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Friday, 23 of April of 2021

Tag » One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill – “Nobody Taught Us to Quit” & Life Unexpected – “Music Faced”

“Just the sight of a man and a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck and I start ovulating.”

Haley and Cate look on to Mia's performance from the wings.

“Oh, good. You look just as uncomfortable on my show as I do.”

Ladies and gentlemen, this was WB/CW meta-porn.

Obviously from my many mentions of Gilmore Girls and fewer (but important) mentions of Dawson’s Creek and Felicity, I was a fan of the late-90s/early-00s music-with-lyrics-fueled, fast-talking, youth-exploitive, hour-long dramas of the WB. In fact, what appealed me to start watching Life Unexpected in the first place was the constant comparisons to those dramas, particularly Gilmore Girls and Everwood. Sadly, when I arrived at the pilot, I realized that the only thing it shared with those shows is a mother who had a child at 16 and a bunch of adults that didn’t want to grow up. Maybe some fast-talking, definitely a singer-songwriter crooning lyrics over dialogue, but Life Unexpected hasn’t really lived up to the series to which it was compared.

You notice that I never mentioned One Tree Hill as one of those series I adored as a high school senior through early college. Because that show bugged the crap out of me. I liked seeing Tristan from Gilmore Girls (aka Chad Michael Murray) but he’s always had trouble picking roles that suited his abilities. One Tree Hill almost fit him if it wasn’t hampered by elementary dialogue, ridiculous overacting, and characters based almost exclusively on archetypes or stereotypes (like Lucas’s best friend, Skills).

Cringeworthy this show was. Maybe is. I haven’t watched more than an episode a season since. So, imagine my confusion (although I’d heard about it from various places) when I learned the show was flung forward in the future where Nathan and Haley have a writer’s soapbox of a child (you know, the kind that are wise beyond their years and announce the inner-workings of the characters around them) and I didn’t recognize anyone else (except Mouth who looks exactly the same). I don’t want to speak to how the series is telling its story but this particular episode seemed to dispense with typical structure. “Nobody Taught Us to Quit” felt more like walking into a soap opera with stories that are constantly ongoing, so much so that they have no need for intra-episode arcs. Instead, each scene is written like the conventional coda of a WB-series (cue the singer-songwriter, discuss interpersonal issues in overly-articulate platitudes, swell the emotion). It made the episode so. Long. And there really wasn’t much here for the crossover.

So all that WB torch-passing stuff was left to Life Unexpected.

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