‘The O.C.’: The 1 Moment the Series Lost ‘all Credibility’, According to Creator Josh Schwartz

There’s no denying there are memorable moments on The O.C., Fox’s hit teen drama of the early 2000s. Still, more than 15 years later, the cast of The O.C. is known for their roles and accompanying storylines on the series. 

One arc on the TV show that garnered lots of buzz during The O.C.’s original run is the romance between Southern California it girl, Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), and Alex Kelly (Olivia Wilde). 

Ben McKenzie, Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton and Adam Brody pose for photos together at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards
Ben McKenzie, Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton and Adam Brody attend the 2003 Billboard Music Awards | J. Merritt/FilmMagic

Alex Kelly and Mariss Cooper are 1 of the most talked-about couples on ‘The O.C.’

Even though Marissa’s soulmate might be Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie), and the majority of The O.C. is about their relationship, Marissa’s romance with Alex is a big part of the show’s second season. 

After Marissa and Ryan spent much of The O.C. Season 1 in a will-they-or-won’t-they storyline, the show’s second season finds them dating new people.

Enter Wilde as Alex Kelly, the tough, bad girl who runs The Bait Shop, a local music venue. 

Wilde makes her first appearance as Alex in The O.C. Season 2 Episode 3: “The New Kids on the Block,” according to IMDd. But sparks don’t fly right away between her and Marissa. 

Mischa Barton and Olivia Wilde attend InStyle and Warner Bros. 2007 Golden Globes After Party
Mischa Barton and Olivia Wilde attend InStyle and Warner Bros. 2007 Golden Globes After Party | John Sciulli/WireImage for InStyle Magazine

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First, Alex dates Seth. In the aftermath of their breakup, Alex and Marissa realize they have feelings for each other.

Their romance plays out over the course of 13 episodes culminating in a breakup and Alex’s departure in The O.C. Season 2 Episode 16: “The Blaze of Glory.” But not before they share a hyped-up kiss. 

‘The O.C.’ creator describes first kiss between Alex Kelly and Marissa Cooper as ‘very romantic and surprising’

Marissa and Alex’s relationship is a major storyline in the show’s second season. The build-up to their first kiss was a big deal at the time. 

Josh Schwartz, the creator of The O.C., recalled Marissa and Alex’s romance during a 2007 interview with Vulture. He described their first kiss as “touching” and “very romantic.” 

“The first time they kissed, it was actually very romantic and surprising and kind of touching kiss,” Schwartz said.  

But what fans saw on TV was something completely different.  

‘The O.C.’ creator says commercials for kiss lost the show ‘all credibility’

Josh Schwartz sits on a lounge chair on the set of 'The O.C.'
Josh Schwartz on the set of The O.C. | J. Emilio Flores/Corbis via Getty Images

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In the same interview, Schwartz said that people didn’t get to see this particular version of the kiss when it originally aired. Why? Because the powers that be wanted the scene edited. 

“They made us cut like three-quarters of it out, so what you got was like this peck, basically,” Schwartz said.  

He continued, saying the teasers for the kiss didn’t match the scene at all. 

“And then you saw the commercials for it, like, ‘Don’t miss the last five seconds for the hottest kiss ever!’ And you’re like, ‘We’re dead,’” Schwartz added. “Not only did we lose all credibility with the way we were selling it, but what we were told to do was not what we were selling.”

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