2003 was a fabulous time for low-rise jeans, Britney Spears, and platforms. But, it doesn’t stop there. 2003 was also the year we were all introduced to The OC, a show that would effectively ruin all of our lives. I mean what girl wasn’t waiting for Ryan Atwood to stumble upon their doorstep looking like a total badass to liberate them from their super privileged rich girl cage?
Not only that, but Sandy Cohen and Jimmy Cooper are way cooler than every dad you will ever know. Sandy’s actually funny and most importantly he always wants to do the right thing. (I’m willing to look past that whole Rebecca stunt, Sandy… but JUST THIS ONCE).
He’s always looking out for the underdogs and he’s really the backbone of the show. Why couldn’t my dad bring me home some strange kid from Chino to live with us? Because he’s just not as cool as Sandy Cohen (Also, dem eyebrows).
We all know Jimmy was a crook, a liar and a cheat but come on… he did it for his family!! (What would Kaitlin do without China?!) Jimmy only wanted to provide for his family but ended up getting shafted by literally everyone he cares about. When Jimmy wasn’t listening to Marissa’s endless white girl whines, acting as Julie’s emotional punching bag and being Kirsten’s favourite second choice, he was busy being the biggest DILF to ever grace television.
The OC taught me that bad boys secretly all have hearts of gold and we just have to dig super deep to find them. Like, sometimes, you have to dig so deep that you can never actually find it! But of course this wasn’t the case with Ryan Atwood. Ryan Atwood was a boy who was just waiting to be found.
When Ryan wasn’t busy saving Marissa from being a total idiot all the time, he was the underdog that we all loved to root for. His mom left him, his brother was a total dick, and his dad was never there.
Ryan tried playing it cool and acted like he could do it all on his own but Sandy Cohen knew better. SANDY COHEN JUST KNOWS, YOU GUYS. As a public defender that had to actually work his way up to his riches, he could see that Ryan wasn’t some regular-bad-boy-Chino-kid. Ryan was a secretly-good-bad-boy-Chino-kid.
Ryan made us all believe that if we were to ever be as dumb as Marissa there would be a guy who would be willing to save us (reality: no one actually cares. You’re probably just being an idiot). Remember when Ryan tried to warn Marissa about Oliver? Remember how she repaid him? Oh yeah, she didn’t. She just continued to shit all over him. HOW COULD YOU MARISSA? HOW DARE YOU?!
This guy’s just trying to do what’s best for everyone and what does he get in the end? He gets Taylor Townsend. Not only was I robbed of more seasons of the OC, but also I was robbed of a happy ending for Ryan Atwood.
Now let’s get to the token brunette best friend: every one judged Summer and accused her of being that typical dumb, pretty and popular girl. But she’s so much more than that! She’s strong, independent, smart and hilarious. She stands up for the people she loves. She does not cry over bitches on boats. She has a soft and caring heart. Five years after the show is cancelled and I STILL strive to be her.
And yeah, Summer lands the (debatably) best boyfriend on the show. Does that stop her from following her dreams and going to Brown? Hell no, it doesn’t! This is Summer Roberts. She’s not going to just follow her boyfriend to whatever school he goes to, she’s going to follow her dreams.
And was Seth understanding of Summer’s ambitions? Hell yes, he was because he knew Summer was a strong, intelligent woman who was going to “save the world”. Seth and Summer were, like, the cutest couple ever though, weren’t they? They were playful even when they fought and they loved each other so much that they could look past their differences!
All I ever wanted was that Seth/Summer dynamic. Except most times, passive aggressive relationships f@^*ing suck. I mean remember the time Seth left Summer on a sailboat for an entire summer and left her nothing but a note? Not cool, man.
Unlike Seth and Summer, in a real passive aggressive relationship, the banter isn’t hilarious, the fights don’t end with a playful eye roll, and your boyfriend doesn’t think it’s cute when you scream insults in his face (shocking, I know).
However, few flaws aside (let’s not forget the sailboat fiasco was only because he couldn’t stand a life without Ryan), Seth Cohen still remains the reason I have unrealistically high standards for men everywhere. He really does love Summer (even when she’s a total bitch to him) and he charms her by being hilarious, quirky and honest. He’s awkward, sarcastic and completely genuine. He’s the reason those “I heart Nerds” shirts existed circa 2005 (for the record: those shirts were and still are super lame).
He loves Death Cab For Cutie, Bright Eyes and the Shins. He wears tight graphic tees and skinny jeans. He has a skateboard and likes comic books. Need I say more? He is in over his head with hip street cred.
Seth Cohen is the reason girls (or maybe it was just me) search high and low for that quirky guy-who-is-funny-and-hot-and-loves-you-even-when-you’re-being-a-bitch. It’s like he’s kind of obsessed with you but at the same time it’s kind of flattering. Seth Cohen created the idea in our minds that there will be that one guy that will put up with all of our shit, no matter how much we push him away.
I curse and thank Josh Schwartz because growing up watching this show has set unrealistic standards for my life, and even at twenty years old I can’t seem to let them go. I’m still waiting for someone to turn me into a comic book character, have an affair with my sexy yard guy, and have two super hot bad boys fight over me.
That being said: I will find my Seth Cohen.
You’ll see. You’ll all see.
By Michelle Maniscalco, guest writer.