STUDIO: Warner Brothers
MSRP: $59.98
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 880 Minutes

· Unaired Scenes
· One Tree Hill in Your Town
· James Lafferty One Tree Hill, Fourth Annual Charity Basketball Featurette
· One Tree Hill Time Capsule
· Gag Reel

The Pitch

“High school! Everybody wants to relive it!”

The Humans

Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Galeotti, Sophia Bush, Paul Johansson, Barbara Alyn Woods, Lee Norris, Antwon Tanner, Danneel Harris, Barry Corbin, Moira Kelly

The Nutshell

Ah, high school. Remember high school? Remember the basketball player and the pregnant cheerleader who got married? Or the sex crazy cheerleader who tried out for Maxim? Or the other sex crazy cheerleader who had an affair with a teacher? Or the cheerleader who was stalked by a guy masquerading as her long lost brother?

No? Hmm…I guess we both went to the wrong high school. 

Just wanted to start the captions off on the right note…

The Lowdown

My big gripe with One Tree Hill is how dumb most of the characters are through most of the season. They keep finding themselves in situations that are above their pay grade, so to speak. All their problems are their own fault and they never learn from their mistakes until the very last episode (which I will get to).

The biggest offender of this is the married basketball player Nathan Scott, played by James Lafferty. Lafferty, by the way, looks like a weird DNA mash up of Charlie Sheen and Nathan Fillion. Besides getting married in high school, something I didn’t know was possible, he still acts like a high school jock. He and his cheerleader wife Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) are constantly in money problems, which leads to a particularly mind blowing episode where they move into his trying-to-recover, recently-tried-to-kill-herself mother’s house in order to save money. He goes to clean up the house and finds enough booze to…throw a party at the house. And then in a small scene after the party, he makes her clean up, telling her that all the booze from the party is her booze. I mean, come on.

Shelby Yolksplitter discovered her powers at the age of 18: she could explode birds.

That said, everybody in the show does a pretty good job at keeping the soap opera stories dipping into actual soap opera territory. Chad Michael Murray plays Lucas Scott, half brother of Nathan Scott, and he is arguably the most boring character of the show. Lucas is the Jiminy Cricket of the show. The character who is everybody’s conscience. He’s quiet and he knows he’s a good guy. Throughout the season he’s plagued by dreams about an event that took place at the end of the third season, and it drives him to discover who killed his uncle. The killer is actually his own father: Mayor of Tree Hill, Dan Scott (Paul Johansson). Boring qualities aside, I can’t outright hate his character. He also provides us with Doogie Howser-esque monologues at the beginning and end of every episode. 

Ted Levine thought Steve Goddard sounded a bit too manly.
Too Bruce Lee.  Too Chuck Norris.  Too Lee Norris.

Playing Lucas’ girlfriend Peyton is Hilarie Burton. She does a lot of the heavy lifting throughout the show, and apparently the writers love to pile crap on her. She’s terrorized by a deranged stalker who tricks her into thinking he’s her long lost brother in the beginning of the season, and the events that unfold effect her for the rest of the season. She’s also ridiculously beautiful, along with the rest of the ladies of the show. Sophia Bush, Danneel Harris, and Bethany Joy Galeotti are about as good looking as they come and the runners of the show use that to their advantage any (shameless) way they can.

There is a subplot that runs through most of the season about a group of girls (and one guy) who tout themselves as “Clean Teens.” They wear shirts, apparently every day, that actually have the words “Clean Teen” on the front and “Virgin for Life” on the back. One of the Clean Teens isn’t so clean, though, and ends up making time with resident nerd of the show Marvin “Mouth” McFadden, played by Legendary Lee Norris. Anybody not familiar with Norris’ work needs to go no further then the first couple seasons of Boy Meets World, where he played Minkus. Or, just pop in your DVD copy of Zodiac, he’ll be the poor bastard in the opening who gets shot by the Zodiac killer while trying to get fresh with Darlene. Not only is Mouth one of the more likeable characters of the show, he’s also the one who has actual high school level problems.


About that last episode: I have to give credit to show creator Mark Schwahn for ending the season on a surprisingly positive note. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve that this was the series finale instead of just the season finale. The end ties up all the story lines. Everybody has graduated high school. Everybody is happy. Nobody gets hit by a car or falls down a ditch or has a doppelganger robot clone waiting in the shadows.

Like many shows of this ilk, it suffers from sloppy plotting, made all too noticeable when watched in a short amount of time on DVD. Characters can have more then one argument about the exact same thing several episodes in a row, and it’s like it is the first time they’ve ever had the argument. But let’s face it: nobody’s watching this for the layered character work or complex storylines. This is what you wish high school was like.

Just imagine if there was a show about how high school actually was. It’d be like Freaks and Geeks or something. Oh. Wait. That show was awesome.

Can you spot the Love Triangle?

The Package

Television on DVD is great. The cumbersome, awkward, fold-out, six disc sets are not. Slip cases. Please. The bonus material is all peanut butter and fluff. There’s a retrospective about how all the characters have changed over the four seasons, a couple short documentaries about the making of a few of the episodes, and some commentaries featuring the cast and crew. 

6 out of 10