Viewers hooked on new FOX teen drama ‘The O.C.’

Kimberly Vanderhoef

Old fans of teenage shows such as Dawson’s Creek and 90210 may want to check out the hot new show airing on FOX on Tuesday nights. Hip and innovative, The O.C. takes place in the extremely prosperous town Newport Beach, in Orange County, Calif.

The show is about a young man named Ryan Atwood who comes to Orange County following an unfortunate turn of events, and ends up changing the lives of many town residents.

Ryan, played by Benjamin McKenzie, struggles to find his place in the elite group of Newport residents and stirs up trouble along the way, unintentionally causing problems for this normally serene town. His emergence into their world causes them to feel threatened, as they are not accustomed to outsiders; especially ones of a lower class.

Ryan is taken in by his recently hired lawyer, Sandy Cohen, (Peter Gallagher) and his family. Kirsten Cohen (Kelly Rowan) his wife, is apprehensive of letting a young stranger into their house, but eventually welcomes Ryan into their home.

Their son, Seth befriends Ryan, although their relationship is not an instantaneous friendship. Seth’s character, played by Adam Brody, is not socially accepted or even noticed by his peers. Also unnoticed is his steadfast and long-time love for Summer Roberts, played by Rachel Bilson.

Summer’s best friend, Marissa Cooper, is played by Mischa Barton. In typical teen-drama fashion, Marissa plays Ryan’s unattainable love interest. There is an obvious connection between Ryan and Marissa that begins the first time they meet. Unfortunately Marissa has a boyfriend, Luke Ward (Chris Carmack), who fits the overprotective, tough guy, popular, rich-kid label. This spells trouble for Ryan.

Meanwhile, Marissa’s family is falling apart. Her father Jimmy Cooper (Tate Donovan),the financial advisor for the town, is trusted by many until his secret life of fraud and embezzlement is made public. Although he means well, his wife wants to divorce him.

Many Quinnipiac students have recently gotten hooked on the show, including freshman Lisa Levitch, who tries to see every episode. “If I can’t be there to watch it, I would make someone tape it for me. I look forward to Tuesday nights just for The O.C.,” she said.

Junior Interactive Digital Design major Stephanie Prato is also a big fan of The O.C. When asked if each week’s storyline surpasses the previous one, she said, “It must outdo the last one because I keep watching it.” She also believes that the show is a positive example for issues like diversity and class separation. Freshman Claire Gillen, a communications major, is also enthusiastic about the show. Although she didn’t watch it right from the beginning, she enjoys it and she feels that “the actors do a great job and play into their roles well.”

Will Ryan be able to win Marissa over? Will Seth be able to attract the attention of the extremely high-maintenance Summer? Will Mr. Cooper be able to save his family and his reputation? To answer these questions and more, viewers can tune in to the Fox network on Tuesday nights.