Julie Cooper (Melinda Clarke) is the new Seth Cohen (Adam Brody). Hear me out.
Halfway through my Season One rewatch of “The O.C”, I fell in love with Seth all over again and knew I had to capture his funniest lines throughout the season. He was just as funny in Season Two, if not more so, but I was blown away by Ryan’s (Ben McKenzie) humor in dealing with Seth that season. Seth’s comedic nature allowed Ryan’s to surface.
As I embarked on Season Three of my rewatch, I thought I’d go back to highlighting Seth's funniness, but I’m a bit heartbroken to report that I don’t love the whiny, lackluster guy who seems a shell of his former self this season. Even his brief turn to the wacky tacky, with ”his pathetic two-week stoner phase” as Summer (Rachel Bilson) calls it, doesn’t help reinspire his once-classic sense of humor.
Fortunately, a star with flaming red hair rose in the ashes of Seth’s funny bone demise: Julie is the absolute scene-stealer of Season Three. She leans into the trailer park lifestyle and all its ramifications like the explosive bundle of fireworks she is. Julie is, as Summer's father Neil (Michael Nouri) calls her, a “passionate woman, surprisingly principled.” He left off “hilarious,” and Clarke as her portrayer certainly knows how to twist dialogue into priceless moments.
Need further proof Julie is the new Seth this season when it comes to humor? Here are my picks for Julie's funniest quips in Season Three of “The O.C.”
‘This town is really only big enough for one manipulative bitch.’
I was so excited to see Jeri Ryan’s name in the opening credits of Season Three's premiere episode. She plays con artist Charlotte Morgan, who tries to scam Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) and is as quick and cunning as Julie. However, she lacks the charisma of our favorite redhead, who easily dismisses Charlotte after beating her at her own game: “I think it’s time you left, don’t you? This town is really only big enough for one manipulative bitch.” Julie is as fiery as her hair!
‘It’s Tiffany blue!’
When daughter Kaitlin (Willa Holland) unexpectedly comes home from boarding school and is horrified to discover her mom and sister are now living in a trailer, Julie puts a very “Julie” spin on things when she describes their new abode: “It’s Tiffany blue!”
‘I'm spitting Skoal into a can, drinking wine from a bottle I unscrewed, and living in a home that, if I wanted to, I could put in reverse.’
When Kirsten asks Julie how she's adjusting to life in the trailer park after living in a mega-mansion, Julie answers, “I'm spitting Skoal into a can, drinking wine from a bottle I unscrewed, and living in a home that, if I wanted to, I could put in reverse.” Ha, enough said!
‘I have an extra Hot Pocket.’
Despite her many challenges in Season Three, Julie begins a promising relationship with Summer’s dad. When Neil visits her trailer and confesses he’s fallen for her, Julie laughs, wipes tears away, and says, “Well, this just may be your lucky night. I have an extra Hot Pocket.” Not only do I adore this line, I adore this romantic relationship. Julie deserves happiness. I can't remember if they survive the loss of Marissa in Season Four, but I'm rooting for them.
‘Listen up, Tommy Lee.’
When Julie goes looking for Marissa (Mischa Barton) in Kevin Volchok’s (Cam Gigandet) den of iniquity, he cracks that he thought it was his dealer knocking at the door. Julie responds, “Listen up, Tommy Lee, you're just the latest in a series of experiments my daughter likes to make when acting out, so enjoy it, because right here, right now is as good as it gets for you. Soon, Marissa's going to wake up and realize she is so much better than you and your life.” Julie can be scathing, but it's the Tommy Lee dig that really puts this one over the top.
As my “The O.C.” rewatch journey continues, stay tuned for my favorite lines in Season Four! Will Seth regain his title as the show's comedic king? Perhaps it will be Ryan? Or, has Julie solidified her role as the quippy queen? I can't wait to find out.