The series centers on Ryan Atwood, a troubled youth from a broken home who is adopted by the wealthy and philanthropic Sandy and Kirsten Cohen. Ryan and his surrogate brother Seth, a socially awkward yet quick witted teenager, deal with life as outsiders in the high class world of Newport Beach. Ryan and Seth spend much time navigating their relationships with girl next door Marissa Cooper, Seth’s childhood crush Summer Roberts, and the fast talking loner Taylor Townsend. Story lines deal with the culture clash between the idealistic Cohen family and the shallow, materialistic, and closed minded community in which they reside. The series includes elements of postmodernism, and functions as a mixture of melodrama and comedy.