Among one of the many moments that defined The OC during its first season was Chrismukkah. What started out as Seth Cohen’s way to happily morph two holidays that shared an equal part of his family’s heritage. Who knew that that one little episode would spawn a whole revolution? Seriously, there are Chrismukkah cards that you can buy, there is a Chrismukkah soundtrack, and there is even a Chrismukkah blog. So in the grand tradition of The OC, we get to watch the what this massive amount of publicity for an OC tradition would do to the massive egos of the writing staff.I am one of the few that didn’t really care for Chrismukkah last season, even if it is the perfect holiday for the TVgasm offices. Despite that, I am really starting to get into some of the story lines, so I really looked forward to this episode. One of the things I haven’t enjoyed about this season is the 1000% Seth that we have seen this year. Adam Brody is a talented actor, no doubt, and his comedic talents are one of the best parts of the show, but there is too much of a good thing, and I believe that sometimes there has been too much of a reliance of Seth Cohen schtick to get them through the episodes. We know he is quirky, slightly neurotic, etc., you don’t have to spell it out for us every week.
Seth always does a good job of bringing out the best in his holiday, and the best in this case is his sweater. I am not sure what homeless guy he had to mug, or if his mom knitted it or something, but the reindeer thing he had going on at the beginning of the episode was a sight to be seen. With the weather hitting 75 and 80 degrees in LA this past week, nobody is thinking about sweaters anyway. Within the first five minutes, Seth has already mentioned cultural zeitgeist and Death Cab, so I am really fearing for my life. To top it off, the writers surprised everybody with a new Chrismukkah phrase. For those not in the spirit of Chrismukkah, you can now simply say Oi Humbug! The OC writers have really become Santa Putzes.
Besides taking care of a lot of the preparation, Seth wants to include as many people in his celebration as possible. Although at first he was sort of hesitant about inviting his new “girlfriend”, Ryan decided to invite Lindsay anyway. It turns out that Lindsay wasn’t that much of a fan of the holidays, since as a little girl she had always just wanted her dad to show up. As she said, some kids stop believing in Santa, she stopped believing in her dad. I don’t want to complain too much about this exchange, but come on! We know it is going to devolve into a big campy mess at the end, why try and pretend you are on the Hallmark Channel?
So, Lindsay decides to come to Chrismukkah. I wonder what Marrissa and Summer will be doing? As it turns out, Zach has conveniently left early for his winter break, and Marissa is scheduled to spend the day with her dad, meaning both have pretty open plans. Conveniently, Seth straddles on up to them at the coffee stand just as they are shaking down what is to go on that evening. I should take this time to mention that Marrissa is looking positively normal this week, but the bad wardrobe designer is still on the set, and decided that she would dress up Rachel Bilson in the laughably hideous duds this time around. Summer is wearing some sort of sweater that it was attacked by moths, or a pair of scissors or something. Yes, it is fun to bash Mischa for the outfits the wardrobe have given her, but in the interest of fairness, I should mention that Rachel hasn’t been looking all that glam either. While the OC writers are making the trends, I don’t think Summer and Marissa are quite at the point where they will be adjusting the course of fashion a la Sex and the City. But here’s hoping they do, if for nothing else than to get that ridiculously huge billboard of Sarah Jessica Parker forever removed from Sunset. It really ruins my mood as I travel towards Sunset Plaza. Seth invites them both to Chrismukkah, and the both agree because, well, it would really have made the story much less intriguing if they weren’t there to see everything that went on.
While the kids are worrying about the ghost of Chrismukkah present, the ghosts of adultery past and present stop to pay a visit among the adults. It was a slight surprise when we found out that Lindsay was in fact Caleb Nichol’s estranged daughter, and this revelation added another layer onto the already complicated Cohen-Nichol familty. He had hid his indiscretion to protect his family, but somehow it all started crumbling before his eyes. With Caleb worried about all of the things he is worried about, he hasn’t had enough time with his wife. I am sure the Viagra or Cialis or whatever was enough to get them through “the not so” hard times, nothing prepared Julie to be neglected for lack of self-interest. So, just like the last time she needed a scratch itch, she sought out an available man. After Luke, she probably wasn’t going to go back to an old high school romance, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t back to her old husband, so Jimmy has been shaking the spot several times a week now. I thought she would have at least given the water pik a few more chances to do its thing.
