The O.C. is just one of those shows that I want to watch all the time. No matter if I’m sad, glad, angry, or just want to veg out on my couch for a few hours, it fits the bill. For those of you who don’t know the show, what, but it follows the story of protagonist Ryan Atwood, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who, after getting arrested with his older brother for stealing a car, gets fosters by his rich public defender’s family, the Cohens. Though he punches a lot of people as he gets acclimated, Ryan eventually becomes a member of the Cohen clan, and everyone mostly lives happily ever after.
One of the things that set this show apart from other teen dramas like One Tree Hill was that it appealed emotionally to a lot of different people. Parents watched with their kids, couples tuned in, and big groups of friends had The O.C. viewing parties. Whatever Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage were doing was working for them, even when the show spun off into Crazy Town in Season 3. Like I mentioned before, there’s really an episode of The O.C. that’s fit for every mood you’re in. If you’re not as well versed in the show as I am, I’ve rounded up a few suggestions for you.
When You’re Feeling Nostalgic About Your Ex Boyfriend Even Though You Know You Shouldn’t Be Together
Season 1, Episode 19: “The Heartbreak”
The plot: Ryan & Marissa work through the fact that Marissa didn’t heed Ryan’s warnings about Oliver, Seth & Summer come to terms with and consummate their relationship.
Why: This episode has relationship moments that run the gamut from sweet and thoughtful (Seth and Summer’s dance to “Wonderwall”) to tough and trying (Ryan and Marissa’s long look at the Oliver thing). It reminds you that while there are great moments in a relationship, there are also bad ones (a.k.a. reasons you split up in the first place).
When You Want To Go To Vegas But Can’t Afford It
Season 1, Episode 26: “The Strip”
The plot: Caleb, Jimmy, Sandy, Ryan, and Seth head to “the Vegas” for what is basically Caleb’s bachelor party.
Why: The episode shows why Vegas can be great — the pools, the gambling, the tawdry sheen of it all. But it also shows the bad parts of Vegas, including but not limited to, punching your ex-wife’s new husband in the face and getting conned by a high-end escort into partying with her and her friends for an expensive evening out.
When You’re Bitter About Your Dysfunctional Family
Season 2, Episode 11: “The Second Chance”
The plot: Kirsten invites her newfound sister Lindsay over to dinner with the family, and things do not go as expected.
Why: I’m the first to admit that the Lindsay storyline was almost as bad as the Oliver one, but I do so love to see Caleb Nichol squirm. The gist of this is that Caleb has been paying Lindsay’s mother child support since Lindsay was born, basically to keep his love child a secret. And Lindsay is kind of dating Ryan, who is her pseudo nephew. This all boils over at this dinner, leaving people with crazy families just a little reassured that yes, it can always get worse.
When You Hate Your Job
Season 2, Episode 3: “The New Kids On The Block”
The plot: Seth gets a job and Caleb’s legal issues threaten to leave both Sandy and Kirsten unemployed.
Why: When Seth got back from Portland, he decided he needed something to do, so he got a job at the Bait Shop, which was The O.C.’s version of the Peach Pit. Fair enough. Little did he know that Olivia Wilde’s Alex would have him cleaning toilets and stocking beers all the live long day. Not the best job, but not the worst. What is a worse job is working for Caleb’s The Newport Group and getting caught up in the many legality issues that Caleb rendered for himself.
When You Meet Your New Love’s Ex
Season 4, Episode 10: “The French Connection”
The plot: Ryan meets Taylor’s ex-husband — the one who wrote a book pretty much specifically about their lovemaking.
Why: Like the plot says, Taylor’s ex-husband wrote a best-selling book about their lovemaking. He’s also still kind of obsessed with her, throwing Ryan for a total loop. Here, Ryan struggles to figure out why Taylor even likes him if she was married to this French dude, and that is a totally relatable feeling if you meet your S.O.’s ex and you’re convinced that he or she is cooler than you.
These are just a few of the episodes of The O.C. that match your mood like a ring that’s about to turn a finger green. Give them a shot — I happen to know that Ryan Atwood cures nearly everything.
Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy (5)