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A troubled youth becomes embroiled in the lives of a close-knit group of people in the wealthy, upper-class neighborhood of Newport Beach, Orange County, California.


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Series cast summary:
 Sandy Cohen (92 episodes, 2003-2007)
 Kirsten Cohen (92 episodes, 2003-2007)
 Ryan Atwood (92 episodes, 2003-2007)
 Seth Cohen (92 episodes, 2003-2007)
 Summer Roberts (92 episodes, 2003-2007)
 Julie Cooper / ... (90 episodes, 2003-2007)
 Marissa Cooper (78 episodes, 2003-2007)
 Jimmy Cooper (40 episodes, 2003-2006)


Ensemble drama revolving around the young adult community of the Orange County, California, area. A street-smart teen winds up in the midst of the high-class society of Newport Beach, sparking something of an "edgier" take on the "Melrose Place" style premise. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Comedy | Drama | Romance


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

5 August 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Orange County  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Though being part of the "regular" cast, neither Jimmy Cooper (Tate Donovan) or Luke Ward (Chris Carmack) are in every episode, whereas Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson), who was billed as a guest star for the first half of season one has been in every episode. See more »


In Season 3, when Ryan is with Sadie in the pool house, Seth finds the door locked when he tries to enter and states "when did this door ever have a lock." Ryan mentions he added it for privacy. In Season 1, when Hailey has the huge New Years party, she locks Ryan and Seth in the pool house, so they won't spoil her fun. See more »


Theresa: [after telling Marissa of her childhood hopes and dreams] But I guess life's not really like that, is it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the first half of season one, Rachel Bilson (Summer) and Melinda Clarke (Julie) were credited as guest stars, even though Rachel Bilson appeared in each episode. From the fourteenth episode on, they were credited on the theme song as regulars. See more »


Featured in 25 Most Hilarious Holiday TV Moments (2010) See more »


(main title)
Performed by Phantom Planet
Written by Jason Schwartzman, Jacques Brautbar, Sam Farrar, Alex Greenwald,
Darren Robinson (uncredited)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Surprisingly good
4 September 2003 | by (bean world, massachusetts) – See all my reviews

When my girlfriend told me she was going to start watching this show, I figured it would give me 60 minutes a week to myself. But when I actually watched part of the first or second episode, I was surprised to find myself starting to get drawn in.

Here's what I like about this show: First, the kids talk like kids (even if some of them look like adults!). I don't know about anyone else, but after Dawson's Creek and The Gilmore Girls, I find it refreshing to see a show about teenagers who have trouble expressing themselves instead of speaking in pithy, self-aware sound bites.

Second, this show does a believeable job of presenting the class issues involved in having a "poor kid" move in with a "rich family". Others have pointed out that it avoided the initial cliche by having the two teenage boys become friends, but later episodes have shown that in spite of their friendship and common interests (e.g. comic books), there are still deeper issues of class and sexuality that show how different their "worlds" really are.

And finally, I was surprised to see that the writers were actually able to make me care about the problems of the rich characters! (The adults, anyway). For too many nighttime soap operas, portraying the "problems of the rich" are just a way to get us "unwashed" types to sneer at the "problems" that money brings ("I wish I had those problems!"). In "The O.C.", the writers actually explore questions of money, class (again) and love in the various adult couples in a way that brings Jane Austen to mind; we can relate to the struggles the characters are going through even if their day-to-day lives are completely foreign from our own.

All in all, a surprisingly enjoyable TV soap opera that doesn't require you to check your entire brain at the door.

338 of 375 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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