Adam Brody Says ‘The O.C.’ Reboot Wouldn’t Work in Post-Trump America

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As reboots, remakes and reimaginings continue to dominate Hollywood, “The O.C.,” one of the most popular teen dramas of all time, would certainly be ripe for a revival. But nearly two decades after the pop culture phenomenon premiered, star Adam Brody says bringing back the show wouldn’t be a good idea.

“I kind of don’t think it can be done because socially we’re in a different place and we’re in a more conscious place,” Brody said Tuesday on the podcast “Welcome to the OC, Bitches,” hosted by his former co-stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke. “While ‘The O.C.’ claims to be — in a similar sense as a ‘Gossip Girl’ — while it would sort of say it’s a critique, it’s not. It’s a celebration — it’s a celebration of affluence in my opinion.”

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The podcast marked a major reunion for Brody and Bilson, who made up one of the series’ fan-favorite couples, Summer and Seth.

Brody, who played the lovable Seth Cohen on the hit Fox show during its four-season run from 2003 to 2007, discussed the changing viewing habits of audiences, who expect more elevated content nowadays, in a politically heightened and socially aware world.

The actor continued: “For me, in a post-Donald Trump America to go, ‘Let’s go back to Orange County,’ I feel like you have to have a real reckoning politically and socially, and is that what people want to see with this show? I don’t know. And is there a way to do both? There is, I suppose, but in my eyes, I probably want to torch it more than the fans would want.”

“The O.C.” followed a group of privileged high schoolers in Orange County, centering around their dramatic personal lives. Ben McKenzie starred as the troubled Ryan Atwood, a teen who is adopted by a wealthy couple, Sandy and Kirsten Cohen — Cohen’s parents, played by Peter Gallagher and Kelly Rowan. The show launched the careers of Brody, Bilson, McKenzie and Mischa Barton, who were all catapulted to super-stardom overnight, as the show became a cultural sensation.

Over the years, the cast and creators have been asked about a potential reboot, but nothing has materialized.

“The O.C.” creator Josh Schwartz is no stranger to rebooting his hit shows. Schwartz is also responsible for another major teen sensation, The CW’s “Gossip Girl,” a book series he adapted for television with his Fake Empire Productions partner Stephanie Savage that ran from 2007 to 2012. The duo recently rebooted “Gossip Girl” at HBO Max for a new generation, and last month, the streaming service renewed it for a second season.

(For what it’s worth, in a real-life crossover moment, Brody is married to original “Gossip Girl” star Leighton Meester, which he briefly discussed on Bilson’s podcast.)

When Schwartz and Savage rebooted “Gossip Girl” for HBO Max, viewers wondered whether a reboot of “The O.C.” would come next.

In early 2020, at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, Schwartz said he’s been asked to revive the series, but shot down the idea, telling reporters, “For us, that was a very, very singular story. … We felt like we completed that tale by the end.”

In light of Brody’s comments this week, Variety inquired about any current plans to develop a reboot of “The O.C.,” but Schwartz did not immediately respond for comment.

Warner Bros. TV, the studio behind the series, declined to comment on any future plans to develop an “O.C.” reboot. However, Variety hears that nothing is currently in the works.

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