“The O.C”, Bon Iver, and What Could’ve Been Done

Truth be told: The first time I heard this cover I thought ‘It’s a shame The O.C still isn’t on television’

Admittedly, I’ve never seen an episode of The O.C . My allegiance to Dieter, Alex H., Kristin and all the rest of the kids on Laguna Beach was too strong to allow me to watch two Orange County based programs. But to my understanding, it was basically Footloose meets 90210 and was created by a show runner who balanced his guilt for creating a melodramatic television show about spoiled California teens by infusing it – presumably awkwardly – with some relatively good music. He certainly wouldn’t be the first do this.

Which is why it’s such a shame it’s still not on television. Because no current television program shows us how hard it can be to be rich, white and in a relationship with a very attractive person while relatively good ‘indie’ music is playing quite like The O.C(presumably) did.  And if there’s any song who needed the dramatic acting of Mischa Barton, it’s this cover of ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ by Bon Iver.

Fortunately for you, there is nothing more in the world I want more than to be a writer for a melodramatic teen drama infused awkwardly with good music. So with that in mind, I’d like to present to you this excerpt from my fan(?) fiction O.C script, intended to be set to ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ by Bon Iver.


(We are in Marissa’s parents’ home. It is dark, and Marissa & Ben are uncomfortably far apart. For weeks their relationship has appeared to be in the rocks and at this moment it seems to be all but over)

Marissa: Well if you’ve got nothing else to say than why are you still here?

Ben: It’s just…

(Ben’s lip is quivering, it is clear that he has plenty more to say, but even in the darkest hour of his relationship his psyche is too fragile to reveal all of the feelings he has for her)

Ben: Just… You know what? Forget it. Forget it, and forget you.  

(Ben storms out of the house. Marissa, visibly shaken, begins to cry so hard that she eventually collapses to the ground. Ben retreats home, and begins to pack one athletic bag of clothes. While packing, he stumbles across a picture of him and Marissa he had taken in front of the Log Flume at Six Flags, Anaheim. The two, arguably had never been happier. He motions first to pack it, but ends up dropping it on the floor. The frame shatters into pieces. Symbolism.

Ben exits. He takes one last glance at the exterior of his home reflecting on both the good times, and the bad he’s had in the past year. He pauses briefly, clearly holding back emotion, but eventually continues his trek onward.

As he hits the street, a heavy rain begins. Other people on the street run for cover, but Ben’s slow pace remains unchanged. Why would it? He’s just ended the greatest relationship he’s ever had. He continues onward until he arrives to a bus station.

Ben sits on an empty bench, unphased by the torrential down pour. He is sitting in that position that only major league pitchers, Keanu Reeves and people who just broke up with their girlfriend sit. Eventually the bus arrives. The door opens, and we see a bus driver –played by Wilford Brimley – he’s seen this look before)

Ben: Hey…. Where is this bus headed?

Wilford Brimley: … Does it matter, son?

Ben: I suppose it doesn’t

Wilford Brimley: (sighs) C’mon, get in

(Ben gets in. The bus is dark, damp, relatively empty, and filled with bus people. He takes a seat towards the back – though not the very back – and looks out the window. The bus goes onward. Ben begins to nod off, and because of this he again looks back on his time in the O.C; Beginning with his awkward introduction to an unfamiliar area and then venturing through his romance with Marissa. Ending of course, with the mental image of his Log Flume picture frame shattering. He opens his eyes as the bus passes a sign that reads ‘You are now leaving Orange County.’ In a panic, he runs to the front of the bus)

Ben: (to Wilford Brimley) You’ve got to stop this bus!

Wilford Brimley: And why exactly should I do that?

Ben: Because…. Because I’ve made a huge mistake, and I’m about to run away from the person I love the most. 

Wilford Brimley: Son, this bus only stops for two things. To refuel on gas…. and love. 

(The bus comes to the halt, slightly annoying the bus people. Ben smiles at Wilfford Brimley. Brimley simply grins and tips his cowboy hat. He begins to sprint through the rain, and then stops. Marissa’s there.)

Ben: How…. how did you know I’d be..

Marissa: I just.. I just did. 

Ben: Listen, Marissa.. I.. I..

Marissa: Ben, I know.

(The two start kissing in the rain, it’s pretty much exactly like the ending to Enrique Iglesias’ Hero minus the dying and the Mickey Rourke. The camera cranes up, and fades to black when the Bon Iver cover changes to ‘Nick of Time.’ It’s all VERY emotional, your girlfriend is crying watching. You should probably tell her that you’d never put her through that, and offer to buy her favorite type of ice cream). 

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