Top 9 Things We Wouldn’t Have Without The O.C.

  
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Fox’s The O.C. burned bright and faded away too quickly, but they packed a lot into its 92 episodes over four seasons. In that short time, the show had its ups and downs, critically and with audiences. And it managed to influence many different aspects of pop culture in many different ways – both good and bad. It may not have lasted as long as other teen dramas of its kind but it has had an everlasting impact on fans. Here are nine things we wouldn’t have in current pop culture if The O.C. had never aired.

9. Mischa Barton

Every once in a while an actor or actress bursts onto the scene and immediately into our hearts. Mischa Barton is not one of those actresses. Barton and her character, Marissa Cooper, just didn’t work. It seemed like everyone else on the show “got” what the show was – simultaneously a teen soap with all the drama of a teen soap, but also occasionally a comedy that poked fun at itself. Marissa just seemed to drag things down. She and the actress who played her didn’t seem to get the lighter side of the show. In some ways she was a darker, less likeable, female version of Dylan from Beverly Hills 90210: troubled, deals with addiction and a broken home, has disappointing parents. Ultimately, the producers killed her off in a car accident at the end of season three. During her run on the show, Barton gained a bad reputation for her on- and off-set behavior and has said in a 2014 interview if given the chance to go back in time, she wouldn’t have done the show.

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8. The Real Housewives phenomenon

We’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not this is a good thing, but it’s a thing nevertheless. The O.C. sparked a cultural fascination with the fancy-schmancy beach-side lives of Orange County rich folks. So producers over at Bravo thought, “let’s show everyone the real deal” and created The Real Housewives of Orange County. Of course, how “real” that deal is is up for debate, with most of the drama likely staged to some degree. But somehow this show has lasted two and a half times longer than the show that spawned it, at 10 years and counting – and, of course, it spawned a number of spin-off shows of its own, featuring pouty, plastic rich women all across America.

Peter Tangen / ©Bravo / courtesy Everett Collection

Peter Tangen / ©Bravo / courtesy Everett Collection

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