Ah, this show brings back memories for me. I started watching it when it came out and I was around eleven/twelve years old…yes too young to be watching the show but I watched it!
I remember there weren’t that many people who watched it at my school because it was an American show and not a big one like 90210 or something, even shows like 90210 people at my school wouldn’t admit to watching because it was so girly.
Side note: did any of you go to a girl’s school? Because I did and there were two things we actively avoided being seen as, girly or gay. The first one I don’t know where that came from… I mean we were girls. Probably internalised misogyny and the second one was homophobia. Omd single sex schools were the worst for that in the noughties and tens. Everyone thought we were gay for going to a girls school and so people would over compensate to not seem gay.
So many of my classmates came out after school. It would have been nice if they’d felt safe enough to do it whilst we were in school but as I shall say to my grave girl’s schools are brutal. It’s like 300 but worse because we’re all women.
Ever played hockey with an all-girl team? Nuff said.
End of side note.
So yeah no one would admit to watching The O.C. and every time I tried to talk about it they’d look at me weird but not this one friend… this one friend, she wouldn’t leave me hanging. She’d join in like, “Oh I love that show!”
We weren’t even in the same friendship group and our friendship groups ended up being very opposite but since we bonded over The O.C. I always thought of her as a friend, till we left school!
Am I being dramatic? Perhaps.
So why did I love the show?
I don’t know, I think I just liked shows like that. Ones that focused on teenagers and life in America. I mean I was just becoming a teenager when the show was running and so I could relate to them on that level.
I couldn’t relate on the partying or the sex or even just the making out parts of the show so I got to live through them in that sense.
But looking back I really liked the characters and the storylines that they did on the show.
They were very honest about life I felt. They showed how toxic the rich can be and so from young I was taught, beware of the rich. They really showed how stark the class divide can be in America and how unfair it is.
They also brought up issues like alcoholism. Kiki’s storyline was very well done and one of my favourites on the show.
They also showed how family is made. This is something I really resonate with because sometimes the family you’re born into can let you down but you’re not limited in options. You can make your own family and the Cohen’s really did that.
They also showed what toxic relationships look like even before the term was coined. I mean most of Marissa’s relationships were toxic. Nothing about them was glamourised and I’m happy about that.
Oh and you know how sex can be glamourised on TV and how everyone just seems to be good at it? I love how on The O.C. the first time Seth and Summer have sex, it’s awful! That was so realistic! There’s no way virgins, teenage virgins, are going to be great in the sack on first go. When I saw that episode I felt… ah, I don’t have to worry about the future. Everyone sucks at first.
So yeah, many topics were covered and honestly many more could have been covered. I was so mad when it got cancelled. I remember being mad at Americans because it didn’t matter if I and other British people gave the show views, the American audience needed to love it for it to survive past season four.
Now that shows like Riverdale are surviving for so long I’m even more mad. Especially as they cancelled Daredevil and Jessica Jones… but not Riverdale!!
Are too many people hate watching that show? Is that it?
I’m not doing it, I swear!
So the characters I loved are Seth, Summer and Ryan (and also Sandy).
Seth was my ideal type for so long after the show. He was nerdy, cute and a good friend. I loved his relationship with Ryan. I loved that Ryan was this kid from the ‘bad side of the tracks’ and yet he was the one who was the kindest to Seth. *glares at rich kids*
I loved everything about Ryan. He wasn’t a perfect person and he definitely made mistakes and sometimes I’d be like, “Dude, don’t say that” especially when he was warning Marissa about that guy she was dating in… season 2? If she doesn’t believe you then leave it and wait till man slips up!
Anyway, he was a good friend which was why he was so passionate about warning her.
Also he was hot. I loved Seth but I wasn’t blind. Ryan was hot and the actor who played him, Ben McKenzie… still hot. In fact that whole cast is aging like fine wine. What did they eat?!
Summer was such an interesting character. A rich girl who treated Seth just as badly as everyone else (yeah Seth saw otherwise but she was just as bad… she just didn’t beat him up). She went from that to being less concerned with status and image and becoming braver and standing up for her interests and leaving the flock to follow her own path.
