Saturday, December 09, 2006

Just for posterity, the original Taylor Townsend article, before editing:

If you are one of the five people who continue to tune into the OC every Thursday, then perhaps you will have noticed that there is a new woman in town. I don’t mean Kaitlin Cooper, although she certainly has done her bratty best to beef up the show’s ratings. No, I’m talking about Taylor Townsend (Autumn Reeser), Newport’s favorite overachieving, French-speaking, fake sleep therapist. Taylor has been a star of the show ever since her attempts last season to steal Marissa’s spotlight and Summer’s boyfriend, but this season she’s come into her own.

The past two episodes, Taylor has tried her best to capture Ryan’s stoic heart, still bruised from Marissa’s bony elbows and melodrama. Fortunately for us, it seems that Taylor is having some success. Although her attempts to woo Ryan with Chinese herbal tea fell through, her sexy red dress, ability to read his mind, and just plain ballsiness seem to be doing the trick. Taylor manages to embody in one woman the geeky bravado that Seth once possessed and the flair for taking charge that we’re used to seeing in Summer (a talent that has now been put to work releasing rabbits and getting kicked out of Brown for associating with naked didgeridoo-playing hippies). She’s consistently been the funniest part of every episode, and her over-the-top antics bring a sense of humor back to a show that last season took itself far too seriously.

Perhaps most importantly, Taylor is exactly what Ryan needs to pull him out of his post-Marissa mope-fest. Taylor can hold her own. She doesn’t need Ryan to save her, so he can put away his suit of shining armor. She has a personality – and the capability of speaking in complete, rapid-fire sentences that rival those of Lorelai Gilmore, a vast improvement over Marissa’s endless series of “Heys” and emotional breakdowns. Last week, when she plaintively owned up to her fear that she could never be like Marissa, I wanted to cheer and cry at the same time. She’s twice the woman Marissa ever was, and it’s about time she got some respect.

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