lee norris

Only in Tree Hill…

In honor of the final episodes of one of the most drama filled teen dramas, One Tree Hill, this will be one of the many OTH-themed posts dedicated to saying goodbye. And I’m kicking it off with things that only find in the ever zany town of Tree Hill, North Carolina:

Only in Tree Hill (and NOT Lima, Ohio) will a marriage between two sixteen year olds not only work, but yield two children and still come out hella strong.

Only in Tree Hill is it completely plausible that in a small core group of five friends, one person became the writer of two national bestsellers, one played for the NBA, one started their own successful record label…from scratch, one is a recognized musician and has toured the country twice, and one started their own couture fashion line that became a national conglomerate.

Only in Tree Hill will parents disappear while their kids are still in high school to:

  1. Travel RV style across America
  2. Transfer for a job in California and leave their daughter in the very capable hands of a family/friend who is there 50 percent of the time
  3. Flee town out of embarrassment
  4. Attend therapy/rehab

Only in Tree Hill will you find the highest car crash per person ratio than any city in the United States.

Only in Tree Hill, will a medic trip and fall, causing the transplant heart he was carrying to somehow fly out of the icebox and straight into the waiting mouth of a seeing-eye-dog.

Only in Tree Hill does Peyton Sawyer end up with Lucas Scott over Brooke Davis.

Only in Tree Hill will big name artists like Jimmy Eat World and Angels and Airwaves make the time to perform at a summer kick-off party or high school prom. And Sheryl Crow will agree to play one song per cup of coffee at a local café.

Only in Tree Hill sappy speeches in the rain fix all relationship problems.

Only in Tree Hill will you find a Derek (a psycho fake brother), Carrie (a psycho kidnapping nanny and would-be adulterer), Katie (a psycho jealous identity thief) and Xavier (a psycho with an anger management problem who has also made, “Have a nice night” the creepiest catchphrase in television). All four of which targeted the same group of friends.

Only in Tree Hill will you find Dan Scott, aka Mr. Indestructible. Dan Scott was clearly hit by the electrical storm a la Misfits and became immortal like Nathan Young. That dude should have died at least twice by now and he’s still alive and kickin’ and kickin’ other peoples’ asses no less.

Only in Tree Hill, will a Mouth McFadden get inordinate amounts of booty.

Five Times When OTH Jumped the Shark

As a once avid fan of One Tree Hill, it pains me to say that the show has truly overstayed its welcome. If I had it my way, the show would have ended at season four and went out on a high note. Granted, seasons five and six weren’t necessarily god-awful, but I think OTH fans can agree that the show lost much of its spark. One Tree Hill has garnered some of the lowest ratings of all major networks and has been used as a punch line for its immortality. There are obviously more, but here are my top five times when OTH jumped the shark…

5. 1940s flashback (6.11 We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)

This episode had no point, unless you count letting CMM write an episode. And it was bad. Really bad. The only way the episode could have been salvaged was to let Peyton actually die at the end. But of course, it was only just a dream. Rats.

4. Kevin Federline guest stars (season 5)

Why, Mark Schwahn, why?! There are countless other talented, bad ass rock stars who could have made a guest appearance. Britney’s hard core ex, K Fed, should not be included amongst them.

3. Deb & Skills / Dan & Rachel (season 5-6)

The older Scotts got some action with their sons’ classmates, Skills & Rachel. Deb & Skills were somewhat tolerable, but Dan & Rachel were disgusting. Sure, it made for some good laughs, but seeing Dan kissing Rachel is something I want to permanently erase from my memory.

2. Nanny Carrie & Psycho Katie (seasons 5-7)

Exactly how many demented psychopaths live in Tree Hill?! Apparently each canon couple on OTH needs a psycho-subplot: Peyton & Lucas had Psycho Derek; Nathan & Haley had Nanny Carrie; Brooke & Julian had the guy who kidnapped Sam and robbed Brooke; Clay & Quinn had Psycho Katie. I was fine with the Psycho Derek story line, more because it freaked me out more than anything. Nanny Carrie got a little ridiculous but the addition of Katie is just too much.

