The Same Young Story

The appealing teen drama The O.C. proves that piling on soap-opera cliches isn't always a bad thing

A reviewer could give away everything in the pilot of The O.C. (Fox, Tuesdays, 9 p.m. E.T.) and really give away nothing. He could say, for instance, that when disadvantaged teen Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie) gets busted for car theft, kicked out of his house in Chino, Calif., and brought to ritzy Newport Beach by his public defender, Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher), his weekend visit will become permanent. That when Ryan steps outside to sneak a smoke, he will run into the girl next door, his Troubled Future Love Interest. That the T.F.L.I. will have a Spoiled Rich Friend, a Mean...

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