R

yan Atwood is a troubled, 16-year-old kid living in the rough, crime-ridden neighborhood of Chino located in San Bernadino, California, who gets thrown out of his own house by his alcoholic and neglectful mother and her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend after Ryan gets into trouble with the law when his self-destructive older brother, Trey, implicates him in the theft of a car. Ryan is appointed, Sanford 'Sandy' Cohen, a public defender, who takes the homeless youth to his house in the posh and picturesque neighborhood of Newport Beach, Orange County, (the OC) and lets Ryan stay in the guest house against the protests from Sandy's wife Kristin and their bumbling and socially handicapped son Seth. Ryan forms a bond with Marissa Cooper, a friendly, but similarly emotionally troubled teenage girl living next door who introduces Ryan to the world of beach parties and life of the idle rich in Newport Beach. But Ryan's feelings for Marissia are hampered by Marissa's egotistical jock boyfriend, Luke Ward, whom takes an instant dislike to Ryan. Marissa's father Jimmy, a financial stockbroker, begins having problems with his business and tries to get out of the hole he's in to keep his narcissistic, gold-digging wife, Julie, from finding out.

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