Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Renewal of "Life Unexpected" and "One Tree Hill"

Good news: both Life Unexpected (or Life Unleashed, as my Mom has renamed it) and One Tree Hill have been renewed for next season!

I have to admit that I'm pretty excited about both, which I find myself a little surprised to say. Life Unexpected is a creative no-brainer, I think. The characters are interesting, fairly consistent, and sometimes they even make good decisions for their lives (I'm looking at you, Cate Cassidy!). The broken family at the center of the drama trying to figure out how to fix itself is compelling and occasionally heartbreaking (that is, the two elements necessary for good characters to thrive in a TV family drama). They've barely begun to scratch at the surface of Lux's foster baggage, but we see glimpses of how that experience shaped her. I'm excited to see more of those moments. Plus, they've managed to pull off the difficult task of making both men in the principle love triangle sympathetic. Nice.

My self-knowledge surprise for the day was how happy I was that One Tree Hill was actually renewed for yet another season (the next one will be its 8th). Financially, it's a network no-brainer, since the show sells its soul to product placement in EVERY episode. Creatively, though, the show has been running on fumes for quite sometime (let us never forget Millie's cocaine addiction and the fact that Brooke's mom experienced character amnesia this last season). Did you watch this week's episode? Can't remember? Let me rephrase: did you watch the episode where the whole gang (including Chase for some reason) went to Utah and NOTHING HAPPENED until the final 150 seconds of the episode? Now, don't get me wrong: I love a good cliffhanger shooting by a crazy stalker at the end of a season. It's what keeps TV drama fun and ridiculous. But couldn't they have built it up like they meant it?

In spite of a pretty terrible episode, though, there's something about the show that won't quite free me yet. Could it be the fun in watching of a group of very successful 24 year-olds ridiculously living in the random east coast town in which they all grew up? Maybe. Could it be that in spite of all the silliness, Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz somehow grew into pretty credible actors? Possibly. Is it that I found out there was a parkside location near one of the palaces I'm studying called "One Tree Hill"? Most likely. I guess all this is to say that somehow, after seven years of pretty mediocre television (with more than its fair share of bright spots through the years, in all fairness), I'm still engaged with this show. And, yes, I would be a little sad to not have it on TV anymore. There, I said it.


  1. Which seasons of One Tree Hill could legitimately be considered good? I've only seen one episode, and it was later, and I laughed the whole way through it. But I like most of your other shows, so it can't be all bad. Which seasons should I check out? Also, I LOVE that Cate chose Ryan at the end of LU.

  2. Yeah, I don't think any of its seasons could be considered "good" by a rational person. There have been episodes and scenes along the way that have brought more to the show than pure soap, though. I think my reasons for watching have to do with the fact that it debuted when I was 19 and I've kept up with it all those years. There's still some character loyalty for me.

    I think the thing about that stupid show is that, while it used to take itself really seriously, it doesn't anymore. It's gotten pretty tongue-in-cheek. Last season for example, there was a character that was a stable, glasses-wearing career girl, and all of a sudden she became a coke-head! Fantastic, hilarious, and ridiculous all at once! I wouldn't recommend that show with a straight face to anyone, but, like I said in my post, I can't quite shake it.