Via Freakgirl, ESPN.com's Bill Simmons makes a frighteningly cogent comparison of Fox's evening soap The O.C. to its conceptual predecessor Beverly Hills 90210. While this is all well and good, I would argue that clearly The O.C. has more in common with cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer than 90210. To wit:
1. Moody teen (Ryan/Buffy) who arrives in quiet town after trouble in the big city.
2. Sexually-ambiguous sidekick (Seth/Xander) with a sublimated crush on the hero and a penchant for comic books.
3. Initial third wheel character (Marissa/Willow) who has an addiction subplot and eventually goes gay.
4. Fashionista bitch queen (Summer/Cordelia) who turns out to be remarkably sympathetic and becomes love interest to #2.
Okay we're missing a couple of pieces, like who's Angel, and what about Spike and Drusilla? But Sandy Cohen makes for a decent unibrowed Watcher, and if Caleb isn't the Big Bad ubervampire of the O.C./Sunnydale, I don't know what he is... though Julie Cooper is definitely giving the big C a run for his money this season!
p.s. Freakgirl also blogs at Too Much Free Time, a veritable bonanza of television news and reviews allowing those of us with no free time (and no TiVo) to live vicariously through another's remote control.