A while ago, I spoke about admiring the bitches over the nice girls because the bitches always seemed to get back on their feet where the nice girls sat down and cried and waited for a guy to pick them up. I can find no better contrast than the mother-daughter team of Marissa and Julie Cooper on The OC.
Yeah, The OC is a soap. The characters are over-the-top and the acting isn’t so great either. But I’ve always found myself applauding Julie and throwing popcorn and empty beer bottles at Marissa, even though Julie is the “˜bitch’ and Marissa is the “˜good girl’.
Because the first sign of trouble and Marissa sits and down and cries. The first sign of trouble and Julie steers herself against the worst and schemes her way out of it.
In one episode, Marissa is supposed to write an essay about the reason she was expelled from her last school – namely, she shot her boyfriend’s brother, who had tried to rape her. Now, this could have been an awesome example of self exploration – facing up to your demons. I watched her start to type, and willed her to keep going even after it got hard. But no, she wrote a few words and threw her computer against the wall. Because she was the victim. Because she was allowed to sit down and cry and wait for her boyfriend to come rescue her.
I was ashamed to be a woman. Because it was portrayed as such a womanly thing; life is too hard, so why don’t we sit down and cry.
Meanwhile, in a few episodes before, Julie gets stood up at the altar by her ex-husband and husband-to-be. He doesn’t even bail on her himself; he gets Marissa to do it. Coward. And how does Julie respond? In her wedding gown, ready to walk down the aisle, she cries a few tears, then she shakes her head defiantly and says something like “˜we’ll survive’. She just got humiliated but she knows that the only way is forward. And the only way forward is one step at a time, by her own momentum. I admire that.
Pity Marissa couldn’t learn by example.