Happy 10th Anniversary to The O.C.

“California… Here we comeeeee…”

As soon as I hear those words, I get a sense of warmth in my heart. It takes me right back to my high school days, where every Thursday night I’d be clued to my television screen, wondering what drama would be in store for Ryan, Marissa, Seth and Summer this week.

It all began 10 years ago today. August 5th marks the anniversary of the premiere of The O.C. And since this show was and will forever be one of my all-time favorite shows, I believe a celebration is appropriate. So, welcome to the The O.C.’s 10th Anniversary party, bitch! Smear some cream cheese on a plain bagel, brush up on your best sarcastic one-liners, put on a muscle tee and pop in that old-school Rooney CD, because it’s time to reminisce about the phenomenon that was… The O.C.

It all started with Ryan Atwood, the kid from the wrong side of the tracks (aka: Chino, eww!) who found himself in front of attorney Sandy Cohen (aka: the world’s greatest father and husband) after stealing a car with his criminal brother, Trey. Sandy took pity on Ryan because he “used to be that kid” and invited him into his home with his leery wife Kirsten and lonely son Seth. Let the drama begin!

Ryan eventually wins over Kirsten and almost instantly becomes brothers with Seth, especially after saving him from that asshole Luke. That was the very first punch that Ryan Atwood ever threw in The O.C., and it definitely wouldn’t be the last.

Enter Marissa Cooper, the girl next door who was your very UNtypical girl next door. She was an alcohol abusing (think passing out in an alley in Mexico), pill and drug using, sexually experimental (remember Olivia Wilde with blond hair?) girl with major mommy issues. Ryan and Marissa fell in love and we were all happy. But not even Ryan’s love could save Marissa. And after four years of yearning, Ryan finally realized he wasn’t meant to save her (thank you, Chrismukkah of season four and Taylor Townsend). At the end of season three, she was eventually killed by an ex-boyfriend running her car off the road. RIP Marissa. Now, a moment of silence…

Summer Roberts and Seth Cohen were the world’s greatest couple, maybe right behind Sandy and Kirsten Cohen, who were also the world’s greatest parents (even with Kirsten’s alcohol problems). Their relationship with Seth and Ryan changed the way kids and parents communicated. Which is really cool that a show was so influential.

The show went on for 4 years and cut before it’s time, if you ask me. But in celebration, let’s reminisce about some of our favorite memories:

The Miracle That is… Chrismukkah
When a TV show gives you a brand new (a totally kick-ass) holiday to celebrate, you know it’s a keeper. Being half Jewish and half Christian, Seth created a holiday that would celebrate both religions and would entail “all the best that Judaism and Christianity have to offer.” The Chrismukkah episodes ended up being four of the best episodes of the whole series. It was like the FRIENDS Thanksgiving episodes, you always knew it would be good.

So if you too are in a double religion dilemma, don’t fret! “Do you want your menorah or candy cane? In this house, you don’t have to choose.” It was the holiday that literally swept the nation, just as Seth Cohen had dreamt.

Ryan: “You better pray for a Chrismukkah miracle.”
Seth: “I’ve got Jesus and Moses on my side, man.”

Seth Cohen Made Nerds Cool
Seth walked into the first episode playing video games, listening to Death Cab for Cutie, feverishly reading every comic book, playing with Star Wars action figures and spitting out hilarious one-liners, all with the cutest lisp you’ve seen on television.

Captain Oats and Princess Sparkles
Let’s be real… Captain Oats was the true star of The O.C. He was the toy horse that filled in as Seth’s best friend until Ryan came and filled that void. But, Seth never forgot about Oats. And as if we didn’t already know that Seth and Summer were destined to be together, she introduced Oats to her Princess Sparkles. Awww!

The Music
You can’t think of The O.C. without thinking about the music. I was introduced to a completely different genre of music and I still have my mix tape CD’s of my favorite songs from the episodes. Indie rock became the hottest genre of music (thank you, Seth Cohen). The show was famous for introducing underground bands and making them an instant hit. Musicality was one of the biggest successes of the show, so much so that in season two they introduced The Bait Shop, a underage club that the coolest bands would play at (and gunshots would go off in).

For your memory, here are a few of the most memorable music moments in OC history:


The “Bromance” is Formed
I will still argue to this day that The O.C. started the “bromance” craze, with Ryan and Seth remaining one of the greatest bromance stories ever. From the time when Ryan left town and heartbroken Seth sailed away on a boat (leaving girlfriend Summer) out of angst to when Ryan stood next to Seth when he married Summer (and all in between), there was seriously love there.
Seth: “At least I leave you funnier than when I found you.”
Ryan: “I’m a lot better off than when you found me.”
Seth: “Me too.”
Brothers for life. Grab the kleenex.

The O.C. was the start of a new age in television. It left a lasting impression. It was the first time I saw someone snort cocaine on cable TV. It was the first time I had a glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich kids in California. I sat in my middle-class home and lived vicariously through the show. The show consisted of a group of outsiders who came together. And since so many of us feel like outsiders, unable to fit in, I believe that’s one of the reasons so many people connected. It wasn’t the glitz and glam, it was the characters, and I loved them. I felt like they were really my friends and I would meet up with them once a week to check in on their lives. I swooned at the brooding Ryan and fell in love with the “adorkable” Seth. I cringed at the actions of Marissa, but also couldn’t tear my eyes away. I loved Summer and her journey through love and life (in the best outfits). Sandy and Kirsten were the parents I wished I had. And you know what? I even loved me some Julie Cooper. When Taylor Townsend came on and eventually fell in love with Ryan (post-Marissa), she became my favorite character, with her stalker tendencies and all.

Our last Cohen family photo.

The show has always been and will forever be close to my heart. All I can do now is watch the DVD’s over and over and one day hope for a reunion. Anyone want to start a kickstarter with me??

To end, here is the final montage of the series…