Oh but it was so good and who can forget that amazing theme song? California here we come. Never has a show surged to such a ridiculously popular level and then crashed and burned just as fast as The O.C. I mean shows like 90210 and Melrose Place reached their popularity peaks early on in their runs but they managed to stay around for another five seasons each. But The O.C., which debuted in the summer of 2003, could just not hold on.
I remember this show was just everywhere after its premiere. People acted like it was the first time we had seen rich kids from California partying on television but there was something about The O.C. that seemed more real. Plus the kids actually talked like kids unlike those weirdos on Dawson's Creek. Seth Cohen (the adorable Adam Brody) and Summer (the equally adorable Rachel Bilson) showed you could still have witty banter without using seven SAT words per sentence. And of course Brody and Bilson were a couple in real life during most of the show's run so that made it even more adorable.
Ryan (Ben McKenzie) was the bad boy hottie everyone loved except I found it hilarious that they cast the preppiest looking kid who had just graduated from University of Virginia in real life as an orphan from Chino. He looked exactly like the kids who were picking on him for being poor.
And then of course we come to Mischa Barton. Oh Mischa. She was the golden girl for about two years. I literally remember being obsessed with every outfit she wore on the show. So gorgeous and with great taste and then what happened? She started partying too much (like her character) and did they fire her or did she quit? Well she actually left the show during the third season in a dramatic deathly car crash but she only missed one more season as the show was cancelled after it just couldn't sustain those amazing ratings it got during the first season when everyone was just so smitten. Not even lesbian plotlines and Marissa Cooper's death could save this sinking ship.
On the bright side, it gave four young actors their big break (though, seriously, where the hell is Mischa Barton? Has anyone seen her lately? She had the terrible model show for like two days on the CW a few years ago in which she played the has-been model and it was just so sad.) Luckily we still get to see Adam pop up in a few films, Ben McKenzie plays a cop on Southland and Rachel Bilson is still working pretty steadily and when she is not busy breaking off her engagement to Hayden Christensen she writes a column for InStyle.
The show also brought a lot of great bands into the spotlight as well and inspired the amazing reality show Laguna Beach: The Real O.C. And without that we never would have been introduced to Lauren Conrad and Kristen Cavillari and then where would society be today?
And of course we will never forget those amazing words from the pilot episode, "Welcome to the O.C. bitch."