Friday, April 6, 2012

Good-Bye, One Tree Hill

via Title to be Determined


We were introduced to the town of Tree Hill, NC the fall of 2003.  I was starting my senior of college, not exactly the prime demographic for a show about high school juniors but I was hooked from the first episode.  I watched religiously each week.

via USWeekly 
Then the show changed times, days, networks; life happened.  Although I wasn't as invested or obsessed with it weekly, I watched whenever I could.   And later?  I relived many of my favorite memories through reruns on SoapNet.  Those reruns reminded me why I loved the show in the first place.
It wasn't simply a silly, teenage high school drama.  It transcended ages and was about the relationships between the characters.  We followed REAL stories like absentee parents, teenage pregnancy, cancer, stalkers, adoption.  We watched as the characters developed and reacted to life happening TO them, not simply around them.

When I heard that this would be the ending with the 9th series, I knew I had to watch it in the same way I began it.  Sitting on my bed or couch, glued to my tv every week as it aired.  Before the final season began, I watched the previous two seasons on Netflix and became caught up on all of the story lines.

And that first episode of the 9th season?  The beginning of the end?  I was hooked.  And spent most of the night texting Neely, who as it turns out is more obsessed with this show than I was.

Fast Forward to Wednesday night::  The 2-hour series finale.  It was very bittersweet.  I wanted to know how the show was going to end.  What was in store for all of these people I watched grow up on my tv?  Would anyone make return appearances? At the same time, I didn't want it to be over.

I admit..  I was a little disappointed when I realized it wasn't REALLY a two hour episode.  They spent the first hour in  documentary style talking with cast and the creator.  Behind the scene shots were shown.  Also?  Did you know that the original story was set in Illinois, but due to weather concerns the producers asked them to consider North Carolina.  When the creator set foot in the town of Wilmington, he fell in love.  And when he visited the high school gym of Michael Jordan?  He had found the court for his Tree Hill Ravens.

Did you notice that all of the female characters that became mothers, used their maiden names for their children?  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  It's such a Southern thing and one that I've done naming my own kids.
Brooke:  son named Davis
Peyton: daughter named Sawyer
Haley: son named James (Jamie)

I know the Peyton/Lucas love story was one of the main focus of the earlier seasons.  Yes, they were star crossed lovers who finally worked things out.  My favorite couple was Nathan and Haley.   She saw something more in him than what he even knew existed.  Their relationship wasn't always sunshine and roses, but they dealt with it and became a stronger for it.


Another interesting factoid::  James Lafferty, aka Nathan Scott, was the only cast member who was ACTUALLY a teenager when cast for the part at 17 years old.  He also played basketball on his high school team. So all of those shots of Nathan draining 3s and dunking?  Were actually Nathan and not a double.






My thoughts on the actual finale?  I loved it.  Parts were predictable, yes.  But that's what I wanted.  I wanted my happy ending.  I don't like watching shows ending and sit there wondering, Now what?  {Friends, anyone?}

Other things I loved and made me cry::
  • adult characters looking back on their younger selves and giving advice
  • Nathan and Jamie at the River Court where he says to follow his dream & play sports for just him
  • The return of Bevin & later realizing she's dating Skills again. 
  • Young Jamie staring at Nathan's jersey in the gym
  • Older Jamie's jersey hanging next to it years later
  • Brooke & Haley owning their own corner in the world w/ Karen's Cafe & Baker Man
  • Haley's bracelet in the Cracker Jack box
  • Everything about Quinn, Clay & Logan
  • Nathan & Haley kissing in the rain
  • Julian buying Brooke's childhood home and helping her dream come full circle. 
  • Gavin Degraw performing "I Don't Wanna Be" while the cast sings in the audience.  
  • Haley with Jamie and the box of predictions: "This is a magical place.  There's only one Tree Hill and it's your home."
  • Brooke in the fictional teenage room of Peyton running her hands across the records.          "we did a lot of growing up in here.  Wishing & dreaming, figuring out who we were going      to be, ya know?"
  • Dan Scott's redemption. He was the villain you loved to hate.  "You can't kill Dan Scott." He      survived a fire, car crashes, crazy nannies, losing his heart transplant, a failed suicide.  In the     end, he gave his life for his son.  And Keith returned to give forgiveness. 
  • The final shot of 17 year old Jamie playing basketball while his family cheered in the stands. 



Yes, I cried through a big portion of the episode.  I even cried during the documentary.  I had pulled myself together towards the end when the middle kid, who watched with me, looks over and says, "I wish they were showing a preview for next week."  And it hit me.  
It was really the finale and would never be another new episode.  


And in case you just can't enough OTH:





Did you watch??  Did you love it? Hate it?  

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