'Welcome to The OC, Bitches!' Is the ‘00s Throwback Podcast We Didn’t Know We Needed

In the mid 2000s, Tuesday night in Australia meant one thing, and one thing only: The OC.

That’s when Channel 10 aired weekly episodes of the teen series starring Mischa Barton, Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody and Ben McKenzie, following their characters Marissa, Summer, Seth and Ryan as they navigated high school in the rarified enclave of California’s always sunny Orange County. The OC had everything: bad boys with a heart of gold, ponzi schemes, star-crossed teen lovers, comic books, Chanel handbags and quite a lot of shell necklaces.

The series was an instant hit when it first premiered and kickstarted a craze for television shows that peeked behind the curtain at the lifestyles of the rich and famous teenagers of the world. (The OC’s creator Josh Schwartz would go on to become the man behind the only other series to rival The OC in our memories: Gossip Girl.) It made stars of Barton, Bilson, Brody and McKenzie, got us obsessed with bands including Modest Mouse and Death Cab For Cutie and had us dreaming of sneaking out for a weekend in TJ – that’s Tijuana, remember? 

It’s been almost 20 years since the series first debuted, and if you’ve been missing it as much as we have, then you need to listen to Welcome To The OC, Bitches! 

Here's everything you need to know about the podcast, Welcome to The OC, Bitches!

Who are the hosts? 

This brand new podcast is hosted by star Bilson – aka Summer Roberts, The OC’s resident ice-cool rich girl, whose quippy exterior belies the fact that she’s a truly loyal and caring friend – and Melinda Clarke, who starred as Marissa’s mum Julie Cooper (Nichol), something of a villain and, then later, the anti-heroine of the series.

What can we expect?

This podcast is incredible. Since launching on 27 April, it has become something of a must-listen for us, as Bilson and Clarke spend hours breaking down, episode by episode, this show that we all know and love. Bilson and Clarke are friends, and listening to them chat about what really went on behind the scenes of the show is a treat. But where this series becomes even more exciting is when they invite a guest onto the show, as they have done in both of the first two episodes: the first being creator Josh Shwartz, who joined the podcast to discuss the pilot episode, and the second guest being casting director Patrick Rush.

If you’ve wanted to know intimate details about what it was like making The OC, from the casting decisions that didn’t make the cut to the reality of filming that very first episode, and whether or not people were convinced that a series about a bunch of rich kids from California would be successful, this podcast has all the answers. It’s like getting into a time machine and going back to your youthful, teenage self. The fashion, the music cues, the crushes, the one-liners... This podcast is a retro reminder of what it was like to be a teenager in the ‘00s and desperately obsessed with all things The OC.

Here are a few things we learned about the show from the podcast:

Seth was originally “way nerdier” in the pilot, according to Schwartz. The television network told Schwartz to tone it down and make him into a co-romantic lead – as well as to cast someone who had charm and charisma in spades, balancing out the nervy anxiousness of his character with an appealing alternative side. Brody was a gift from the gods, Schwartz tells Bilson – who really doesn’t need telling, the pair played lovers on the series for several seasons, and dated off screen, too – and Clarke in the first episode, because he really is that charming, loveable goofball Seth.

Schwartz also reveals tidbits about that first episode that are too good not to share here. Like the fact that the pool house was built on a set with fake grass and a pool that was barely deep enough for people to swim in. Or the fact that Brody improvised the “oh hey, cocaine,” line when Seth and Ryan walk into the party on the beach – one of the funniest moments of that first episode. Or the fact that Barton instantly broke out as a fashion icon from that pilot, to the point where Chanel was sending her clothes. (Bilson says that was a real pinch me moment for her at the time.)

This is the kind of juicy, dishy, episode-by-episode deep dive into the world of The OC that you could ever dream of. The episodes run for about two hours apiece, and are perfect for listening to on a long, lazy walk through a park on a Sunday morning. But the podcast should come with a warning: you’ll definitely want to do a rewatch after listening. Welcome to the OC, biches. 

Listen to new episodes of Welcome To The OC, Bitches! on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Need more podcast recommendations? Here are 15 addictive new podcasts you need to binge-listen to in 2021.

 

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