Jewish Entertainment:
Jewish Actors, Playwrights, Comedians, Musicians

Seth Cohen
Fictional Jewish Character in FOX TV Show "O.C."


 

Seth Ezekiel Cohen is a fictional Jewish character on the FOX television series The O.C., portrayed by Adam Brody. Seth Cohen was one of the "core four" characters on The O.C. alongside Ryan Atwood, Marissa Cooper, and Summer Roberts.

Background

Seth Cohen was born in Berkeley, California, to parents Sanford "Sandy" Cohen and Kirsten Cohen (née Nichol). Raised in Newport Beach, Seth Cohen is Jewish on his father's side and connects and identifies with his father's religious and cultural background. However, Seth Cohen embraces the mutual holiday of Chrismukkah, a joint Christmas and Hanukkah holiday. Seth Cohen is very sarcastic and uses irony to find the humor in the events that occur around him. Seth Cohen has a positive nature, and although sometimes his humor is misconceived as ill-mannered, Seth Cohen tries to joke his way out of sticky situations, and is more likely to laugh off the negatives and be overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the positives in his, and everyone else's, life. Seth Cohen is shown throughout the series to be self-obsessed and neurotic, with a tendency to make himself the center of attention. However, in many episodes, Seth Cohen proves to be a sweet and genuine guy with good intentions and a good heart, and this is often overlooked by others. Seth Cohen is a very bubbly character, thanks to the likes of his "only true friend" Ryan, and is prone to not knowing when to keep his mouth shut, however this is more endearing and humorous, than irritating. Seth Cohen is a self-proclaimed geek and likes comic books, science fiction, video games, and old movies. Seth Cohen also has a toy horse named Captain Oats. Seth Cohen has an adoptive brother Ryan Atwood who is also his best friend. Seth Cohen is the brother of baby Sophie Rose Cohen.

Seth Cohen was befriended at the start of the series by Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie) and has enjoyed a rise in popularity ever since then. Before Ryan's arrival, Seth Cohen was ignored by most of his peers, including the future love of his life, Summer, due to his awkward nature and unusual hobbies. Soon after Ryan's arrival, Seth Cohen became friends with Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) and started dating Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson). Seth's goal was to attend Brown University but Seth Cohen ends up going to RISD and continuing work on his comic book, "Atomic County."

Seth Cohen is close to both of his parents and often playfully teases them. Though Seth Cohen occasionally will not accept their help or advice, Seth Cohen does so sometimes and seems to value their opinions and knows they would do anything for him and vice versa. Seth Cohen is shown to care very much about his mother. His actions are demonstrated in episodes such as "The Dearly Beloved" when Seth Cohen hesitates to send his mother to rehab and in "The Man of the Year" when Seth Cohen takes care of her when she's relapsed in her drinking.

Relationships with female characters

Summer Roberts

At the start of the series, Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) and Seth Cohen had barely spoken, seeing as Summer was popular and Seth Cohen was certainly not. Seth Cohen had a huge crush on her regardless (even naming his sailboat the Summer Breeze), and saw that she was more than the shallow girl she appeared to be. Seth's passion for her never truly died out, and never will.

The pair seemed to grow closer after, despite Summer's denial of liking him, they traveled to Tijuana together. She quickly turned him down for a date after seeing a few cheerleaders eyeing the pair. School began soon thereafter, and Summer, after finally admitting she liked Seth Cohen, grew jealous of Seth's friend Anna Stern, whom Seth Cohen shared many interests with, including comics and dress. Their friendship blossomed into a relationship soon after.

Summer found out about the relationship and tried to sabotage them and attempted to date another boy (trying to make Seth Cohen jealous). Anna and Seth Cohen broke up and Seth Cohen confessed his true feelings to Summer. The pair then lost their virginity to each other and became a couple, although Summer still wanted it to be secret. Seth Cohen refused to put up with this, and declared his love for her atop a coffee cart in front of the school. Seth Cohen and Summer's relationship continued until Seth's best and pretty much only friend Ryan Atwood announced he'd be returning to his home neighborhood, Chino, after his pregnant ex-girlfriend declared she wanted to keep the baby, and raise it in her hometown. Seth Cohen tried to make him stay, and was distraught at his departure, but tried to appear uninterested by it, although it pained him deeply. Seth Cohen couldn't face the idea of becoming a loner once more, and even though Seth Cohen still had Summer, Seth Cohen decided to sail the oceans for the summer in his boat, Summer Breeze, which was revealed to have been named after Rachel Bilson's character. Seth Cohen left a note to her, and to his parents, who were distraught at losing both Seth Cohen and Ryan in one day.

