Selling the OC review: More reality than realty in seductive Sunset property
This Selling Sunset spin-off is the hottest property on the reality market, with a chaotic cast on the hunt for drink-swilling drama.
Ever since Selling Sunset became a sleeper hit during the pandemic, Netflix has tried to establish itself as the go-to destination for property porn, peddled by pouty former soap stars in between various petty squabbles.
However, whether it's last year's spin-off Selling Tampa or shows like The Parisian Agency and Million Dollar Beach House, the streamer hasn't yet managed to recreate the perfect balance of business, glamour and bitchiness that The Oppenheim Group brought to our screens. Netflix's latest offering seems to subconsciously acknowledge that fact by taking us back to the very same agency – but this time, focusing on its second branch on Newport Beach.
Created by reality king Adam DiVello, Selling the OC follows our favourite Vin Diesel-looking property twins, Jason and Brett Oppenheim, as they run their additional office in sunny Orange County. Featuring a brand new cast of raring-to-go realtors and a roster of cash-rich clients, the eight-part series follows the Sunset framework to a tee, even down to the generic, girl-boss tunes that start playing whenever a pair of heels starts strutting down an uncomfortably dear driveway.
What the OC brings to the franchise, however, is a whole new level of catty chaos, thanks to its immensely attractive cast of big characters. Despite the office only having recently opened, it's clique city over on Newport Beach, with a huge divide forming between ringleader Alex Hall – a single mother for whom "failure is not an option" – and the two Alexandras: Alexandra Jarvis and Alexandra Rose, the big earners of the firm.
When you add in a handful of athletic-looking male realtors and booze-fuelled beach socials, you get gasp-worthy moments – such as British model-turned-realtor Polly Brindle, whose northern accent is an incomprehensible mystery to her colleagues, stripping completely naked on a dare as she skips into the Californian sea.
Unsurprisingly, the frequent flirting and incredibly tactile friendships soon kickstart the office rumour mill, with stress-laden estate agent Kayla Cardona – who cries in nearly every episode – switching factions throughout the season after drama goes down with colleague Tyler Stanaland, the husband of Pitch Perfect's Brittany Snow.
The same applies to the suave, salesman-esque Gio Helou, who introduces himself to viewers as "a f**king rockstar" before bringing on his mother Lisa for a few cheeky cameos. Gio falls out with Alex Hall very early on, quickly demonstrating that she's someone you really don't want to get on the wrong side of.
As for the actual properties, Selling the OC features some of the most expensive, outrageously beautiful houses that the franchise has ever seen as well as some of the worst. One minute, we're treated to drone shots of a lair worthy of a James Bond villain complete with picturesque views of Newport Beach; the next, we're watching a client wear a permanent wince whilst touring a neglected property with the desperately positive Polly.
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When we're not out on the job with the Oppenheim Group's latest representatives, we're witnessing juicy stand-offs between lots of blonde women in designer clothing. While these arguments are on the whole entertaining, there are some incredibly uncomfortable moments that creep into workplace bully territory, making you question why it is you're watching these wannabe reality stars verbally terrorise one another.
That being said, with the cast members cashing commission cheques large enough to make them millionaires, you don't spend too long feeling sorry for them, particularly when a few of the most dramatic plot points play out off-screen – a lazy storytelling technique within the reality genre.
However, if you're looking for Mean Girls with million-dollar listings, then Selling the OC is going to be a binge-able watch. A relative of Selling Sunset with elements of Real Housewives and even Love Island at times, this Netflix spin-off is one hot property that's bound to get a lot of interest on the reality market.
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