One Tree Hill: Back to Basics

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One Tree Hill S09E12: “Anyone Who Had a Heart”

Last week, I said I would have to buy more tissues to make it to the end of One Tree Hill and I was right. Luckily, I stocked up. I had a coupon. Coupons are awesome.

So Julian pitched a show to some TV executives that sounded an awful lot like the plot of this very show that has aired for the past nine years. There was even a reference to Julian’s show being too similar to another show called The Creek that totally made me giggle because The Boyfriend gets OTH and Dawson’s Creek mixed up all the time. I see what you did there, writers. Cute.

And "cute" is the show's theme of choice in the wake of Nathan’s rescue and Dan’s death. Normally, cute would induce projectile vomiting because lots of things are cute: Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, my sadly outdated references. When it comes to television aimed at adults, cute is hard to execute successfully. It’s too easy to engage in accidental cheese instead, and believe me, the potential to dip into the fondue was there.

Julian pitched his series and it was picked up and everything was awesome except that he was placed in the terrifying position of having to actually, you know, write the pilot. He struggled until Brooke forked over her diary and I groaned in anticipation of the inevitable suckfest. Diaries are rarely entertaining. Informative, insightful, important, sure, but the diary’s entertainment value hinges on the identity of the diarist and, I don’t know, Brooke has never really been one of my favorites.

I did love the scene where she entrusted the diary to Julian, though. I’ve definitely given the “I’LL LET YOU READ THIS IF YOU PROMISE NOT TO MAKE FUN OF ME” speech many a time. And the ripping out incriminating and/or mortifying pages? Yep. That girl knows the protocol.

Brooke’s diary opened a floodgate of inspiration for Julian and he pounded out his pilot and settled into a soundstage of his very own. Tissue Warning #1: Julian gave Brooke a tour of the soundstage and showed her where the lockers would be, Whitey’s office. Whitey’s office, you guys, I miss Whitey.

Meanwhile, Clay and Quinn hosted Logan the Awesome for the weekend at Clay’s beach house and Logan continued to be the coolest kid ever. Not quite down with the whole ocean thing, Logan humored Quinn’s highly existential fears about the ocean as a great unknown. Then he pointed out that it wasn’t the unknown that scared him, it was the sharks. Duh, Quinn. Sharks. And jellyfish. Jellyfish are stealthy, man. Sharks have a theme song. Or at least they do on Amity Island. Maybe Tree Hill sharks are different.

Logan eventually got in the water. It was a Kodak moment and Tissue Warning Numero Dos featured the picture of Logan, Clay, and Quinn joining the picture of Dead Sarah on the shelf above Logan’s head. Clay proposed to Quinn with Logan’s Green Lantern power ring. I have a history Lantern ring myself and all I can really say here is well played, sir.

And finally, Tissue Warning #3 went down at the Burning Boat Festival, a nice little throwback to some vintage OTH. At first, all I could think of were the insurance premiums that in the real world would probably have shafted something like that real fast. Then I was jealous because setting things on fire in a communal setting is awesome. Then the indie music started and Haley told Chase that Karen was willing to sell TRIC to him aaaand I reached for the box of Puffs.

Frankly, after all the tension surrounding Nathan and the mafia for so many weeks, we needed this. It wasn’t a particularly thrilling episode, but it was sweet and it started wrapping up some of the storylines that have run through One Tree Hill for a long time, particularly Brooke’s fractured relationship with her parents. It was the sort of story you typically expect when you tune into One Tree Hill, not the mob thriller that substituted for most of this season.

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