1. Bingeing on the first four seasons of One Tree Hill
End of list.
It may be wrong, but it feels so right. I have been mourning the loss of beloved shows of late and even tried to go back and re-watch Lost(too soon) to revive those old feelings. One Tree Hill ended this year and I cried. But then I realized I didn’t watch the early years. Revival ahoy! So I have been streaming the shit on Netflix and maxing out our data usage in an ongoing marathon. And I realized that there was a reason I didn’t watch the show to begin with.
I started watching the show somewhere in the end of the fourth season because my bestie’s littlest sister forced me to. Trust me, she is both persuasive and relentless. You would have watched too. Somewhere along the way I realized I was watching when littlest sis wasn’t there. And then somewhere further along the way I realized I loved these silly characters and cared what drama they were enduring and where their lives were heading. So, even though it’s kind of like a daytime soap with better music and less staring contemplatively off into the distance, I was hooked and couldn’t stop watching.
What they got wrong:
1. Um, the acting. Pretty young things, mostly inexperienced, do not typically deliver work deserving of critical acclaim. And as much as I loved The Cutting Edge(toe pick), Karen the early years is less than stellar as an actress.
2. Basketball. Omg, booring.
3. Chad Michael Murray. Did not work for me on The Gilmore Girls. Really did not work for me on Dawson’s Creek. Epic douche. He and Peyton together made me hardcore wrist slitty. The day that Mr. and Mrs. Angsty McBroodpants left Tree Hill was a happy one in my house.
4. Technology. They did actually get it all right for the times, but never have I ever seen such a blatant depiction of the we’re-hip-to-the-times-itis. They’re all like, Mouth has a podcast! We text! We are on the internets finding stuffs! We do that ridiculous thing T-Mobile peeps do where they use their phones like it’s a walkie talkie! We get it. You’re hip to the times.
5. Portraying teens fully capable of raising themselves. There were only two consistent sets of parents depicted throughout the teenage years. Four of the main characters lived with little or no adult supervision. The kids were constantly drinking and having sex with multiple partners and no one was telling them, calm down ya little ho’s. No one got an STD, no one got unexpectedly preggers except the married chick. Probably not the kind of role models we’re looking to for our kids.
What they got right:
1. Bethany Joy Lentz. The girl is pure sunshine and magic. So authentic. I hope she comes back to teevee.
2. Dan Scott. Totally over the top, totally awesome.
3. The music. A vast majority of the music featured on the show was decent to good and while I may not have been a fan of all of it, I loved how they used indie musicians and really celebrated a genre not typically utilized in mainstream teen fare. They even used names of songs as episode titles. They also integrated the musicians into the show as actors. It personalized the music and added another layer of relatability to the characters and their stories.
4. The relationship between Haley and Nathan. In my opinion this is what held the show together and made it acceptable to have brothers killing brothers, heart conditions, Russian mafia kidnappings and fathers turned cult leaders. All the crazy sauce stuff was just set dressing to this sweet love story confirming if it’s worked at hard enough, true love really can overcome all.
5. The relationships between all of the characters. This is what it all really boils down to. There was a lovely familial chemistry between the Tree Hill’ers. They all seemed to genuinely care about each other. Even when they hated each other, they were still trying to make a birthday special or visiting someone in the hospital. That kind of affection breeds affection in those who keep watching week after week. I know it did in me.
6. Every now and then they full on knowledged ya.
“People don’t change.”
“But they can.”
“They just don’t because it’s easier not to.”
Or in the series finale in which they tell us to never stop reaching for our big, fluffy dreams. And that is the kind of model I want for my kid.