Upon hearing “Californiaaaaaa here we cooooome” I will undoubtedly be filled with warm feelings of love for The O.C. Somehow it has been 10 years, an entire decade since we were introduced to the scandalous world of Newport Beach. That’s surprising not only because it feels like yesterday but also why was I watching that show at such a young age…? Age-appropriateness aside, The O.C. is seriously great; let’s all take a moment to reflect back on our most beloved characters. How could you not love the hunky, beater-wearing bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Ryan? Or the wispy, perfectly angsty Marissa with her endless supply of Chanel cross-bodies and denim mini skirts? How can you resist the geeky Seth Cohen that awakened an eternal love of indie, geeky boys in all of us? Even shallow Summer turned out to be loveable and sympathetic, even a hippie in a totally unbelievable plotline. Come on, these are classic characters, people!

The show read like a teenage soap opera. There were affairs with parents (what’s up, Julie Cooper), drug overdoses, alcoholism, dabbling with lesbianism, cheating- and that was only Marissa’s plotline. The ridiculous drama is why we all loved it so much. The dramatic, glamorous lives of these beautiful teenagers were fascinating. But part of its charm was that it acknowledged it’s own absurdity. Summer’s obsession with The Valley and Sherman Oaks: The Real Valley lightly poked fun at the viewers and the artificiality of The O.C. This is something I didn’t catch on to in 2003 but it shows a nice sense of humor I can appreciate now.

Every lazy Sunday here and there I will find myself going back to The O.C., to spend the day in the sunny glow of Newport Beach. It is escapist TV at its best. I will always love the O.C. I’ll always cry when Marissa dies. I’ll always swoon when Seth professes his love on the popcorn cart. I’ll always laugh when Luke says, “Welcome to the O.C. bitch.” And I’ll never refer to it as a guilty pleasure, because there is no shame in loving The O.C.