The O.C.

 (1,470)
7.5200413+
Ryan Atwood, a tough, guarded, fiercely intelligent 16-year-old plunges headlong into the wealthy, privileged community of Newport Beach.
Starring
Peter GallagherKelly RowanBen McKenzie
Genres
Drama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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  1. 1. Pilot
    August 4, 2003
    45min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Troubled teen Ryan moves from a bad neighborhood to the Cohen home in affluent Orange County. Sandy and Kirsten are glad Ryan befriends nerdy son Seth. Ryan likes neighbor Marissa.
  2. 2. The Model Home
    August 12, 2003
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Now that Ryan's mother has abandoned Ryan and moved away, Sandy has no choice but to accede to Kirsten's wishes and remand Ryan to Social Services. Facing the prospect of living in a foster home, Ryan prepares to secretly leave on his own.
  3. 3. The Gamble
    August 19, 2003
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Kirsten's company does not charge Ryan with arson for the model home burning, but he must remain in juvenile hall until he can be placed in the care of a guardian.
  4. 4. The Debut
    August 26, 2003
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Sandy and Kirsten convince child services officials to let them become Ryan's caretakers, and Ryan agrees to stay out of trouble. But with the upcoming cotillion, an old-fashioned formal event at which teenagers make their "debut" in society, that may be hard to do.
  5. 5. The Outsider
    September 2, 2003
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    After befriending a likeable busboy, Donnie (PAUL WASILEWSKI), at a casual seafood restaurant, Ryan takes a job there.
  6. 6. The Girlfriend
    September 9, 2003
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Kirsten nervously prepares a magnificent birthday party for her widowed father, Caleb Nichol (recurring guest star ALAN DALE), an extremely successful and driven businessman for whom Kirsten works.
  7. 7. The Escape
    September 16, 2003
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    It's the end of summer, and Seth convinces a reluctant Ryan to plan a trip to Tijuana, where hundreds of rowdy teens congregate to indulge in escapist excess before they have to begin school again.
  8. 8. The Rescue
    October 29, 2003
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    While Marissa recovers in the hospital from her overdose, everyone remains concerned about her. Julie (recurring guest star MELINDA CLARKE) vents her anger at Ryan, blaming him for all of Marissa's problems and warning him to stay away from her daughter.
  9. 9. The Heights
    November 5, 2003
    43min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The summer is officially over, and it's the first day of school. Summer (recurring guest star RACHEL BILSON) still ignores Seth in public, but privately she is jealous of Seth's burgeoning relationship with iconoclastic East Coast girl Anna Stern (recurring guest star SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG).
  10. 10. The Perfect Couple
    November 12, 2003
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Having seriously dated for one week, Marissa and Ryan are progressing slowly.
  11. 11. The Homecoming
    November 19, 2003
    43min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    When Seth tries to choose between dating Summer (recurring guest star RACHEL BILSON) or Anna (recurring guest star SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG), he ends up in the middle of a very complicated situation.
  12. 12. The Secret
    November 26, 2003
    43min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    After Thanksgiving, Anna (recurring guest star SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG) and Summer (recurring guest star RACHEL BILSON) remain upset with Seth for his behavior on the holiday, and Seth struggles to reconcile with them.
  13. 13. The Best Chrismukkah Ever
    December 3, 2003
    43min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Seth excitedly introduces a skeptical Ryan to Chrismukkah, a Cohen family tradition that resulted from Kirsten being Christian and Sandy being Jewish.
  14. 14. The Countdown
    December 17, 2003
    43min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Kirsten's rebellious 25-year-old sister, Hailey Nichol (recurring guest star AMANDA RIGHETTI), comes to town on New Year's Eve, causing turmoil in the Cohen household.
  15. 15. The Third Wheel
    January 7, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Kirsten's unemployed sister, Hailey (recurring guest star AMANDA RIGHETTI), moves in with the Cohens and disrupts the entire family when she behaves as the houseguest from hell.
  16. 16. The Links
    January 14, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Ryan, Seth, Marissa, Anna (recurring guest star SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG), Luke and Summer head to Palm Springs for a parent-free weekend at the home of Marissa's new, troubled friend Oliver (recurring guest star TAYLOR HANDLEY).
  17. 17. The Rivals
    January 21, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Sandy and Jimmy begin a new business partnership when they buy The Lighthouse, a beloved Newport restaurant.
  18. 18. The Truth
    February 11, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Caleb (recurring guest star ALAN DALE) once again puts Kirsten in a difficult situation when he forces her to terminate Julie.
  19. 19. The Heartbreak
    February 18, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Marissa tries to mend her relationship with Ryan, but he can't forgive her for the situation with Oliver.
  20. 20. The Telenovela
    February 25, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Marissa and Ryan try to start over as friends, but it's not as easy as they had hoped.
  21. 21. The Goodbye Girl
    March 3, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    When Theresa (recurring guest star NAVI RAWAT) decides to stay in Newport, Ryan is glad, but he feels obligated to help her find a job and a place to live.
  22. 22. The L.A.
    March 24, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    When actor Grady Bridges (COLIN HANKS - "Orange County," "Roswell") invites Summer and Marissa to his birthday party, the girls take Ryan and Seth to Los Angeles to join in the festivities.
  23. 23. The Nana
    March 31, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The Cohen family prepares for a visit from Sandy's mother, Sophie (LINDA LAVIN - "Alice"), for Passover dinner.
  24. 24. The Proposal
    April 14, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Marissa isn't ready to speak to Luke or her mother, Julie, following her discovery that the two have been having an affair.
  25. 25. The Shower
    April 21, 2004
    44min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Every bride-to-be must have a wedding shower, and Julie is going to have one to remember, thanks to Marissa.
Show all 27 episodes

