Whether you want to admit it or not, The OC was (and still is) a cultural phenomenon, something that, at least for me, defined a very forming period in my life. Debuting on August 5, 2003, and ending all too soon on February 22, 2007, members of the Millennial Generation laughed, cried and winced as we watched the lives of the Cohen family and everyone they touched in Newport Beach unfold (or unravel).
I’d even go as far as saying that The OC played a pretty heavy part in my decision to move to California and attend the University of San Diego for my freshman year of college. Seriously. The first time I ever got successfully drunk in California was in Laguna Beach – by that time, The OC had inspired MTV’s “Laguna Beach – The Real OC,” so my giddiness was doubly amplified.
I was also exposed to bands that would become some of my favorites thanks to The OC and the genius of Alexandra Patsavas and creator Josh Schwartz, who would sometimes write entire episodes based off of a song. I mean, does it get any better than that? Can we talk about the giant Death Cab for Cutie Transatlanticism poster in Seth’s bedroom?
Music, and the show’s passionate dedication to good music, is one of the reason’s why it’s still my favorite TV show of all time. The music used was able to capture the beautiful, almost magical elements of California along with the undercurrents of corruption, depression and forlornness living at the edge of the continent brings with it. And so, I give you my 10 favorite musical moments of The OC:
10. The Pogues – “Love You ‘Till the End” Season 4, Episode 4 “The Metamorphosis” : Tears. So. Many. Tears
9. Sufjan Stevens – “For the Widows in Paradise; For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti” Season 3, Episode 15 “The Heavy Lifting” : We all didn’t care much for Johnny, but I kinda did a little bit more because of this scene. Also, Sufjan.
8. Ryan Adams – “Wonderwall” Season 1, Episode 19 “The Heartbreak” : Bai.
7. Imogen Heap – “Hide and Seek” Season 2, Episode 24 “The Dearly Beloved” : Slow motion murk, literally.
6. Rachael Yamagata – “Worn Me Down” Season 2, Episode 11 “The Second Chance” : Can I open up a real life Bait Shop?
5. Patrick Park – “Life’s A Song” Season 4, Episode 16 “The End’s Not Near, It’s Here” : Series finale. Dead.
4. Matt Pond PA – “Champagne Supernova” Season 3, Episode 14 “The Rainy Day Women” : Quite possibly one of the best scenes in the history of television. Yep, it’s the upside down Spider-Man kiss.
3. Jeff Buckley – “Hallelujah” Season 1, Episode 27 “The Ties that Bind” : Are you even kidding me right now? Also, Marissa starts to become drunk Marissa again, which was everyone’s favorite.
2. Radiohead – “Fog” Season 3, Episode 20 “The Day After Tomorrow” : Leave it to The OC to feature a little known acoustic version of Radiohead’s brilliant “Fog” to soundtrack the continued problems between Seth and Summer, Sandy and Kiki, and the emotional re-building of Summer and Marissa’s friendship.
1. Coldplay – “Fix You” Season 2, Episode 23 “The O.Sea” : I mean everything is going to shit in this episode and then we are murked with “Fix You,” possibly Coldplay’s most depressing song, that made its debut on this episode. I’m crying while writing this, thanks.