‘The O.C.’: 5 Questions Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke Should Answer on Their ‘Welcome to The O.C., B*tches!’ Podcast

Go back to The O.C. with Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke. The O.C. cast members, who played Summer Roberts and Julie Cooper respectively, are co-hosting the podcast, Welcome to The O.C., B*tches!.

They’re rewatching every episode of the 2000s series, sharing behind-the-scenes details, and interviewing fellow cast members. Here are just a few of the questions Bilson and Clarke should answer along the way. 

1. Should Seth and Summer have ended up together? 

Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, and Ben McKenzie at the 2003 Teen Choice Awards
Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, and Ben McKenzie at the 2003 Teen Choice Awards | Frederick M. Brown

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Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) and Summer were one of The O.C.’s main couples. From the start of the show in August 2003 Summer was known as Seth’s childhood crush. He named his sailboat after her — the Summer Breeze — and the two even had toy horses they loved. Remember Princess Sparkle and Captain Oats? 

The one problem, which Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) quickly learned, was that Summer barely knew Seth existed. Over the course of The O.C. Season 1 their romance blossomed. Meanwhile, Brody and Bilson dated off screen. Ultimately, the characters got married in The O.C. series finale but should they have ended up together? 

Bilson admitted in an April 2021 Nylon interview that while watching early episodes of The O.C. she thought Seth acted selfishly in his relationship with Summer.

The 39-year-old actor also said she rooted for Anna Stern (Samaire Armstrong) and Seth. So how did Bilson feel in the series finale when Seth and Summer got married? Was happy with the way things ended for them? Or would she have liked things to end differently?

2. How did they feel about Anna and Luke leaving ‘The O.C.’? 

Anna and Luke Ward (Chris Carmack) both left The O.C. early in the series. In fact, O.C. creator Josh Schwartz once said he should’ve kept the characters around longer. Luke left Newport to live with his dad while Anna moved back home to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Both Bilson and Clarke had scenes with Carmack and Armstrong. At one point, Clarke’s character was having an affair with Luke, her daughter’s ex-boyfriend. So how did the actors feel when two of their fellow cast members left the show? In hindsight, would they have liked to have Luke and Anna stick around? 

3. Did they think Kirsten Cohen’s storyline in season 3 was weird?  

The show took a turn in season 3. New storylines were introduced that didn’t necessarily line up with what had been done previously. Network notes were behind the changes, according to Schwartz. 

Fox wanted The O.C. to reach older audiences — ABC’s Desperate Housewives was extremely popular at the time — so Kirsten Cohen (Kelly Rowan) got a new storyline. Seth’s mom went to rehab where she met Charlotte Morgan (Jeri Ryan). Unbeknownst to Kirsten, Charlotte was conning her.

Some fans of The O.C. didn’t care for the storyline. Did Clarke and Bilson like it? Did they like seeing more from the show’s adult characters? 

4. How did the younger cast members really behave on ‘The O.C.’ set?

Tate Donovan, aka Jimmy Cooper, said in a 2013 Vulture interview the “kids” were over The O.C. by season 3. He directed The O.C. Season 3 Episode 8: “The Game Plan” and called it “pretty tough” to direct his younger co-stars. 

“By [season 3], the kids had developed a really bad attitude,” he said, likely referring to McKenzie, Brody, Bilson, and Barton. “They just didn’t want to be doing the show anymore. It was pretty tough; they were very tough to work with.”

So how was it on The O.C. with the younger cast members? Will Bilson and Clarke discuss what the atmosphere was like behind the scenes on their podcast?

5. How did they feel about Marissa Cooper’s death and Mischa Barton’s exit? 

'The O.C.' stars Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson pose together at a Chanel party
MIscha Barton and Rachel Bilson | Donato Sardella/WireImage for CHANEL

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Finally, Clarke and Bilson have to discuss what is possibly the most controversial O.C. moment. Barton’s exit in season 3. She pushed for Marissa to get killed off, later citing that a happy ending didn’t suit her character. 

Marissa died in a car accident in the season finale. The moment shocked and disappointed many fans. Do Clarke and Bilson agree with Brody that Marissa shouldn’t have died and went to rehab instead? What was it like to lose one of the main characters of a popular TV series? 

Welcome to The O.C., B*tches! premiered on April 27, 2021. New episodes air every Tuesday.