An Early 2000s Gem

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Back in the early 2000s, we didn’t have a TV network called The CW. We didn’t have our resident messy teen network famous for its scandals, an inexplicable number of superheroes, and some of the most controversial shows to hit TV. No back then The CW used to be Warner Bros, which had shows like Dawson’s Creek, Supernatural, and One Tree Hill keeping the network full of drama but also taking itself more seriously. Nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find a CW show that the majority of people watch unironically. The older years of Warner Bros and early CW feel like a golden era looking back (I might be a bit biased, though). 

I watched a lot of teen shows when I was a kid, but One Tree Hill got to me early on. I started it around middle school, and it was with me almost like an old friend through my high school years. I watched it multiple times, which was honestly impressive since the show is nine seasons long. I knew it so well that I had the seasons split up into groups of three for my favorite to least favorite. This show started me on my teen drama rabbit hole that led me to a CW binge where I watched things like The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, and even 90210 for a little bit before I realized I hated all the characters too much to keep going. But despite the CW phase, nothing ever truly compared to One Tree Hill for me. This show felt special because it had such a good blend of lighthearted storylines with some extremely heavy topics. Season four, in particular, gets very dark, but it’s still one of my favorite seasons because the happier moments balance it out really well. 

The draw of all these teen shows is that they’re about the characters. Even Supernatural, with its convoluted fantasy plots, managed to survive a whole 15 seasons long because the fans were so invested in the characters and their stories. The connection between characters and fans is even more important when a show is almost entirely character-driven, and One Tree Hill does this masterfully. There are many ups and downs in the writing since it’s near impossible to please everyone through nine seasons of a show, but it still managed to craft some of the most memorable characters and relationship dynamics, especially for a teen show. Brooke Davis is one of the most iconic characters to ever be on television (in my humble opinion), and Nathan and Haley have a truly heartwarming and believable love story all throughout the series. Nathan’s development is also some of the best character work I’ve seen in a show.

Overall, One Tree Hill will always have a special place in my heart, and I hope more young people watch it to get a taste of early 2000s TV. It had some real gems!