March 3, 2005

Must-See TV

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Since more than half of the DAZE staff doesn’t even watch TV, it was only logical that we chose television as the subject of this week’s feature. Now you can feign tube expertise with the best of the best because DAZE is going to give you a crash course in the ups and downs of February sweeps.

The O.C. (FOX)

Season two of The O.C. started off in shaky waters, but sweeps has proved to be everything the first season offered and the show has recently been missing — including a Summer/Seth Cohen kiss.

The show’s most obvious ploy to gain viewers has been Orange County princess Marissa’s latest romantic liaison. Marissa is, of course played by the very pretty Mischa Barton and wouldn’t you know it, now she’s a lesbian with the hottest girl on the show, Alex, a character who was originally introduced as Seth’s sometimes boss and former fling. Marissa and Alex’s relationship began innocently enough, as another of Marissa’s multiple forms of rebellion: She went with Alex to get her first tattoo, stayed over at her house and then — poof — she’s a full-fledged lesbian.

Of course, Marissa seems unconcerned by her true sexual identity and has yet to have any meaningful thoughts about the situation she is in. Instead, she jumps right in, often taking the initiative sexually, even kissing her girlfriend in the presence of her own mother. Forget lipstick lesbians, Marissa and Alex’s relationship is the thing boys’ dreams are made of. It’s hard not to see the relationship as the answer to producers’ desire to retain male viewers and get a ride on the gay bandwagon. I don’t buy it. — Logan Bromer

Desperate Housewives (ABC)

If sweeps have taught us anything this year, it’s that your show may garner Golden Globes, but it’s nothing if you don’t have a gay character, particularly an underage gay character. Desperate Housewives filled its quota last week, revealing that picture perfect Bree Van De Camp’s son Andrew has been carrying on a gay relationship with a friend of his.

This show’s premise is simple enough: woman dies, holds secrets, friends try to find out what secrets are. Lately though, the women have gotten caught up in their own lives and seem to have forgotten their quest to find the truth about Marry Ellen’s death. Lynette sabotaged her husband’s promotion for fear of his continual absence, Carlos and Gabrielle spent much time together under house arrest, Susan and Mike were doing well without gardener Jon until the FBI dropped by and Bree and Rex are working their problems out through S&M.

Typical of the show’s web-of-lies tactic, the gay storyline was not all reveled at once. In the final scene of the most recent episode, Susan, looking for her daughter, finds the two boys in the pool naked. Clearly, it’s not just the women of Wisteria Lane who have been hiding something. Like any soap opera, it will be weeks, maybe even months, before the story truly develops or anyone finds out. — Logan Bromer

Scrubs (NBC)

Now into its fourth season and standing on its own in a comedy-deprived network, the much under-appreciated Scrubs started off sweeps by moving — once again — to Tuesday nights. As with many other shows during sweeps, Scrubs utilized a slew of celebrity guest stars to attract viewers. But unlike those other shows, the guest stars never stole the spotlight from the irreverently humorous yet poignant plotlines that fans have come to appreciate. Colin Farrell played a lively bar brawler, Tara Reid returned as a blas