Adam Brody has weighed in on a, presumably inevitable, question about bringing back The O.C., the landmark California-based primetime soap he starred in for four seasons way back in the heady days of the mid-2000s. Despite the overwhelming tide toward remaking/rebooting/refurnishing every single TV show that ever achieved more than a single season on the American airwaves, Brody has asserted that it would not only be a bad idea for The O.C. to go the way of Murphy Brown 2.0—it might be functionally impossible, too.
This is per an appearance Brody recently made on Welcome To The OC, Bitches, the “stars of the thing talk about the thing” podcast recently launched by his former co-workers Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke. In responding to a question about a potential reboot, Brody gave a pretty thoughtful response, highlighting the fact that American teen TV tastes may have evolved somewhat past uncritically watching a bunch of idle rich children shoot each other to the music of Jason Derulo.
“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 noted (per Variety). “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.”
That Gossip Girl nod isn’t strictly academic, given that both series were created (or co-created, in Gossip Girl’s case) by Josh Schwartz. The issues Brody outlines here are, in fact, exactly the ones that troubled the recent Gossip Girl reboot, which finds itself pulled in multiple directions by a desire to both critique and indulge in the culture of excess in which the show is immersed. (Not that it stopped the series from getting a second season at HBO Max.)
Brody went a bit further in his comments, too, suggesting he’d just as soon burn the whole thing down:
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.
For what it’s worth, Schwartz has previously shot down questions about a potential O.C. reboot; he’s noted that the show is a “complete” and “singular” story he wouldn’t want to revisit.