Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The O.C. (O.C. stands for Orange County) is an American television dramedy/soap opera program broadcast on the Fox Network. The series, created by Josh Schwartz, debuted on August 5, 2003, with the tagline, "The best new show of the fall is coming this summer". Currently, it is in its second season, which began on November 4, 2004, airing on Thursday nights at 8pm/7c. The series has been noted for its music selections, which has helped some previously little-known bands gain a certain level of fame (exposure at the least), so much so that to date, the producers have relased four compilation albums featuring highlighted performers.
The show revolves around two upper-class families in the southern California city of Newport Beach, in Orange County. The story follows Ryan Atwood, a troubled teenage boy from a dysfunctional family in Chino, California, who is transplanted to a high-class society focused on wealth and reputations. He is taken in under the care of Sandy Cohen, a successful lawyer who himself rose from humble roots; and his wife Kirsten, daughter of enormously-wealthy Orange County real estate mogul, Caleb Nichol. Ryan becomes good friends with the Cohens' geeky misfit son Seth, and falls in love with beautiful girl next door, Marissa Cooper.
Unlike other family-friendly teen shows, The O.C. takes on the gritty issues of the rich and wealthy in soap-opera style. As Seth remarks to Ryan as they enter an extravagant Newport party, "Welcome to the dark side."
The show also often makes fun of its soap opera elements and often includes self-referential jokes. Notable examples include comments about Benjamin McKenzie's likeness to Russell Crowe, Peter Gallagher's eyebrows, and Mischa Barton's weight - things often cited by fans - and the show features its own soap opera called The Valley, which is similar to The O.C. An episode of the first season entitled "The L.A." introduced us to some of the actors from that show. Additionally, many of the characters make fun of their stereotypes, such as when Ryan escapes a conversation by saying, "I'm going to go brood silently".
- Ryan's integration into Orange County society, and his growing relationship with Marissa.
- The destruction of Marissa's relationship with her boyfriend Luke, and his subsequent change in personality.
- Seth's love for Marissa's best friend Summer becoming a strange relationship.
- The marriage breakdown of Marissa's parents, Jimmy and Julie, as his fraud was made public.
- Sandy's jealousy over Kirsten and Jimmy's old relationship.
- Sandy's changing of jobs from public defender to private attorney, which soon saw him disillusioned with the industry.
- Sandy and Jimmy eventually going into business with a restaurant.
- Ryan dealing with manipulative Oliver, who tried to take Marissa away.
- The manipulations of Kirsten's father Caleb.
- Marissa dealing with a substance abuse problem.
- Seth having to choose between Summer and his good friend Anna.
- Julie's short-lived relationship with Luke, and subsequent engagement to Caleb - which many suspected was simply for money.
- Ryan's ex-girlfriend and good friend Theresa, from Chino, who came to stay for a while and whose abusive fiancee Eddie forced her to flee.
- Sandy's mother coming to stay and announcing that she was dying of cancer.
- Luke's discovery of his father's homosexuality and eventual moving away from Orange County.
- Kirsten's sister Hailey, notorious for not doing anything with her life, coming to stay and developing a relationship with Jimmy.
In the season finale, many events came to a head: Caleb and Julie married in a surprisingly uneventful ceremony, however Caleb later revealed to Sandy that he was on the verge of bankruptcy; Marissa moved in with Julie and Caleb but had redeveloped her drinking problem; Jimmy and Sandy's restaurant seemed likely never to open; Seth and Summer had problems after her father did not take a liking to him; Ryan discovered Theresa was pregnant, possibly to him, and decided to move back to Chino and support her; Seth ran away on Summer Breeze, his sailboat, distraught by Ryan's departure.
The season is still ongoing, but so far, some of the major plots have included:
- Theresa lying to Ryan, telling him that she had a miscarriage.
- Seth's refusal to leave Portland, where he was staying with Luke and his father after running away in the season one finale.
- Seth and Ryan's eventual return to Newport Beach.
- Summer's new boyfriend, Zach, a "WASP version of Seth."
- Marissa's new boyfriend, DJ, the Cooper-Nichol family's (now ex) Hispanic yard worker, who breaks up with Marissa after realizing that they were going out just to anger Julie.
