One Ocean View - ABC 10/9c
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | One Ocean View Cancelled
Episode - 1
By P.J.S. Dougherty
The much ado over reality TV show One Ocean View may be much ado about nothing. The ABC television network Fire Island, NY, reality show premiered on Monday night with a lackluster ratings performance, scoring a disappointing 2.7/5 share – well behind Monday night rivals, CSI: Miami and Medium.
In the One Ocean View introduction, a voiceover (I think it was Miki from the cast) set the stage, explaining how the housemates – twentysomething urban professionals – are escaping from the big city for Fire Island beach weekends full of fun, partying, and romance. A classic reality TV cliché followed: the cast arrived at their luxurious summer share beach house, exclaimed “awesome!” and “cool!” as they explored, claimed their rooms, and initiated interaction with their fellow housemates. Of course, the subtext of this interaction is figuring out which reality TV housemate to have sex with. In that regard, One Ocean View is a typical reality TV show.
But where other reality TV shows showcase debauchery, conflict, and drama – the fascination of the abomination by which most reality TV shows find success – One Ocean View instead floated in limbo: bland personalities, mild partying, and genuinely inane conversation, the absurdity of which created some unintentional humor that was probably the highlight of the show. (“This is gonna be the best summer ever!” “The town looks pretty cool.”)
The clichés kept on coming, as Miki and Radha, One Ocean View’s devastatingly cute identical twin vegan pizza shop owners, played the "twin trick" during their first meeting with KJ, the studly gym proprietor. That is, they pretended to be each other, swapping places in the kitchen where KJ was conversing. This plot device was so predictable, so played out, and so poorly executed that it made me laugh over how bad it was.
Plot development was minimal. Mary, the blonde farm girl, and Lauren, the hedge fund analyst, both quickly moved in on KJ. The pitfall here is that Lauren and housemate Zack are in a kinda-sorta relationship. Zack plays the fool – Lauren is the only woman he’s ever loved, but Lauren appears to take him lightly. When Lauren is caught kissing KJ on the lips, we get a taste of One Ocean View drama.
Zack sulks, pouts, and stares wistfully over the bay – sure to be a recurring scene. Hopefully Zack learns that girls detest sad sack pushovers by summer’s end. Zack could learn a thing or two about seduction from KJ. When KJ proclaims his love of “ethnic” girls with dark, curly hair, a quick camera switch captures blonde Mary’s expression as her heart is crushed. Good play, KJ.
Lisa is the most intriguing female character on One Ocean View. Beautiful, intelligent (purportedly), and quiet, Lisa could be the exotic dancer with a heart of gold. Where her brazen One Ocean View cast mates speak their minds with no superego to keep them in check, Lisa appears to be more observant, quietly assessing. Like most quiet people, Lisa seems to possess depth of character and complexity.
Usman proved to be the most entertaining male character on One Ocean View, with great quotes about how he “is happy every morning because he knows he’s better looking than he was yesterday.” Good stuff. In a cast of white bread homogeny, any extremes are entertaining – even Usman’s extreme narcissism.
Unfortunately, One Ocean View fell short on excitement. When Usman wakes up chilly after a night of sleeping outside – and that is considered dramatic enough to put on the show – problems lie ahead. As the One Ocean View crew hung out at Fire Island Flynn’s bar, it was clear that something was wrong – Flynn’s bar is usually a raging party, but on One Ocean View, it appeared deflated and tame. This is likely because One Ocean View faced limitations in filming, and probably was at Flynn’s bar too early, before the real Fire Island beach party started.
Yawn. Three quarters of the way in, it seems producers threw in the towel, abruptly switching the setting of One Ocean View from Fire Island to a trendy New York City club. More desperation moves followed to keep One Ocean View afloat; the coming attraction showed they are spontaneously adding new cast members in the second episode, including a blonde who recently appeared in Playboy. Where’s the reality of this reality TV? I know I don’t have playboy bunnies randomly showing up in my own real world. Regardless, the ploy worked – I’ll be tuning in to watch One Ocean View next week; partly because it’s a fascinating reality TV train wreck, but also cause I want to see the bunny in a bikini. Maybe I’m as much of a sucker as Zack, after all.
By P.J.S. Dougherty
Romance is finally heating up on the ABC Fire Island reality TV show, One Ocean View. KJ, mister smooth, wheeled in some massive cooking apparatus to “cook Mexican” and was greeted with a kiss on the cheek from Mary. She is all over KJ, for sure, but he’s keeping his distance – either he has no interest whatsoever, or he’s working a Player’s opening gambit of seduction. Most likely the former, because Mary seems so smitten with KJ that no seduction strategy would be necessary.
The One Ocean View cliffhanger from last week met an amusing conclusion, as Zack, the puppy-like nice guy who’s only had one relationship (with cast mate Lauren), confronted KJ over the fact that Lauren had not only texted KJ (“thanks 4 a great weekend”), but had also kissed KJ . . . on the lips. Zack’s position was, that of all the single girls in the house, it wasn’t right that KJ was “going after” Lauren. KJ cleared things up right away, pointing out that Lauren initiated contact on both occasions, and that any romance was simply “not gonna happen.” Zack was not satisfied with this explanation, and continued questioning KJ in a very whiney manner. KJ must have repeated “not gonna happen” a dozen times before snapping and walking out – leaving Zack looking like a puppy dog who’s just been whapped on the nose with a rolled-up magazine as punishment for soiling the carpet.
Meanwhile, on the other side of One Ocean View’s only pre-existing “relationship,” Lauren received wise counsel from Lisa, who said that Lauren and Zack should simply stay together and enjoy the summer, because clearly they are still in love. Lisa is fascinating – stunningly beautiful and exotic, with mesmerizing eyes. Articulate, smart, and – gasp – mature! Lisa seems to be assuming the “house mother” role of the One Ocean View cast. We’ll see if she tailspins from maturity into debauchery – those transformations are always just a few frozen drinks away on Fire Island.
When Lauren later confronted KJ about his earlier confrontation with Zack (Great, we’ve got some confrontation cookin’!), KJ once again played the Mister Cool persona to perfection, immediately calling Lauren out by saying “I think you’re manipulative and you lie a lot.” Right on, KJ!
Meanwhile, the new One Ocean View cast members, Anelka the Executive and Heather the myspace star turned Playboy Bunny, have taken a shine to Usman and John, respectively. Anelka and Usman actually seem to have real chemistry – Anelka met Usman’s overwhelming ego with her own, and the power struggle that followed generated sparks. Next thing you know, they’re out in the Fire Island beach tent cabana, “cuddling” under the covers (yeah, right). As for John and Heather, their flirting culminated in a fortunate spin during a cast game of Spin the Bottle. An innocent peck this was not, as John and Heather met in a passionate embrace and deep kiss for all the cast to see . . . and later shared an erotic bubble bath scene together.
Miki and Radha are still peripheral – perhaps next week will see them more in the action. But for now, the episode 2 cliffhanger once again revolved around Zack and Lauren. The beaten down puppy, Scrappy Doo Zack finally stood his ground – and told Lauren that he wants to move on. Will she regret her flippant treatment of Zack, and realize what she had once it’s gone? Tune in to One Ocean View next week . . .