There are accredited college courses out there for The Simpsons, The Wire, The Sopranos, The Muppets, and other shows that begin with “the” (The Veronica’s Closet?!?), but none of them teach the most important thing a student, nay, all humans should know to get through life: Summer > Anna. UNTIL NOW.
Earlier today, Josh Schwartz, the creator of The O.C., better known as Warming Glow’s Guide to Life, tweeted, “This is a class taught at Duke! Think I could pass,” followed by a picture of the syllabus you see above. It reads:
59.03 “California Here We Come” The O.C. & Self-Aware Culture of 21st Century America
“Everybody is hyper self-aware. We live in a post-everything universe.”
-Josh Schwartz, executive producer of The O.C. and Gossip Girl
If Josh Schwartz is correct in saying that we live in a post-everything universe, a post-postmodern world, how do you innovate? You do it with a nerdy, comic book reading, plastic horse loving, half-Jewish sailor with a keen taste in music named Seth Ezekiel Cohen. Seth inhabits the land of Southern California, where cardio barre, yogalates, and rehab are not so much vernacular as they are facets of quotidian Orange County life.
“Welcome to the OC, bitches. This is how it’s done in Orange County.” Welcome to a world where popular culture is turned on itself, where alcoholism is as normal as high school, where Death Cab for Cutie went “mainstream” and liked it, where guns, sex, social awkwardness, cage fighting, and rage blackouts can’t tear apart the fantastic foursome of characters that rules like the royal family. (Everyone on the show is related in some way or another by the end of 2007). We’ll explore the “hyper self-awareness” unique to The O.C. and analyze Californian exceptionalism and singularity in history and popular culture, girl culture, 21st century suburban revivalism, the indie music scene, the meta-series, and more. We’ll go on the excessive journey of the foursome that captured the hearts of millions and changed teen television dramady forever. Get out your surfboards (or skateboards, if you’re more a land shark).
California, here we come.
Don’t get settled in Newport Beach though. We’ll also travel south to Laguna Beach, behind the gates of Orange County’s private neighborhoods of the Real Housewives, up to The Hills of LA, to get like, really real, and finally to New York City for a serene(a) ride to get out of the bla(i)ring sun.
You know you’ll love it, xoxo Your Instructors (Via)
On Duke’s website, that course is listed directly above, “Know your Status: Interdisciplinary Inquiry into HIV/AIDS.” But that class is for SQUARES and/or NERDS — you can’t hang ten and listen to Transatlanticism while learning about retroviruses, bro. But if you take “California Here We Come,” I imagine you’ll get a crash course on American culture as it relates to the early 21st century.