One Tree Hill: Bowling for Tropes

I’ll say upfront that I’m not a regular One Tree Hill (OTH) viewer. With the dearth of new programming on (not blaming the writers for wanting their fair share, but DAMN I wish the industry would work this strike out sooner rather than later), I’ve found myself scrounging around for something to watch. I won’t do much reality TV – as inspiring as the Biggest Losers certainly are, I don’t need to watch them do it.

Anyway, so I tuned in to OTH’s super-duper 2-hour season premiere a couple of weeks ago. Time has been sped up, and our high school angsters are now out of college and in the “real world.” Good, I thought, at least now the actors and character ages will be much closer to reality.

Age is about the only thing close to reality, though. Forget the young guy who’s a celebrated author but can’t seem to write another novel. Forget the basketballer’s tragic accident that made him miss out on the big time (though, honestly, if he was about to make the NBA and it was supposed to be exciting, the Seattle Sonics probably weren’t a good bet…). Forget the 21 year old woman who set out 4  years ago to conquer the fashion industry and did (she’s got a multi-million dollar business, riiiight). Forget the 21 year old woman who set out 4 years ago to conquer the music industry and failed at it because her morals are strong (okay, this one is all right). All that’s bad enough, as is the fact the two women who set out to conquer their industries decided to move back to this small North Carolina town to make their marks there. If I hadn’t already decided the producers of the show had no desire to even attempt anything like reality, this probably would have pushed me over the edge.

What really kills me are the storylines created for these newly grown-up kids. They’re not all bad, I’ll say that, but most of them are like trope bowling pins arranged so closely together it would be impossible not to knock them all down in one toss.  Let’s see:

We’ve got the troubled young married couple subsisting on magic money (inheritance somewhere, basketball residuals, court case?) and one teacher’s income hiring a “hot nanny”  – $10 for anyone who can guess where that one’s going.

We’ve got the young fashion icon who’s being controlled and manipulated by her Superbitch!Mommy in business and other affairs. Everyone’s got a Superbitch!Mommy character lurking in their shadows somewhere, don’t you know. And if it wasn’t a Superbitch!Mommy, then it would probably be a Sleazydirtbag!Daddy…oh, wait, OTH did that one already.

We’ve got the young music mogul (in the making now that she’s got her own brand new record label in Bumbleep, Egypt) who’s still in love with her ex, who is now in a committed relationship with someone else – $10 more if you know where that one’s going.

We’ve got the goofy looking guy trying to break into the newscasting business, facing brick walls because he ain’t got a pretty face – this one had potential to demonstrate some sort of quality lesson. That potential, however, was destroyed last week. How, you ask? The guy had troubles at work – his boss…his lady boss didn’t like him. He asked a friend for advice, and his friend told him it was all UST and that he should lay a big wet kiss on her. Which he, stupidly, did and got fired….only, wait, we’re not done yet. After he got fired, he went back into the office for some reason or another, and that’s when the boss somehow realized that it was actually UST and they ended up groping on the couch in her office. Yes, kids, inappropriate sexual behavior DOES pay off!

ETA: This last one has quickly turned into quid pro quo situation, which I suppose could still have potential to send and interesting message.

I can’t say any of this is a huge surprise or disappointment – it’s rather par for the course for most of The CW’s programming (and part of my issues regarding my beloved Supernatural this year), and like I said I’m not a dedicated watcher.

Still, it would have been SO nice to have the blank slate OTH kind of had written with some originality instead of having these tired old tropes, tropes which do no favor to either gender, being dragged out yet again.

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