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My Least Favourite TV Shows - 1: One Tree Hill

Posted on the 18 September 2011 by Crapblog @crapblog
My Least Favourite TV Shows - 1: One Tree Hill

So the way I’ve ranked these shows is by the feeling of unexcitement I get when I get a new episode and realize I have to watch it. And this show comes out top.

Oh, One Tree Hill... I’ll start with the positive. When the show started, the parts about basketball were occasionally exciting. Apart from that we have a plethora of negatives. I’ll address these chronologically, as the show was shit for different reasons at different times. The show started out as a high school drama with a basketball theme which took itself far too seriously. It obviously didn’t want to come across as a lighthearted drama, but this does not work well in the high school setting. The result was a very unrealistic depiction of high school teens. This is exemplified by the fact that each episode would start and end with a voiceover from its teenage lead character giving us philosophical musings on life which no 16 year old would ever give a shit about. Lucas was a tortured emo/jock who took life more seriously than any teenager I’ve ever met. I seem to remember him refusing to shag Brooke because he ‘wasn’t sure she was the one’. A 16 year old guy turning down sex with an incredibly hot girl because he’s on the lookout for ‘the one’. Sure. This theme of the characters’ high school shenanigans being the most important events in the world was consistent throughout the show for the first few seasons. The writers obviously realized their mistake, and so put in some action which would be considered serious; a high school shooting, arson and murder. This then made the show unrealistic, as so many calamities would never actually happen in one small town.

On top of this, the characters were really really annoying. Lucas and Hayley were the most self-righteous gimps in TV history, apart from Lucas’ mum, Karen, who was not only sanctimonious, but also a complete wench of a mom who just wouldn’t stop whining. We then had Nathan, who was irritating partly because of James Lafferty’s appalling acting, and partly because he was so predicable as the jock with a secret soft side. The fact that polar opposites Brook and Peyton were friends was ridiculous, as Deb remaining married to Dan. And then there was mouth, the unlovable loser who always got in the way of the plot.

That’s what I didn’t like about the first part of the series, which I actually prefer to the second. Fans will know that after high school, the show skipped 5 years and resumed post ‘college’ when the characters had careers (I won’t discuss the ridiculous way in which one small class managed to produce an NBA basketball player, a chart-topping singer, a best selling author and a fashion mogul). Now in this period, the writers obviously saw the success of shows which took themselves less seriously such as The OC and Gossip Girl, and looked to emulate this. They added Jamie, Hayley and Nathan’s 5 year old kid, who chips in with irritating lines which are supposed to make us think ‘don’t kids say the funniest things!’ and ‘oh isn’t he cute!’ I never like kids in TV shows, so the fact that he is played by your stereotypical stage school brat and that the writers try to force us to think he’s ‘adorable’ makes the character even less appealing. I think a paedophilia storyline should be written into the next series as it would address an important issue and wipe the smug smile off Jamie’s face.

They also added several episodes which portrayed the ‘whimsical’ side of the group. This was often attempted through blatant plagiarism disguised as homage.These included Brooke’s hen night turning into a poor man’s version of The Hangover in which the girls had to retrace their steps to find out what happened in their drunken state. It was just like the film, except not funny. Other lighthearted and ‘amusing’ stories include a boys camping trip and all the ‘craziness’ which ensues, as well as various instances of Nathan rapping or singing or showing a new side to his (lack of) personality. And that’s the problem. In a reverse of what Entourage did, One Tree Hill established very serious, emotional, deep characters and tried to make them fun and carefree. It really didn’t work, and it upped the show’s cringe factor to even higher levels.

In contrast to the new lighthearted episodes, the show introduced even more deep, cringe characters. Now I know I’ve used the word ‘cringe’ a lot, but it’s the best word to sum up the show, and there aren’t really any synonyms. These characters are mostly partnered up with the old ones, and deliver some of the most ridiculous lines I’ve ever heard. They include Chase (played by that guy from Laguna Beach) who gave us ‘You inspire me. Your goodness inspires me’, and Julian, who gave us ‘Happiness is not a destination’. On top of this, whereas the first few seasons normally had some teleological goal to work towards, normally a really important basketball match, there is nothing like that in the later seasons. This means that literally nothing happens. Ever. With no goal to aim for, episodes are often comprised of nothing but the characters whispering sweet nothings in each others’ ears. It’s so boring. What was originally a sports based drama is now just a series of amorous monologs.

So One Tree Hill is having an identity crisis. What was originally a grandiose but sufferable show is now a part comedy, part drama, always squirm-worthy pile of shit. Unfortunately I’ve invested 9 years of my life in it, so have no choice but to see it through. I await the final season without bated breath.

That concludes my list of the worst TV shows I’ve watched. I welcome any other nominations, but I’m pretty sure that it’s impossible to be worse than One Tree Hill.

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