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Today's word on

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Those were the days:

"The way I had it is all gone now. The bars are
gone, the drinkers, gone. There remain the smartest, healthiest newspeople in the history of the business. And they are so boring that they kill the business right in front of you."

--Jimmy Breslin, newspaper columnist, 1996 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jim Doyle)


'The O.C.' blurs the line between fantasy and reality

By Ana Antunes

January 25, 2005 | Last month the newest show on MTV came to its end. Or at least its first season, Laguna Beach is having a second season as announced by the channel in the end of the transmission of the last episode. This is just another one to join America's new obsession: Orange County.

The MTV show is actually a reality show. It is supposed to portrait the real life of American youth. The only detail is that the American youth does not live like the kids from the O.C. How many kids can afford to drive a Mercedes-Benz to school or spend the weekend sailing in a friend's yacht?

What the program does is put the American dream in perspective. Are they really the kids everyone wants to have? Is that the life Americans want to live? A life of hypocrisy and futility, in which shopping is the big thing.

The show transforms silly average teenagers in personalities just because they live in one of the richest counties in the country. What do those people have to offer to the viewers? Fun, definitely the show is.

But the extravagant parties and all the alcohol for underage people are not really the good example, such as the "Vote or die" project MTV wants to pass for its viewers.

The biggest TV show among teenagers is also about the Californian county, and the name couldn't be more original: The O.C. The story is about a boy that is saved by a lawyer from becoming a criminal and comes to live with his family in Newport Beach. The boy comes from a poor neighborhood in the county, Chino, and starts to find out that the life in the rich area is not as pretty as it seems.

The O.C. is in its second season right now and it was moved from Wednesday nights to Thursday nights, which is a more competitive night with better shows in other networks to compete with.

The show is the new version of the '90s classic Beverly Hills 90210. All the classical love triangles and typical plots are there; the poor boy, the rich girl and the rich boy; the corrupt father; affairs, stolen cars, fights and lawsuits.

All this reflects the alienation of American society and the desire to live in a land where the problems of the country and the world don't show. It's not that entertainment can't be about dreams and hopes for the future; it's just that when the barrier between reality and fiction becomes blurred; things get a little out of proportion.


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