I know I'm slow to the game, but, honestly, I only watched The O.C. last summer, during a 3-week binge watch session during very sporadic freelance projects. I fell in love with it, of course, adopting the Newport Beach teens (and DILF Sandy Cohen, let's not deny the sexual allure of those eyebrows) like they were my best friends. I have to admit, though, I was a little skeptic about the five year flash-forward that was included in the show's final episode; I know we'd all like a fairy tale happily ever after, but The O.C., my sweet little lambs, was a show that thrived on absolute drama .
As pleased as we were to see Summer walking down the aisle in the flash-forward, and Ryan breaking the status quo of his Chino background with a successful career as an architect, I doubt that The O.C. crew would be THAT adorably stable. People evolve, yes, but old habits die hard! So, by tacking on three more years onto The O.C.'s flash-forward (and mentally projecting where the cast is now), I've kind of guesstimated how they core four characters would REALLY be doing. Some of it is good, some of it is a little shocking, and some of it is... well, entirely expected.
Here's a realistic look of where our favorite crazy kids might be today:
Let's face it, ladies, Seth was the definitive beta male (the alpha beta male) of a generation. He had a killer combination of sarcastic wit, creativity and charmingly low self-esteem, all in the package of a hot Nice Jewish Boy. While things were rough in high school, these qualities make Seth a BIG deal in 2015.
A Comic Con staple and Twitter celebrity (we're talking George Takei and Anna Kendrick levels of Twitter prowess, guys), Seth's currently in the process of auctioning the movie rights for Atomic County. Luckily he actually has the rights to auction it after battling it out in court with Zach back in 2013. (Zach now lives in a studio apartment in San Pedro.) Anyway, though George Lucas passed on it years ago, Warner Bros. seems seriously interested.
Romantically, things are... weird between Seth and Summer. Although we'd love to believe the series' central couple are going to make it, the truth is getting married to your high school sweetheart at 23 (24? Like, even 25, let's be realistic) is a lot less of a fairytale then you'd think. While the two are still technically together, Seth's newfound fame has led him to new and interesting places ... and people. All I'm saying, he's been photographed more than a few times with New York socialite Blair Waldorf, whose marriage is in a questionable place (because marrying your high school love at 22 isn't totally what it's cracked up to be, especially when he's kind of a sociopath).
Ryan had a successful stint as an architect, but one day punched a client in the face and it was all. over. True story, punching someone in the face is adorable when you're a 16-year-old dreamboat rebel. But, it is a lawsuit when you're a grown-ass man attached to a company, and though Sandy was able to bail him out of that situation with little fallback (AGAIN), he's still quasi-blacklisted from the field and stuck with mostly freelancer contracts. AND HE WAS DOING SO WELL, TOO.
But don't cry for Ryan. He's weighing his options, and thinking that maybe he'll restructure. Maybe some courses in criminology could lead him in to a new path. Maybe instead of being the guy from the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks he could be cleaning UP the wrong side of the tracks. Maybe he needs to straighten up a city that's a bit darker, grittier, sexier ...
(...yes, I watch Gotham. In fact, it's my 3rd favorite show to watch when I'm on my treadmill at the gym. There's only five channels, so it's between that, Modern Family, and VH1's Hit the Floor, which is about basketball or something.)
As previously mentioned, things between her and Seth could be better, but the pint-sized Princess has proven time and time again that she is an independent powerhouse, Seth Cohen be damned. Summer kept with GEORGE for a couple of years, eventually got her bachelors degree at Brown, and then decided to take on a new challenge: environmentally friendly fashion. She's developed a clothing line that uses recyclable textiles, all the while donating a proceeds of the purchases to organizations that protect endangered animals (especially threats to sea otters, they're so cute!) It's a more passive form of activism, but for a woman who idolized the innovation of Miuccia Prada, it feels like the right fit. She was named Glamour's Most Stylish Environmentalist of 2015 (thanks, lady mags, for always keeping your priorities straight).
So yeah, while she genuinely hopes things will get better for her and Seth (after all, he IS her destiny), Summer is focusing on her personal growth, her career, and keeping her eye off the tabloids. And in the meantime, Che's looking pretty good recently...
Poor, sweet, troubled Marissa. Still dead.
Images: CW/Giphy (3)