More details

Supporting actors
Mischa BartonAdam BrodyChris CarmackMelinda ClarkeRachel BilsonTate Donovan
Producers
Not Specified
Season year
2004
Content advisory
Smokingsubstance usealcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

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Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

1470 global ratings

  1. 87% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 6% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Dodger26Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best show ever
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This is the best teen drama i have ever seen. We watch it over and over at my house....with different generations. It is like Dirty Dancing, all ages enjoy this series. As there are so many reviews I won't go in to any more details other than I really wish that Cohen would have ended up with Anna instead of Summer. Summer is an excellent actress but Anna was the more mature of the two girls and would have been so good for Cohen. I simply liked Anna. Miss her. Have your tissues ready while watching but you will laugh as much as you will cry. Adam Brody and Ben McKenzie rock in this series.
6 people found this helpful
Brian BReviewed in the United States on September 28, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Oh the teenage angst
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This definitely feels like a TV show made for teens. But I still love it. The constant drama, the character relationships, the setting, it all just works.

I suspect the show works a little better for me because I did see it originally as a teen. If you're generally not into teenage drama then you'd probably be best just skipping this show unless you enjoy a lot of great seaside cinematography.
Robert W. MooreReviewed in the United States on July 9, 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars
A sharply and wittily written teen and adult drama
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In my opinion, we are living in the new Golden Age of television. The reasons are twofold: a sharp increase in the quality of television writing and improved means of viewing series thanks to both high definition television and DVDs. The quality of writing is not just a result of a new generation of highly talented writers hitting the scene, but a tremendous broadening of what writers are able to achieve in the medium. Before shows like HILL STREET BLUES began breaking down the stand-alone episode format that had dominated television for decades, allowing a degree of character of development and a narrative complexity not previously possible, writers were saddled with concocting stories that had to be contained entirely within a 40 or 20 minute show. But beginning in the late 1980s and especially after shows like THE X-FILES, plots began breaking out of the 40 minute strait-jacket and an individual episode started picking up plot details from earlier shows, more often than not leaving much to be explained in future episodes. Though series like LAW AND ORDER and CSI continue to work with the earlier format, more shows than not now exult in the freedom of story arcs that carry over long stretches of seasons, juggling two or three or more narratives at once.

Of all the genres exploiting the new freedom given television writers, my least favorite has always been the teen or adult soap opera. I found all of Aaron Spelling's shows to be fairly unwatchable and was left cold by DAWSON'S CREEK. Despite this, I find THE O.C. to be a delightful exception to this role. What sets this series apart from its competitors is the sharp intelligence of the writing, a first rate cast that spans a wide range of ages, an unwillingness to pander in cheap pathos, and a mildly self-ironic stance towards the genre to which it belongs. The show manages to be genuinely funny, emotionally involving, and surprisingly moral all at the same time. I'm sometimes suspicious of why some people like it, but if some like it for the wrong reasons, there are plenty of very good reasons to like it.

