The O.C., Judaism And Seth Cohen

Lauren Wallenfels

Lauren Wallenfels

Lately, I’ve been into older shows, and one show that I recently delved into was The O.C.

The O.C. took place in the early 2000s, something that’s evident in the way the characters dress and the things they say. The show features a group of teenagers and their families who live in Newport Beach, Orange County, California. One of these families, the Cohens, are half-Jewish, which actually plays a somewhat important role in the show. Their son, Seth Cohen (played by Adam Brody), is, in my opinion, one of the funniest characters — possibly in TV history. Many of his jokes and remarks are to the effect of his Judaism. He often makes fun of his inability to do handiwork, a stereotypical common disability among Jewish males. He goes on to poke fun at his “Jew fro” and his lanky body, two more young Jewish male stereotypes.

Source: Warner Bros. Television
Source: Warner Bros. Television

Aside from the jokes about his looks and character traits, one of Seth’s funniest schticks relates to the holiday he made up as the result of having one Jewish parent and one Catholic parent. Seth created the holiday Chrismukkah, obviously the merging of Chanukah and Christmas, in order to celebrate both religions. But even as Seth constantly looked forward to his special holiday and made a big deal about it, each episode that featured Chismukkah had something hilarious go wrong. Perhaps he should’ve stuck to Chanukah.

Part of Seth’s character’s charm is attributed to the fact that he’s Jewish. It seems that all of his quirky ways and a lot of his jokes stem from this part of him. Even his father has a handful of funny jokes related to his religion and his background. For example, his whole family knows he’s the master of bagel schmear, a highly important quality in a Jewish male after a long Yom Kippur fast.

The Mistreatment of Jewish Characters in the Media
The Mistreatment of Jewish Characters in the Media
Jewish or Jew-ISH? / 05.09.2018

While I may be biased, this show truly would not have been as good without Seth’s jokes and his Jewish humor. It’s a great show to watch when you want to sit back and relax. It’s fun to see one’s religion portrayed on television, especially when it’s not usually a hot topic in shows.

If you’re a student with a Spotify premium account AND you’ve connected to Hulu, you should absolutely check out this hysterical, drama-filled show. It’s sure to pique your interest, as it did mine.

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