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Adam Brody Has Aged Like Fine Wine in ‘Fleishman is in Trouble’


After watching the first two episodes of Fleishman Is in Trouble, based on Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s 2019 book of the same name, something strange happened: I spent roughly a week with Phantom Planet’s 2002 song “California” swirling on a loop in my head. I can only assume this unique, unintended side effect was my body’s way of reminding me that nearly two decades after The O.C. premiered, Adam Brody remains a crush — a truth that’s further emphasized with each new episode of the FX drama.

As noted in our review, Fleishman Is in Trouble, which follows recently divorced Toby Fleishman’s (Jesse Eisenberg) struggle to navigate a world without his ex Rachel (Claire Danes), invites characters and viewers alike to reexamine their relationships with nostalgia. Storylines aside, it’s an initially effortless task thanks to a stacked Millennial Comfort Cast™, which includes Lizzy Caplan, Josh Radnor, and of course, Brody. Together, the ensemble is pure magic. But longtime fans of Brody will be especially captivated — both by his ability to make the insufferable Seth Morris (not Seth Cohen) charming, and the fact that he’s aged like the finest wine.

Adam Brody in 'Fleishman is in Trouble'
Photo: Matthias Clamer/FX

Brody’s Seth is one of the old friends Toby reunites with post-divorce. He’s an unmarried finance bro, hasn’t had kids, and still lives an adventurous bachelor lifestyle complete with bar hopping and shenanigans that last until sunrise. He cares about Toby’s “closing rate”; figured out how to “beat the system” by getting dating apps to give him women under 35; and says things like, “Dude the world is your oyster now. Lick it up.” Under normal circumstances, I would loathe this man. But even when spewing eye roll-worthy lines, Brody infuses Fleishman’s Seth with the same approachability as his delightfully dorky O.C. character.

In college flashbacks, Seth sports casual clothes and exudes confidence amongst a sea of Solo cups. But in present-day scenes, Brody plays a man who’s thriving on the surface and spiraling on the inside. Between losing his job, catching up with college pals, and helping Toby process his divorce, Seth is forced to confront one of his greatest fears: that he kept aging despite his best efforts to cling to youth. As he takes stock of his own life, acute nostalgia gives rise to internal angst and loneliness. Iit’s hard to feel sorry for a youthful grown man who has yet to actively pursue change, but the warmth Brody brings to the role offers viewers unexpected windows of relatability.

Jesse Eisenberg and Adam Brody sitting on a couch in 'Fleishman is in Trouble'
Photo: Linda Kallerus / FX

If Seth Morris was played by anyone else, I’m not convinced this series would work, because in addition to Brody’s acting skills, his specific shades of sexiness simultaneously soften and spotlight his character. Whether he’s rocking a graphic tee, jeans, and sneakers in goofy flashbacks or looking stylish in a suit and chomping a grilled cheese as an adult, Brody — and please forgive me, Leighton Meester — looks fine AF.

Adam Brody sitting on a beanbag chair in 'Fleishman is in Trouble'
Photo: Linda Kallerus/FX

At age 42, this man is quite possibly hotter than ever before. And that realization hits like a ton of bricks in scenes where Seth is lying on a blanket in the park, nursing canned rosé and simply existing with rolled up sleeves, facial scruff, sunglasses, and a slightly unbuttoned shirt that reveals a few tantalizing strands of chest hair.

Every so often, photos of Brody and his wife, Meester — who married in 2014 and have two children together — will go viral on Twitter simply because the two are smoking hot. Some believe they’ve been blessed with the ageless Paul Rudd genes, while others feel their youth is a direct result of minding their own business and lying relatively low in Hollywood. Whatever the secret may be, it’s working. And though we no longer have the delightful Single Parents to show the couple sharing the screen, at least Fleishman is here to deliver weekly doses of Brody’s latest Sexy Seth role.

New episodes of FX’s Fleishman Is in Trouble premiere on Hulu on Thursdays.





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