‘The O.C.’ was teen television at its very best before the unnecessary, repetitive plotlines caused the series to meet with its untimely end.
Before developing ‘Gossip Girl’, everyone’s favourite teen soap ever, Josh Schwartz was known for his work on ‘The O.C.’. It was highly regarded for its revolutionary first season, which inspired an era of teen soaps. The cast, the sharp and self-aware characters, and the soundtrack from up-and-coming bands made ‘The O.C.’ incredibly exciting!
- What is the series about?
- The unexpected ending of ‘The O.C.’
- Here’s why ‘The O.C.’ was cancelled!
Viewers witnessed dramatic surprises in ‘The O.C.’, but the series was often deemed corny and cliche, like any great teenage drama should be. It became a pop-culture phenomenon and had a four-season run before being cancelled, to the dismay of fans.
Rumours surrounding a potential reboot for the series surface often, but the fourth season tied all loose ends, wrapping up character arcs dutifully. The reason behind the show’s cancellation, however, remains a mystery for most fans.
Keep reading to learn more about ‘The O.C.’ and why it was cancelled.
What is the series about?
The show follows Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie), a troubled and intelligent boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He finds himself in a new home in Newport Beach, California after being adopted by a wealthy family. His adoptive parents, the Cohen family, have a biological son, Seth (Adam Brody), an awkward but witty teenager, and one of the most down-to-earth members of Newport’s superficial community.
Ryan becomes embroiled in the lives of upper-class teenagers and finds himself surrounded by them. He navigates his relationship with girl-next-door Marissa Cooper, while the season chronicles the clashes in perspectives between the Cohen family and the materialistic community they call home.
Naturally, there are some hilarious moments in the series, which are memorable and stay with the viewer for years to come. ‘The O.C.’ was also well-received for the themes it placed emphasis on! Social class, addiction, anxiety, and grief among others often made an appearance in the series. There was much hope for the future of the show, but that is before season 3 killed a much-loved character!
The unexpected ending of ‘The O.C.’
‘The O.C.’ was always known for its quick twist and turns that presented themselves when viewers least expected them. The stories came full circle, most character arcs were fulfilled, and the series sprinted from one chapter to the next. It’s the reason behind its popularity because the pace invited viewers for an unexpected ride.
Unfortunately, the writers seemed to have exhausted their creative capacities, because the series rarely had exciting moments after season 2. The finale, however, gave fans the ending of their dreams, when they saw Ryan, a successful architect! He is seen working on a building project when he sights a kid roaming the streets by himself, who serves as a reminder of his younger self.
Before the screen goes black, Ryan asks him, “Hey kid, need help?” which leaves viewers with the notion that he wanted to help someone else, as his adoptive father once did for him.
Here’s why ‘The O.C.’ was cancelled!
The reason behind the series coming to an end wasn’t credited to creative differences between showrunners, or a feud between the cast. It was because of consistently low ratings that ended all possibilities for ‘The O.C.’ to have a future instalment. And the death of Marissa Cooper caused it.
Marissa and Ryan had an on-and-off relationship throughout the series, but her character’s death in season 3 was unacceptable for fans. Her death has been reported as a part of creator Josh Schwartz’s artistic vision, but fans certainly didn’t see it that way. Fans were connected with Marissa and her journey, and her death convinced a majority of them that the real series had come to an end.
Needless to say, it led to a staggering decline in viewership! The first season was considered a massive success after its 9.48 million rating was calculated. The fourth season, however, had only 3.96 million viewers and the downward spiral was unprecedented.
Despite having impressed the audience during the first two seasons, ‘The O.C.’ was unable to maintain its stellar writing and was ultimately cancelled after season 4.
Which season of ‘The O.C.’ is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!