Posts tagged ‘One Tree Hill’

Holiday Road

sesame_street_thanksgiving

I have ambitions to give this joint a kick in the ass in the impending days–ideas for several posts and a vow to at least post as much of my aborted NaNoWriMo project as I have completed (I’m up to chapter 9 or 10, I forget, even though the posts here are only up to chapter 2 or 3, I still forget).

There is of course the One Tree Hill “midseason finale” to discuss, although maybe not–if you haven’t ever watched the show, just print out some pics of the cast and toss them randomly on a table. You have about as good a chance of guessing the various cast pairings as exec producer Mark Schwann.

But today I’m leaving early. I’m gonna try to unplug for at least a few hours. Let’s kick off the holiday season in style. Happy Thanksgiving, motherfuckers, and thanks for being readers, and for being friends, and for being human (or are we dancer?).

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November 26, 2008 at 12:39 pm Leave a comment

One Tree Hill, “Choosing My Own Way of Life”

Slamball.

That’s right. SLAMBALL.

Not only does such a thing exist (the 2008 championship game is gonna be on CBS on November 2–I AM SO THERE), but apparently, Tree Hill is a large enough media market to earn its own Slamball team.

Actually, the website keeps the actual team locations neutral, so I’m not sure where the actual Slamball teams are located. Maybe that’s to keep things sorta generic in terms of geography, so that they’re not tied down to specific cities and thus more capable of building allegiance from cities across the country? Or maybe their website sucks.

I do know, however, that all the Slamball activity seems to be concentrated in the southwestern United States–California, Texas, Arizona, etc. Which means suddenly putting a franchise and stadium in North Carolina, on the other side of the country, in virtually the middle of nowhere, seems highly unlikely. Except in the Schwannverse.

My wife accurately predicted that Brooke would adopt a teenager LAST season, when she was temporary foster mom to that little Mexican baby who needed surgery and just up and disappeared when the plot no longer needed her. Adios, dear Consuela or Rosaria or whatever. Vaya con dios.

I saw the Brooke/troubled teen writing on the wall in episode 1 of THIS season, when Samantha appeared within the first twenty minutes to try and steal a “designer” “top” from the Skanks ‘R Us outlet store…excuse me, the Clothes Before Bros boutique.

I’m not sure if I should be proud that we are both so well-tuned to the mental machinations of the Schwann, or terrified.

“You just heard a mouthful!”

Two men enter, one man leaves: Farewell to John Doe, who essayed Peyton’s long-lost biological father, and also happens to write great songs:

(Seriously, give that a listen.)

And a hearty “welcome back” to the skanky bartender who caught Brooke’s eye last season, and returns as one of the star players of Tree Hill’s Slamball team, the Largely Nonsensical Plot Twists!

I really want to see Dan Scott shoot Skillz in the head. Not because I hate Skillz, although I still feel sorry for actor Antwon Tanner, but because I prefer Dan the Largely Unrepentant Murderer to Dan the Fallen Favorite Son Making Amends.

Come on. Dude’s a fucking stone-cold killer, right? He shot his own brother for sleeping with his woman. Skillz should be an easy one. He can even use the crazy nanny’s gun.

Are they seriously making this up as they go along? In my prior career as a Respected Entertainment Journalist (For Officially Licensed Publications Of Genre TV Series), I talked to lots of TV writers. They all described the process of “breaking” a TV season as long and arduous, requiring any number of organizational methods, from index cards on a cork board to the full-time services of a writers’ assistant dedicated just to scribbling down their pearls of wisdom on a daily basis.

For One Tree Hill, I bet it’s Schwann, a dime bag of herb, and a pack of Crayolas.

Mouth meets Millicent. They fall in love. Mouth takes job in Omaha. Mouth and Millicent leave Tree Hill.

Then, Brooke gets assaulted. Millicent returns to Tree Hill. Mouth stays in Omaha, where he is incredibly successful in his chosen career, one he has seemed incredibly passionate about up until this moment.

NOW, Mouth is leaving Omaha, because “friends are more important,” or some shit.

This is apparently how it happens, folks. You’ve always wondered how the guy who works the night shift in your hometown got where he is today, when in high school he wanted to draw comics, or start a band, or have his own suggestive clothing line.

Maybe his dream came true, but because “friends are more important,” he decided to move back home, shack up with Grandma, and take a job at the local 7-Eleven. You know, just for a while. Just till he gets the band back together.

Except the band never gets back together, and now he’s there behind the counter, waiting for Grandma to kick in and die so he can claim her double-wide and die alone.

