Real Adam Brody fans have been with him through it all: seasons two through four of The O.C., Mr and Mrs. Smith, Thank You for Smoking, In the Land of Women, Jennifer’s Body, I could go on and on and on. Even more real ones went back and watched The Ring for his very small role as “Male Teen #1”. The actor made a significant splash in the early 2000s due to his role as Seth Cohen on the FOX teen soap The O.C. Seth was a comic book nerd who was adorable (adorkable, even, sorry to even say it) at the time but in retrospect, is kind of an insufferable whiner. Seth Cohen moans and complains when things don’t even slightly go his way, but Brody’s inherent charm made Seth seem like the most romantic guy on television, like the loneliest teenage boy in the universe who deserved the world when, in fact, he was pretty self-serving.
Fleishman Is In Trouble, the FX series based on Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s novel of the same name, follows Upper East Sider Alex Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg), who is amidst a nasty divorce with his ex Rachel (Claire Danes). The newly single Alex finds himself in a modern dating culture far removed from the one he was used to before his marriage. Seth, an old friend Alex lost touch with during his marriage, serves as a guide. Seth is played by Brody, who bravely took the role despite the character having the same name as the character that defines him.
Brody’s innate ability to make even the vilest characters relentlessly charming manifests in Fleishman Is in Trouble. Seth isn’t exactly an asshole but he makes grand statements that, if made by someone less appealing than Brody, would come across as insensitive and ignorant. For example, Seth says that no women on dating apps are 39 or 29. “There’s only 40 and 30,” he says.
In his first scene in the series, he orders a dish called the lumberjack with a side of grilled cheese, a moment that deserves to be commemorated. Later, he is shown eating the grilled cheese while making grand statements about why women have choke kinks now:
While Brody was a 2000s heartthrob and while he has had a consistently respectable career, he didn’t exactly become a leading man. But over the past few years, he’s built up to a moment. In 2019, he appeared in DC’s Shazam!, and will return for the sequel early next year. Later that year, Brody was in the hit horror-comedy Ready Or Not, in a role that was perfect for him. In 2020, he officially became an FX boy with his small role as feminist Marc Feigen-Fausteau amongst some of the greats including Lydia Tár herself on the miniseries Mrs. America. Also in 2020, he led the extremely dark comedy The Kid Detective, in which he played a former child detective who in his adult life, comes across a missing person’s case and had a role in the Oscar-winning Promising Young Woman. Now, Brody’s back to being an FX boy on Fleishman Is in Trouble.
And suddenly, I find myself in a state of rewatching episodes of Fleishman Is in Trouble solely for Brody’s performance, and I am planning to see Shazam! Fury of the Gods solely for his performance. The power that he has. Adam Brody is having another moment, and I hope it never ends.