Cue the opening notes of Phantom Planet's "California," and take a trip with me, all the way back to 2003: an era when velour tracksuits ruled, and flip phones weren't ironic. Yep, it's the series premiere of The O.C. and little did the world know the emotional roller coaster we'd just boarded. Let's be honest, 12 years later I'm still reeling from the nostalgia for a sun-drenched adolescence I never had. (Why else would I still be contemplating if I'm actually Princess Sparkle?) So when Ben McKenzie, aka Ryan Atwood, addressed whether or not a reunion of The O.C. proportions would ever happen, I freaked out like when Summer met Grady Bridges ("star of The Valley, the best show ever!").
"I don't know," McKenzie told E! News. "I saw Adam [Brody] recently, and you know, I hope so. He's a great guy."
Guys, Ryan Atwood used the word "hope." Thus, I am filled with relentless optimism.
Even though half the cast is no longer living in the fictional bubble of the show (R.I.P. Marissa and Caleb Nichol. Bye, Trey Atwood), it would be beyond amazing to see everyone else back in action. (Besides, Marissa can totally make an appearance via a flashback or a crazy plot device, a la Pretty Little Liars.)
In honor of the tiny fragment of hope I now hold dear to my heart, here are seven things that The O.C. reunion would need to include.
The Return Of Marissa Cooper
If Pretty Little Liars can rise pretty much anyone from the dead, I think The O.C. can manage a tasteful Marissa flashback.
The New Generation
From Sophie Rose Cohen to Cooper Atwood to that mini-me Ryan sees in Chino, there's a new gang in town.
Life In Berkeley
If Berkeley brought Kirsten and Sandy together, then that's good enough for me.
Seth And Ryan's Epic Bromance
Remember when Ryan went back to Chino and it broke everyone's heart, especially Seth's? "Before he got here, I was the biggest loser. This place was hell for me, okay? I can't help him and I just, I can't even imagine what's it's gonna be like here without him." TEARS.
More Nuggets Of Wisdom From Sandy And Kirsten
Sorry, Seth and Summer — Sandy and Kirsten win for best power couple.
Mix Tape-Worthy Music
Imogen Heap, I'm looking at you.
One Last Party
After all, the ill-fated parties were always the highlight of the show, right?
Images: Warner Bros. Television (2), Giphy (5)