Suddenly, This Summer

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SummerThe exact moment The O.C. jumped the shark is debatable: was it when Oliver started waving around a gun? When Kristen checked into rehab? When Marissa was killed? Certainly, Ryan’s reenactment of Fight Club in the fourth season premiere last night would qualify as a shark-jumping scene.

But I’ll be damned if I didn’t almost like The O.C. again last night. Kinda. Well, mostly I liked Summer (Rachel Bilson).

I didn’t use to like Summer. She was annoying, a spoiled girly-girl who you were supposed to like because Seth did. But she was too shallow for my taste. Amusing, but shallow.

Marissa’s death, it turns out, may be the best thing that ever happened to Summer.

Now a freshman at Brown university with a newly discovered passion for the environment, and a continued passion for bossing people around, Serious Summer is suddenly sporting Serious Clothes (read: stylish but slightly androgynous), a Serious Hair Style, and an appealing mix of confidence, humility, and determination. She’s Summer With an Edge, and she’s almost cool enough to be an honorary lesbian (I was half expecting the writers to introduce us to Summer’s new college girlfriend last night).

Summer probably won’t stay cool for long. Two weeks from now, she’ll likely be cage fighting with a local gang leader to win back the tuition she lost after suddenly developing a gambling addition. But this Summer? Might actually win.

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