EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week on PopWatch, Annie Barrett prompted O.C. fans to send us the questions they’d most want to ask series creator Josh Schwartz about his teen drama, which ended its four-season run on Feb. 23. Close to 100 of you responded, with queries about everything from the reasons Marissa (Mischa Barton) was killed off at the end of season 3, to what kind of bunny Summer’s beloved pet Pancakes is. Here, Schwartz answers five of your most burning questions…
If there’s anything you could go back to the pilot and change so that it would affect the rest of the show (like a character trait or a line, etc.), what would it be? —TheOCismylife
JOSH SCHWARTZ: I wouldn’t change anything in the pilot. I am really proud of the world we created and how we set the stage for the show. Maybe I’d have Luke say, ”Welcome to the O.C., bitch!” twice to see if we’d be twice as popular… and could’ve run for eight years! But to be able to start with the pilot and have it plant the seeds for how we would end, 92 episodes and four years later, makes me value it even more.
When, exactly, did the idea for a Ryan/Taylor romance begin? And was it because of fan demand, or did the writers think it up completely on their own? —monnie44
Their romance was percolating in our minds last year, but we really started thinking about it when we were planning for season 4. It was conceived out of our deep love of Autumn Reeser (Taylor) and how much fun the writers knew we could have with Taylor and Ryan. It seemed the perfect salvation to the darkness Ryan would be in after losing Marissa.
Did you ever consider that to have other plotlines for Marissa [besides death], you could have had her evolve as a happier person and truly discover herself, even if it wasn’t in Newport? Did you ever consider that you could have pulled the storylines away from her for a while if you felt she was being overdeveloped? —Kat
Marissa’s character has always been a lightning rod for fan reactions. Having her gain redemption and strength, and the opportunity to say goodbye to her family and friends, before a tragic ending — there was no more fitting, appropriate end for Marissa. I think her character will resonate more powerfully for having ended in this way. And she was honored in the finale episode.
The final scene of the episode ”The Dearly Beloved,” with Imogen Heap’s ”Hide & Seek,” will probably go down as my favorite music moment from The O.C. — even though there were several others that I really enjoyed, such as Caleb’s heart attack to Coldplay’s ”Fix You,” or ”Dice” in ”The Countdown.” What was your favorite musical moment/montage ? —latteluver
There are so many… Joseph Arthur’s ”Honey and the Moon” in the pilot, matt pond PA’s cover of ”Champagne Supernova” in ”The Rainy Day Women” episode, South’s ”Paint the Silence” in ”The Heights,” and Jason Schwartzman’s ”The West Coast” in ”The French Connection.” But I think my favorite is Patrick Park’s ”Life Is a Song,” which closes out the final minutes of the episode and The O.C. series. That was our point of view: Life is a song.
What was YOUR favorite season and favorite episode? —BB
The first season will always be my favorite because everything was so new for me — the characters, the cast, the crew — it was a blast! The second season — especially the latter half — was really great, too. I have to say, season 4 comes as a close second. So many of the episodes from this season rank among my favorites, and I am so grateful to those fans who have stuck with the show — I hope you felt rewarded. The finale was for you guys. (And my mom. And the part with the bagel slicer was for Annie…)