- Ryan's guidance counselor's attempt to prepare him for a career as an architect.
- Ryan's relationship with Lindsay, fellow physics student at Harbor High School on an academic scholarship, which complicates under the realization that Lindsay is actually Seth's aunt.
- Caleb's arrest on bribery and related charges, ending with his acquittal after Renee testifies about their affair.
- Caleb's resignation as CEO of the Newport Group, and corresponding appointment of Julie as CEO and Kirsten as CFO.
- The introduction of Alex, a 17 year old who works at The Bait Shop with Seth, and their ensuing relationship, and later a short-lived relationship with Marissa.
- The discovery of Caleb's affair with Renee Wheeler, with whom he has a child, Lindsay, and attempts to develop a relationship with, culminating in his wanting to adopt her.
- Lindsay and the rest of the Cooper/Nichol/Cohen families finding out about Caleb's affair.
- Jimmy Cooper's decision to end his affair with Julie, and leave for Maui.
- A memorable 20th Anniversary for Sandy and Kirsten.
- Alex's ex coming into town, and Seth finding out that Alex is bisexual.
- Julie's ego-driven project of "Newport Living", a lifestyles magazine.
- Zach, Seth (and Summer) creating a comic book based on the lives of their friends.
- Caleb suffering a minor heart attack, and his subsequent desire to become more-family oriented.
- The arrival and departure of Rebecca Bloom, a previous love of Sandy's life, wanting to clear her name for a crime that occurred years ago (also, the death of her father, Sandy's mentor).
- Lindsay being confirmed by a DNA test to be Caleb's daughter, only to leave for Chicago with her mother.
- Summer breaking up with Zach after realizing she still had feelings for Seth, with whom she gets back together.
- The arrival of Lance Baldwin, a man from Julie Cooper's past, who blackmails Julie with an old pornographic videotape (The Porn Identity) that featured herself and Lance many years ago.
- The arrival of Carter Buckley, the new magazine editor for Newport Living, and his sexual tension with Kirsten.
- Marissa and Ryan becoming friends again.
- Trey Atwood's release from jail, temporary lodge with the Cohens, and move to Alex's old apartment.
- The Newport Living debut party crashed by the Julie Cooper porn movie.
- The reconciliation of Trey and Ryan.
- Trey's arrest as the result of a girl overdosing on drugs and falling into a pool at his 21st birthday party.
- The resurgence of Seth and Zach's graphic novel and the problems created between Seth and Summer as the result of the novel's executive being a very attractive woman.
- Lance, after reacquainting himself with Julie, offering to "whack" Caleb.
Notable Recurring Cast
- Bradley Stryker played Trey Atwood for two episodes as Ryan's older brother, only to be replaced for the second season.
- Samaire Armstrong played Anna Stern, a female version of Seth who initially appeared for one episode but was brought back at fan request for several episodes of the first season.
- Bonnie Somerville played Rachel, a colleague of Sandy's, for several episodes of the first season.
- Rosalind Chao played Dr. Kim, the dean at the local high school.
- Navi Rawat played Theresa, an old girlfriend of Ryan's.
- Taylor Handley played Oliver Trask, a teenager who became obsessed with Marissa.
- Amanda Righetti played Hailey, Kirsten's sister and love interest for Jimmy, who eventually left for Japan to pursue a job in the fashion industry.
- Shailene Woodley played Kaitlyn, Marissa's rarely seen younger sister.
- Eric Balfour played Eddie, Theresa's abusive fiancee.
- Linda Lavin plays Sophia Cohen , Sandy's mother, often referred to as "The Nana".
- Michael Nouri played Dr. Neil Roberts , Summer's father.
- Tate Donovan played Jimmy Cooper, Marissa and Kaitlyn's father/Julie's husband as a regular cast member episodes 1-34, when his character left for Maui.
- Chris Carmack played Luke Ward, Marissa's ex-boyfriend and regular cast member episodes 2-24.
The following cast members have appeared so far in season 2;
- Michael Cassidy plays Zach Stevens, who became Summer's boyfriend after the departure of Seth, but who eventually broke up with her.
