With the very real possibility of a new American war in the Middle East on the horizon, 2020 already feels like it's 2003 all over again. But there's one major part of mid-aughts nostalgia that isn't going to get a needless reboot: Fox's hit teen drama The O.C. While the show, which ran four seasons before ending in 2007, boasts a stellar cast, a famously well-curated soundtrack, and lines as memorable as the pilot's "Welcome to the O.C., bitch!", FOX won't be welcoming viewers back to the bougie beaches of Orange County anytime soon.
As part of the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, FOX entertainment boss Michael Thorn confirmed to Deadline that there are no current plans to revive the influential teen drama. He stated, “The O.C. will not happen despite my deep passion for it to come back. No one is available, unfortunately. I would be lying if I said I didn’t ask every June.”
The cast has been busy as of late: Benjamin McKenzie, who played Ryan Atwood, has been in films like The Report and FOX's Batman series Gotham; Adam Brody, aka Seth Cohen, is in a new movie called Promising Young Women; Rachel Bilson (Summer Roberts) starred in Hart of Dixie from 2011 to 2015 and was recently in a pilot for a series called Lovestruck; and Peter Gallagher (Sandy Cohen) has had roles in Grace & Frankie as well as NBC's Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.
But as much as it'd be nice to spend more time with The O.C. characters (especially the Cohen family) in 2020, it's actually a relief that FOX isn't moving forward with plans to kickstart the series again. For one, across four seasons, The O.C. felt like a completed story. There was intrigue and seductiveness in the first few seasons of the rich-high-school-kid drama (creepy Oliver! Ill-fated trips to Tijuana!), all the loose ends from the original series tied up (if inelegantly) in the finale, and there it's difficult to imagine a worthwhile story to follow that will keep the same charm as its original run. Seth is still probably listening to Death Cab For Cutie, but in 2020, that's pretty embarrassing, and I doubt few fans are curious about what Seth and Summer are up to in their mid-30s married life with Summer. And shouldn't they all be pretty well-adjusted by now? It's hard to imagine a needle drop as melodramatic as the iconic Imogen Heap "Mmmwatchasay" shooting scene happening to settled adults.
In fact, series creator Josh Schwartz echoes this sentiment. On last summer's TCA press tour, he said, “We were asked about doing a return to The O.C. to see those kids grown up. For us, that was a very, very singular story. We felt like we completed that tale by the end."
Which, thank God. Let a good thing stay a good thing.