“¦ And about bloody time, too. I found Marissa Cooper (Mishca Barton) from The OC to be one of the most vomit-worthy female characters invented. She has a reverse-Oedipus complex (I think it’s called a Cassandra complex) , harbouring an intense hatred for her mother Julie, who isn’t nearly as rotten a human being as the deadbeat father she adores. At the first sign of trouble, Marissa shoplifts and downs a bottle of vodka, then sits down and cries and waits until someone picks her up and carries her home to bed. She abandons friends, family and boyfriends who care for her to pursue men with a penchant for violence and infidelity, if they aren’t out-and-out nutjobs. When these relationships fall to pieces, she goes ambling back to the boyfriend without so much as an apology or mea culpa.
Each time she pursues such men, often barely escaping with her life/sanity in tact, you’d think she would learn. Nope. Over the course of three years, she gets burned by a cheating boyfriend, an obsessive nutjob, her boyfriend’s drug-dealing brother and a couple of other strays she picked up along the way. The last of which was a violent, possessive man, Volchek, who didn’t take it too kindly when Marissa gets bored with him and goes back to her safe”˜n’secure Regular Boyfriend Ryan. (Why Ryan kept taking her back was beyond me.) The storyline ends with a car chase which results in Marissa’s death.
I don’t know if Barton wanted out of her contract, if TPTB wanted a knockout season finale, or they wanted to portray realistic consequences for Marissa’s lifetime, but that’s how I chose to see it. For three years (and probably most of her life before that) Marissa didn’t so much court danger, as went actively seeking it. She was self-absorbed and indifferent to the worry and pain her actions inflicted on other people – she just kept on seeking that danger. You do that long enough and odds are, it’ll kill you.
I liked that The OC portrayed her actions as ones which could – and did – have disastrous consequences. She was a spoilt brat who wouldn’t take responsibility for her actions, and years of accumulated carelessness came back to bite her on the ass. I’m sure legions of fans of the show will say she didn’t deserve to die, but I say she had it coming, and kudos to The OC PTB for tackling such a realistic end to a spoilt, self-absorbed character.