- 4 Seasons
The O.C. is a drama television series focused on the lives of teenage friends and their families. Set in the upscale beach town of Newport Beach in Orange County, California, the drama focuses on wrong-side-of-the-tracks Ryan Atwood who is taken in by the affluent Cohen family. Immediate conflict ensues, as the wealthy upper-class community is not very accepting of Ryan and his type. Each season follows Ryan and his friends as they try to navigate the unique community of Newport Beach. Ryan and his newly adopted brother Seth Cohen learn how to deal with school, family, friends, and the materialistic community in which they live. Marissa Cooper, childhood neighbor and friend of Seth, is also a focus of the show, and quickly becomes Ryan's love interest. As relationships develop and new characters are introduced, Ryan and Seth must find their place in society. The teens must learn how to deal with adult problems as they leave adolescence behind. It is also a transformation as they find themselves along the way, growing from teenagers into adulthood with every dramatic situation that comes along. Parents and other family members also have storylines. Sandy and Kristen Cohen, as well as Julie Cooper, have recurring storylines as the parents of the show's main characters. The storylines focus on many problems that the teenagers may be affected by, including alcoholism, bankruptcy, and divorce of the parents. Siblings and other family members make appearances and cause controversy, including some of Ryan's relatives. The teens, as well as the adults, must figure out how to deal with each new situation that conflicts with Newport Beach's family ideals.