One Tree Hill cover

STUDIO: Warner Bros.
MSRP: $59.98
RUNNING TIME: 937 Minutes
Unaired scenes
"Anatomy of an Episode" featurette
Commentary on two episodes
Gag reel

The Pitch

but with a standing purchase order, and less content!"

The Humans

Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton,
Sophia Bush, James Lafferty, Bethany Joy Galeotti.

The Nutshell

Fights! Basketball! It’s all part and parcel of senior year for the students in
Tree Hill. They have already survived two seasons of high school, fraught with
impromptu marriages, mustache-twirling bastard fathers, sibling-rivalry,
unlikely career developments, and guest appearances from popular musical acts. This
year, they come up against…

of it.

The bastard child of a Patryn and a Sartan.

The Lowdown

One Tree Hill would like very much to be seen
as a weighty teen drama, but it needs a bit of a physics lesson. It labors
under the false assumption that situations create dramatic mass, and therefore give
weight to the stories. It fails to recognize that this violates the law of
conservation of mass, which, in this analogy, is perfectly applicable. (Run
with it.) Real weight comes from the trading of emotion between characters as
they react to those situations. In essence, dramatic heft comes from the effects
of situations on characters, rather than from the situations alone.

where One Tree Hill fails, and why it’s sad that Everwood didn’t make it
over to The CW network. One show was concerned with the effects of minor
tragedy and believable life on flexible characters, the other with the dramatic
equivalent of big explosions. One show received high ratings, the other didn’t.
I don’t suppose it was that big of an issue for the executives.

"Blind Guardian just released a statement saying that, while Tolkien had
excellenct world-building skills, his narrative technique was stale and ineffective."

It would
be silly of me to base a criticism around my bitterness at a good show being
dropped, though, especially when One Tree Hill has so many of its own
failings. Primary is its concussed-duckling grasp of where dramatic weight
originates, but that’s a tradition of soap operas and can be folded into an
appreciation of the genre. The unforgivables are wooden acting, baldly
expositional writing, and an unhealthy predilection for montage.

On the
other hand, the rising and falling of the season-long arcs are well-paced. The
writers’ grasp of serial storytelling is such that the successive cliffhangers
create more audience interest in continuing the story than any affection for
the characters might. This is something of a cheap tactic, but it is an effective
one, and fits right alongside the show’s overriding theme of

In the
end, this season of One Tree Hill reminds me of nothing more than a strongman,
lifting hollow barbells over its head. All the issues carry the illusion of weight.
Really, it’s not so bad if you dig the circus.

Smug little punk went out and got a tattoo of the kanji for
"I burned your fucking business down."

The Package

episodes have unaired scenes of varying quality, but are uniformly
uninteresting. There’s an "Anatomy of an Episode" segment of the
so-called powerful and unique "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls,
We Slept". The featurette hypes the quality of an episode that is really a
weak link in the season, since it’s the plainest attempt at heavy drama. There
is showrunner commentary on the same episode, as well as on the finale "The
Show Must Go On". They’re both decent commentaries, covering the whole
process of the show creation in fits and starts, interrupted occasionally by
rambling anecdotes. There is also a gag reel.

5.7 out of 10