- Nicholas Gonzalez played D.J., a gardener, one of Marissa's love interests.
- Shannon Lucio played Lindsay Gardner , a fellow student and Ryan's love interest.
- Olivia Wilde played Alex Kelly , who worked at the Bait Shop, who is Seth's, and then Marissa's, love interest.
- Kathleen York played Renee Wheeler , Lindsay's mother, who had an affair with Caleb Nichol.
- Kim Delaney played Rebecca Bloom, an old flame of Sandy's who started to come between his marriage with Kirsten.
- Billy Campbell plays Carter Buckley, the new editor of Newport Living Magazine.
- Johnny Messner plays Lance Baldwin, an opportunistic man from Julie Cooper's past.
- Logan Marshall-Green plays Trey Atwood , Ryan's older brother who is released from jail.
Show Trivia and Miscellany
- Due to labor union salary rules about filming outside of Los Angeles County, The O.C. is actually filmed in Hermosa Beach (40 miles away from the actual Newport Beach) to reduce costs.
- Though the show isn't shot on location, characters frequently mention popular OC hangouts like South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island. Newport Harbor High School is also a real high school as are other schools mentioned on the show, such as Mater Dei High School and UCI. Sage Hill School, an elite private school in the hills of Newport Coast, is also rumored to be inspiration for the show. The TV show's Balboa Wetlands appear to be based upon real-life Orange County's Bolsa Chica Wetlands .
- Before the show aired, Orange County residents referred to their county by its full name. At first, the name of the show was met with scorn, but since then, some people call it "The O.C." as a joke.
- The show is called "The O.C.", and not "Orange County" as originally planned, because a movie of that name was released shortly before the show premiered.
- Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby went as far as to propose changing the name of Orange County's John Wayne Airport to The O.C. Airport, John Wayne Field but backed down the next day after his office received negative phone calls and emails from angry county residents.
- The trailer for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith aired during the March 10th episode of the second season.
- The Model Home
- The Gamble
- The Debut
- The Outsider
- The Girlfriend
- The Escape
- The Rescue
- The Heights
- The Perfect Couple
- The Homecoming
- The Secret
- The Best Chrismukkah Ever
- The Countdown
- The Third Wheel
- The Links
- The Rivals
- The Truth
- The Heartbreak
- The Telenovela
- The Goodbye Girl
- The L.A.
- The Nana
- The Proposal
- The Shower
- The Strip
- The Ties That Bind
Season 2 returned on November 4, after the MLB World Series, with a time slot of 8/7 central on Thursdays (FOX). The DVD (season 1) was released on October 26, 2004, shortly before the premiere of the second season*. Note: Several episodes have not aired yet.
- The Distance
- The Way We Were
- The New Kids On The Block
- The New Era
- The SnO.C.
- The Chrismukkah that Almost Wasn't
- The Family Ties
- The Power of Love
- The Ex-Factor
- The Accomplice
- The Second Chance
- The Lonely Hearts Club
- The Test
- The Rainy Day Women
- The Mallpisode
- The Blaze of Glory
- The Brothers Grim
- The Risky Business
- The Rager
- The O.C. Confidential
- The Return of the Nana
- The Showdown
- The O.Sea
- Season Finale
Fox has announced that the series will be renewed for a third season.
The O.C. has had several television specials, detailing behind-the-scenes information, interviews, and bloopers.
- The O.C. - Obsess Completely (First Aired 9-16-04)
- Welcome to The O.C. - A Day In The Life (First Aired 9-23-04)
Around The World
The O.C. is as of February 2005 aired in the following countries and channels:
- Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela - Warner Channel
- Australia - Ten
- Austria - ORF 1
- Canada - CTV
- Denmark - TVDanmark
- Finland - MTV3
- Germany - Pro Sieben
- Republic of Ireland - TG4
- Israel - yes Weekend
- Netherlands - NET 5
- New Zealand - TV 2
- Norway - TV 3 Norge
- Portugal - RTP 1
- Serbia and Montenegro - TVPink
- Spain - TVE 1, Canal Fox
- Sweden - Kanal 5
- Switzerland - SF2
- UK - Channel 4
- USA - Fox
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