Once Seth Cohen returned, Summer had moved on with Zach Stevens. After accepting the fact that it was over, Seth Cohen started dating Alex Kelly. The tension came to a breaking point when Zach, Summer and Seth Cohen went on a trip to sell their comic book. Seth Cohen subtly admitted his feelings about Summer, who was about to leave on a trip to Italy with Zach a few weeks after, but Seth Cohen begged for her to be with him. She couldn't deny her feelings and left Zach for Seth Cohen at the airport, sealing the new relationship with a rainy kiss in the style of Spider-Man.

Zach ultimately gave Summer up at prom, and Seth Cohen swooped in to once again tell the school how Seth Cohen loved Summer when she was named Prom Queen. They stayed together and started to apply for colleges, deciding on Brown University, Seth's dream college. Summer decided that if she got in to Brown and Seth Cohen didn't she would not attend because she wanted to be with him. Summer ended up getting in and Seth Cohen did not, but Seth Cohen lied and told her Seth Cohen did because Seth Cohen didn't want her to pass up Brown. This led to their breakup, but Seth Cohen surprised Summer in the season finale with his acceptance to RISD for the spring semester. The couple ended high school happily, but things got difficult when Marissa Cooper died and Seth Cohen and Summer were separated.

As the story continues six months later, Seth Cohen works at a comic-book store and has problems with Summer, who turned from materialistic gossip into a tree-hugging Vegan (who later protests against poverty at a Thanksgiving meal at the Cohens) at college and would not answer his phone calls. Seth Cohen left long messages on her answering-machine. When they met in Newport, Summer acted cold towards him. With a visit from Taylor, Summer began to realize that she was isolating Seth Cohen because she couldn't deal with what was in Newport - the memory of Marissa. She visited home for Thanksgiving and Seth Cohen confronted her with this concept as well which she eventually gave into, telling him via voice mail as she left to return to Brown to deal with it on her own.

Though Summer came to terms with Marissa's death through therapy and seemed to return to her old self, she and Seth Cohen quickly discovered that her tree-hugging ways had left a deep imprint. Seth Cohen chose to support her by stepping back and giving her space to pursue her new interests; however, this made Summer realize how important Seth Cohen was in her life and their relationship grew stronger. False pretenses led to Summer's suspension from Brown just as Seth Cohen was to start at RISD, but Seth Cohen decided Seth Cohen would put off college until the following fall so they could return to Providence together. On the eve of the New Year, a pregnancy scare ultimately caused Seth Cohen to ask for Summer's hand in marriage. Although the scare turned out to be a false one, plans for their marriage remained. Later on Summer backed out of the engagement but they were still dating. Their relationship is again questioned when Summer is offered a job at GEORGE, while Seth Cohen has nothing set for him. An earthquake hits, and they both get out of harm's way when a light pole falls on Ryan's car (which Seth Cohen was driving with Taylor's birthday presents in the back) during the event. The series concludes four years later in The End's Not Near, It's Here with the couple getting married, and in a deleted scene its revealed they had three children starting with the letter "S", Stephen Cohen (born in 2012) and twins Savannah (born 2015) and Sheridan (born 2015).

Anna Stern

Anna Stern (Samaire Armstrong) was Seth's first girlfriend, whom Seth Cohen met during a cotillion dance practice. They started dating after Seth Cohen decided in her favour during a contest for his affection between her and Summer Roberts. They had a lot in common such as enjoying Death Cab for Cutie, graphic novels, and sailing. Their relationship was short lived as they broke up when Seth Cohen made it obvious that Seth Cohen truly wanted Summer instead and had made the wrong choice. Anna had felt that there is no chemistry between them as lovers, and their ideal relationship is as friends. She soon left to go home in Pittsburgh. Stern returns in season three, when she helps Seth Cohen deal with his problems with Summer Roberts. She did not appear in season four, Anna in fact did attend Brown University as both Seth Cohen and Summer met her at the Brown orientation. She did say in The Party Favor (Episode 3.23) that she would see them both in Providence, but she never once came in contact with either Seth Cohen or Summer.

