Friday, February 23, 2007

"You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello"
The O.C.

I may not have been a fan of The O.C. during its run, but it certainly grew on me - the characters, some of their storylines, and the fanaticism that drove several people I know to watch it almost religiously. It became an indelible part of pop culture in every sense it could, by not only reflecting a certain intellectual teenage angst and need for soapy drama while also eventually shaping the culture that birthed it itself.

I like tonight's ending. Coming full circle was the theme, with the lives and milestones for the characters we've come to know, shake our heads at, hold hands with, and love moving forward in so many wonderful, beautiful, and natural yet still surprising and unexpected ways. Seth and Summer go their separate ways to find themselves, only to return to one another for a magical wedding that everyone felt was coming, but wasn't sure about because this is prime time television and writers and networks almost never give any real closure or make any real sense with a lot of things. Julie Cooper chooses to "marry" and commit to herself by pursuing the college degree she'd never achieved while letting herself and her family love her and each other. The Cohens move back to Berkeley, to the home that has apparently "been theirs" (emotionally speaking) all along, and to a "normal" life and a growing family. And last, but not least, Ryan leaves Newport, goes to college, and makes something of himself (maybe with Taylor, maybe without) - only to grow up and eventually pay it forward when he sees himself in the face of a troubled youth on the sidewalk. The O.C. was a journey built and seen through Ryan's eyes and it is supremely fitting and satisfying for the journey to refocus itself with him and what new, yet familiar paths he will choose to take.

Very rarely does a series ending episode strive to leave viewers with closure, understanding, belief and acceptance. By giving us a sneak peek at a sort of dual epilogue and introduction into our characters' lives, the writers, network, and actors showed us that they truly understand what the entire show is all about - love, laughter, living, and the people who we choose to share it all with. Hats off to that. We've seen their journey; now it's our turn.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Opening of Doors

It's a new day and yet another turning point in this, my life: I have the options of re-embarking on an academic, artistic and creative quest via short-term night sessions at NYU's SCPS (school of continuing and professional studies). WIth my current steady income and a constant internal gnawing that is characteristic of many full-time employed, post-graduate early twenty-somethings, I can afford to entertain this option and it is definitely a tantalizing one.

Without getting my expectations up prematurely, I can say that I am looking forward to the possibility of regular mental, intellectual and perhaps even social stimulation. I don't want to jump in blindly, but the relative safety, stability and comfort of working from morning to night and then coming home to food, television and family also presents a clear catalyst for stagnation, restlessness and itchy-butt/couch potato symptoms. The goal has always been to prepare for, apply to and begin graduate studies in journalism and/or an additional related field or concentration. Landing a steady job and paycheck was the first step; re-immersing myself in the vigors of generally creative and academic learning will be the next. (After that, the writing flame will hopefully be rekindled and then the GRE tackled head-on.)

At the very least, this thirst of mine has begun to be quenched. I've acknowledged the presence of options and their feasibility for me and my current financial and scheduling circumstances. The opening of this door will lead to the opening of others, and will open my eyes to seeing those that would otherwise have been overlooked.