Oh, yeah. Not really alone, because “friends are more important.” The “friends” who made the same mistake and now they work for the weekend too, in fast-food joints and grocery stores and quickie oil change garages.

Man, Mouth’s right–friends are AWESOME.

I hope the final episode of One Tree Hill pays off on this, someday–I would pay Schwann good money for an epilogue finale where he fast-forwards twenty years, to find our main cast broke, desolate, lonely, consumed by petty addictions, and stuck in the same dead-end mindsets that started back in high school.

That’s a good idea, right Jamie?

I thought so too.

October 14, 2008 at 12:59 pm 2 comments

One Tree Hill, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Finally, something I can sink my teeth into…

It must suck to be a benchwarmer for the Tree Hill High Ravens.

“Kid, you’ve been a great team player–attending all the practices, doing all the laps, occupying the heavyset water girl while the starters hook up with cheerleaders. But tonight, in tribute to Q, we’re only starting four guys. Which means you still can’t play, and we will honor our dead teammate BY GUARANTEEING OUR LOSS. Now get out there–looks like Margaret’s gonna need some help getting the Gatorade jugs up onto the table again.”

I knew that Mick Wolf had to be somebody–he was not a good enough actor to be an actual actor–and sure enough, it’s freakin’ JOHN DOE.

Yes, THAT John Doe. The one from X. The world’s a mess; it’s in my kiss…sex once every hour…and now probably Peyton’s dad on One Tree Hill. From eternal cult hero status as one of the founding fathers of LA’s punk scene…

…to the CW. And perhaps most shocking: HE’S DONE THIS BEFORE. Remember Roswell? Yep, he was on that show too. I guess I don’t begrudge the guy a living, and if nothing else, it prompted me to listen to Los Angeles as I write this. “She wasn’t what you’d call living, really…”

And I cannot be the only viewer who wished Billy Zoom was playing Peyton’s dad instead; there’s even a family resemblance.

Creepiest guitar player EVER, I swear.

Let us consider for a moment the problem of Skills.

As a newer viewer, I’m having a hard time deciding if Antwon Taylor is a bad actor, or if he’s a really good actor bored to death and mildly offended by the borderline minstrel show he’s participating in every week.

So far this season, we’ve seen Q, a “troubled” black teen counseled by young and inexperienced white kids into liking Les Miserables, killed in a random convenience store hold-up…because if a black character’s gonna die, it’s got to be through crime-related violence.

Meanwhile, Skills is wrapped up in a relationship with Deb, a horny older woman…because if a black character’s not gonna die, he’s got to personify the stereotype of the virile, sexually proficient “stud.”

And of course, for as long as he’s been on the show, Taylor’s been forced to deliver dialogue written in some awful parody of how African-Americans talk, making him the Jar Jar Binks of One Tree Hill.

Does Antwon mumble his lines incoherently (and offer a dead man’s lifeless stare while doing it) because he’s disgusted by what he’s given to do and say, and he can’t get out of his contract? Or is he just done giving a shit, and he’s gonna ride the OTH gravy train (such as it is) until it crashes into the station and burns?

Again, can’t fault the guy for wanting to make a living–I bet he’s got a really nice house.

When is Brooke gonna get over this stupid attack and start living her life again? Oh, yeah–when she adopts Q’s little brother, who will probably be left motherless by another shooting in another convenience store.

This week’s Crazy Theory, from my sister-in-law, via my wife: The nutty nanny will make her move on Jamie and be critically injured by Dan while trying to save his grandson, leaving Dan with no choice but to CLAIM THE NANNY’S HEART AS HIS OWN.

(That’s another freebie, Schwann. You’re welcome.)

September 23, 2008 at 2:21 pm 2 comments

One Tree Hill, “Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.”

In college, I took a single philosophy class, and while it was interesting enough at the time, I’ve really only carried one concept forward into my daily life–the Platonic ideal.

That’s the idea that what we see and experience in the world around us is merely an imperfect expression of higher truths. So I’m sitting in an imperfect office chair, and I see many of them all around me, but somewhere there is a perfect Platonic ideal of an office chair to which all other office chairs aspire.

I say this to you now, and I mean it with all my heart: Last night’s episode of One Tree Hill was a Platonic ideal of sappy, sentimental, clumsy, awkward, saccharine, glorious TV drama. Incredibly watchable but fundamentally laughable, like a cartoon of a car accident, “Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.” somehow distilled all the well-played tropes of WB-era teen hour-longs into a single episode. It’s worthy of inclusion on those satellites we use to beam Earth culture out to other races; if they want to understand the work of Kevin Williamson, Greg Berlanti, Josh Schwartz, and countless others, they need only watch these forty-four minutes.

