One Tree Hill: Let's Mix Things Up a Little
One Tree Hill: Let's Mix Things Up a Little
One of the best episodes of One Tree Hill's fifth season was "For Tonight You're Only Here to Know," which found Brooke, Peyton, Haley, Lindsey and Mia getting locked in the school library.  Not only did all the action in the episode take place in one location, but it allowed us the opportunity to see interesting character interactions that the series previously hadn't taken advantage of.  It was a blast watching Peyton (Hilarie Burton) and Haley throw down with Lindsey, and it was even fun seeing Brooke chat with Mia.  The episode proved that One Tree Hill is at its best when it shakes off its usual formula and allows for odd character pairings.

After watching last night's episode, I'm more convinced than ever that the Tree Hill twentysomethings need some fresh interactions.

As much as I hate to compare any respectable show to Heroes, it's easy to see how One Tree Hill shares a similar storytelling structure to its time slot rival.  Both shows juggle ensemble casts and try to touch on numerous storylines per episode, and both separate many of their cast members, creating a feeling that you're watching at least five different shows in one hour.  I can never remember who has met who when I watch Heroes, and I occasionally have the same problem with OTH.  Did Nathan really know Owen prior to this season?  I don't remember them meeting, but surely it must have happened at some point.

Much like Heroes, I think One Tree Hill could benefit from a little more focus.  I also think some unusual character interactions would only make things more interesting.  The reason I can't stand Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Peyton isn't because I dislike them as a couple, but because they rarely have anything interesting to do outside of their love story.  Lucas has the occasional publishing drama, and Peyton had her daddy issues, but I'd like something a bit more exciting.  How about seeing Peyton hang out with Mouth (Lee Norris) or Jamie?  How about a juicy storyline between Lucas and Nathan or Lucas and Dan, just like the good old days?  For a group of people who all live in the same small town, they rarely see one another.

The pairing of Deb and Skills (Antwon Tanner) proves that bringing completely different characters together can make for some fun drama.  I never would have expected their coupling to be as fun as it is, but it's actually given two underused characters a chance to shine.  I've also liked the short scenes between Brooke (Sophia Bush) and Nathan that we've seen this season.  The fact that they never interact makes their moments together all the more meaningful, and I wish we could see more of them.

I don't know where One Tree Hill is headed, but I have some hope that Lucas and Peyton will soon come across a more interesting storyline.  Next week's episode finds Lucas weighing an offer to turn his book into a movie, which could be interesting to watch.  However, that storyline probably won't give him a chance to interact with any of his Tree Hill brethren.  Is it too much to ask that the core characters on a show actually spend some time together now and then?  One Tree Hill is missing an opportunity by refusing to mix and match its talented ensemble on a regular basis.

- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)

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