Golden State of Mind
My fascination with the Southern Californian lifestyle probably stems from a middle school obsession with my beloved teen melodrama, The O.C. (In case you missed out, The CW offers all 4 seasons for free online. #blessed.)
For those who don't know, the show follows protagonist Ryan Atwood after he moves off the streets of Chino and into his rich lawyer's poolhouse. Four seasons of drama, Chanel, and fistfights ensue. Maybe it was the juxtaposition between beer chugging, Abercrombie-wearing polo players and nerdy best friend Seth Cohen with his video games and miniature toy horse that I loved, or the way Marissa Cooper so effortlessly pulled off using scarves for belts and not wearing bras to school…Either way, this show (and it's classic Phantom Planet theme song) stayed with me.
Fast forward a few years, and I've found another show to fill the crater-sized void The O.C. left me - Californication. It follows a washed-up LA writer as he struggles to navigate fatherhood, friendship, doing the right thing (for once), and winning back the love of his life, Karen. More specifically, Hank Moody is the best worst underdog to root for, his daughter is the emo-goth 12 year old I could never pull off being, and Karen Van Der Beek is everything (see below: 10 Times Karen from Californication Made Me Want Bangs).
I cherish my TV series, no matter how silly, pointless, or unrealistic they may be. (Usually they're better that way). In a real world full of adult responsibilities, we all deserve the chance to get away, if only for the length of one episode at a time. We find the characters we love, hate, sympathize with, aspire to be... and in a way the things we watch, read and listen to become a reflection of ourselves, too.
... Although I hope nobody is taking life advice from The Bachelorette anytime soon.
(Slideshow photos via Tumblr)