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AIRDATE
AUGUST 5, 2003
"Pilot"
Written by: Josh Schwartz
Directed by: Doug Liman

Orange County is an idyllic paradise: a wealthy coastal community where everything and everyone appears to be perfect. But beneath the surface is a world of shifting loyalties and identities - and family members carrying on secret lives.

When tough, guarded, fiercely intelligent 16-year-old Ryan Atwood (series star BENJAMIN McKENZIE) is arrested for participating in a car theft, idealistic pro-bono public defender Sandy Cohen (series star PETER GALLAGHER) is assigned to the case. But after Ryan's neglectful mother, Dawn (recurring guest star DAPHNE ASHBROOK), banishes Ryan from her house in Chino, Sandy becomes much more involved in Ryan's life than either of them expected. To the chagrin of Sandy's wife, Kirsten (series star KELLY ROWAN) - a wealthy and beautiful former homecoming queen and apparently the perfect spouse, mother and businesswoman - Sandy invites Ryan to stay overnight in the guesthouse of Sandy's lavish Newport Beach home. Kirsten worries how Ryan will influence the couple's teenage son, Seth (series star ADAM BRODY), a soulful dreamer ostracized by his peers.

Meanwhile, Ryan becomes attracted to Marissa Cooper (series star MISCHA BARTON), the heartbreakingly beautiful girl next door who seems to glide through life effortlessly. The indiscretions of Marissa's wealthy father, Jimmy (series star TATE DONOVAN), threaten to break her world apart, however. And Ryan and Seth quickly bond following a clash with some territorial teenagers, including Marissa's jealous boyfriend, Luke Ward (series star CHRIS CARMACK), at a beach party.


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