Should “The O.C.” ever want to ride the wave of reboots dominating television, Adam Brody — who starred on the hugely popular series about the lives of privileged California high schoolers — would have some major reservations.
The actor reunited with his former co-stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke on an episode of their “Welcome to the OC, Bitches!” podcast this week and the trio discussed how a potential reboot of the series might take shape.
Brody, who described the Fox drama — which aired from 2003 to 2007 — as taking place “very much [in the] Bush years,” said a new version of the show would need to be retooled to fit the political landscape.
“I kind of don’t think it can be done because I feel like socially, we’re in a different place and we’re in a more conscious place,” he said. “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.”
Of course, “Gossip Girl” (co-created by Josh Schwartz, who also wrote “The O.C.”) returned to screens this year via an HBO Max reboot, and had a middling reception. Many critics noted that the new series struggled to capture the essence of the original while also tackling new themes of privilege and power.
While Brody went onto clarify that “The O.C.” is not just a “pure celebration of money,” given the political forces that have risen in recent years ― not to mention how the elite California community where it took place remains a conservative stronghold ― a reboot would be difficult to pull off.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Bilson was considerably more open to the idea, should Schwartz and co-creator Stephanie Savage return, adding that there’s a “world where it could exist and be done well if everybody wanted it and cared enough about it.”
Until then, fans will just have to be satisfied by Brody and Bilson, who dated in real life for three years during the show’s run, reuniting and sharing some nostalgia.
In a particularly heartfelt moment during the podcast, Bilson credited Brody for helping her develop as a performer.
“You made it, like, so comfortable to just go for it and not be afraid, and everything you did and working with you really made me have the confidence to kind of, like, do whatever I wanted and go for it,” she said. “I just want to say thank you because it just, like, brings that all up. And I was like, ‘Dude, I was never better than when I was acting with you.”’