The O.C., which went off the air 10 years ago this week, was much more than just a Fox primetime soap.
Yes, the slickly-produced and amusingly self-aware series trailed the exploits of a group of privileged Southern California teens, often to dramatic and hyperbolic effect.
But the hit series, which lasted from 2003 to 2007, captured something special in the zeitgeist, reflecting the popularity and wealth-fueled fantasies of young people across the country.
Soon, every girl in every high school across the country was side-parting their hair like Marissa and bitching about their stepdads or adopting Summer-worthy upspeak.
Above, revisit scorching Maxim photo shoots of the girls who defined a generation: Mischa Barton (Marissa) and Rachel Bilson (Summer).