Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sandy Cohen History Lesson: Everything The O.C. Insider!


After the huge success of season 1 of The O.C. an exclusive The O.C. fan site was created in 2004 by Fox and The WB. It was called The O.C. Insider also known as OCI. For the first few years the website required a paid membership for the small-small price of 24.95 per year (in 2006 it became free for everyone).

Being an OCI member got you unlimited access to exclusive content such as cast interviews, video clips and pics, downloads for your computer or flip phone, fashion/style tips, access to message boards, discounts on O.C. gear and merchandise as well as the OCI Quarterly Magazine. In other words if you had an OCI membership you were all that and a bag of oats.

Furthermore the O.C. Insider Magazine would occasionally contain a trial membership card to the O.C. Insider website which would allow a friend to access the site for a certain amount of hours. Basically the gateway O.C. drug, giving you a glimpse of what the grass tasted like on the other side of the pasture..Then leaving you wanting more!



As you can see in the above time capsule, this is a real capture of the long defunct OC Insider website. This is what the site looked like in 2005 complete with flashy flash objects minty enough to make an epilepsy sufferer have a seizure or an O.C. super fan high and eat a ton of bagels!

Benefits of being a member stated on the site:

"THE OC INSIDER MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES:
 - A three-issue, one-year subscription to The OC Insider magazine, published by Titan Publishing
 - One year of access to theocinsider.com - the online component of The OC Insider and the ultimate online The O.C. destination which includes exclusive behind the scenes video and photos, weekly music streams and downloads, chats with talent, fashion and make-up tips
 - A membership kit, which includes a letter from series creator, Josh Schwartz, posters, and other exciting and exclusive The O.C. products.
 - Discounts and early purchases at theOCInsiderShop.com. Many exclusive items and hot fashions not available anywhere else 
- Hundreds of dollars in FREE wireless downloads!"



One of the coolest area's of the site was the pool house page!


Inside the pool house page you could download buddy icons, screen savers for your PC, flip through Seth's sketchbook and play awesome games like Casino Night Hold'em or Fold'em or Blackjack (the count goes way higher with multiple decks).


Everything The O.C has rescued some of the digital download files featured on The O.C. Insider including the two games above. They can be located in the downloads section of the site! You can thank us later!


The sites concept was pretty genius and pretty revolutionary for the time. Not only could The O.C. make money on the screen but it could also make money in digital subscription form all the while proving a ton of great content.  To hardcore fans this was a no-brainer especially keeping yourself entertained in between waiting for episodes to air. An OCI membership card, talk about the perfect Chrismukkah stocking stuffer!


The awesome video interviews were probably one of the best things going for the site. Many of which can still be found floating on YouTube by searching "The O.C. Insider". Above is an example of the typical question and answer format. It's okay Sandy your guilty pleasure is safe with us!

 

Additionally Starbrand.tv partnered with The O.C. Insider and started cross promoting their site that sold various merchandise, clothing, bags, wall art, electronics (flip phones and Ipods) that were featured on The O.C. as well as other shows of that era.


This allowed you to basically replicate the styles of the characters you loved as well as allowing you emulate their room decorations etc for a price (sometimes pretty hefty)..Giving you the capabilities of living your own unique alternate O.C. universe of sorts, you could be the main character of The O.C. wherever you lived and in complete bliss.


If you wanted Ryan's hoodie from season 2 episode 1, you could buy it..If you Marissa's top featured in X episode you could buy that too. Everything from Seth's hair wax to Sandy's public defender tie collection could be bought! Starbrand.tv would include a store locator or brand website if you were interested in purchasing an item. If this was done now they would have included a buy it now Amazon link. Starbrand.tv also did this with other TV shows with great success.

Both sites lasted awhile after the series was over. The O.C. Insider was taken down in late 2015 and Starbrand.tv was acquired by Popsugar, the site was later taken down as well. There is now a ton of copy-cat sites doing the same thing that Starbrand did. Here at Everything The O.C. we try to research and archive forgotten O.C history for you. That way fans of the future will still be able to know the way things were, not myth's but pure facts and legends!



So now you know, put that on your bagel and schmear it!