In the early 2000s, there were a lot of interesting series geared towards teenagers and young adults. There are examples and many; However, today we want to remember one of those productions that not only entertained us when we were going through puberty, but also lowered our hand He told us about deeper things and even taught us spectacular music. Yes, of course we talk about The O.C.
It was in August 2003 when this series premiered on Fox Channel and from the beginning it became a real success. The main story followed Ryan Atwood, a troublesome young man who is arrested one night for accompanying his brother in the theft of a vehicle. After all, he ends up being adopted by the family Cohen, who lives in Orange County – one of the most exclusive areas of California – and they had a son, Seth, with whom he has a great friendship.
However, later the girls appeared, Marissa Cooper, the next door neighbor, who has had to go through the separation of her parents and with whom Ryan ends up in love; and Summer Roberts, Seth’s platonic love. Mainly We saw the four of them and their families going through a lot of situations, fun, intense and others, showing the evolution and maturation process that each one had throughout the series.
‘The OC’ was a cultural phenomenon and even a platform for bands
With the passage of time and to be very honest -although it hurts-, heThe quality of The OC declined, especially after the departure of Mischa Barton, but the show continued until we had to say goodbye to these great characters on February 22, 2007, when the last episode aired. In total there were four seasons and in the same way, almost four years everything ended. However, and it must be recognized, it was a cultural phenomenon that touched on intense themes.
In the series we could see the culture clash between the idealistic Cohen family and the shallow, materialistic, closed-minded community in which they resideThey also included certain elements and concepts of postmodernity. It is still important to emphasize the music, because in several chapters we saw a lot of bands that became giants like The Killers, The Walkmen, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and more.
It is time to check how the protagonists of the series currently look
The thing did not stop there, because in The O.C. actors who at that time were unknown but who are now stars of the film industry, as in the case of Chris Pratt, Olivia Wilde, Amber Heard, Shailene Woodley (yes, that of Big Little Lies), Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Bella Thorne among many others … the series was so important that there were even cameos from George Lucas And till Paris Hilton.
However, a long time has passed since the series ended and because we love nostalgia and the truth, longing a little for the past and that time when we were happy and we did not know it, this time we dived to see what the protagonists of the series look like today And believe it or not, a lot of people are very changed, others have disappeared a bit from the spotlights and others we continue to see on television, there they go.
Benjamin McKenzie – Ryan Atwood
On The O.C., Benjamin McKenzie it was neither more nor less than the protagonist, Ryan Atwood. He was the son of a broken family that by chance ends up living with the Cohen family, and it is thanks to them that he manages to straighten out his path, become an architect and in general, a good person. Although the truth in the love plane things did not go as expected, because although we would have loved to see them together-spoiler- it does not end with Marissa.
Years later, McKenzie appeared in various thrillers and independent films. From 2014 to 2019 he was the star of Gotham, the series that chronicles the rise of Detective Gordon in Gotham City before the appearance of Batman, and in which he also directed three chapters. So far, my last project was the movie The Report with Adam Driver and John Hamm. Ben married actress Morena Baccarin, who interestingly also appeared on the series.
Mischa Barton – Marissa Cooper
Since we are talking about Ryan, we have to mention his love interest, Marissa Cooper, interpreted by Mischa Barton. We knew her from the first episode, as she was the Cohen’s neighbor, who falls in love with the troubled young man who has serious problems with alcohol. However, Marissa did not have such a happy ending to say, as she sadly dies in a car accident in season three.
After the series, Mischa was in a lot of trouble. Between the time she was hospitalized for an alleged reaction to an antibiotic, she was arrested for driving while intoxicated, she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and was even prosecuted by her mother. But against all odds, he stayed in front of the cameras, the last film he made was Spree of 2019 and also appears in The Hills: New Beginnings of MTV.
Adam Brody – Seth Cohen
The nerdy side in The O.C. He could not miss it, and that was given to us by a then unknown actor named Adam Brody In the role of Seth Cohen. He was neither more nor less than the sarcastic son of the Cohens, a lover of video games and comics who manages to fulfill his dream but was secretly in love with one of the most popular girls in his school, Summer Roberts – curiously he dated the actress who played her, Rachel Bilson. In the end and after coming and going, these big characters end up together.