The most immediate reason for liking the show is the absolutely first-rate cast. Benjamin McKenzie made an immediate splash on the show as Ryan Atwood, a good kid from Chino caught in a bad situation. Physically he bears a striking resemblance to Russell Crowe, a fact that received much mention when the show debuted and even commented on in one episode. Ryan and his date have returned from seeing MASTER AND COMMANDER, and looking him full in the eye says that she doesn't understand why anyone thinks that Russell Crowe is handsome. Of course, the audience is in on the joke. Ryan is befriended by the idealistic Sandy Cohen, a New Yorker who in his youth was much like Ryan. He brings Ryan home to his upper class home in a Malibu-like community, and almost by accident he, his wife, and son become Ryan's new foster home. Peter Gallagher, an actor I've rarely liked in the past, is absolutely outstanding as Sandy, and makes him my favorite character on the show. Through the first two seasons Sandy acts as the moral center of the show, so completely driven by his principles that at times even his familial relations are sometimes threatened by them. But his compassion and determination to do what is right are downright inspirational. He is one of the rare truly good characters on television. Kelly Rowan is superb as Sandy's wife Kirsten, and Adam Brody is even better as their son Seth. One of the great cool nerds on TV, Seth also exhibits perhaps the best taste in culture on TV (how often do truly great cultural figures like Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, the Shins, Modest Mouse, and their ilk get mentioned on prime time?). Together Ryan, Sandy, Kirsten, and Seth make one of the most compelling families on TV. And women! No prime time television show would be complete without gorgeous women, and THE O.C. is no exception. Mischa Barton is not just a pretty face, though she is at least that. Tall, lithe, and blessed with the looks of a beautiful fashion model, she plays Marisa, more or less Ryan's love interest on the show. She is a good enough actress that she manages to make her character more interesting than equivalent characters on other shows, and the writers give her more opportunity to shine by making Marisa an individual who struggle more than most in coping with her problems. In the first two seasons of the show, she has struggled with alcohol, drugs, and sexual experimentation, and managing to be profoundly unhappy through it all. Equally interesting is Rachel Bilson as Summer, a cute but ultra-self-absorbed teen who could have been a one-dimensional character similar to Cordelia Chase in the first three seasons of BUFFY, but instead quickly develops into a more complex and interesting character (much as Cordelia did once she shifted to ANGEL) who has an inexplicable attraction to Seth (again, much as Cordelia was to Xander). To add to the BUFFY connection, the first time I saw Rachel Bilson was in the great Season Seven episode of BUFFY called "Dirty Girls," in which she plays (along with another Potential Slayer) a brief though memorable part as the object of a very funny sexual fantasy on the part of Xander. Summer is a great example of the way that the writers resist turning roles into stock characters. There are also a string of excellent performers in smaller roles, including Samaire Armstrong as Anna Stern, a competitor for Summer for Seth's attentions, and Navi Rowat, Ryan's ex-girlfriend.

I'm less thrilled by Melinda Clarke as Julie Cooper-Nichol, Marissa's mother and a character who would seem more at home on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES than THE O.C. This is typical of a larger problem: the show doesn't do nearly as good with unsympathetic characters as with sympathetic ones. If we are supposed to love them, we generally do, but if we are supposed to hate them, we do because they simply aren't likable. Instead of being great bad characters, they only manage to be off putting. Over two seasons I have failed to like Alan Dale as Kirsten's father, and Taylor Handley as the troubled and manipulative and utterly unbelievable Oliver Trask was positively awful. This is all a bit odd because many of the most memorable characters on TV have been evil or at least kind of bad. But THE O.C. has yet to produce a single excellent bad character. Perhaps that will be a project for Season Three.

My friend Tracy pointed out one other great virtue of the show to me. She noted that unlike most other series with strong teen elements, the adult story lines are at least as good. Stories involving Sandy or Kirsten or other adults are not mere throw ins, but fully equal to the kid story lines. I think this is in part responsible for the narrative richness of the show. It is not just a show for the kiddies.

As much as I have loved this show, there is still the problem with the genre. I mentioned that I don't like teen and adult soap operas, and part of the reason lies in the difficulty such shows have in sustaining narratives. A show like VERONICA MARS or BUFFY or LOST, where large-scale stories provide the framework for all of the narrative elements, have a huge advantage over a show like THE O.C. In these shows there is a sense of a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Veronica Mars in that show's first season was both trying to solve the mystery of the death of her best friend and exonerate her father from a series of false accusations. In Season Five of Buffy our heroine was attempting to confront a hell goddess bent upon killing her sister. In both of these instances the plot gave the series a unity that THE O.C. always lacks. Instead it consists of a host of smaller stories; good stories, but a multiplicity of smaller narratives that are not terribly unified. In the end, that is the only thing that keeps THE O.C. from rivaling my favorite series, the inability to tell a Big Story.

Nonetheless, THE O.C. is an exceptionally well-done series with a group of characters that are exceptionally easy to like. The first season was very good, the second season perhaps even better, and this leaves me looking very much forward to the third season.
4 people found this helpful
Katie LCReviewed in the United States on December 23, 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars
This show is so much fun!
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I rented this show on DVD a few months ago and now, every time I see it in the video store, I smile. I had such fun watching this. It is very well written, the story is not only very entertaining but at times also very poignant. And it has a very real quality to it: it captures late teenage relationships and school life very well.

