Thursday, March 17, 2005


Josh Schwartz is currently the smartest guy writing for commercial, non-cable TV, supplanting Joss Whedon (who has gone underground) and J.J. Abrams (whose 2 shows Lost and Alias never quite live up to the brilliant promise of their respective pilots). Whatever you think of The O.C.'s forthy blend of Knots Landing melded with 90210, the show definitely has moments of pure inspiration. Take for example tonight's episode "The Blaze of Glory", featuring Bill Cambell as Carter Buckley, besotted magazine editor and potential rival love interest for Kelly Rowan's Kirsten Cohen. The show loves to highlight new and/or cool indie music (including 5 basically hidden Beck tracks from Guero last week). So we discover Carter Buckely drunk on tequila lounging in front of loudspeakers blaring The Pixies' "Debaser" and mooning over his wedding anniversary to an ex. This is a perfect Zeitgeist touch. The Pixies are suddenly hip again with the kids, but this song dates to 1989 and is quite plausibly somehow significant re: a past relationship for a 40 something. To drive this point home, he's lounging in an extremely faded Hüsker Dü t-shirt, a band even older and hipper than The Pixies in its way (props to MC for pointing this out). It always infuriates me when shows or movies get the music wrong, like having a song from 1973 in a soundtrack for a movie set in 1969 just because it "sounds good". So the opposite is also true; I love it when people get it right. Schwartz gets it right mostly.

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