Show of hands: Who, at one point or another, had a Music From The O.C. CD?
I sure did. In fact, I had four (there were a total of six released over the run of the show from 2003-07, including a Chrismukkah one). The O.C. introduced so many indie bands — like Death Cab for Cutie, Rooney and more — to a young, mainstream audience. It started out as a behind-the-scenes thing: Creator Josh Schwartz liked the music, so he put it on the show.
When the dramedy took off, people started noticing the tracks being played behind the (sexy, cool, nerdy) action, so it got written into the show. Seth Cohen started dropping references to Death Cab in his fast-paced monologues, and after that it wasn’t long before Seth, Summer, Ryan, and Marrissa headed off to a Rooney show midway through season one…with special guest stars Rooney!
It only escalated from there. By season 2 there was a cool new hangout for the gang, The Bait Shop, and bands like The Killers, The Walkmen and Modest Mouse stopped by to play their music while the teens were on their (sexy, cool, nerdy) dates. All the while, there were online playlists for each episode where you could learn more about the artists featured in the episode. If you were a fan of the show, it was easy to become just as obsessed with Patrick Park (who, come to think of it, sang over a lot of Seth Cohen’s big life moments) or Imogen Heap as you were with Summer Roberts’ wardrobe.
Perhaps no musical moment on the show was more iconic than the season 2 finale, which heavily featured Heap’s music, partiuclarly for the climactic final season when Marissa shoots Trey. (Typing that phrase out years later still gives me an urge to text all my friends and discuss.) The moment and music were so popular that they were spoofed on Saturday Night Live (with Shia LaBeouf!) years later.
In honor of Flashback Friday, reminisce below, and tell me your favorite O.C. musical moment: Was it the “Hallelujah” of the season 1 finale? The series finale montage by Park? WHAT ABOUT THAT TIME SETH RUSHED TO THE AIRPORT TO CONVINCE ANNA NOT TO GO TO PITTSBURGH? (Nada Surf). There are no wrong answers.