (42:07)

    Is Kirsten’s sister Hailey welcome in the Cohen household? Or is there no room now that Ryan has moved in?

16. The Links (42:10)

    With Jimmy and Sandy signing business deals and new-boy Oliver’s OC outing not going as everybody else planned, things are going to come to a head.

Disc 5

17. The Rivals (42:05)

    Is Jimmy ready to jump back into the business game? Will Summer succeed in making Seth jealous? And will Ryan be led astray once more?

18. The Truth (42:07)

    With Oliver falling apart and Ryan in a bad place, things are all coming tumbling down at the OC.

19. The Heartbreak (41:52)

    With all this relationship chaos going on, how will people handle Valentine’s Day?

20. The Telenovela (41:59)

    Can Ryan and Marissa be just “friends”? And who else is hooking up on the OC?

Disc 6

21. The Goodbye Girl (42:07)

    With Caleb and Kirsten embroiled in legal troubles, and Anna returning to Pittsburgh, the last thing people need is a new criminal element in town.

22. The L.A. (41:58)

    The gang are going to LA to see the filming of their favourite soap, “The Valley”. But roadtrips are always fun, aren’t they?

23. The Nana (42:05)

    With Nana Cohen in town for Passover, can Summer make an impression, or will she be an outcast?

24. The Proposal (42:10)

    When Caleb makes a proposal, the OC is thrown into chaos with everybody’s own troubles weighing down, especially Luke's.

Disc 7

25. The Shower (42:10)

    When Julie asks Kirsten to be her Maid of Honour she agrees, but the madness is just beginning with the impending Wedding Shower likely to end in tears.

26. The Strip (42:02)

    It’s time for a Buck's Night for the guys and a Hen’s Night for the girls. That couldn’t possibly end badly, could it?

27. The Ties That Bind (42:03)

    Weddings, pregnancies, relationships collapsing – it’s going to be one hell of a season finale!

    This show really puts Dallas to shame in its complete and unashamed exploitation of the b****iness of upper class society. Oh so funny.

    Okay, enough of the important business of reviewing, and let’s get down to the serious question of - Who you would do? Of my female friends, it seems that the consensus is that although Ryan has all the initial appeal, you quickly discover that he has only three facial expressions which would ultimately make for a seriously boring time in bed and a lack of anything approaching post-coital intimacy. Perhaps a grunted thank you if you’re lucky. That leaves only Seth (Luke being clearly the screw-up jock that most people have already slept with anyway and discarded because, well, he’s hopeless), although Sandy definitely gets a few votes despite being the older man (apparently it’s something about lawyers, money and power, but my own psychoanalysis detects that long yearning for a strong father figure who can give you anything you want ... but don’t tell my friends that).

    As for myself and my boss (him actually being one of those lawyers with money and power), feelings on the matter are definitely that while Marissa pretty much never wears a bra (the cameraman is definitely keeping her breasts in shot to highlight this noticeable absence), her complete ineptness really discounts her for long term value. Summer on the other hand has plenty of assets, but God I would kill her in a week. Yes, the verdict definitely is that Anna is the most doable chick on the show, being both hot and underneath that tomboy exterior I’m sure also a feisty kitten ... though don’t tell my boss’s wife we think so.

    Any self-disrespecting fan of this show is going to love this set and will sit through these 27 episodes of outright b****iness and tongue-in-cheek drama with a smile on their face. Anybody who hasn’t yet taken the time, I heartily recommend this for a night in with your friends, a bottle of Bacardi, and a sense of humour.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Filmed on Super 16 (16mm) film through Arriflex Lenses, this show’s original aspect ratio is actually 1.78:1, as anybody who has seen it on TV will attest to. Unfortunately, the widescreen format has not been reproduced here, and we have a transfer of the original US broadcast ratio of 1.33:1 Full Frame instead.

    The transfer for this first season is far from spectacular. The colour is very good, nicely saturated, and well balanced. Definition is also for the most part above average.

    There is, however, some rather nasty posterization and dot crawl going on here, with every 30th frame or so exhibiting a slightly more intense graininess that can make the image a little blurry, similar to low-level noise. Part of this is a result of some inexpert camera work where actors missed their marks just a little and so the shot is genuinely blurred. However, the transfer doesn’t make this any better, and in low-level light it is quite bad.

    Other than that, there are no significant MPEG artefacts, and very little in the way of background moire or aliasing.

    There is a bit of dirt and the aberrant large hair in the middle of the screen here and there, but all up for a total of 27 episodes, these artefacts are not really distracting.

    The dual-layer pauses are concealed between the second and third episodes on each disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Sound is available in a rather unexceptional English 2.0 Dolby Surround only.

    This track has good dialogue reproduction coming clear and strong from the centre channel. I noticed no severe sync issues that aren’t easily identifiable as source faults.

    There is little in the way of directional cueing here, although it is definitely a stereophonic field.

    The rears pipe up only with the music, which is generally composed of a series of popular tracks which are credited on some episodes using the ‘Music Guide’ feature.

    The subwoofer remained dormant.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The home menu has the theme in 2.0 Dolby Stereo and clips from various episodes running in three panels. The episode home menus are static and silent.

Episode Commentaries

    There is an audio commentary for the following episode:

Music Guides

    These are a streamed set of subtitles that identify the music playing during the following episodes:

Disc 7

    All special features on Disc 7 are presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo unless otherwise specified.

Featurette - “Casting The OC” (15:00)

    This is a neat little featurette about who they chose to play the various roles.

Featurette - “The Music Of The OC” (10:03)

    A look at the popular music used on the show and how it is chosen.

Featurette - “Inside The Real OC” (12:15)

    A look at the real Orange County as done through a tour by McG.

Deleted Scenes (10:02)

    All these deleted scenes have an introduction by creator Josh Schwartz.

Trailer - “Season 2 Sneak Peak With Josh Schwartz” (3:30)

    An interview in which Schwartz talks about where the show is heading in the second season.

DVD-ROM

    Insert this disc in your DVD-ROM drive and you get access to the WB website with OC downloads and stuff.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Aside from subtitle options, region formatting and the NTSC/PAL difference, the R1 and R4 versions would appear to be identical. Get whichever is cheapest.

Summary

    The OC: The Complete First Season is lots of fun for a night in with a bunch of friends, a lot of alcohol and plenty of snide one-liners.

    Video is acceptable, but far from perfect.

    The audio is pretty run of the mill and unexceptional.

    There are plenty of extras, but most are fairly much of a muchness.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
1.33 : 1 ??!! -
Aspect ratio a deliberate choice - Jace
This SHOULD be widescreen -
reason for the aspect ratio - chris