25. The O.C.
Air Dates: August 3, 2003 – February 22, 2007
Stars: Mischa Barton, Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, Benjamin McKenzie, Melinda Clarke, Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan, Tate Donovan, Olivia Wilde, Autumn Reeser, Willa Holland, Alan Dale
Despite simply being about a kid from the wrong side of the tracks rubbing elbows with the Newport Beach elite, The O.C. has been off the air for about six years and people still quote, love, and rewatch the series obsessively.
How could they not? It was too ripe with dirty, pretty things. In the first episode, alone, we have grand theft auto, cocaine, and a threesome at a high school party's bathroom.
It didn't just introduce a generation to a new standard of teen drama, it introduced it to a whole new perfectly-packaged lifestyle. And it was unavoidable. What every other kid wore, listened to—did you honestly think about Death Cab for Cutie before Seth Cohen?—or liked in general could somehow be traced back to The O.C. Hell, the series' popularity even inspired the now-classic MTV reality show Laguna Beach. —TA