This teenage soap is something of a guilty pleasure for me. I’m hooked, yet I know this is far from top drawer drama. It’s not as good as The Gilmore Girls or Everwood but this look at a clique of high school kids in North Carolina is satisfying enough. The premise is original. Half brothers, one beloved, the other abandoned begin as rivals. Nathan grew up with his father and mother with all the affluence of the upper middle class, while Lucas and his mother Karen, have struggled to make ends meet since Karen was blown off by Dan her high school boyfriend.
Seventeen years later wounds and rivalry are still acute. Dan is a smug, over-privileged jerk who makes a good villain. Girl next door Haley, edgy artistic Peyton and party girl Brooke provide romantic interest for the boys. There’s all the high drama of a soap: car accidents, elopements, betrayals, murders, teen pregnancy, single parenthood, you name it.
I’m just in the middle of season 4. I’d have missed the show entirely if it weren’t for Sally’s urging and DVDs.
Certain aspects of the show are so far fetched. In an era of hover parents, only Dan is obsessed with his favorite son. Peyton’s father is usually at sea and her mother’s dead. Brooke’s rich parents are either traveling, off-camera arguing or in California where they relocate. Jake, a teen single father, has parents who take no part in his custody battle and very little in helping with his daughter. Rachel joins the cast in season 3 and it’s a mystery why her parents bought a house in Tree Hill as they too are vagabonds never coming home. Who tends the lawn? Who gets a repairperson? These kids never have to deal with any homeowner problems.
Oh, I really can’t believe that while Peyton drove all night to check on her father’s safety when she learned his ship was in a storm, he doesn’t show up for weeks when a creepy imposter stalks and attacks her. When he is on camera, Mr. Sawyer is a normal concerned father. Implausible.
I do love the literary quotations that often begin or end an episode. I’ve posted a page of them at Ruined for Life.