Thursday, January 12, 2012

A full pardon for One Tree Hill and showrunner Mark Schwahn

I've you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably seen my confession of my sad addiction to the CW's One Tree Hill.  In my naivete, I composed what could have been a eulogy for the show two years ago.  I should have expected the show would escape the Reaper that time.  In nine seasons, the show's one constant has been experiencing more resurrections than Christ if he were trapped in Groundhog Day.

At yet this time it seems that the show's ninth season - which began last night - is at long last the end.  This seems as good a time as any for me to formalize a thought I've had for a while.  Though I've taken a few shots at it, I can honestly say that One Tree Hill is not the worst show on television, nor is it even the worst show on network television.  Heck, it's not even the worst show on its own network.

As to the second charge, I came across this article on showrunner Mark Schwahn:

THR asked Schwahn to look back for just a moment, and think if there’s been any story line that he never got to cover. For a show that’s had everything from kidnappings to school shootings, dogs eating hearts to murders, what could Schwahn have missed? 

“We seriously pitched zombies a couple years ago,” said Schwahn. “We had this great opening where Jamie came into the bedroom and woke up Nathan and said, ‘Uncle Keith’s at the door.’” 

“Outside of the Scott house everything was on fire and everything was desolate,” he added, with a laugh. “And we wanted to do a whole season where our characters were still our characters, and the rest of the world is zombies. If I'd gotten the green light, I'd probably have done that."

Bad?  Perhaps, but it's so bad it cycles around to awesome.  Mark, all is forgiven.  Consider this my first full pardon issued as The Bitter Script Reader.  It takes balls to come up with an idea like that and pitch it without shame.  Sure, bad ideas come from that kind of fearlessness, but genius often springs from it as well.  If nothing else, that probably would have been fun to watch.  I salute you, sir.

 If you want to check out the final season, but are worried about not being at all familiar with the backstory, Vulture has this awesome recap of the previous eight seasons.


  1. Cough cough...I'm guilty, too. Been watching since Day 1 (WB days). When its gone it'll be like missing the Peach Pit gang.

  2. I caught some of the last night episode while I was doing crunches (well, who am I kidding...I was eating mini marshmallows and sorting socks).
    What caught my attention was a scene with people on a phone.

    Armed with newly acquired knowledge ( thanks to this blog) I immediately admonished the fact that the characters just talked and talked without doing anything e.g. having a headset AND doing crunches.

  3. This premiere was the first time I had seen an entire episode, and the only reason I saw it was from attending a screening.

    To a newcomer, it felt like nothing really happened in the premiere. Dan came back to town, and Chris Keller came back and was an annoying Harry Johnson, but other than that.... was there more substance that I missed?

  4. this show is watchable.

    but i love the idea of taking characters from a show and reimagining their lives. I've always wanted to do some sort of action adventure thriller using the characters from Friends.

    do you think an audience would even stand for something like that.

    what if JJ Abrams took all the characters from Lost and put together some sort of sitcom that has nothing to do with a plane, an island, or flash forward/backward/sideways but kept their characters as they were.

    that's be awesome.

  5. Glad to see a more recent update on One Tree Hill! It's ridiculous how big my soft spot for this show is. I'm both excited for the season and sad for the finale. As long (and by long I mean looooooong) as this series has been on-air for, I am sad to see it go.

    On a different note, I also didn't think much happened in the first episode.. I kept checking the clock to see it get closer and closer to the end of the hour, wondering if something was going to happen. I just kind of regarded it one of those episodes that you need in order to set up a new premise and new details (Chris and Dan are back, Clay's sleepwalking problem, mysterious open doors, etc.) before the action comes in, since season eight ended with a pseudo series finale.