Yesterday, while politely minding my own business like the gentleman I am, a tweet from the excellent website The Awl popped up in my timeline that read “‘The O.C.’ Characters, In Order.” I clicked on it because I am a total sucker for “The O.C.,” to the point that I have SERIOUS discussions about the show to this day (Summer Anna), and I own the Phantom Planet album with that “California” song on it that the show used in its intro. I am not terribly proud of this, but I feel it is necessary to establish my bona fides. I know my “O.C.”
Within ten seconds of opening the link and being directed to the website, I became FURIOUS. Not only did the post’s author, Jessica Misener (who I have on good authority from our own Awl contributor, Josh Kurp, is a very nice person otherwise), not have noted dipsh-t weasel Oliver Trask in last place on her list, she had him 13th. THIRTEENTH. Ahead of Jimmy Cooper and Kirsten Cohen! This simply will not do.
For those fortunate enough to be unaware, Oliver Trask was a character who was introduced in the middle of Season 1 of the show. He was a spoiled, rich, mysterious brat who pulled out every weasel stunt in his weasel repertoire to try to come between main characters Ryan and Marissa. He was also a mentally unstable pathological liar who at one point pretty much tried to kill Ryan, and ended his stint on the show by faking a suicide attempt and holding Marissa hostage in a penthouse. He did all this over a span of just six episodes, infuriating not just me, but also a huge chunk of the show’s fans, to the point the show’s creator Josh Schwartz had to do interviews defending the character. Additionally, he had a stupid haircut (see above). I think that’s important.
I hate Oliver so much that I have pretty much blocked his entire existence from my day-to-day thought process as some sort of self-preservation mechanism. What this means is that, every now and then, when I stumble across an old episode of the show, I will tune in and see his big stupid face on my TV and I will get angry ALL OVER AGAIN. At a character that has not been on television for eight years. This is assuredly not healthy, but there is nothing I can do about it. He has even surpassed creepshow diner manager Jeff from “Saved by the Bell” on the list of television characters who make my blood boil. He is number one with a bullet — preferably lodged somewhere in his torso.
Allow me to take this opportunity to clarify something once and for all, so there is no confusion going forward: Oliver is the worst. Not just the worst character on “The O.C.,” or the worst character in television history, no. THE WORST. Like, below the song “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle and genocide. He is terrible in every conceivable way, and the world would have been a better place if he had been eaten by a shark 30 seconds into his first appearance on the show. So to have him anywhere but last on the list of the show’s characters is unacceptable and I will not stand for it. After all, this is THE INTERNET. This matters.
In conclusion, here is the official and definitive ranking of the characters on “The O.C.”:
2) Everyone else, including the ridiculous “Dean of Discipline” from Season 3 who was a total goon
1) Sandy Cohen
Thank you for your time.