The O.C., THE SOUND OF MUSIC and false fandoms.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Hey All

I was just cruising around the net, and discovered this little bit of info. It seems that when THE O.C. wraps up in February, it wraps up for good. Here's the link to the article.

All I have to say to that is GOOD FUCKIN RIDDANCE. I never liked that show at all. And just because it had Nandi as one of the leads and Morena guest starred on there doesn't mean that it was any good. It was just teen whinings in a sunny bourgeoisie setting, slathered over with bad emo. And all this apparantly is deserving of fandom.

I bring this up because in my documentary class, one student decided to make his documentary about O.C. parties. Apparantly, in the dorms on Thursday nights, some people hold viewing parties for THE O.C. and the people at these things are more stereotypically fanboyish than even the most die-hard nerd.

And it's stuff like this that really ticks me off. When it comes to fandoms and cults, it's kind of an insult when something so clearly mainstream acts like it's a cult thing when it's clearly not. Like everything involved with THE O.C. is a household name. It has SIX freaking soundtracks. It's is in no way subversive or against the grain. And another example of "mainstream thing trying to be cult" is a few years ago when they tried to have audience participation screenings for THE SOUND OF MUSIC, like what they do with THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. And to me, this is a spit in the face of the legacy of ROCKY HORROR.

The ROCKY HORROR cult, like FIREFLY, was an example of something that crashed and burned in the beginning, but just grew and grew until it became a force of it's own. It crawled out of obscurity until it became the powerhouse fandom that it is today. It EARNED it's fandom. THE SOUND OF MUSIC, on the other hand, was at one point the biggest hits of all time. It actually saved the studio from bakruptcy. So this whole thing of trying to turn the ROCKY HORROR experience into something family friendly just seems blasphemous. It cheapens the achievement of ROCKY HORROR and makes THE SOUND OF MUSIC seem more self-aggrandizing than it already is.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when mainstream tries to act cult, it just diminishes the achievements and efforts made by real cult fandoms.

Agree? Disagree? Comments? Are there any "fandoms" out there that to you seem really false and more mianstream than cult?


Tuesday, January 16, 2007 12:28 AM


I think I'm still in shock to learn that there are O.C. parties going on out there! Christ - what's next, Desperate Housewives block parties? Life According to Jim keggers?

Jeez I hate mainstream tv sometimes. There's so much drivel out there that is largely negative and obscenely affirming that people, en mass, are content to be spoon-fed this sexist, dumbed-down, base humour (which, in my opinion, isn't real humour at all).

My 2 cents... I agree - it does feel like an insult to the sincere fandoms that have been built and fostered around cult/scifi/geek shows. I wear my geekdom with pride and to imagine that someone out there fancies themselves a 'true fan' 'cause they stepped into a dorm room with a sippy cup full of cheap-ass beer does not sit well with me.

In reference to an aside conversation about the X-Files - I do think it would be worth the revisit. The series is waaaaay cheaper to buy on dvd now (40 bucks a season as opposed to the original price tag at 140!) And I agree with your message to me that Robert Patrick added energy and interest to a wanning show. Like Buffy, it went on too long for the average person to stay invested in it. Despite that fact, I would not trade my six and seventh seasons of BtVS or my eighth and nineth seasons of th X-Files (even knowning how thin the Super Soldier plot was).

To tie it all together I can say that when the X-Files was first on the air, I used to hold viewing parties at my apartment. We'd light candles, crack out the wine and watch- then spend hours discussing the themes and nuances of the show. (Which invariably led to talk about conspiracies, government distrust and politics - find me an O.C. fan that could follow that thread!) I don't equate this to the whole O.C. crap, but rather to the honest, grass-roots investments that only we dorks know how to pull off.

And I highly doubt that there will be any O.C. conventions going on in the years to follow its demise... Joke tv doesn't inspire an enduring connection like Joss-calibre stuff does. Unlike the mainstream, there's a reason why more and more Browncoats are joining the verse - Firefly is an amazing contribution to our world and it is instantly recognizable as high calibre entertainment.

(And, lastly, it is seriously unlikely that someone would pass out in a pool of their own vomit at a Browncoat shindig - but at an O.C. room party... I think it is not only possible but as likely as rohipnol is the date rape DOC.)

Thanks for the XF message!


Saturday, January 6, 2007 10:41 AM


Not sure how I feel about this whole issue, to be honest.

I mean...I am very happy in a selfish way that "The O.C." is finally leaving the airwaves for good, if only because it frees up Melinda Clarke to do more gritty fare as Madame Heather on "CSI" or sign up for a role in a film like "Wonder Woman" (not Diana - cuz that gets to go to Morena ;D - but a fairly large Themysciran character). That and it allows for more $$$ to be passed around to other programming...potentially an increase in budget for "Drive"?

The definition of "cult" is what I think causes the big consternation. To we Browncoats or fans of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," the term "cult" has been acquired and renovation to denote honest love and devotion to a piece of entertainment that speaks to us in some way deeply. Now...someone could argue that "The O.C." had a "cult" following, if only because not everyone who was watching TV when it airs watches it or likes it. This, to me, weakens the definition. Also, an argument could be raised that as soon as we Browncoats got a BDM and all these marketable products (BDM and BDS visual companions, a comic book series that will gain a sibling in the future, a MMORPG, etc.) our cult status got chopped back quite a bit since it wasn't just the odd copy of "Serenity" trolling around for the occasional showing at independent theatres or fan-made goodies.

Really...those individuals who see themselves as belonging to an "OC" cult? They can have their beliefs...we know the truth;)


Thursday, January 4, 2007 9:23 PM


I don't really see how OC parties or Sound of Music sing-a-longs detract at all from cult phenomenons. They are the legacy of cult mystique. But I don't think there is anything intrinsically more valuable about the cult phenomenon experience over the mainstream one. I can understand being turned off by the top down nature of the corporate faux-cult, but it is what it is, and it is obvious to anyone who cares to look.

People watch the OC, not because it is especially good, but because it is fun to talk about and watch with other people. It's a shared experience. And honestly, who sits at home alone watching Rocky Horror? Everyone is seeking the same thing, it's just those focused on less immediately popular fare don't get the benefit of being spoon-fed their entertainment.

But I guess I really just don't see the insult or the offense. If you define yourself by the struggle of your fandom, then I guess so, but I choose to define myself more by the quality of the product, and frankly, The Sound of Music easily trumps Rocky Horror on that count.

Thursday, January 4, 2007 7:41 AM


Agree absolutely and I will drink a toast to the demise of the OC ( which by the way was the replacement for a funny quirky show called Keen Eddie with good writing and acting...gee that happens a lot on FOX)

Thursday, January 4, 2007 2:58 AM


Agreed, everyone at my school obsesses over that show, I've watched out of curiousity and it really isn't that good. Another show that I don't think has such a huge following but is similar is Laguna Beach. I actually watch that show to laugh at it but that's just me. Down with the O.C.!!!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 7:56 PM


Thank you for saying everything I want to say. The OC obsession at my school is so big. Totally agree, is all I can say.


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