My favorites in the show are Summer and Seth. Seth Cohen is one hilarious character! The actor that plays him is exceptional. And the cahrachetr of Summer is also outstanding. Although I like the whole cast, these two really stand out and are, in my opinion, what makes the show stand out as an original.

The adults in the series are also very good. I love the wicked and beautiful Mrs Cooper: this character is so dark, OTT and camp. She is a hoot! And I also love the Kirsten and Sandy Cohen husband and wife team: what a great couple. Sandy Cohen in particular is a great male character, full of warmth, integrity and humor. In fact most of the characters in this show are very interesting and exceptionally well drawn out. I really enjoyed this show. I have watched season two and will eagerly watch season 3 when it comes out.

Highly recommended.
2 people found this helpful
HReviewed in the United States on September 29, 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars
It will get you hooked!
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I was a big fan of Dawson's creek, that's why I decided to buy The O.C Season 1. The plot is basically about the bad guy (Ryan) coming to live with the rich family ( The Cohens) and falling in love with the poor rich girl next door (Marissa). Add in some amazing actors and really funny storylines (and I mean that, all the episodes had me laughing out loud at some point) and you're set to watch the show.

I liked Seth from all the characters, beacuse he was totally funny and I think every teenage guy or girl can relate to. All the episodes are jam-packed, with so much going on! You have to keep your eyes and ears alert at all times, or you might miss something.

The scenery is awesome! All the house are beautiful, and the sea is breathtaking... California looks heavenly :)

The only part I didn't like actually was Marissa - Mischa Barton. She couldn't act as well as the others, when they all seemed natural, she was really faking it. But she gets better in the later episodes.

I gave The O.C 4 stars not because of Marissa though. The supposedly 17 year old "kids" do nothing but party and think of partying all day long. They drive to other states to party, and come back past midnight, to wake up to another party. And by party I don't just mean over the top dresses and decoration, but also drugs, sex, fights ; the works. Yes, they do focus on work, real life, and financial problems, but still, it's too much.

Having said that, I loved the show, and nothing is perfect :)And I look forward to buying season 2!
4 people found this helpful
JHReviewed in the United States on August 2, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
First Season Lived Up to the Hype
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The FOX Television Network scored a major hit in 2003 when The O.C. premiered on August 5. The show at first seemed to be the next logical step in updating the Beverly Hills 90210 and Dawson's Creek teen soap genre for the 2000s. In many ways it improved on the formula in its first season and used up and coming music stars to propel the action on screen, making stars of little known recording artists in the process. However, the show's quick rise to popularity is often compared to its equally swift fall. But that's not to say that the first season was a mediocre one.

I didn't catch the show during the 2003-2004 TV season, but viewed the entire season on the subsequently released DVD set. The story centers around fish-out-of-water Ryan, a brooding, bad-boy teenager who moves in with a rich Newport Beach family in Southern California. The Cohens are a family with money - mother Kirsten works for her rich father, who is at odds with father Sandy, a local attorney. It's Sandy who represents Ryan in a case and ultimately invites him into his home.

The key partnership in the series is between Ryan and Seth, the Cohen's son. The show centers around dorky Seth's relationship to bad-boy Ryan, who is sort of like the big brother he never had. The boys juggle relationships with fellow classmates Marissa and Summer, while tackling the usual blend of teen drama along the way.

I always think I've seen it all when I see a teen drama like Beverly Hills 90210, which was remixed for the late nineties with Dawson's Creek. But The OC somehow manages to be just as good, if not better, during its first season. The first half of the season was particularly good, with things slowing down after a plot involving an unstable friend of Marissa's named Oliver, who develops an obsessive crush. Other plots involve Marissa's struggle with alcohol and the divorce of her mother and father.

Perhaps the slight lag during the last quarter of the season kicked off the amazingly swift downfall of the series. In the end, four seasons aired, each with a major percentage of viewer loss in the ratings. Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, Benjamin McKenzie, Kelly Rowan, Rachel Bilson and Peter Gallagher are the main cast of stars that propelled this FOX drama into an overnight sensation that burned out way before it should have.

(I originally posted this review at my personal website: jasonhink.com)
One person found this helpful
ShellsReviewed in the United States on April 30, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great show
Verified purchase
Price was great, for .99cent an episode might as well buy the season for 4.99. Loved this show when it first came out felt like watching it glad prime video had it.
LJReviewed in the United States on April 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Welcome To The OC!
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A great drama show from the early 2000's! This season is one of the best from the series and definetly worth a journey to The OC
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