1. Dog Eats Dan’s New Heart (6.18 Searching for a Former Clarity)

Dan is smugly chilling in the hospital waiting room for his heart transplant. The guy with the heart trips over the dog’s leash and the ticker goes flying. And then the whole room watches in horror as the dog slurps down the core of the human body. The first time I saw this I laughed. Then I felt horrible. Then I felt disgusted. Finally I settled on feeling immense pity for the writers who put together that crap. If this isn’t a ‘jump the shark’ moment, I don’t know what is.

FALL TV WISHLIST: One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill : Season 8, September 14 @ 7 – The CW


There are so many things I would like to see happen in One Tree Hill’s eighth season.  However, I have learned over the years that Mark Schwahn and Co. and I do not see eye to eye when it comes to this series. I have a feeling that OTH will continue its downward slide to Television That Sucks. It really pains me to see how bad this show has become.  If I had my way, the show would have ended at the end of season four. I haven’t really been “wowed” by an episode of OTH since then.

I sincerely hope this is the final season of OTH and this is coming from a long-time fan of the series. Unless the writers can magically get Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton to return, the show needs to cut its losses and call it quits. I can already imagine a lackluster series finale and it’s a shame. The writers have proved to us that they are better than this.

Since I have such low expectations for this season, I really don’t have a lot of requests:

  • The show cannot afford to lose any more of the original cast members. If Haley leaves, the show just needs to end there. Without Haley, we lose the heart of the show. Without Haley, we have no Naley.
  • Get rid of the excess characters, which include the following: Clay, Quinn, Grubbs, British Chick, Psycho Katie, Mouth/Skill’s girlfriend and Alex. I have learned to deal with Mouth and Skills as permanent cast members, but that’s as much as I can handle. I would rather see the main characters of Nathan, Haley and Brooke get good storylines than see the whole cast get run-of-the-mill material.
  • Earth to Mark Schwahn: For four wonderful seasons you created a solid drama series that not only had quality acting and writing but heart. So few shows today have heart and you lost it.

So long, One Tree Hill, it was nice knowing you. But if things don’t drastically improve, if might be time for us to make our separate ways.

RECAPS: Season Finales

This past week of television season finales was fully loaded with break ups, make ups, hook ups, surprising and not-so-surprising pregnancies…and guns. A multitude of guns. Out of the four season finales I watched this week (One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, 90210 and Grey’s Anatomy), a stunning total of eight main characters were fatally shot. Of course in Grey’s Anatomy there was a sheer number of the dead or injured by the end, but honestly there were only five we truly cared about. And okay, 90210 did not literally have fire arms on the show, but I think Matt Lanter’s guns are licensed to kill.

I’m going to start with One Tree Hill. On the whole, I found this episode to be extremely lack-luster. Brooke and Julian are engaged, great for Brooke (look at that honker of a ring), but I will always remain a loyal Brucas believer. Haley’s pregnant (nice work, Nate). The amount of screen time devoted to characters I could give a rat’s ass about is truly testing my patience. I don’t care about stubbly Grubbs trying to get into the British lady’s pants again, which I can only imagine would happen if he elected to wear a paper bag over his head. I loved Chase when he had a purpose aka Brooke’s boyfriend in season four, but now he’s a waste of screen time. In short, the following characters need to be given the axe for the final season of One Tree Hill: Grubbs, Miranda the Brit, Chase (unless he gets a more interesting and important story line), Mia, Alex, Alexander, Josh, and most importantly, Quinn and Clay. In the final minutes of the finale, PsychoKatie makes a comeback and shoots both Quinn and Clay. I have to admit, I flipped a lot of serious shit at that moment. Totally did not see that coming. Okay writers, you have a golden opportunity here. By leaving the fate of these two characters hanging in the balance, it would be too easy to kill them both off and make season eight entirely focused on the main characters we actually like. And on the same note, enough with all of the deranged and psychotic characters. I think PsychoDerek, PsychoNannyCarrie, and PsychoKatie have filled the quotient of crazies allowed to roam free in Tree Hill. I may sound like a broken record, but seeing a OTH finale like this just reminds me of how awesome this show used to be. Remember the season two finale with the dealership fire? Now, THAT’S a finale.

