The O.C. premiered on August 5, 2003 – can you believe it was 12 years ago? We’ve never tired of the Fox drama’s Southern California setting, quirky humor or teenage romances — but even we have to admit that some of the show’s couples didn’t have the greatest chemistry. A frustrating thing about the show was that conflict generally came from when the core couples (Summer and Seth, and Marissa and Ryan) were broken up by other romantic interests. Soon, the characters would realize that they weren’t in love with these new people and find their way back to home base (over and over again). We liked the pairings of Summer and Seth, Ryan and Marissa, Seth and Anna, Summer and Zach and Ryan and Theresa. We even buy Marissa’s quick lesbian fling, because Olivia Wilde was so great as Alex – but many of the short-lived couplings on the show were examples of terrible chemistry. Here are our picks for the 8 worst chemistry couples on The O.C. – see if you agree:
8. Ryan and Lindsay
We actually loved Lindsay — she played the oboe, wore big, fuzzy “Freudian slippers” and ate Zone meals (remember the Zone diet?) at lunch, calling out Marissa (Mischa Barton) and Summer (Rachel Bilson) for eating cheese fries and somehow staying model-thin. Lindsay was probably the closest thing to a normal girl on the show…but she was a rather odd romantic match for Ryan (Ben McKenzie). He was an outsider, too, so perhaps that’s what the writers and producers were going for when they paired up these two — and Ryan was also pretty smart, so he understood her slippers — but he and Lindsay never had much chemistry. To make things crazier, Lindsay turned out to be the biological daughter of Caleb Nichol (Seth’s grandfather). We weren’t shocked when she and her mother moved to Chicago and never looked back.
Darren Michaels, © WB / Courtesy: Everett Collection