THE O.C. is a story of fathers and sons, husbands and wives and the relationships between a group of teens in Southern California.
Newport Beach, Orange County is an idyllic paradise: a wealthy, harbor front community where everything and everyone appears to be perfect. But beneath the surface is a world of shifting loyalties and identities, of kids living secret lives hidden from their parents and of parents living secret lives hidden from their children. RYAN ATWOOD (Benjamin McKenzie), a troubled teen from the wrong side of the tracks, is thrust into this world when SANDY COHEN (Peter Gallagher), an idealistic pro-bono public defender, invites him to stay in his guesthouse. Ryan soon learns that nothing is what it seems, and his arrival serves as the catalyst for forging new alliances, rekindling old flames and striking unlikely friendships.
Sandy's wife, KIRSTEN (Kelly Rowan), a wealthy and beautiful former homecoming queen and the perfect spouse, mother and businesswoman, isn't happy that Ryan has moved in. And she's worried about how the change will affect her and Sandy's teenage son, SETH (Adam Brody), a soulful dreamer ostracized by his peers. Meanwhile, MARISSA COOPER (Mischa Barton), the heartbreakingly beautiful girl next door, seems to glide through life effortlessly, that is, until the indiscretions of her wealthy father, JIMMY (Tate Donovan) threaten to break her world apart.