On to Gossip Girl…Damn. You. Jenny. Humphrey. Jenny and I definitely to do not get along, she messes with all the relationships I love on the show. Chuck and Blair almost had a happy reunion, but nooooo… Jenny HAD to be “lonely” and do the nasty with the one person she shouldn’t, Eric HAD to find out why Jenny is drowning in tears and running eye liner/mascara, Dan HAD to get all macho and deliver a complimentary knuckle-sandwich to Chuck, and of course this all HAD to happen at the moment when Chuck was presumably going to propose to Blair. FML. Then poor, heartbroken Chuck gets shot for protecting Blair’s engagement ring just a few minutes later. Chuck Bass is the only character that needs to be alive come fall. I don’t think the writers would go there, but still, my smooth-talking man-whore better be healthy as a horse in the fall.

I’m going to gloss over 90210 and  skip Glee/Lost since those weren’t season finales. Teddy and Ivy as regulars next season? Gag me. Silver and Teddy / Dixon and Ivy reuniting? Gag me. Teddy and Ivy need to crawl back into the holes they came out of and let Silver and Dixon realize they belong together. Also, the members of the 90210 gang are supposed to be juniors? Right and Lea Michele is supposed to be playing a character born in 1994.

Okay, Grey’s Anatomy. Holy hell. I have been on the brink of writing this show off my weekly schedule of television watching ever since the introduction of ugly ginger Owen, the merger with Mercy West and the break up of Mark and Lexie. But Thursday’s finale was insane. Meredith and Derek have never been a favorite couple of mine, but watching Meredith’s silent scream when Derek was shot (by the way, nice work Sarah Drew, you got McDreamy shot) and her plea to the gunman to kill her instead was unbelievably heart wrenching. Not to be insensitive, but I could care less whether anyone shot during Grey‘s finale lives or dies. McDreamy is obviously safe, no McDreamy = no program. Alex is getting in the way of my Mark and Lexie and I’ve hated Owen from the beginning. The deaths of Reed and Charles had no impact on me, other than a sudden jump when the gun fired (I hate loud noises). I just wish Gary Clark had taken down Arizona and April while he was at it. God, I sound like such a horrible person. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the finale was amazingly written, amazingly acted, and amazing in general. I was definitely shaken up by the end.

Hopefully the next batch of season finales will be tad bit lighter. I’m guessing Lost isn’t going to give that to me (SERIES FINALE SUNDAY! *sob*) but I’m assuming the regional show choir competition in Glee will not include a GSW, but who knows…I’m not one to question Puck’s bad-ass guns.

screencap from IMDB.

Three Reasons Why Television Shows Fail

As I sit here watching last week’s exceedingly uninteresting new episode of One Tree Hill on Hulu, I can’t help but feel an extreme sense of loss. This program used to be so freaking good. Circa seasons 2-4, One Tree Hill had some of the most powerful and creative story arcs on television. Now what has this program come to? They’re bringing back the cougar and young guy story line, a psycho comes into the picture and pretends to be someone they’re not, and ugly ass Mouth is somehow the only one getting tail in Tree Hill. Remember basketball? The voice-overs with quotes from famous authors? The original 5 characters that we have come to love?

There comes a time in the life of every television program where the writers and executive board hit a road block. Some shows find a way to rise above and continue to produce good television. Others fall by the wayside and they become syndicated history. In my opinion, there are a few main reasons why good shows fail, they are as follows:

1. The characters go off to college: Chances are pretty slim that you and your 5 closest friends all chose the same college to attend. So this puts the writers in a dilemma: how do we keep the chemistry between our actors when they are all at different schools? Eureka! We’ll create a new school that is in their hometown (or close by) and have them all attend there. There is no actual Penbrook University, the college  Cory, Shawn, Topanga, and Angela on Boy Meets World all magically chose to attend. And in sheer coincidence, that’s where Jack and Eric also go to school AND where Mr. Feeny happens to end up. Joey Potter gets accepted at the uber prestigious and uber fake Worthington College on Dawson’s Creek. Jen and Jack go to school at the equally as fake and half as prestigious Boston Bay College. Where do both of these fake institutions happen to be located? Boston (I guess I kind of gave that away), which is conveniently 15 minutes away from their fake hometown of Capeside.  Dawson then loses his way (of course), drops out of USC (idiot) and moves to where? Boston. Shocker.

