Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch Season 1: Episodes 1-5


I don’t have enough structure around here these days and it’s starting to cause me to burn out. Plus not having X-Files has caused a large gaping hole in my watching schedule (namely at work, where I can really only watch Netflix, for software reasons and like to keep things Network-Level, for shared office reasons).

So I thought it would be fun to revisit one of my beloved teen soaps. I really wanted to do Dawson’s Creek, but it’s not on Netflix, and I’d feel weird buying it on Amazon digitally because I own the whole series on DVD. (Shut up, you’re the one who’s embarrassed. I own my Capeside love.) Then I thought The OC would be fun, but it’s only on CW Seed, also not compatible with the work computer. (And also, I have it on DVD, well, the first 3 seasons.)

So that left Beverley Hill: 90210 and One Tree Hill, and BH:90210, couldn’t find to stream, so One Tree Hill it is.

It’s actually a better choice because unlike Dawson’s and OC I’ve only watched OTH once. And the last two seasons, not at all. But it’s a lot of episodes, so I figured the best way to get it done without it being a year and half long project. (YIPES) was to do 5 episodes a week, one for each lunch break. A weekly check in will keep me going, when things get rough. (You know, when Lucas and Peyton leave and no one talks about it?)


Season 1: Episode 1: “Pilot”

Literally the only essential elements of One Tree Hill not included in the first five minutes of the pilot? Haley and Brooke.

Everything else is there.

There’s a basketball game. There’s Peyton, driving in her car, listening to indie rock. There’s Lucas pouting and looking philosophical. There’s Dan undermining Whitey. There’s Nathan, demonstrating horrible decision making skills. There’s Mouth announcing for no one in particular. Whitey being firm but fair with the basketball team.

OH, I guess we don’t yet know that Lucas and Nathan are half brothers yet, but that comes up very soon and quite clumsily, I might add.

But honestly? My big takeaway from this episode is how unlikable everyone is. I mean not everyone. Keith is still pretty great. And Haley’s not into her unlikable period yet (although, GOOD GOD, are they playing it like she’s into Lucas, so glad that went away quickly.) But yeah, Lucas and Peyton, AKA the Poutersons, it’s like, WHY ARE YOU SO SAD? And I was a miserable whiny teenage, so I usually relate to that, but ugh, it’s tedious. And Nathan is just a raging asshole. Again, so glad that goes away soon. And since I know how it all turns out, I love them anyway. (Actually, I never really liked Lucas that much, except that he made Brooke happy.)

Also, I always forget that Brooke isn’t in the pilot. But there is an awkward literary quote read by Lucas in voiceover at the end.

Guys, I forgot about the voice overs.

This is going to be fun.

Season 1: Episode 2: “The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most”

Lucas chokes in his first game. Dan says some borderline abusive shit to Nathan. Lucas and Peyton pout at each other some more and Haley is around.

None of that is important because this episode we meet Brooke. I feel like I should warn you that I love very few characters the way I love Brooke Davis. She doesn’t do much in this episode but it’s pretty great how she’s immidiately defined in her relationship to Peyton, not to anyone else. The female friendships on this show are really revolutionary and I adore it for that.

And also the theme song!

Anyway, the theme of the episode is facing your fear, which Lucas and Karen have to do, because Dan and Nathan are buttheads, and also Peyton, with submitting her sketches to THUD. Which Lucas than does.

I really forgot how much of the first season is those two staring at each other.

Oh, and we get to know Jake a little. I love Jake!

Season 1: Episode 3: “Are You True”

Lucas has a good game! He scores more points than Nathan. Dan is really upset about this. Also Nathan and Tim and the guys on the team who have neither names nor are Jake are hazing Lucas. Oh, and Whitey gives Lucas Nathan’s old position.

But that’s not important here. What is important is that Peyton gets her comics strip. (Seriously, I forgot about Peyton’s art. I don’t know how. The music I remembered but the art I forgot.) Brooke gets naked in Lucas’s back seat. (BROOKE DAVIS FOR QUEEN). And of course, this episode is the birth of Nayley!

Nathan comes to Haley for tutoring and she tells him no. But then she changes her mind and true love is born…well not at first. But it’s great.

There’s also a whole run with Karen and the boosters, and Karen plots that aren’t Keith related are always super de duper boring. And this is the first time that ghosts are mentioned. But at this point the ghost are metaphorical. They don’t become literal until like, season 3.

Season 1: Episode 4: “Crash Into Me”

The good thing about the beginning of Naley is that it’s also the ending of Nathan: Rampaging Asshole. And it’s the beginning of Naley in all of it’s glory.

Anyway, in basketball news, The Ravens win again! And Nathan invites Lucas and Haley to a party. Then he’s a rampaging asshole, first by humiliating him in a game of “I Never,” and then by putting an old tape of Dan and Karen on for the whole party.

Then Peyton gets drunk and she and Lucas make angsty eyes at each other for a while. Then Nathan takes Haley home in Peyton’s car, she tells him he’s being an ass, and then he crashes the car, abandoning it with Lucas, who takes it to Keith. Who then calls, Deb!

Yes that’s right, we met Deb in this episode. And bless her she’s the most reasonable person on the show. (For now.) She notices than Nathan is being an asshole and decides to fix it. She makes him go down to Keith’s shop and apologize or offer to pay, or whatever. Lucas refuses. They stare at each other with intesity.

When Peyton finds out about her car she dumps Nathan. He doesn’t believe her.

Over in adult land, Deb tells Karen that she’d like to be friends. Karen is hesitant. Lucas confronts Haley about hanging out with Nathan.

Season 1: Episode 5: “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”

Peyton is single, but she’s running red lights because she’s sad about her dead mom. She has some really sweet talks with Whitey about it. Also Lucas. Nathan tries to get back together with her but she won’t. Also she’s mean to Brooke. Because of the sad about her mom thing.

In basketball land, there’s a father son charity game and Dan is taking it way to seriously. Lucas asks Keith to play as his father and this just makes Dan even more determined. He plays too hard, antagonizes Nathan who finally stands up to him. It’s probably my favorite early Nathan moment.

Overall Analysis Of This Arc:

I forgot how quickly everything gets going, and it’s nice to see. But I also forgot how annoying everyone is at the beginning, but they also settle in to their much more likable selves fairly quickly, which is pretty exciting.

Also, there isn’t nearly enough Brooke, but I guess they didn’t quite know how to use her yet at this point. There’s also not as much Jake as I remember. I guess he didn’t become a real character until he and Peyton started dating.

I love all the music. It makes me think of high school in all the good ways. The driving around with the windows down ways.

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