Dripping in drama, ‘Selling the OC’ returns for Season 2

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The drama. The real estate porn. The stilettos. The side-eye.

All that and more returns to Orange County’s luxury real estate market Sept. 8, as Season 2 of Selling the OC drops on Netflix.

The real estate reality TV show featuring agents from The Oppenheim Group’s Orange County office left off at the end of Season 1 with a lot of tense feelings lingering in the air. The lines had been drawn, even though full-flung war hadn’t broken out — yet.

At the beginning of Season 1, it seemed like it would be Alexandra Jarvis and Alexandra Rose against the world. Framed early on as uppity “bullies,” the pair were largely ostracized from the rest of the office. But by later in the season, the tables had turned.

After a drunken night out with the group, all eyes turned to Kayla Cardona, who tried to kiss her fellow, then-married agent, Tyler Stanaland, more than once over the course of the evening.

Some of the female agents’ reactions to Cardona’s moves were particularly acidic, especially Alex Hall’s and Polly Brindle’s. Having revealed that she had been cheated on in the past by an ex-husband, Brindle claimed she had been “triggered” by Cardona’s behavior and could barely look her in the eye. Hall, who has known Stanaland since high school, was also critical of Cardona.

Polly Brindle, Lauren Shortt, Gio Helou, Tyler Stanaland, Austin Victoria, Brett Oppenheim, Jason Oppenheim, Alex Hall, Alexandra Jarvis, Brandi Marshall, Sean Palmieri, Alexandra Rose and Kayla Cardona in Selling the OC | Netflix

Months after Season 1 came out, Stanaland and his wife, the actor Brittany Snow, publicly announced their separation via Instagram. In September 2022, the couple filed for divorce.

In addition to these major dramas, there were also the more minor slights of Gio Helou feeling like Alex Hall deliberately snubbed his wife, Tiffany Helou, at a company party, and Brandi Marshall grappling with her mother’s brain cancer diagnosis.

All of this, of course, happened across the backdrop of the team’s young agents trying to secure listings, close deals and manage client expectations in Orange County’s competitive real estate market.

Season 2 brings the addition of a new office in Cabo San Lucas and a new cast member, outsider and former Miss Tennessee Ali Harper, who is trying to break into the OC real estate market, though she is not yet a licensed agent.

Aside from the new addition of Harper, all O Group agents from Season 1 have returned for the new season.

Only time will tell if Harper can survive in a market that’s increasingly losing new agents to its tough conditions — and which of the O Group’s agents will accept or reject her.

She hasn’t gotten her license yet, Gio Helou tells Inman. She’s also currently not listed on The O Group’s “Meet the team” page. But Season 3 is filming, and Harper is in it, so more of her story to come.

“Nashville and [Orange County], I say, have in common that the two are the biggest small towns,” Harper told Inman in a recent cast interview. “And both the real estate markets in Nashville and the OC are booming … You see that I’m transitioning here for Season 2, and you’ll see me make a lot of big decisions. So in the future, I’m flirting with getting my license, and fingers crossed, when I love something I really go for it.”

Although the Orange County office dynamic may be “on its head,” as Lauren Shortt told Inman, The O Group agents say at the end of the day, they’re all about business.

“I think our office has had more real estate collaborations than ever before, despite the relationships turning sour,” Shortt said.

Brandi Marshall added, “We may have different relationships happening and things severing, but our money and our jobs are the most important thing, which is why we’re all at The Oppenheim Group, so that always comes first. You may not even been on speaking terms with someone, but when it’s time to collaborate on a listing, here we are.”

Ali Harper, Austin Victoria, Tyler Stanaland and Polly Brindle in Selling the OC | Netflix

Other members of the cast were also quick to note that conditions in the real estate market can change quickly, and the industry tends to carry its own innate drama, as evidenced by quickly rising interest rates over the past year and the sexual harassment allegations leveraged at NAR leadership last week.

“Just like the market, the industry is always changing. I feel like our office dynamic is constantly changing as well, so you just never know what you’re going to get,” Sean Palmieri said.

The fact that the real estate brokerage’s agents may sometimes be going after the same clients or listings while operating in the same market also certainly plays out through the drama on the show, Gio Helou said.

“There is drama innate in every business, but I feel like real estate is unique in the fact that we’re colleagues, but we’re also competitors. Here in the office, we are all very ambitious people who are going after the same thing — and sometimes we get in each other’s way.”

Selling the OC has also been renewed for a third season, Variety reported in January.

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Email Lillian Dickerson

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