Just a heads up, this post will contain spoilers for One Tree Hill.
I don’t understand why series decide to go on when the actor of their main protagonist doesn’t sign on for another season. They did it with The Office, etc – and that example is still alive in One Tree Hill.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I still enjoyed the seventh, eighth, and ninth seasons to varying degrees, but it just didn’t feel the same after Lucas and Peyton left the show. Quinn and Clay were pretty interesting, though they did somewhat feel like a rehash of Lucas and Peyton in certain ways. We got much deeper character development for Dan, which was awesome. Of course there was Brooke’s wedding.
I don’t mean to be a negative Nancy. There were definitely some interesting plotlines in the last three seasons – but do I feel like the interesting plots outweigh the boring, overused, and/or insulting ones? Not really. Just a lot of the same old, same old. This character’s parent (most likely mom) gets sick and/or dies (most likely cancer-related). This character gets in an accident (most likely car-related). This character gets stalked/abducted/etc. At some point there will be a shooting. This character gets trapped in a love triangle that doesn’t offer anything new to the series. Blah blah blah. Though Brooke’s bachelorette party episode kind of makes up for it.
In all honesty, rewatching the series, I think the best place to have ended the series was the season 4 finale. Mostly everything was nicely tied up! It really seemed more like a series finale than a season finale.
That being said, I did enjoy a lot of the storylines of the fifth and sixth seasons more than I did the final three. Of course there was Peyton truly coming into her own and we got a really introspective look into her mommy issues when she learned she might die if she gives birth. She doesn’t want to repeat the cycle that comes with a little girl growing up without her mother. The fact that she grew up without her mother, and then found her birth mother who also died, really made that plot line resonate for me.
One of the things I felt sixth season was thoroughly lacking was more closure between Lucas and Dan. No, I don’t think Dan and Lucas should have completely mended things between them. That would be insulting to Keith’s memory. But I felt a little disappointed that the majority of the storylines involving Dan’s daddy issues surrounded Nathan, even though it was Lucas who Dan mostly wronged time and time again (which isn’t to say that Dan didn’t also wrong Nathan, because he did – horribly).
The Nanny Carrie bullshit arc was a yawnfest, and frankly annoying and insulting.
While I didn’t get much enjoyment out of Nathan’s plot lines when I first watched, as I get older, I enjoy the themes a bit more. Nathan finds himself paralleling his father more and more as he endures a horrible injury sometime between the ending of fourth season and the beginning of fifth. It really puts him on Dan’s level as he has to decide whether he’s going to let his resentment and bitterness ruin his relationship with his own son and wife, or if he will let it go so that he doesn’t turn his son into another little Nathan (the Asshole Nathan). I think that was a really interesting dynamic for them to play with, and a fitting one for Nathan – though I did feel that it was jut a tiny bit of a rehash from Lucas’s story arc in seasons two and three when he discovers he has inherited Dan’s heart condition and won’t be able to play basketball like he used to, which more or less was mostly because Chad Michael Murray sucked at playing basketball.
I didn’t find Haley’s plotlines particularly illuminating, they mostly seemed to center around Nathan and Jamie. She really lost herself I feel, which is something I think the last three seasons do manage to fix. I do enjoy the scene in the fifth season where she and Nathan begin to do the things they used to enjoy in order to sort of “find themselves” again – that was pretty cool.
I will not even get into how furious and frustrated I felt with the show’s treatment of Rachel Gatina. She quickly became one of my favorite characters in the third season, and that certainly didn’t change in the fourth – only became more dynamic. I was very disappointed when she didn’t rejoin the main cast after fourth season, and even more disappointed with how severely they loss out on so many opportunities. I mean, fuck – Chase is not that interesting. I’m sorry, writers, but he’s honestly a borefest. Why not bring Rachel back and seriously shake things up a bit? Not to mention how awfully they treat the subject of drug addiction. Seriously, I know One Tree Hill is not the best when it comes to serious topics – but if you’re not going to do it justice, don’t make Rachel a drug addict. Pissed me the fuck off.
But MOST OF ALL… besides the awesomeness that was Lucas and Peyton’s epic romance of fifth and sixth seasons, I have to say I ADORED Brooke’s storylines from beginning to end in the fifth and sixth seasons. Actually, just her growth in GENERAL from the first to sixth seasons was an amazing watch. I’ll probably go more into detail on Brook in another post.
That being said, while I feel like the first four seasons make a dynamic and cohesive show by themselves, the fifth and sixth seasons offer enough that I’m okay including them. The last three seasons… not so much. That’s also something I plan on getting into more at a later point. It isn’t that there wasn’t enjoyable aspects to them, because there were, but there was a lot left to desire.
Anyway, thanks for reading the post. I know this is ending rather abruptly. Forgive me! I’ve run out of steam and need to sleep. Let’s get more into detail later, k?
Until Next Post,