Now that the writers of Nashville have - spoiler alert - killed off Rayna Jaymes, the next step is to bring in new characters to fill the beautiful, golden-haired void left by the first lady of country music. One such character will be played by Rachel Bilson, the second O.C. alum to join the cast; Chris Carmack, aka Luke Ward, has been playing Will Lexington since 2013. Obviously, this means that it’s time to recreate some iconic O.C. moments on Nashville, which has a lot more in common with the classic teen drama than just “killing off a beloved main character for no reason.” Both shows have dealt with stalking, alcoholism, and have frequent musical guests, so the ingredients are all there. The Bluebird basically is the Bait Shop! Read on for a sampling of O.C. incidents that are just waiting for a Nashville spin.
1. The chronologically nonsensical aging of Kaitlin Cooper. Remember back in season three of The O.C. when Marissa’s little sister, last seen requesting a new pony because hers had alopecia, showed up back in Orange County about five years older than she should have been? Well it’s time to do that with Daphne, whose plot lines have consisted of nothing but “get angry at Maddie” for about 200 episodes now. All they have to do is dress her up in “older” clothes and have her yell “I’m 17!” at someone, then get caught drinking behind the gym at school. Boom! Daphne problem solved.
2. Ryan accidentally burning down the model home he was squatting in. Despite only lasting for a hot second, this remains one of the most iconic O.C. moments because it (1) involved Seth Cohen skateboarding in an empty pool and (2) spawned the mix CD that led to six real-life O.C. compilations. The problem with Nashville is that there are no at-risk youths in need of housing; even Maddie’s busker boyfriend seems to have a place of his own. What’s Luke Wheeler’s terrible son up to now? Maybe he can go AWOL from the Army, call Maddie for help, and hide out in the Highway 65 studio, which he then burns down by accident after falling asleep with a lit cigarette in his mouth. See? Perfect!
3. Marissa getting carried through the streets of Tijuana after her overdose. Maddie has already lost her virginity, tried to emancipate herself from her parents, and dated an older man, so the time for a drug binge is now. Bonus points if the person who carries her out of the club is Luke Wheeler’s terrible son. (Please bring back Luke Wheeler’s terrible son, Nashville.)
4. Marissa shoplifting at Christmas. Who can forget the time Marissa stole a watch from South Coast Plaza, then became an alcoholic? Since Maddie already has the overdose plot to contend with, maybe this one can go to Daphne. She’s definitely gonna start acting out now that both of her biological parents are either dead or in prison.
5. Ryan taking up cage fighting after Marissa’s death. Deacon will have to cope with Rayna’s loss somehow, right? Cage fighting seems like a viable alternative to falling off the wagon.
6. Seth sailing away in a boat to escape his provincial life in Newport Beach. Picture it: Maddie motoring up the Cumberland River in a pontoon, never to return. Imagine the time we’d all save not having to listen to her complain about her loving parents and prestigious internship.
7. Julie Cooper having an affair with her daughter’s boyfriend. Nashville has killed both of the people who could most easily pull this off (Rayna and Beverly), but that just means they have to bring back Aunt Tandy so she can put the moves on Clay. He’s in his 20s, so it’s not even illegal!
8. The Spider-Man kiss. There is no character on Nashville good enough for this type of romance except Rayna Jaymes, so I will only accept this scene if it happens between Deacon and Rayna’s ghost.
9. The Mallpisode. For some reason, season two of The O.C. included an episode where Ryan, Marissa, Seth, and Summer spend the night in a mall. This seems like a great way for Gunnar and Avery to do something besides mope around, so maybe they can head to Opry Mills with Will and whoever Rachel Bilson is playing for a night of mayhem.
10. “Welcome to the O.C., bitch.” Chris Carmack is right there, waiting to swap out “the O.C.” for “Music City.” If this doesn’t happen before the series ends, Rayna and Marissa’s deaths will have been for nothing. Nothing!
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