January 26, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 30°F


‘One Tree Hill’: Story ends with applause

When “One Tree Hill” premiered, Myspace was one month old, Pluto was still a planet and iPhones weren’t in existence. Since then, the series has discovered artists such as Tyler Hilton, Wakey!Wakey! and Kate Voegele. After nine years, we finally say goodbye to the television phenomenon that was OTH.

The show began in 2003 with six main characters and, though Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton left the show in 2007, the rest of the characters have stayed on the show through thick and thin — like when main characters Nathan and Haley dealt with pregnancy as high schoolers and Nathan’s father killed his brother in an epic school shooting episode.

While a bit over-the-top, the finale offers fans the closure they so desired, especially after Nathan’s epic kidnapping sequence in the previous episodes. Per usual, fans must suspend disbelief as writers transition through the years. Because the writers have created a town riddled with an incredible amount of violence and creepiness, it makes no sense when evil things would simply disappear from the lives of these characters. This was a smart move for the show because viewers needed to know that everything would be okay, and that hope would be restored.

Nathan and Haley were given the most significant send-off, appropriate considering these two have been a couple for nine years — something that is incredible even off screen. The show followed the growth of Nathan Scott as an all-star basketball player, and sports played a significant role throughout the entire series. The finale shows
Jamie, Nathan and Haley’s son, grow up and beat his father’s basketball score, which at the time seemed appropriate, but the audience is left wondering what happened to his real love: baseball. With such a significance put on Nathan’s father passing and the pressure he had put on him to be the best player from the beginning of the show, fans might leave wondering why the last scene was at a basketball game.

Brooke, the emotional heart and soul of the series, was given a similar send-off as her parents finally came to her side. The moment that Haley and Brooke shared as they claimed the corner of Grace Street was heartwarming, and flirted heavily with the line between wonderful and cheesy.

Centering the finale on the 10th anniversary of the town nightclub, Tric, was a nice touch, and a smart move by the producers. It let the audience reminisce on the past nine seasons and tied everything together with a neat bow.

In true OTH fashion, Gavin
DeGraw gave three performances from both his most recent CD and his debut, and gave the audience exactly what they needed: music to mimic what they were feeling. A major function of the series over the years, the show tied together the importance of having Tric as a place of refuge while still bringing up many of the worst memories from the show.

The series ends with local TV producer Julian Baker pledging to make a TV show based on another character’s book about growing up in the town, which evokes the feeling that their characters will live forever.


“One Tree Hill” was created by Mark Schwahn.