Then, they will use their interstellar beams and blow our planet to bits, having deemed our civilization unworthy of continuing.

Apparently, Q himself didn’t have much trouble with his own demise (thanks Sarah for the link!), but it truly shocked me, and not just in the reflexive “oh wow someone died here” sense of television. In fact, it didn’t really work for me on that level at all, since I take the plot and characters on One Tree Hill about as seriously as I take Sarah Palin, which is to say, not at all.

It shocked me more as a storytelling device, because these types of stunty moves are usually reserved for the middle points of seasons, maybe right at the end of November so that viewers are in shock and awe for the long lull until January or February when new episodes return.

Mark Schwann is burning through story at such a rate that he can afford to kill a supporting character and deal with the “very special” fallout in THE THIRD EPISODE OF THE SEASON. Furthermore, it’s just the latest event in a season that has already dealt with the fallout of a random near-fatal car accident, a kidnapping and captivity situation, the engagement of two characters, the departure of two others for Omaha, Brooke getting beaten up in her store by someone probably hired by her own MOTHER, and an illicit love affair between a young black man and an older white woman clearly relying on cosmetic surgery and buckets of Botox to keep even her minor role on a third-rate TV show.

There’s a lot going on here.

Plotwise, this is a show that runs on its own fumes; it seems desperately busy at all times, as though the producers are terrified that viewers will flock to another channel because they don’t have seventeen different storylines to mentally track. It’s like Schwann has been given six weeks to live at the start of every season, and has to make sure he gets out EVERY SINGLE IDEA he has before the doctors pull the plug. It’s both painful and remarkable to watch at the same time, and it’s like nothing else on TV, now or ever.

I don’t even know if I can unpack this one to find the mockable goodies inside, because the whole hour of television was a mockable goodie. The way everything somehow gravitated back to how awful a young man’s death was for white, rich, brooding Lucas Scott; the painful scene in which Haley and Nathan attempt to explain “death” to Jamie (“His body stopped working, and now he’s in heaven…” GREAT PARENTING THERE NATE); Deb’s awkward attempts to be “there” for a distraught Skillz (“You here, Q gone, and I’m not sure where I’m at,” written in the god-awful ebonic pidgin english Schwann insists on using for Skillz’ dialogue, making him TV’s current answer to the little jockey sitting on your front doorstep)…lord, where do I start? Where do I stop?

As my wife pointed out, it seemed like an absolutely straight-up attempt to emulate the classic Strangers With Candy episode “The Goodbye Guy,” in which Jerri Blank’s dad finally expires after being eaten alive by wild dogs before the big father/child potato sack race at school.

How long until Q’s little brother asks Lucas to compete in his school’s potato sack race, going up against Jamie and Nathan? I give it two weeks.

September 16, 2008 at 11:43 am 5 comments

One Tree Hill, “One Million Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning”

I try to ignore this show; really, I do. It will not let me go.

It’s like Dawson’s Creek and Passions had a baby and beat the shit out of it regularly. That’s what this show is.

Dan Scott is maybe my favorite character on television. He’s lost his ability to speak and has been held captive by some batshit crazy nanny nurse who is obsessed with kidnapping his grandson. She’s made him eat oatmeal mixed with roaches. Once he gets the power to talk, what’s the first thing he says?

“Your plan sucks.”

RIGHTEOUS, DAN. Righteous.

What’s the deal with Brooke and her newfound obsession with justice? Are they planning to mimic the summer’s biggest movie and turn her into a crimefighting vigilante, prowling the streets of Tree Hill in a costume with her sidekick, Jamie? I also don’t quite understand why she’s so afraid to tell Peyton and her other friends about the attack–it’s not like it really makes her seem weak that she couldn’t beat down a random attacker who surprised her in her own store at night. I’d be filing a police report and milking it for all the sympathy I could get.

No More Mouth: America Held Hostage – Day 8.

The death of Q is a truly classic WTF OTH moment. It was so obviously foreshadowed, in awkward and clumsy ways, throughout the episode; but really, even with the foreshadowing, who could suspect yet another random act of violence in season six? Is that gonna be part of the show’s new format, that every episode has to end with something awful happening to a character? Dan gets hit by a car, Brooke gets beat up in her store, Q gets shot…tune in next week, when Deb Lee’s implants tragically explode in the swimming pool!

