[EDITED March 17, 2012]
I will be the first to admit that One Tree Hill has overstayed its welcome by at least 2-3 seasons. The show was in its prime through seasons 3-4, and even though 5-6 had a completely different feel, it was still pretty quality television. Save for a few storylines, seasons 7-8 were a total bore for me. Season nine, however, I am thoroughly enjoying. What’s more, Chris Keller is off my bitch-list. Miracles do come true.
Even though OTH has jumped the shark many times and has somewhat become the laughing stock of television, I will be the first to defend this show to the death. And in honor of some of its best moments, I give you my favorite episodes of One Tree Hill:
10. I and Love and You, Season Seven
Sometimes we fall short of the people we were meant to be. Sometimes people do things they’re ashamed of. And usually after the guilt sets in, we make things worse. My son Nathan Scott is a good man, but sometimes people do funny things in the face of pressure and desperation, and the truth, well, the truth is an absolute. And the truth can set you free.
9. Life Is Short, Season Five
Sometimes when you’re young, you think nothing can hurt you. It’s like being invincible. Your whole life is ahead of you and you have plans. Big plans.But as you get older you realize it’s not always that easy. It’s not until the end of your life that you realize how the plans you made were simply plans. Because at the end when you’re looking back instead of forward, you want to believe you made the most of what life gave you. You want to believe you’re leaving something good behind. You want it all to have mattered.
8. The Show Must Go On, Season Three
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken. Love alters not with time’s brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
7. Are You True?, Season One
To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
6. A Multitude of Casualties, Season Three
I wanted you to FIGHT FOR ME. I wanted you to say there’s no else you want to be with and that you would rather be alone than without me. I wanted the Lucas Scott from the beach that night telling the world that he’s the one for me.
5. With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept, Season Three
Does this darkness have a name? This cruelty, this hatred, how did it find us? Did it steal into our lives or did we seek it out and embrace it? What happened to us? That we now send our children into the world like we send young men into war, hoping for their safe return. But knowing that some will be lost along the way. When did we lose our way? Consumed by the shadows, swallowed whole by the darkness. Does this darkness have a name? Is it your name?
4. How a Resurrection Really Feels, Season Three
There are 82 letters in here, and they’re all addressed to you. I wrote them all this summer. One a day, but I never sent them ‘cause I was afraid. I was afraid of getting my heart broken again, like before. Because you hurt me so bad and I was afraid to be vulnerable. And I was afraid of you and the way that you make me feel. And I know that doesn’t matter now after what I did, but I just thought that you should know. This was how I spent my summer Luke, wanting you.
3. Some You Give Away, Season Four
You know, say what you will about the ravages of sports in this corporate age where overpaid athletes expect prima donna treatment, but there’s still something som unifying about sporting in it’s purest form, when athletes rise above themselves and touch greatness, and in doing so remind us all that we all have greatness inside of us.
2. Over the Hills and Far Away, Season Three
Before we end the night I just want to say a few words about Nathan and Haley. I told them once, not too long ago to be happy because someday they’d make us all believe in true love. And, they do. In a few days they’re going to renew that love for all of us to see. But, in a way we see it every day. One rainy day Nathan Scott proposed to Haley James and the rest is a fairy tale.
1. The Tide That Left and Never Came Back
George Bernard Shaw once said, “There are two tragedies in life: one is to lose your heart’s desire, the other is to gain it.” Clearly Shaw had his heart broken once or twice.
As far as I’m concerned, Shaw was a punk. Because you know what? Tragedies happen. What are you going to do? Give up? Quit? No. When your heart breaks, you have to fight like hell to make sure you’re still alive. Because you are and that pain you feel is life. The confusion and fear is there to remind you that somewhere out there is something better, and that something is worth fighting for.
This year I got everything I ever wanted and everything I wished for. But in a way, I lost even more.
As we strain to grasp the things we desire, the things we think will make our lives better: money, popularity, fame. We ignore what truly matters, the simple things like friendship, family, love. The things we probably already had.
So, yes, losing your heart’s desire is tragic. But gaining your heart’s desire is all you can hope for. This year, I wished for love; to immerse myself in someone else and to wake a heart long afraid to feel. My wish was granted. And if having that is tragic, then give me tragedy, because I wouldn’t give it back for the world.