Ben McKenzie visits "Extra" at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 17, 2016 in Universal City, ...
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Ben McKenzie Says It Was A "Bad Idea" To Watch The O.C. With His 7-Year-Old Daughter

“I had to cut her off after two episodes.”

It’s one of the traps we all fall into as parents at one point or another. The attempt to impress our kids. To make them think we’re cool. The temptation must be even stronger if you have, in fact, been cool. Part of the cultural zeitgeist-level cool like Ben McKenzie was when he played sensitive bad boy Ryan Atwood on The O.C. from 2003 to 2007. You can understand why McKenzie tried to impress his 7-year-old daughter by introducing her to a show where he lives in a guest house by the beach and everyone is sort of in love with him. But, as McKenzie told former co-stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke on their podcast Welcome To The O.C. Bitches, it did not work out quite as he hoped.

McKenzie, who shares 7-year-old daughter Frances and 2-year-old son Arthur with his wife and Gotham co-star Morena Baccarin, told Bilson and Clarke that it turned out to be a “bad idea” when he decided to rewatch The O.C. with Frances.

“I haven’t been working in the last couple years because I’ve been doing this stupid book thing, and so [the kids] think that their mom is cool because she’s in movies, but they’re not aware of my work. So I let Frances watch The O.C. at 7 years old ... bad idea, bad idea,” he explained. The issue? Frances was immediately hooked.

“She, of course, loves it. Like, absolutely loves it. I had to cut it off after two episodes because I was like, ‘Oh my god, I forgot about the smoking,’” he went on to explain. “I remembered the drinking. And there’s cocaine!”

Certainly The O.C. brought us some pretty dramatic moments through the years, from a drug overdose to being held at gunpoint to dying in a car accident (all Marissa, poor thing). It could be a bit intense for a 7-year-old, especially when their dad is one of the main characters. Also it’s rated PG-13, which tells you something.

While the dad of two thought it was “adorable” that Frances liked his show, he decided to turn it off even though he was enjoying it himself as well. “It was interesting to watch it with my daughter and to look at myself as a younger person. I have to say on many, many, many levels it holds up. Like, it’s still a very entertaining, addictive (show).” Entertaining enough that Frances was ready to keep watching. She’s only human, after all.