• Publication date: December 21, 2010

Beautiful People With Big Problems The O.C.: More Than Just Another Town

In the O.C. (short for Orange County, California) lavish lifestyles, beautiful people, and complicated relationships reign supreme. The Cohen family are no exception to this rule, however when its kindhearted patriarch and attorney, Sandy (Peter Gallagher) defends roughneck Ryan Atwood (Benjamin Mckenzie), their posh Newport Beach enclave is changed forever. Atwood, a former resident of an impoverished Chino, California neighborhood is adopted by the Cohens, who hope a less chaotic atmosphere will allow the teen to reach his full potential.

In the O.C. (short for Orange County, California) lavish lifestyles, beautiful people, and complicated relationships reign supreme. The Cohen family are no exception to this rule, however when its kindhearted patriarch and attorney, Sandy (Peter Gallagher) defends roughneck Ryan Atwood (Benjamin Mckenzie), their posh Newport Beach enclave is changed forever. Atwood, a former resident of an impoverished Chino, California neighborhood is adopted by the Cohens, who hope a less chaotic atmosphere will allow the teen to reach his full potential.

Kirsten (Kelly Rowan), the family�s mother who also serves as CEO of a major real estate agency, is initially skeptical of her husband�s rash decision. Soon, however, her nerdy and awkward son, Seth (Adam Brody) bonds with Ryan and a brotherly friendship develops. Atwood attempts to refine his new pal into a sociable and fashionable guy, while Seth provides practical knowledge and tips on integrating himself into Orange County�s superficial surroundings.

Seth and Ryan are infatuated with Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) and Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) respectively, two girlfriends with their own unique problems. Although Atwood comes to Orange County to escape the instability of Chino, he inevitably entangles himself with Marissa, an emotionally unstable girl with a history of drug abuse, alcoholism, and anorexia. In contrast, and despite her broken family life, Summer is more down to earth than Marissa and (unbeknownst to her) the object of Seth�s affection.

Season two introduces viewers to Ryan�s struggling brother Trey (Bradley Stryker), a similarly troubled youth who, like Ryan, hopes to start anew in Newport Beach. In the season opener both Ryan and Seth leave Orange County in search of independence and freedom, only to return by the episode�s end. While season one explored Ryan�s integration into the swank community, its successor further develops Seth and Summer�s relationship, in addition to Ryan and Marissa�s. Meanwhile Sandy and Kristen�s marriage reaches a fork in the road after 20 years of stability.

The O.C. established itself as a major influence in popular culture, exposing audiences to then obscure bands such as The Walkmen, Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers, Modest Mouse, The Thrills, Tom Vek, and The Subways. The program�s emphasis on musical promotion subsequently resulted in six profitable soundtrack albums. Show fans also frequently imitated characters� fashions, frantically searching for ways to purchase clothes worn during each episode.

Season two of The O.C. was nominated for five Teen Choice Awards, winning in four of those categories.

Showing On: MBC4

Year: 2004-05

Duration: 60 minutes

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring:

Peter Gallagher

Benjamin McKenzie

Kelly Rowan

Adam Brody

Mischa Barton

Melinda Clarke

Rachel Bilson

Created By: Josh Schwartz

Rating: TV-PG