Benjaminmckenzie_theoc_s4_240_1 Get real, TV fans. Thursday (Dec. 7) night’s Grey’s Anatomy was a repeat (though it did feature people pummeling the moppet from Little Miss Sunshine) and the new episode of CSI had something to do with Grissom choking his chicken (or investigating electrocuted chickens). So you had no excuse not to tune in to The O.C..

If you trust various network executives, this has allegedly been FOX’s master plan all along: Bury The O.C. in television’s most competitive time slot with a useless lead-in and virtually no promotion, confuse viewers by randomly trying it out on another night and wait for the other networks to shift to repeats and then… Welcome back to the O.C., bitches (assuming you don’t live in Cleveland or Pittsburgh where I hear the episode was pushed to the early morn by a subpar NFL game).

Viewers who decided they didn’t need to watch Izzie stand in front of the hospital for an hour for a second time were treated to the season’s funniest episode of The O.C., a mixture of superior and quotable dialogue (courtesy of executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage), winning character details and without a single mention of the late Marissa Cooper. And if that’s not enough, next week is Chrismukkah.

Highlights of "The Summer Bummer":

  • Inter-textual references galore: From the spoiled rich girl throwing an exclusive Pimps -n- Hos party a la My Super Sweet 16 to True Life Skanks of Sherman Oaks (The Valley‘s equivalent of what The Real Housewives of Orange County is to The O.C.) to Taylor Townsend reenacting classic 1980s music video sex kitten cliches, the episode was packed.Autumnreeser_theoc_s4_240_3
  • Speaking of Taylor Townsend reenacting classic 1980s music video sex kitten cliches, have I mentioned lately how good Autumn Reeser has been this season? She’s comic gold whether discussing her kissing technique ("Usually when I kiss a guy, it ends in tears — his, not mine. I’m a bit of a lip-biter and sometimes I draw blood.") to her atypical strategy for wooing Ryan ("So what if I did rent a homosexual for the evening and pay him with rare collectibles from Asian cinema?").
  • Also adding amusement the past couple weeks has been endlessly familiar character actor Gary Grubbs playing the uncouth Texas oilman known as The Bullet. Points to The Bullet for referring to Sandy as "He-bro," a term of endearment I’m authorizing only my closest friends to use.
  • And more hilarity from Chris Pratt as Che, the campus radical whose spinelessness gets Summer suspended from Brown. When Seth shows up in Rhode Island vowing revenge, he discovers that Che has left him a DVD message that begins with "News of your vendetta has reached my ears." Oh and we also learned that Che’s full name is Winchester ("So, he was a liar, a coward and a hypocrite, but at least he had depth," Seth laments).
  • Other worthy elements of a fine episode: Kaitlin Cooper getting to behave like an real teenage girl and coming across as a human as much as a Lolita… Julie Cooper learning that the dating service she’s launching with Kirsten has taken a Heidi Fleiss-esque turn… Anything involving Summer and a bunny… Taylor referencing the blog she writes as "Felicity by way of Anais Nin"… Blog, schmog…

    What’d you think of the episode? Any favorite moments? Or did you watch CSI instead? If so, don’t talk to me.

  • Posted by:Daniel Fienberg