Imagine, she went from being very materialistic to being an environmental activist.
And I love that even as she changed her core personality remained the same. She stayed loving the Golden Girls (she’s the reason I ended up watching that show and it does rock!) and she stayed girly.
Marissa was a complex character. She had so many troubles and honestly I was hoping that she’d have a different end more similar to Summer’s. However, I won’t lie to you. I didn’t like her as a person. I didn’t realise it then but now I know, I hate drama. I hate drama with a passion. No matter how nice you are if drama follows you or is your life… no thank you. And Marissa was drama.
Even so, it would have been nice if she’d gotten to leave the drama behind and start a better life for herself.
I believe they ended her storyline that way because the actress left the show, right?
Oh and I also love Taylor! Another character who went through great development. She was a weird anime girl and I felt that.
Also she was preyed on by that teacher! Everyone was like, she’s annoying but I feel like they should have made a bigger deal out of what that teacher did! I’m glad Taylor’s character didn’t just die there but she got to grow and become an amazing adult.
Also Julie dated Marissa’s boyfriend right? Again not a big enough deal was made out of that. Whenever it’s guys who are the underage partner it’s always like, “Ooh she got a boytoy” no! That’s statutory rape, call the cops!
Anyway, Anna, she was awesome. I was a little in love with that actress. From It’s a Boy Girl Thing to The O.C. she killed it. If Seth had ended up with her I would not have been mad.
I would really have loved if the show had carried on into their adult years. It was the first show, for me, that got cancelled. All the other shows before were cancelled before I watched them so it was the first that I was actively watching that got cancelled whilst I was actively watching it and invested in it and waiting for the next season.
It was a learning experience. After that I learned not to get too attached and that has helped me, although I still get mad from time to time *cough* Daredevil *cough* (and that show is gory and here I am defending it, that’s when you know it was a good show).
What was your favourite O.C. moment?
I have a lot but if I had to choose, Seth choosing Ryan over Summer. I know it was sad but like I said Seth was truly alone before Ryan showed up, even Summer never stuck up for him. So when Ryan temporarily left I imagine Seth saw his life going back to that loneliness. It really showed how close they were and how much he valued Ryan.
It would have been nice if he’d believed Summer had changed and would be there for him though. But it’s hard to remember that when the bullying flashbacks are running through your mind. I’ve been there.
Oh another favourite moment, Summer and Seth getting married. I was mad we didn’t get more of that but I was so, SO, happy it happened.
My only complaint with this show is how white it was. Honestly I didn’t know black actors could exist in such shows until 90210 had Dixon and… was that it? Was it just 90210 that had the diversity? Oh and Pretty Little Liars… they tried. If it was more diverse it would have been perfect.
It’s on All 4 at the moment so I may binge watch it. I was craving watching it again recently. To cleanse my mind of Dawson’s Creek.
2 thoughts on “My First Love – The O.C.”
I swear – I’m reading this and feeling like I wrote it ahaha. I also went to an all girls school in the UK at the time The OC was airing so I’m here like…. wow I relate so much. I had one other friend who watched The OC and we used to share our school snacks so we could save up any scraps of coins to buy the Season 1 DVD boxset and then we would time share it between each others’ houses (lol – I’m pretty sure I ended up with it).
I adored Seth so much – I kind of felt like his struggles to feel seen or understood really resonated with me at that time (and sometimes still now). I think about The OC from time to time, mostly because Seth was so focused on sailing to Tijuana. And now whenever I hear people mention Tijuana on any other show or movie, or even just in life….. I think of The OC. A lasting legacy. (also Sandy was amazing)
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Ahhh! This made my whole day!! It’s so nice someone else had the same experience as me (even the girl’s school part)
I need to get the boxset of The OC… it’s amazing that I haven’t already.
Seth was the best and oh really? For me it’s when people name their boats after people, in my head I’m like ha, “Seth did it first.” Even though he didn’t but inner Gift doesn’t care. (so amazing)