Fashion deisgner Ava Gregory's sister died and left her three kids in her care. Ava has to break the news to her three housemates, Johnny, her ex-boyfriend (who weirdly, never moved out?), business partmner Susannah, and surfer Jay (future True Blood star Ryan Kwanten!) that three kids are moving in! The foursome do their best to be mentors and friends to Braden (remember Jesse McCartney?), Nikki, and Derek, who each mourn their parents in their own ways. Summerland was a hipper version of 7th Heaven, just as family friendly, but with a lot more edge.
Party of Five
Charlie Salinger became an insta-dad to his four younger siblings when their parents were killed in an accident. Charlie was 24, in his prime womanizing years, and struggled with his sudden responsibility. Adding to his exasperation, Charlie found himself raising 3 teenagers, when he'd just barely escaped his teen years himself. Party of Five almost always ended with a tearjerking moment, and with stars like Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Neve Campbell, and future Mean Girl Lacey Chabert, there was something for girls and boys alike who shamelessly watched every week.
Max, Isabel, and Michael are just regular teens, navigating high school...who happened to also be aliens. Liz, Maria, and Alex are their respective girlfriends and boyfriend, and help keep their secret while also keeping them out of trouble and teaching them how to be a little more human. Stuff starts getting real once the FBI is on their trail, alien clones are introduced, and our teen aliens need to choose their new lives, or their destinies. This sci-fi soapy teen drama was undeniably addictive.
Ryan Atwood left Chino (ew!) and moved to Newport, turning every teen's world upside down; he helped his best friend Seth get the girl of his dreams in Summer (Captain Oats + Princess Sparkle = Love), he broke up longtime couple Marissa and Luke and claimed Marissa for his own, then saved Marissa from creepy stalker Oliver, lit a model home on fire, hooked up with Seth's future grandma, befriended Luke (whose dad was gay, and Ryan was the only one who knew), and all of that was just the first season. Welcome to the O.C., Ryan. There was never a dull moment in Newport, and The O.C. was always the topic of conversation the next morning, which was why we never missed an episode.
When high schooler Loren Tate won a songwriting contest that gave her the chance to work with Eddie Duran, she knew her life would never be the same. She never guessed that it would include supermodel Chloe, Eddie's awful fiance whose jealousy made her thwart everything Loren did. Chloe never guessed that her ex, and childhood friend, Tyler would re-enter her life, hell bent on sharing her secret with Eddie...not only was she lying about her identity, but she was also the one who killed Eddie's mother in a car crash. This Nick at Nite soap was everything a soap should be, the guiltiest of guilty pleasures.
Brooke and Sam were on opposite ends of the high school spectrum. Brooke was popular, and Sam was not. Brooke was a cheerleader, Sam a quiet reporter. So when their parents announce their engagement, it obviously wasn't cool with either of them. They teamed up to break up their parents, and in the process, they grew to like each other... kind of (come on, you had to know it wasn't going to be THAT easy!)