Alex Kelly

Alex Kelly (Olivia Wilde) worked in The Bait Shop in Newport Beach, had emancipated from her parents and rented her own flat. She portrayed a tough image, which made Seth Cohen believe she was out of his league. Alex, however, found Seth's innocence appealing and the pair started dating shortly after Seth Cohen got a job working at The Bait Shop with her. The relationship was short lived however, since Alex too realized that Seth Cohen truly loved Summer, not her. It was also revealed that Alex was bisexual. Seth Cohen broke it off with Alex in The Ex-Factor, and she later dated Marissa Cooper.

Friendship with Ryan Atwood

Seth Cohen meets Ryan Atwood when his father, Sandy Cohen, brings him home and they get along well. Before Ryan came to Newport Seth Cohen was a lonely kid who everyone ignored. Seth Cohen tells Ryan that his boat is named after Summer Roberts who Seth Cohen has a crush on. When Summer invites Ryan to a party, Seth Cohen persuades Seth Cohen to join him. When Ryan and Seth Cohen arrive at the party Ryan quotes, 'Welcome to the dark side,' which Seth Cohen had attended a party with sex, drugs and alcohol. Seth Cohen sees Summer flirting with Ryan and pushes him and reveals his true background to everyone in the party. When Seth Cohen is being bullied by Luke Ward Ryan defends him and punches Luke. When Ryan goes back to Chino, Seth Cohen hugs Ryan. Since Ryan came to Newport, Seth Cohen was able to make friends with Luke, Marissa Cooper and date Anna Stern and Summer Roberts. When Oliver Trask becomes friends with Marissa Cooper, Ryan suspicious that he's not normal. Ryan tells Seth Cohen that Oliver is dangerous but Seth Cohen does not believe Ryan and tells him that Oliver is just friends with Marissa. In the ending episode of The Truth, Seth Cohen tells Ryan since Seth Cohen came to Newport he's always had his back and Seth Cohen promises never to doubt Ryan again. In the episode The Gringos, Seth Cohen goes along with Ryan to Mexico to stop Ryan from finding Volchok and in the end of the episode, Seth Cohen goes to the pool house and Ryan locks the door and closes the blinds. In the series finale of The O.C, Ryan is Seth's best man at his wedding.

As of 2004, Cohen was named one of the 10 best current characters by Zap2it, writing: "The gangly Adam Brody effortlessly delivers his hilarious and sweetly sarcastic lines. He's positively delightful and brings a level of humor not often seen on prime time soaps. Heck, even his wardrobe is a hoot."[1]

Trivia

Seth Cohen is prime time television's poster boy for indie music. The "Seth Cohen Starter Pack", which contains The Goonies DVD, a copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and albums by Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, and The Shins, says a lot about his tastes and pop culture sensibilities. Seth Cohen likens his friendship with Ryan to Kavalier and Clay. His room contains posters of punk rock bands such as The Ramones and The Sex Pistols and of grunge band Nirvana and frontman Kurt Cobain. Other posters include Ben Folds and Death Cab For Cutie (with a NoFX sticker). Seth Cohen was surprised to find Seth Cohen listened to the same punk rock as Marissa Cooper.

He's also passionate about comic books, citing Brian Michael Bendis as one of the greatest comic book writers of all time.

Art done by Seth Cohen is actually done by artist Eric Wight.

Although Chrismukkah appears to be Seth's favorite holiday throughout the series, his favorite holiday is actually Thanksgiving, which Seth Cohen states in the 11th episode of the first season, The Homecoming. Of course, as that episode predates Chrismukkah's first appearance on the show, this could merely be a plot hole.

References

Amatangelo, Amy (2004). "10 Best Current TV Characters". Zap2it. MSN TV News. Retrieved July 9, 2012.


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