Why ''The O.C.'' parents made EW's Must List
NAMES/AGES (From left) Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper), 32; Tate Donovan (Jimmy Cooper), 40; Peter Gallagher (Sandy Cohen), 48; and Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen), 37
MUSTWORTHINESS Forget those ''90210'' comparisons. These grown-ups have their own fistfights, love triangles, sexy outfits -- and even teenage lovers.
SPEAKING OF MRS. ROBINSON After the conniving Julie hooked up with her daughter's ex, Luke, ''somebody said on the website, 'Luke and Julie is like Dylan and Cindy Walsh!''' Clarke says. ''I'm like, 'Not even close, buddy.'''
MOMMY ISSUES ''What's interesting about [Kirsten] is she's trying to juggle being a mother and having a career. On TV, you're usually one or the other,'' says Rowan. ''There's guilt because I'm not the perfect Carol Brady mom.''
DADDY ISSUES ''My sister calls me regularly and is like, '[Jimmy] is the worst father I've ever seen,''' Donovan says. ''I'm so neglectful. I'm so wrapped up in my own drama, I barely know my daughter is alive.''
IT'S NOT TEEN SPIRIT ''Silly me, I never saw this as a teen drama,'' says Gallagher, best known for film work like ''American Beauty.'' ''Boy, I'm as sharp as they come. It never occurred to me.''
TYPE-CASTING Clarke: ''Originally they said Julie was 40 going on 16, plastic everything, tan skin becoming leathery.... Hopefully [that] wasn't why they cast me.''
NEXT Season 2 premieres Nov. 4.