With all of their invites solid, Seth is beginning to gain faith once more in his holiday. And with that success came pressure. What if the government forced him to come up with more mash up holidays like Eastover? It is just too much for one person to handle. Luckily, his dad dumps a big bucket of cold water onto their happiness when he tells Ryan that Lindsay shouldn’t come. Don’t be such a prick Sandy, it’s not like Lindsay has anything to do with the Caleb Nichol paternity case. Oh wait, she does? Damn, I just new that his would turn out the way it was supposed to.
Looking to avoid a complete disaster Ryan decides he is going to disinvite Lindsay, but only if Seth will disinvite Summer to make the disinvites equal. It’s actually a good idea, because it will make everything go much more smoothly, they wouldn’t want everything to blow up in their faces, would they? This being The OC, Ryan and Seth are not very effective in their quest to get rid of their girls. Ryan thinks it’s going to be easy, because Lindsay never really liked the holidays, but the power of Chrismukkah got to her, and she even created a new tradition – the yarmulke claus. It’s like your basic red santa hat, but instead it is in the shape of a yarmulke. Seeing as to how she seemed to be enjoying the article, Ryan didn’t have the heart to tell herl. Likewise with Summer, Seth got all sidetracked into going Christmas tree shopping (why summer decided on somebody with little tree experience is beyond me.). He was also unable to tell Summer about the supposedly revived plans And if you were wondering, no, Rachel Bilson didn’t look any hotter than she did in the opening scenes. Why they chose outfits that do the least with her slammin body, well, I have no clue. But it’s dumb. Almost as dumb as the cat meow rendition of the Carol of the Bells we had to sit through that part of the show. What’s next? An armpit fart cover of O Holy Night?
Chrismukkah comes, and so with it come Julie and Caleb, who have no idea Lindsay is there. Still, there is some possibility of getting through the evening without too much of a problem, but that is blown when Renée comes into the house and decides she has to come clean Quick! Well, it wasn’t her entire idea actually, Sandy had another meeting with her and said the DA might press charges on her as well as Caleb since she was the one supposedly being bribed all of these years. Time for Kirsten to get a glass of wine, this is going to be one awkward reunion.
So, it wasn’t a surprise when, after Renée and Kirsten walked into the kitchen, Caleb and Sandy were sure to follow, then our group of teenagers, and then Julie and Jimmy (fresh and post-coital from a little bathroom nookie while people weren’t watching). Now on the spot, Caleb lets the secret out, and promptly gets a slap from Kirsten, a slap from Julie, and a very embarassed Lindsay running out of the house crying. All in all, I think the outcome could have been worse, and I was still wondering about the indignation on Julie’s face when she heard about Caleb’s affair so many years ago, especially when she is having her own affair as she lectured her husband about his infidelities.
Couldn’t we all see this coming last year? The Nichol family tree is really a mess. There was a weird realignment when Julie married in, and Lindsay’s presence really doesn’t help that little problem. Caleb has a daughter, Kirsten and Haley have a new sister, Sandy has a new sister in-law, Seth has a new aunt, Marrissa has a new step-sister, and Julie has a new step-daughter. Now, if Julie remarries Jimmy, does that make Jimmy Kirsten’s step-dad? About the only thing left is to make Jimmy Cooper Ryan’s dad. That would mean that Ryan was Kirsten’s step-sister, and he would be dating another step-sister, Lindsay, but they are just related by marriage, so it will be OK. You heard it here first.
The aftermath of this whole revelation was a sight to see. What is it about Caleb Nichol and his timing? His wife and daughter(s) need some space, so you think he would just hit a motel somewhere, let people have a few days to digest the new information and deal with it from there. No, he follows Kirsten up to her bedroom and tries to apologize for cheating on her mother so many years ago, and then keeping it a secret. She does the smart thing and throws a vase at him and locks herself in her closet so she can cry it off. Actually, she might have been able to do a little better. If she had hit him with the vase and taken a bottle of wine with her into the closet, now that would have been spectacular.
Ryan’s concern is for Lindsay. It’s hard enough starting a new school, but then to find out that your father never saw you not because he cared for you, but you were really just a mistake and he was trying to save himself the embarrassment. When he reaches her house, Lindsay comes to the door and proceeds to tell him how she never wants to see him again because his family is so messed up. I was waiting for him to come out and say in his defense “I’m adopted, so you can still have sex with me and not worry that I will turn into you uncle, or brother, or something.” Alas, no, Ryan gets the cold shoulder.
