One Tree Hill Fall 2009 Review

If you’ve been reading my reviews for each episode this past year, you’ve probably noticed that I had little hope for this new season. And I don’t think any true Tree Hill fan can blame me. A season sans Chad and Hilarie combined with brand new series regulars screamed trouble. I was skeptical and frankly, a little peeved they decided to continue the show—at first.

I’m not gonna say that this first half of season 7 was an amazing one. But, it definitely surprised me. The writers seemed to realize that they had to go big and couldn’t take chances with small meaningless storylines. And big things definitely happened—the sex scandal, the Rachel/Dan marriage, Millie’s coke addiction, Brooke/Julian falling apart, Alex’s attempted suicide, Clay’s painful history…it was a lot to take in such a small amount of time. Surprisingly, I think it worked. The show successfully sucked me into this new season to find out how the new characters fit in with the old.

Sure, there were parts of the fall episodes that didn’t “wow” me and some that outright annoyed me. For example, I wasn’t so keen on Dan’s whole talkshow thing. Too many long diatribes about forgiveness and not enough intense interactions with Nathan and his family. Furthermore, Skillz…I don’t care about you. Sorry, I just don’t even think you’re worth the two minutes of screen time they awarded you every week. That being said, as for your departure….good riddance! Also, most of you know I’m not the biggest fan of Mouth, but he wasn’t so bad this time around. Millie’s abrupt addiction sucked me in and I actually felt for Mouth. As much as I hated Millie in those episodes, I have to admit how convincing it was. When I get pissed at a character that much, they must be doing something right. Good move creatively.

As for the cause of a lot of fan controversy—Brooke and Julian—I’m torn. They decidedly have less chemistry than they did last season. I just didn’t see the spark I once did. I want to say that they fell into the typical tv couple slump once they became exclusive. It happens to all our favorite couples once they actually get together. They get boring. BUT, I do think the writers played it smart by making the relationship hit a rocky road. Had they been happy, I would have been bored. Plain and simple.

Alex. What to say about this annoying wench? Can I stand her? Not, not really. Was it believable that she just “fell in love” with Julian so quickly? No, not really. But after much consideration, I think the girl just had no one to latch onto so she hung onto Julian just because he was nice to her a few times. And the fact that Brooke pointed out how Julian tends to immediately draw himself to women in distress was interesting. I started liking the whole arc. Not the actual Alex/Julian relationship but the rationale behind it.

Again, Naley’s sex scandal was a desperate reused story in my eyes. It didn’t serve much purpose other than to cause meaningless friction between Nathan and Haley. The one good thing that came out of it was the AMAZING scene with Dan forcing Renee to confess her lies on live television. So the rest of it was almost worth it. We all know Nathan didn’t do it. And I LOVE the scenes where Dan comes to the rescue. Why? I don’t know really. We all know Nathan and Dan will never be the same, but it’s nice to see Dan tries sometimes.

I didn’t really buy Clay and Quinn at first. It seemed too contrived. Two of the new characters hook up…surprise! In fact, I didn’t even like either of them in the beginning. An arrogant casanova-type agent and a woeful artsy sister who pops out of nowhere? Quinn’s marital problems were a bore and I thought the casting of her husband was a poor choice. First, he looked to old for her and second, they had zero chemistry and were not a believable married couple. But after Clay’s history came out and we saw him in a more vulnerable state, I warmed up to him. Quinn was only likable when she was playing off his quips. Though, these two got cute with their “talks” and viola!, I became a fan. Writers have done it again.

Public Service Announcement: Lucas and Peyton, I miss you. Honestly, I’ve always been a fan of Leyton (OK, except Season 4 when they got boring) and I was bummed to see them exit. However, most of the time I didn’t seem to notice their absence, which I take as a good thing. But after I watched some old episodes, I realized how much I do miss them. That being said, I think the writers did a decent job this first half of the season. My only Leyton-related request for the second half is to PLEASE explain where the hell they went. I commend the show for at least acknowledging them by name a few times, but an explanation would be nice. Maybe a cameo? OK probably not a good chance, but hey, we can dream, right?

Stay tuned for my preview of what we can expect the rest of season 7, premiering Monday January 18, 2010!