Welcome to THE O.C. – where the lives of a group of families and friends have been altered by the arrival of an outsider to their Newport Beach community in Orange County, California.
By the time Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie) settled in after his first year in Newport Beach with Sandy (Peter Gallagher) and Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) Cohen and their son Seth (Adam Brody), the Cohen family had irrevocably changed.
After sailing to Portland, Seth (Adam Brody) returned home to reunite with the love of his life, Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson). But when the school year started, Ryan’s relationship with Marissa (Mischa Barton) had ended and Summer had met Zach (guest star Michael Cassidy), with whom Seth would compete all year for Summer’s affections. Marissa, on a constant search for love and companionship, had a secret fling with her family’s yard guy and then another relationship with the gorgeous and free-spirited manager of The Bait Shop, Newport’s all-ages concert venue.
Meanwhile, Kirsten, her father Caleb Nichol (Alan Dale) and his wife, Julie Cooper-Nichol (Melinda Clarke), launched a new magazine, “Newport Living.” And Sandy settled into private practice in a beachfront office where he had plenty of work to do protecting his family and a special friend from his past.
But as the year came to a close, nothing was as it appeared on the surface. Julie and Caleb’s marriage, constantly tested by both of their pasts, finally ended after Caleb’s sudden death. And just as Ryan and Marissa seemed back to the way they were, another outsider, Ryan’s brother, settled in Newport, changing their relationship forever.
When the series returns for season three, Seth, Summer, Ryan and Marissa will celebrate their senior year at Harbor High. And the return of Jimmy Cooper (Tate Donovan) to pull his family together after the emotional events of this season will see one family grow strong again – while another is challenged as the Cohens face Kirsten’s problems head-on in THE O.C.
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According to the Hollywood Reporter, Autumn Reeser (Taylor Townsend) is set to be upped to regular if The OC returns for a fourth season in the fall.