When the series ended, Adam’s career took off and he earned his spot on various projects. He appeared on tapes like Sr. y Sra. Smith and Shazam!, although we have recently seen it in FX production, Mrs. America, and also had a small role in the Oscar-winning film for Best Original Screenplay in 2021, Promising Young Woman. Brody married another actress from a teen show, Leighton Meester, or for fans of Gossip Girl, Blair Waldorf.
Rachel Bilson – Summer Roberts
Of course we couldn’t put aside our favorite nerd’s crush, Summer Roberts, interpreted by Rachel Bilson. In the series, she was the best friend of Marissa Cooper and that at first they painted her as a hollow girl with no aspirations in life. However, as the seasons went by, she had an enormous evolution to the point that she became an advocate for the environment and married Seth Cohen.
Although he already had a certain fame for small appearances in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and That 70’s Show, after the series we saw her in How I Met Your Mother, Nashville and in movies like Jumper (where she met her husband, actor Hayden Christensen) and The To Do List. She decided to focus her career on television, although in recent years she became famous for the podcast Welcome to The O.C., Bitches, where bill anecdotes with another actress from the show, Melinda Clarke.
Peter Gallagher – Sandy Cohen
Of course we could not forget about the father figures of The O.C. and we’ll start with one that we really liked, Sandy Cohen. Peter Gallagher gave life to this lawyer New Yorker and father of Seth, a highly idealistic person who met his wife Kirsten, the classic Republican-minded Californian girl, at the University of Berkeley. Despite many things that happened thanks to him and his support, his family – including Ryan – managed to move forward.
Peter continued his great career when the series ended, we recently saw him in movies like After: Everything starts here and the last one, Palm Springs of 2020. However, Gallagher decided to continue on television and has had roles in series such as How I Met Your Mother, Californication, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and recently appeared in Grace & Frankie and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.
Kelly Rowan – Kirsten Cohen
And on track with Sandy, let’s talk about his wife, Kirsten Cohen, interpreted by Kelly Rowan. In addition to being the mother of the family, she worked in her father’s businesses, taking care of the sample houses of the new developments that he was building. Perhaps the case of the actress is the most curious because after the show, we can count almost on the fingers of one hand the appearances she has had in other series and movies.
This is Rowan’s best known character, but we also saw her in TV productions like CSI: Las Vegas, Flashpoint O Murdoch Mysteries. As for the cinema, he had small roles in Jack & Jill vs. The World and Rufus 2012, although the last time he was in front of the cameras was in the series Tulips in Springof 2016. Without a doubt, it would be good to return it again in the great planes, don’t you think?
Tate Donovan – Jimmy Cooper
Marissa’s parents were also important to the plot of The O.C., and of course we couldn’t put aside Jimmy Cooper. Tate Donovan He was in charge of giving life to this character, who presented himself as a stockbroker who took care of many of the neighbors until he went bankrupt for the life his family led, steals the money of his clients and commits a crime Sandy Cohen defends him from.
After his last appearance in the third season of the series, Tate continued to work in film and television. Among his outstanding projects we can mention Rocketman, Argo, Manchester by the Sea, 24: Live Another Day O MacGyver. We will see it soon in Respect, the biopic of Aretha Franklin opposite Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker and Marlon Wayans; and in the mini tape Blood Relative.
Melinda Clarke – Julie Cooper
Last but not least, we have Marissa’s mom, Julie Cooper, played by the actress Melinda Clarke. In the series, they showed her as an apparently selfish and superficial woman, but as the episodes progressed we discovered that she had a more empathetic and vulnerable part. After the death of his daughter and despite how complicated this was, he managed to get ahead and even graduated from university.
As we mentioned before, today, Melinda dedicates herself to the podcast she has with Rachel Bilson about this show, where they interview actors and important people behind this show. However, during some chapters we saw her as Lady Heather in CSI: Las Vegas –Where Kelly Rowan also appeared–, Gotham –Starring Benjamin Mackenzie–, Dallas, Nikita, Chuck and of course, The Vampire Diaries.
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California! This is how the protagonists of ‘the OC’ look today