Back before Gossip Girl made you want to hook a Bass and settle on the Upper East Side, and way before reality set in and you realized you can barely afford a studio in Bed-Stuy, there was The O.C.'s Newport Beach — that is, the fictional version of Newport Beach — offered a land of glamour and promise. The sunny skies were clouded by adolescent melodrama, and, even though it wasn't cool that people were getting shot all the time, it was more interesting than Physics class. We all had a moment when we wanted to pull a Ryan Atwood, because, let's face it, The O.C. & its version of Newport certainly provided a strong argument for moving there.
OK, Seth sort of hated the place for being a vapid hellhole and couldn't wait to leave for the East Coast. But you know Seth. He hates anything that isn't Summer, comics, and Death Cab for Cutie. His negativity aside, there are more than enough reasons to yearn for that sweet, glamorous Newport life.
So, as we're trapped on our laptops in a nonstop societal rat race and lamenting the wonders of television, let's acknowledge all the unique beauties of the real (fake) O.C.
1. The Harbor School is eternally forgiving and can get you into a top University, felonies be damned!
Kirsten urges Ryan to enroll, hoping that an elite education will erase 16 years of damage and that punching habit. It half works. Likewise, you can commit any crime, and still retain your status as a student. Honestly, anything short of literally shooting a guy won't get you expelled. Even when Marissa tested that theory and temporarily switched schools, they eventually welcomed her back. Oh, Marissa!
2. Have a free Saturday night? In Newport, every weekend is filled with charity fashion shows and crazed ragers.
Or, hey, if you feel like taking a quick vacation, you're in luck! The stars from your favorite TV show are in town, and they want to invite you to a party in L.A. Isn't Newport rich with opportunity?
3. Even "regular" big events are a thousand times better, from Cotillions to Prom night.
Like Gossip Girl, there is no shortage of drama and punching-in-the-face at either of these things, which makes your high school dances in the gymnasium seem really second rate.
4. It's so easy to sneak in alcohol to literally anywhere!
This is wonderful if you're underaged, and fantastically convenient if you're a budget-conscious alcoholic adult. But, let's not be ridiculous. If you live in Newport, than you don't have to worry about things like "budgets."
5. Everyone is smoking hot, from secondary characters to (and especially) old people.
Incidentally all the "old" people are often waaaaay too young to be having children, but that doesn't take away from the Sandy's aggressively sexual eyebrows, or the fact that Julie's the hottest character in that entire town.
6. Chanel bags grow on trees.
How else would Marissa have so many of them? Little known fact, actually, Newport's biggest exports are Chanel and vodka, the latter of which you can pick fresh off the bushes at Smirnoff Orchards.
7. Unwilling to commit to Newport longterm? Staying in town is easy, so long as you have a healthy interest in James Dean knock-off bad boys.
I feel like it was always so easy to set up camp in Newport so long as you signed some contract to be Ryan's love-interest-of-the-week. Not a bad deal, to be honest.
8. The truth is, Newport is a magical land that facilitates all of your wildest dreams.
It's just chock full of rags-to-riches stories! Like when Ryan committed a major crime and got mercifully taken in by the sweetest family in town! Or when Julie used her feminine charms to move herself out of the trailer park and into (several) gorgeous mansions.
Newport is proof that the American dream is real, and you can be successful... so long as someone adopts you or decides to put a ring on it. Plus, Seth Cohen is there, so, what else do you need, really?
Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy (9)