Samantha Kirschberg
August 02, 2013 7:00 am

Am I the only one that creates playlists for shows (specifically The O.C.)?

California… here we come. As soon as I hear those words, I smile. Familiar faces welcome me home to Orange County… even though I’ve never actually lived there.

The O.C. is turning 10 years old on August 5th and I’m looking for multiple ways to celebrate. Obviously, I’m throwing a party for my favorite show, but I’m also celebrating the music.

The show had a huge impact on who I am as a person today. In high school, I made all my friends fans of the show. After party nights, we’d wake up and nurse our hangovers with an iced tea and O.C. marathon. One of my first college loves was a fan of the show and the show’s music. I think it was a part of why we instantly connected. He was sucha Seth Cohen and I was a Marissa- even though those two characters never hooked up. They had things in common. Actually, I had a lot of Coop characteristics, but maybe I was more of an Anna in the situation. He transferred after freshman year making our goodbye the reverse of the Anna and Seth goodbye. Nada Surf’s ‘If You Leave’ should’ve been playing in the background.

The music of The O.C. changed me. I’ve gone through many musical phases in my life from Backstreet Boys and pop music to Blink 182 to Long Island emo punk bands. The O.C. introduced me to the wonderful world of indie music; “Seth Cohen Rock” as some call it. Whenever I needed new music, I’d go here to find new bands and artists to listen to.

I’ve always been a huge fan of mixtapes. If I didn’t know what to give someone for their birthday or holiday present, I’d give them the gift of music. Sweet indie music. Awesome Christmas compilations. Mixes filled with bands I’ve loved or just recently discovered and wanted to share.

Marissa bent over into the tent and handed Ryan The Model Home Mix, “Hey..here’s a little bit of everything…let your education begin.” And that’s exactly how I feel when I create a playlist.  “I listen to the same music as Marissa Cooper. I’m going to kill myself.” Clearly, Seth wasn’t into Marissa having the same likes as him, but I am.

To this day- my favorite soundtrack is The O.C.: Mix 1. I love every single song on it. Re-watching the show now and those magical moments between the characters would be nothing without the accompanying music.

The pilot episode ends with ‘Honey and the Moon’. The music starts up as Ryan says goodbye to Seth by slapping him in the face with a map. Sandy drives him off in the golden light as Ryan gets a last glimpse of Marissa. Doves and Spoon provide awesome background music while the boys go boarding and biking on the pier. Seth and Summer slow dancing to Ryan Adam’s ‘Wonderwall’. Road tripping to Tijuana with some Death Cab. ‘Champagne Supernova’ playing while Summer leaves Zach at the airport for the memorable Spiderman kiss with Seth. Ryan and Marissa’s first kiss on the Ferris wheel- as soon as their lips touch, South’s ‘Paint the Silence’ starts up.

These scenes would be pretty dull without the amazing music that complements them. I don’t know how you can listen to Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’ without thinking of The Model Home Mix Marissa made for Ryan or the season 1 finale when Ryan leaves and Seth sails off into the horizon or Marissa’s heartbreaking death scene. (I know Imogen Heap sings the last one, but still.) Hearing ‘Dice’ I will always see Anna choosing Seth on New Year’s, Sandy and Kirsten falling out of their rut and Ryan getting to Marissa just as the clock strikes 12.

This is a playlist of songs that I feel would’ve been on The O.C. if the show had continued or if the songs had come out during the show’s run.

I can see Seth and Summer dancing at their wedding to ‘Stay Young, Go Dancing’. Seth and Ryan with Marissa on his back cruising down the pier to ‘Creep In A T-Shirt’. Miniature Tigers and Grouplove playing sets at The Bait Shop. Summer confused about being in love with Seth while ‘Heartbeats’ plays in the background. GIVERS’ ‘Saw You First’ would definitely be a Ryan and Marissa song. Zee Avi playing as the scenes change from Sandy and Kirsten to the Beauty, Braun, Brains, Boobs gang to Alex working at The Bait Shop to Julie Cooper finding her new husband.  And so on.

Hope you enjoy the playlist and plan on celebrating this amazing show’s birthday!

Featured Image O.C. Mix 1 cover edited by me in A Beautiful Mess app, other photos from here, here, here, and here.

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