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Game Review: The OC Scene It?

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Unless you’ve been living in a cave or on an abandoned, desert island for the last 20 years, chances are you’ve heard of popular television shows like Friends and Seinfeld. Those are the only acceptable excuses, in my opinion; Friends ran for 10 seasons on NBC, while Seinfeld ran for nine. It’s been several years since these shows ended, and despite this, reruns of both have ensured their characters are household names. Lines like “gum would be perfection” and “yada, yada yada” are hard to forget.

Within the last decade, Screen Life, a division of Mattel toy company, decided to capitalize on popular television shows and movies by creating a board game with a DVD component called Scene It? The game allows players of two or more to form teams and compete against each another in various trivia activities related to the show or movie. Players roll the dice to determine the kind of question they’ll get. Sometimes they’ll watch a clip on the DVD and answer a question like, “What did the poster in the background say?” Other times they’ll listen to a quote and name the character who said it and why. There are also activities for those less acquainted with the show, including word scrambles and spellbinders (hangman).

Screen Life has released numerous Scene It? editions over the years, all of which have centered on television shows or movie releases with cult-like followings. Whether it’s Seinfeld, Friends, Star Trek or Harry Potter, the makers of Scene It? create editions based on what’s popular with the public. But in 2006, Screen Life released an edition of Scene It? for a show that only lasted four seasons, and whose characters are anything but household names, unless that home boasts a squealing teenage girl. To the delight of many teenage girls of the 2000s, The OC: Scene it? game appeared in 2006. Although released as a game-pack (a smaller version of the Scene it? board games), the move surprised fans of the show.

The O.C. first aired on Fox in 2003, centering on the ritzy, drama-filled lives of four high school students and their families living in the posh community of Newport Beach in Orange County, California. For fans of the show like me, finding The OC: Scene it? was a dream come true. I was always jealous of my Friends-obsessed roommate who flaunted her vast knowledge of the show every time we played Friends: Scene it? The OC had always been one of my favorite shows, and I’d always felt like it was underrated. Having a Scene It? game released might make it seem a little more legitimate to those who never watched it.

The game includes 98 trivia cards to quiz you on details about guest stars, characters’ nicknames and key phrases featured on the show. Sound bites and clips on the DVD allow fans to relive the episodes we’ve watched so many times and shout out the characters who said a particular line. The game reaffirmed my belief that I’m a champ when it comes to The OC trivia. Occasionally, there were questions that had nothing to do with the series, and those frustrated me.

One question asks which sci-fi franchise the school principal acted on before she did The OC. This detail has nothing to do with the show, considering she’s not even a major character. Some of the random trivia questions should instead be replaced with questions concerning the quirky dialogue and the great music. During its four- season stint on Fox, Warner Brothers released six CDs of music from the show, but the game failed to ask any questions about them. As someone who can recite entire song lists for those CDs, it is disappointing that the game didn’t test my knowledge of the show’s music.  Other game activities, including hangman and word scrambles make it possible for players who don’t watch the show or aren’t big fans to win.

This game is a must-have for anyone who watched The OC, ultimate fan or not. Its mix of detailed questions and general games makes it a game that fans of the show can play along with their friends who aren’t.

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