I can’t take too much credit for this theory, as it was mostly my wife’s idea, but with the death of Q, it seems a given that Q’s little brother–who was randomly mentioned this episode, for seemingly no reason other than to set up that he has a brother, and that he will be appearing soon–will end up the adopted son of one of the show’s couples. My theory? Lucas and Peyton will adopt the kid. Ginna’s theory? Skillz and Deb.

The theory we BOTH love? Crazy nanny nurse kidnaps Jamie; Haley and Nathan adopt Q’s little brother; the show fast-forwards a decade at the end of this season. Jamie returns to Tree Hill and joins the basketball team, where he plays alongside Q’s little brother, THEREBY REPRISING THE CENTRAL TENSION BETWEEN THE SCOTT BROTHERS THAT HAS FUELED THE SHOW SINCE ITS LAUNCH.

Mark Schwann, you can even have that idea for free. Just bring back Mouth, please.

September 9, 2008 at 2:54 pm 7 comments

One Tree Hill, “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream (Part 1)”

I thought I would provide a refuge for my wife and my friend Sarah to discuss the thrilling–thrilling, I say!–premiere of season six of One Tree Hill.

A few notes.

I would like it noted that I called the “Dan’s being held captive in a house, not a hospital” twist about thirty minutes before the episode’s end. I never suspected, though, that she’d house Dan in her living room. Why not an upstairs bedroom, with a good sturdy lock on the door? Does she have a TV up in her bedroom or a den, or did she basically sacrifice her living space to torture Dan?

Is Mouth gone now? Like, forever? I suspect not–I think they’ll keep him on the show through a series of awkward, unrelated plotlines set in Omaha–but if so, COME BACK MOUTH! Maybe it’s just cause I’m a geek but I always identified with him. I wouldn’t say he was my “entry point” into the show–that was definitely Dan, because I’m a bastard too–but it was nice to have him around. And I always liked the earthy unreality of the Mouth/Brooke relationship–the school’s most popular skank would not in any normal high school find time for the dorky announcer of the basketball team, but in spite of that, there was something in that relationship that was always interesting to watch. (“Interesting” is of course a HIGHLY relative term when it comes to OTH.)

Skillz, you are better than the former Mrs. Scott. I have seen all the reality shows where people eat cockroaches smeared in lard and vomit up tongue sushi, all that nastiness. I’ve watched The Entertainer spit for distance. But Skillz making out with that old bag is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever watched on TV.

I’m a little bored with the Brooke vs. Daphne Zuniga subplot. It needs a twist, stat. If only Brooke had managed to adopt one of those cute little Mexican babies from last season. Speaking of which, didn’t she have one when last season ended, or had she already given it up? And if she did have one, do you think they’ll ever touch on it again, or will the kid be dumped into the existential trash bag of the Schwannverse?

What’s gonna keep Peyton and Lucas apart this time? An earthquake? A kidnapping? They should take a page from the Days notebook and trap them on an island or something.

September 2, 2008 at 11:29 am 3 comments

HOLY S*** TV

So apparently, the latest creative ploy in TV is to come up with some kind of insane, shocking, and largely unexpected “stunt” with which to end a TV season. To wit:

–On Gossip Girl, the lead girl (who I do not know the name of because I do not watch the show but my wife does while I read comic books and make fun of her) apparently KILLED SOMEBODY.

–On One Tree Hill (see above regarding my wife and making fun of her), Dan Scott is about to get a heart transplant when a car speeds out of NOWHERE and MOWS HIM DOWN.

–On Law & Order: SVU (which I do watch, thanks for asking), Stabler’s wife and Benson are driving to a doctor’s appointment, it looks like the case is wrapped up about 30 minutes into the episode…and then yet another car speeds out of NOWHERE and SLAMS INTO THEIR CAR, resulting in Olivia basically helping Mrs. Stabler deliver her baby after being CUT OUT OF AN AUTOMOBILE.

So are OMG HOLY SHIT endings* the new “Bobby Ewing in the shower”? Discuss.

*Although what’s odd about most of these is that they aren’t truly “endings”; in fact, in all cases, they come near the end but not AT the end of the episode. So you watch Dan Scott get slammed into and bleed on the pavement, and then the musical montage takes us to an airport, where there’s some bullshit about who’s gonna marry Chad Michael Murray in Vegas.**

**Which, if it were actually Patrick Ewing on the other end of that phone next season, would make for the finest TV moment ever.

May 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm 5 comments

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