Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The High School Show Grows Up

The new season of “One Tree Hill” premiered last night with its much-talked about four-year skip of the college years, and debuted a promising new premise of teenagers finally thrust into the real and unforgiving world.

To be honest, I have a tres dysfunctional love-hate relationship with the CW’s pre-Gossip Girl hit show, “One Tree Hill.” On one hand, it features two super-talented, super-cute actresses in Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Galeotti (the latter is the Katherine Heigl of a bad show. She commits to everything.) Their talents breathe original and fiery life into characters that could come off as hokey and one-noted in other actresses’ hands. On the other hand, the show thrusts its high-school aged characters into over-the-top situations with nary a parent in sight. In four seasons, they’ve rented apartments, gone on photo shoots for men’s magazines, been involved in school shootings, gotten hit by cars and attacked by crazy stalkers without parents jumping in for some serious ass-whoopin’ and guidance (yes, the show’s premise is about two half-brothers with a crazy, manipulative father who abandoned the mother of the Lucus Scott, played by the Luke Perry School of Acting Grad, Chad Michael Murray. Save for Moira Kelly’s Karen Rowe, the parents were more effed up than the kids). The writing never has been Emmy-worthy either.

As a reluctant and yes, ashamed fan, I was worried how “Hill” would traverse the college years that trips up most shows based around the quintessential high school gang. They made the wise decision to skip college entirely, and catch up to the gang after college.

And that’s where this began. The two-hour premiere was not a mish-mash of hip lingo and booze-filled, parentless bonfires, but a promising look into our characters’ shiny new lives and the painful realizations that only come with age and dream-crushing experience, just ask the parentless, alcoholic Nathan Scott (aka the uber-musclar James Lafferty). And armed the adorable Jackson Brundage as the former champion’s soon and a fresh set of issues plaguing the crew, the show shows promise to be both salacious and substantial.

There are, of course, a few issues that need a nip and tuck. The black student who tortured the new high school English teacher, Haley James, is an annoying and overdone stereotype. I literally groaned out loud when said troublemaker strolled into the Ravens’ gym late, rude and all attitude. Insert eye roll here please.

I’m also not thrilled about all of the cast returning and setting up camp in Tree Hill” which is the center of the show, but the different settings, even just Brooke (Bush) is her lush Manhattan world was an energetic jolt to Tree Hill’s country, small town ambiance.

Ultimately, the jump was a brilliant remedy to a show already on its last legs. Hopefully, this time warp will keep a juicy, guilty pleasure show around for four more years.


Anonymous said...

ah, our mutually shameful guilty pleasure show. what are sophia bush and joy lenz still doing on it, i wonder?

i do miss tyler hilton on it though- hate his music, love his voice, but his character was fabulous.

it's been ok this season, all things considered. same cheese ass dialogue. but i love brooke. especially i love sophia bush. she's way too talented for this shite.

and dude, i loved luke perry. don't put CMM in the same league- that's an insult. ;)

K said...

I know...what are they still doing there? I love Sophia and Beth both, and the bright side of this show ending in the next few years is that those amazing actresses will be free!