guilty pleasures

I Can’t Shut Up About Selling the O.C.

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Netflix

When it comes to reality television, more is more. Love Island U.K. knows this; its most recent season concluded with a whopping 57 episodes. The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise has explored this with not one but two bachelorette leads this year. And now Netflix is giving the people (me) what they want: yet another iteration of its bonkers real-estate reality show, Selling Sunset.

Selling the O.C. is the latest Selling Sunset spinoff, joining the Florida-based Selling Tampa that launched in December 2021. As its name suggests, Selling the O.C. follows the Orange County branch of the Oppenheim Group, the luxury real-estate agency owned by twin brothers Brett and Jason Oppenheim. As it is impossible to tell the Oppenheim twins apart, Netflix has made it easier for us Selling Sunset simpletons, making Jason the primary (and usually only) twin present in this new series.

The first episode of Selling the O.C. plays out like one of those fake TV episodes written by a bot. We open with the three agents from the Oppenheim Group — O Group, if you’re nasty — each of whom look like a different hot Instagram filter, arriving at a $106 million home in Laguna Beach. Understandably, I guess, the selling agents are looking for a “specific clientele, with a ‘B’” attached to their net worth. The listing has eight bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a 25-car garage, a botanical garden that reads more as a mini-rainforest, and a retractable roof above a rotating bed. The series’ signature girlboss pop-anthem soundtrack powerfully moans, “Chillin’ from head to toe / Incredible, unbreakable.” Honey, I’m home.

Everyone looks like a Bratz doll that was finally granted their wish to be a real girl; each dressing as if an office job is like prom. Three of the women are named Alexandra, but only one goes by Alex — more on her later. The other two are often referred to by their last names, Rose and Jarvis. I am still convinced this show was written by a reality-TV bot. And alongside the impossibly attractive and perfectly manicured female agents, Selling the O.C. has multiple male agents. (Cue America’s Next Top Model’s “boys in the house” theme song.)

Most of the agents fall into at least one of three categories: divorceé, single mom, or wife guy. There’s an agent named Polly (divorced) who is from northern England. No one can understand her extremely standard British accent. At one point she tells agent Kayla (single mom) to “be sharp” and Kayla is completely lost. “Be shop?” she asks. We are living in the golden age of television. There’s an agent named Gio (wife guy and bonus! Mama’s boy) who looks like a face-mash of all the men who have been on American Horror Story. There’s another agent named Austin (wife guy) who was the cover model for the romance novel Pretty Reckless. Then, there’s the aforementioned Alex Hall (single mom and divorceé) who looks like if Leah Remini had worshiped at the altar of yogalates instead of Scientology. It seems like the show is trying to position her as this spinoff’s Chrishell, though audiences beg to differ. My personal favorite character is the cockroach that briefly sends the office into disarray. Go off, girl.

Throughout its eight-episode debut, Selling the O.C. delivers all the trappings of a successful Netflix reality show. Everyone is hot — it is impossible to overstate how conventionally attractive the cast is — and rich and horny for each other. During a company beach party, British Polly takes off her swimsuit and goes skinny dipping, boobies on full display for her co-workers and Netflix’s cameras. At the same beach party, Alex Hall gives Tyler (wife guy who is married to Brittany Snow?!) a “nosey.” I will not spoil what a “nosey” is. We are also introduced to a minor character new to the Selling Sunset franchise: pseudoscience. At one point, Kayla makes a quick comment about how SPF causes skin cancer. (To be fair, there have been recalls on sunscreen products containing the carcinogen benzene, but still.) Later, Jarvis tells Rose about her $6,000 alkaline water machine which helps turn her “big” water into “small” water. (This is a scam that the fringes of nutrition TikTok has been recently obsessed with.) In a sense, the Selling Sunset franchise is an MLM.

Selling the O.C. is the natural evolution of MTV’s Laguna Beach. It is a cast full to the brim of “why does this always happen to me??” people. It is awful and perfect and I can’t wait to watch four more seasons.

I Can’t Shut Up About Selling the O.C.