Most shows that document high school fail when the characters transition to college. All of the family dynamics are lost, presumably because the parents don’t follow them to college. A bunch of new characters are introduced which takes screen time away from the characters we’ve formed a connection with. Most of the time the circumstances that bring all main characters to the same place are stupid and usually involve some sort of loss of faith, death of a family member, or being kicked out of school for ridiculous circumstances.

2. A main character is killed off / leaves: Getting rid of an essential cast member is one boat that should not be rocked. Yes, Marissa was annoying on The O.C. But she was the source of a lot of drama and half of the beloved pair of Ryan and Marissa. Were the writers missing broody and angry Ryan so much they needed to kill off his girlfriend to get him moody again? It’s common knowledge that I loathe the character of Peyton on One Tree Hill, but her and Lucas’ departure from the show have killed it. Ever since Dr. Burke left on Grey’s Anatomy, I can’t imagine Cristina being happy with anyone else. Any story line pairing her with another guy makes me cringe. Grey’s hasn’t been the same for me since Burke left, and then they have the nerve to kill my beloved George?!  FML. I am so not looking forward to tomorrow’s Lost, where I have been told that losties just start dropping like flies.

3. Story lines get recycled: How long can a couple play-out the “will they / won’t they” before the audience explodes? Apparently Friends can do it for 10 years. How many times can someone attempt to kill Dan Scott? How many times does Clark Kent have to save Lana Lang before she realizes he’s got magical powers? Seeing the same thing over and over and over again gets tiresome. The program eventually becomes so predictable that it’s not even worth watching anymore.

Alas, I have a sinking feeling this will be the last season of One Tree Hill. It didn’t even get to redeem itself. I am praying that the CW will give OTH one last chance to make things right aka bring back Leyton, ditch the newbies, and start showing the geniusness I know the writers still have.

RECAPS: TV Wrap-Up

Ah, the early spring hiatuses have begun. Has anyone else noticed that there is nothing on television anymore?!

One Tree Hill: I found this episode very boring. I know the death of Mama James should have had more an effect of me…but it didn’t. I feel like the whole “my parent has cancer – child wants them to fight but it’s a losing battle – parent dies” story line has been WAY overused. It was still touching and very well acted, but I guess I wanted a more original story line for Mama James. I am praying to every higher power that One Tree Hill gets picked up for an eighth and final season so the writers can wrap up the show properly. The show is going to crap as of late.

Lost: On the flip side, Lost just keeps getting better and better. This final season is turning out to be amazing. I am so glad that we are finally learning the answers to some of the fundamental questions on the show. Jack is a father in the flash-sideways story line…never saw that coming. In the final moments of the episode, Hurley and Jack arrive at the humongous lighthouse on the island (a light house they have conveniently never found during their 108 days on the island). Hurley tells Jack that Jacob has instructed him to turn the wheel to bearing 108 to help direct someone to the island. 108 has a name next to it on the wheel, Wallace. Okay, Damon/Carlton & Co., who the hell is Wallace?! I sincerely hope it’s not a random character being added to the show in the final episodes. It is becoming glaringly obvious that the passengers on flight 815 were indeed called to the island.

Nip / Tuck: Nip / Tuck’s last episode ever will be aired next Wednesday. So sad. I always look forward to tuning in to the tumultuous lives of those at McNamara/Troy. I recently read in an article here about the finale, saying that the “final hour of Nip / Tuck was unlike anything we ever expected.” This disappoints me slightly. The best thing about the show was the shock factor. I’m still looking forward to the series finale nonetheless AND to see what happens with Matt and Ava. Poor kid can’t seem to catch a break.

Valentine’s Day: I finally saw Valentine’s Day last night and it yet again asserted to me how amazing ensemble cast movies can be. Sure, some story lines took slight precedence over the others, Ashton Kutcher’s character for example, but the sharing of screen time was equally dolled out between the large cast. I personally loved the “best friends to something more” story line of Kutcher and Jennifer Garner. They were really believable as best friends. The whole Eric Dane – Bradley Cooper story line came out of left field for me. Truly a shocker there. I am not used to seeing Dane without scrubs and Cooper without Zach Galifianakis. Anyways, lovely movie.