Reminisce With The Press: The O.C., The Killers and Skyrim

Whether it be for escapist urges, or for the need to hold on to the past, many of us relied on nostalgia as a coping mechanism during the pandemic. For me, it was two Killers albums, The O.C., and Skyrim.
Pre-pandemic, I used to play Skyrim quite mindlessly, even though its details and plotlines are usually what keep people going back. I would play for the sake of levelling up my mostly pure warrior skills and the “aesthetics”. After semi extensive Reddit research and a few discussions with my designated Skyrim friend, I built a background story for my Dragonborn, chose a few interests, and constructed a semi-rigid moral compass to base my decisions upon during the pandemic.
When you add realness to your character and actually pay attention to what NPCs talk about, the storylines get a bit too immersive for your own good. I felt extremely troubled after being dragged into Namira’s quest without proper consent. I felt parental guilt for giving my child a dagger which he accidentally killed our pet rabbit with. Investigating the background story of Dark Brotherhood targets actually made me wonder if an invincible horse really was worth all that. What felt like plot holes during prior playthroughs now revealed themselves to be potential mysteries I had to get to the bottom of. I loved the world I had waiting for me on my desktop when I could not set foot outdoors, for all its warmth and morbidity.
The Killers: Direct Hits and Sam’s Town
In 2008, my cousin played The Killers’ Hot Fuss album to me. I was clueless about love, loss, and desperation but something in me lit up. The intro and outro of Smile Like You Mean It sent shivers down my spine in a way music never did previously. I would spend hours trying to load a single music video of The Killers on Youtube, and make countless visits to Fahim Music just to see if they had any bootleg albums for sale before discovering piracy. Although I gradually grew out of the band, their songs embedded themselves into some of my core coming-of-age memories.
During the first few months of the pandemic, I fell in love with their albums, especially a compilation one, all over again. I started appreciating the band as if they were foreign to me. The subtle surrealness of their music videos, the way Brandon Flowers embodies a constrained adrenaline rush during live performances, their murder trilogy myths, and that one Mozartesque bridge, all felt strangely pretty. At the peak of the pandemic, The Killers reminded me that there was life before the pandemic, with each memory engraved song acting as a bookmark.
The O.C.
As you hit your twenties, there are usually two reasons why you may be revisiting older teen shows. It could either be due to the sheer absurdity of it or because it acts as a time capsule of decades past. I found myself revisiting Orange County a decade later for different reasons entirely. Despite its theatrics, The O.C. offers relatability, even if you are a young adult born and raised in South Asia – a feat for 2000s teen shows. While teen shows from the era usually cater to a mostly white, mostly upper-middle class, North American demographic, The O.C. dives into the most universal of problems. Be it Taylor’s issues with an overly controlling mother or Summer’s battle with navigating her identity non-dichotomously, the characters narrate relatable issues when you ignore the surface-level chaos. At a time when life got too muddled up for proper reflection, The O.C. handed me a torch.
Written by the Entertainment Editor

Anindita Rhine

Anindita Rhine is a senior majoring in English Literature at BRAC University. She spends most of her time looking at puppers and wishing to be the Mother-of-All-Doggos on Earth. Reach her at anindita.hossain.rhine@g.bracu.ac.bd

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