The lives of a group of friends and families have been forever changed by the arrival of an outsider to their affluent oceanside community of Newport Beach in Orange County, California. When Ryan Atwood (series star Benjamin McKenzie) was taken in from the streets of Chino by then public defender Sandy Cohen (series star Peter Gallagher), the Cohens had no idea how Ryan's arrival would affect them and those around them. Initially resistant, Kirsten (series star Kelly Rowan) opened her heart to accept the outsider just as she had accepted Sandy, another outsider, into her old-money Newport Beach family. In Ryan, their "adorkable" son, Seth (series star Adam Brody), found a friend and brother with whom he could share his quirky way of looking at the world. Seth also struggles with the trials and tribulations of winning the heart of Summer Roberts (series star Rachel Bilson), his lifelong crush.