Having no luck coaxing Kirsten out of her bedroom, Caleb tries to find his current wife. After all, he didn’t cheat on her, she has to have some sort of compassion for him, right? Well, no. Julie is surely going to use this whole episode to file for divorce and take a chunk of the Nichol fortune, but I am sure there was a big prenup, so not to worry, right? When Caleb finally finds Julie, who has been hiding out in Marrissa’s room, she gives him the cold shoulder. After getting all of that off of his chest, his stress level was low enough that he was probably ready to resume his normal schedule of banging his trophy wife. But after remembering how good it was to have sex with somebody within twenty year of her own age, Julie is not about to just lay there while Caleb goes for his 15 minutes of nightly fun. She wants Jimmy, so she heads back to his boat for a little bit of solace, and some doggy style.
Summer, Seth, Ryan, and Marrissa are left to debate the fate of this year’s Chrismukkah, Seth is completely dejected, but for some reason, Summer has become the champion of the holiday. It’s supposed to bring people together, not pull them apart. It’s time for a Chrismukkah miracle! Why do I always run out of percoset right before the most difficult time of the week? Summer has a plan to save Chrismukkah, but she just needs a little help. She and Marrissa head over to Jimmy’s boat in search of an extension cord and a generator, because you need those things for a boat. Hmm, I wonder what they are going to do? I do now that they were so into their Chrismukkah plans, they ignored the obvious moaning that was coming from below decks. See, Julie and Jimmy were working on their second or third or fourth Chrismukkah miracle of the day.
Ryan’s part of this whole gambit is to try and coax Kirsten out of the closet. I would have opened a bottle of champagne outside her door, and then when Kirsten smelled it, she would open the door, and Ryan and Sandy could hold her down before she was able to lock herself back in. Ryan decided instead to appeal to the side of her that realizes that Lindsay had nothing to do with this, and isn’t it time to show her that she is part of a family that welcomes new members? Awww, how touching. Just last year, they were trying to teach Ryan how they loved their family, but now it is Ryan who teaches them a lesson in love. If only Karen Carpenter were still alive, she and Richard would have loved writing songs for Chrismukkah. John Denver would have loved to have done a Muppets Chrismukkah album as well. Only the good die young, it seems.
After getting Kirsten out of self-pity mode, it was up to Seth to, uhh, talk to Lindsay? So he moseys on over to her house, oh wait, she isn’t at her house, she finds her on the beach hanging by the sand dunes. I wonder if she and Marrissa ever crossed paths during the beach pouting walk of shame as she went to her dune, and Marrissa went to her lifeguard tower. Anyway, Seth tells her that it isn’t all that bad being a Cohen, and tells her about all of the things that are part of being a Cohen like telling jokes at inappropriate times. It was kind of a lame speech, but it worked, or at least it will work until Lindsay finds out that she is not a Cohen. She’s not Sandy’s kid. The Nichol family has a lot more issues than the Cohen’s, and that is what Lindsay has to deal with from now on. She could marry a Cohen, but that is now out of the question since she is related to them. She will just have to live with having a stocking on the Cohen fireplace, even though the stocking saud “Laura” and not “Lindsay”. I guess you can’t be picky when you have so little time to prepare the Chrismukkah miracle.
Seth and his new aunt go back to her house where the find…oh my God! It was decorated by everybody with lights, and a tree and everything! Look, there is her new sister, Kirsten, and she is only four drinks into the night! It’s wonderful! If I use enough exclamation points in this sentence, maybe I’ll actually convince myself that it was some a special moment!!!
Excuse me, but is this the reason why the girls had to have a generator? To light some Christmas lights? I know that Renee and Lindsay aren’t well off, but I am sure they could have come up with the extra money to run the lights. And you can’t argue that they did it to preserve the surprise, because Renee would have eventually noticed that her front yard all of a sudden became the tackiest one on the block. The writers had that stupid scene on the boat just so the girls could almost catch Jimmy and Julie having sex? And since they realized that this Chrismukkah thing had to be a surprise, being in front of Lindsay’s house, they simply came up with this thing that she loves to be alone at the beach? Why wasn’t she at the beach when Ryan came over? Sorry to be a Scrooge or the Grinch or whatever, but I just ain’t buying it. Having holiday cheer doesn’t mean I have to buy into dumb story lines the writers created to make their show seem like it makes sense.
OK, I think I have calmed down now. Lindsay and her mom are now a part of the extended Cohen family tree and everybody is happy with their egg nog, and probably haven’t noticed all of the extra rum Marrissa certainly put into everybody’s cup. For me, it was another lack luster episode, but at least the story lines that come out of it are intriguing. With no Oliver on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how things play out when the show returns next year.
“Hey!” Count: Episode – 22, Season Total – 58